I think of visits to my new baby-mama friends in three categories: Needs food. Needs errands. Needs company. Each mama may need only one or a combination of all three.
Organizing meals is easy these days. Take Them A Meal is fabulous (as are all the other websites people use I’m sure), and people can sign up on their own so the person in charge is just creating the site and entering the emails. This is best started before the baby comes when the mom-to-be can use her nesting instinct to gather all the emails of her family, friends and neighbors for her meal fairy. Then when the baby comes, I just scheduled it to start for a few days later and sent out the email. I have a personal go-to-new-baby meal, baked ziti made in a a disposable dish so no stress about getting the anything back to me, and it’s just as good reheated.
When I got home from the hospital, I needed a few things — a much bigger nursing bra for starters — which my husband bravely sought out leaving me with a newborn for the first time. EEK. Other new moms need bottles to supplement, big kids to entertain, or larger diapers because they pushed out a 10 pound baby. But it’s hard to get out of the house when your bottom area is a little too sore for car rides and the baby seems to need so much stuff that the bag weighs more a newborn in a car seat. Spouses often don’t get much time off so a friend can really help. If the mama doesn’t need anything from the store, household chores like taking out the trash or cleaning dishes helps just as much
The loneliness of early motherhood, especially after the first few weeks when the family and friends visits taper off, was shocking to me. My spouse was back at work, and I was just feeding and patting and walking and diapering 24 hours per day. It seemed like everyone had moved on and I was still in this never-ending cycle. I loved being a mom, but the life I had beforehand was not possible. I was too tired to keep up with my old self. The people who came over and sat with once the baby had fallen asleep or rocked the baby so I could cook dinner, saved my sanity.
Well, I’m off to run an errand! Have fun helping those new mama friends!