Friday, March 2, 2012

Encouragement for New Moms

Recommended by my friend Theresa,
this post is just too lovely and too helpful not to share:

For me one of the most helpful things after Elizabeth was born were the meals.
I said more than once that there were three main things on my mother-plate at that time
1) caring for the children and Dennis
2) laundry and general upkeep of the house
3) cooking 

It seemed I was only able to keep up with two of the three.  
If the kids got dressed and I got a meal on the table, then there was no way the clothes got washed and there were toys and junk everywhere.

If I kept the house from being worthy of a visit from a social worker and got everyone fed, then it seemed like I hadn't even held the baby or cared for the other children.

If I made supper and the kids were in good shape, then no one had clean clothes to wear!
(Some may say to just re-wear and we did to a point.  But on a farm it's pretty imperative to keep up with the laundry!)

Not to mention that along with the major life-event that is childbirth and the sleep deprivation comes a numbing of the mind--the seeming inability to put things in order enough to assemble a meal, much less put it together and serve it even remotely on time!

Hence, it was SO HELPFUL to not have to worry about that one aspect on the days when I had help with meals.

Once when we all were under the weather and I was newly pregnant and feeling crummy from that,
a friend sent me an email and said she'd be over on a certain day, she'd be able to stay for about an hour, and for me to think of what I would like help with during that time.
This was so helpful because it
1) gave me time to think {remember the numb mind?!}
2) let me know she was coming for more than a visit {A "plain" visit is great--don't get me wrong!}
3) gave me time to prepare
I had her help me wash the kitchen floor.  
Had she just stopped by for a visit and said "what can help with?" my personality is such that I could never have asked her to wash the floor because I wouldn't have had time to sweep it first!  (I'm easily embarrassed by our messes.)

What have been your most helpful experiences?
Maybe not even with a new baby--maybe it's been during an illness or after a loss.
If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear!


  1. I loved the chocolates and food before and after Titus was born, people inviting my children to play for a couple of hours so I could nap, visits whether drop-by or pre-arranged, when you offered to do the one-hour "I'm coming to help" act, and your taking the kids to church for us, genuine offers from others to help us--whether I've taken advantage of them yet or not (look out, I still may! :), and the messages/calls to check up on how I/we are doing! I told Brett I sometimes wish Titus had come before Elizabeth so I would have known better how to help you out after she was born!

  2. Good point, Theresa--the genuine offers to help, whether we take them up on it or not. It is enough to know that we can call in the favor if needed. :)

    And your last sentence is very sweet. :)

  3. One of my favorite gifts when the girls was little was from my next door neighbor that was "grandma" age. For Christmas each year that we lived there she would take the girls for a few hours one December afternoon. I'd have lunch with a friend and go to Target by myself. Very rare in those days. Also after we lost Joshua we had lots of meals brought in, flowers, cards, etc.... I think the most helpful things were people letting me hold their babies without being weirded out and just coming over to sit and visit with me.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Heather. I think of you so often!

  5. I'm 6 months pregnant with my first baby, and I would have to say so far it's been the hugs. There are a couple women who come up to me at church at give me a hug when I'm looking a little extra exhausted/frazzled at juggling pregnancy hormones and ministry responsibilities. SO grateful for them!!!!

  6. Absolutely! Pregnancy is a time for women to come together to hold one another up--it can be so draining and wonderful at the same time! Blessings to you while you prepare to meet your precious baby!

  7. Thank you so much for posting this, Melissa! I think everyone can take something away from this list when looking for ways to bless someone else. I agree that for me, both during the bed rest and after Michael was born, the meals were a tremendous blessing! Thank you so much to you and everyone who blessed us with meals! Also, another friend of mine came over several times before and after Michael was born. She had asked me to think of some meals that our family really enjoys and get the ingredients together. Then she came over and cooked them up to put in our freezer (and of course cleaned up afterward). That was also a great idea and a huge blessing.

  8. Lisa, that's a good idea about having the ingredients gathered so that a friend can cook it up. I know that many people are intimidated by cooking for a crew like mine, ie, how much meat/noodles, what likes/dislikes are prominent, etc. This way, the person knows that her hard work won't be "wasted" because of different taste preferences. Thanks!

  9. And I now add...
    Lending Linnea for an evening so she could help with the kids' bedtime. They/we all loved it!

  10. Linnea LOVED it, too! I got to hear all about it on the ride home. :-)


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