• Fourteen tips on how to be helpful to a new mom

    No handbook slushed out of my hoo-hoo when I pushed out my kids, and if it could have, I hope it would have been a scroll, not a hardback!  As I progressed from young maiden to mother to young grandmother,  I learned a lot from my family and want to share the wisdom.

    She did the bonking, pushed the kid out, and now she is exhausted!  Pretend the new mom pushed out this scroll right after the child and before the after birth.  It’s my gift to you.


    1. All parenting decisions belong to the new parents and must be respected.
    2. The new parents will decide how to feed and what to feed the baby, don’t do anything behind their backs to undermine their rules.
    3. Sponsor a shower for the mom.  She can have more than one, just make sure to follow her wish list for gifts, or just give money.  Money is always welcome.
    4. Once the baby is born, call before you visit. Do not drop in, ever.
    5. When you visit, do the 2:1 rule.  Do at least two things for mom per visit: her dishes, sweep, vacuum, take out the trash, laundry, let her nap or bring food.
    6. Visitation does not revolve around your schedule.  Make sure to cater to mom’s and baby’s schedule.  You must respect the bond of the new family.
    7. Do bring food often.
    8.  Make sure you are germ-free, clean, and without any cold symptoms before you visit. If you have a job that deals with the public, change your clothes or wear something over your work clothes to protect the baby.
    9.  Respect the new family’s faith decisions. This includes cutting or not cutting the foreskin. This includes any and all family expectations or traditions.  It is not your business. Do not pressure the new family.
    10. Do not make the new mom wait on you while you hold the baby.  Make sure she rests.  No visitor should burden the new mother.
    11. Do not criticize the child’s birth, the mother’s weight, or any parental decision.  If you have doubts, refer to rule 1.
    12. Mom might be tired and hormonal.  Give her the benefit of the doubt on each word and decision.
    13. Offer to help and follow through with what you offer.  It’s important to establish trust.
    14. Tell her she is beautiful!   If she needs time to shower and do her hair, hold the baby for her, and let her shower!

    • Great advice but not always a piece of cake to follow. But we keep trying.

      • Maya North

      • May 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm
      • Reply

      I hold to that with very few exceptions. If I see something that’s going to lead to disaster parenting-wise, I will say something. Most of the time I preface it with “you might consider.” This phrase leaves the final decision to them, but introduces the concept. I have tested it and it is acceptable to my grownup children. I’ve only a few times just used the voice of (grand)maternal command. I’ll save my daughter’s feelings by not telling the story, but that one just had to be nipped in the bud, and it was for my daughter’s sake, not my granddaughter’s. You just have to pick your battles, chief among them is that your children are adults, so treat them at least as well as you would someone you had just met. <3

    • Maya and Madge, I wholeheartedly agree!

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