I recently had my second baby and my goal this time was to accept help whenever it was offered. I think we all say it’s hard to accept help, and I understand that, but maybe we could look at it as more of an opportunity to let someone else provide service. They offered it in the first place, so it’s not selfish to accept the help. They wouldn’t be willing to do it if they didn’t offer.
So, when people would text me and ask if they could do anything, my go-to was always a meal. It’s stressful trying to plan meals, so I was excited to not have to cook as much for a little bit while I recovered from giving birth. Plus I needed some new ideas for things to cook for dinner in the future.
My very favorite meal was from my postpartum doula. Seriously, invest in one! The extra help, even if just for a few hours, really helps! She came over and brought ingredients to make a soup along with a loaf of sourdough bread. We sat and chatted while she made the soup and then she held my baby for me while I ate. How often do we get a nice, warm lunch to ourselves?! It was such a wonderful gesture I didn’t realize I needed! In those first few weeks after having a baby, it’s hard to eat a meal without holding a baby, so to have someone stay while I ate and hold my baby was a serious blessing!
I know we are all guilty of texting someone and saying “Let me know if I can do anything for you.” I’ve done it myself. But this phrase puts pressure on the person to think of something that they need. Instead, offer something specific. Something I loved from a friend was having her bring me a milkshake and let me share my birth story with her. I wanted to share it with someone that cared about my experience and would be happy along with me as I shared every detail. Plus I was craving something sweet!
If you love cleaning, offer to do their dishes. If you love baking, make some goodies and drop them off. And really, when all else fails, offer to bring dinner. It’s a gift that anyone can appreciate! And maybe stay for a minute and offer to hold the baby. That tired mom will appreciate it more than you know!