There’s nothing like a brand new bundle of joy to turn life upside down, especially for the momma. So how do you support a friend or family member as she adjusts to life with baby? Here, ten moms share the thoughtful, mood-boosting, sanity-saving gestures that really made a difference to them.
Drive through & deliver
This might seem silly, but my aunt brought me breakfast from McDonald’s (several times) when my little guy was newly born. It’s amazing what an Egg McMuffin and a cup of coffee—delivered—will do for a sleep-deprived, malnourished new mom!
— Rayane, Overland Park, Kansas
Welcome her to motherhood
When my daughter was born, three of my best friends came to our house for a blessing with our priest. That was a really special and beautiful occasion. I felt ushered into the fraternity of motherhood by their presence.
— Mariah, Laramie, Wyoming
Plant a little kindness
My mom planted peonies at her house on the day my older son was born and every year on his birthday they’re blooming.
— Angela, Riverside, Missouri
Send her to bed
When my mother-in-law heard I had been diagnosed with postpartum depression, she drove seven hours from Florida to Atlanta, walked in the house, took my son and told me to go to bed. It sounds crazy, but she knew exhaustion was playing a big role. The next morning I felt refreshed and ready to take on the day. Things got better every day from then on.
— Jenny, Dallas, Georgia
Leave no job undone
One awesome “gift” was having a lawn service do the fall yard cleanup. My daughter was born in October, and there was no way that either my husband or I were going to get out there and rake leaves. My mother-in-law hired the service…but any sort of helping with the yard work—at any time of year—would be welcome.
— Kerstin, Kansas City, Missouri
Show up with brotherly love
Our twins were in the NICU for 13 days. My brother and sister-in-law, who are nurses, live several states away, and we did our best to relay updates to them. One day, I was just going back to my hospital room when suddenly the door burst open and in walked my brother! He had driven through the night to be with us (seriously, I am crying now as I am writing this). It was the best feeling in the world seeing him walk through that door. What’s more, I was able to “show off” my new babies (what every new mom wants).
— April, Shawnee, Kansas
Organize some blessings
I recently attended a baby shower where we brought “mommy blessings” instead of gifts. Each guest wrote down something they would do for the new mom once she had the baby—things like bringing her coffee, making a Target run for her, taking her older daughter to the park, bringing her a meal, vacuuming her house. I’m a new mom myself, and I thought it was a cool idea.
— Heather, Temecula, California
Give her a break
My daughter was colicky and not a great sleeper for the first five months of her life, so I was pretty stressed out. One night, after a particularly hard week, my husband drew a bath for me, set up a CD of my favorite music and handed me a glass of wine. It was a really thoughtful gesture that let me know he understood.
— Meghan, Leawood, Kansas
Pass the baby
I hosted a little “sip & see” for a friend who’d just had her third baby to make it easier for everyone to see the baby, in lieu of this friend having to host people in her house intermittently with two other small children to tend to. It was just a casual night with snacks and drinks and everyone passing the baby around.
— Tina, Prairie Village, Kansas
Just reach out
One day when I was feeling especially drained, I received a call from an older friend from church. She asked if she could come over and see the baby. I wasn’t really in the mood for company—the house was a mess, and I looked awful, but I told her to come on over. Shortly after, she arrived, and the first thing she did was give me a big hug and tell me what an amazing job I was doing. Then she produced a basket with lunch and let me eat while she held my son. Next, after she miraculously rocked him to sleep, she told me to do whatever I needed to in the next two hours because she would take care of him. It felt like I had been thrown a lifeline. I have never been able to thank her enough for taking such good care of us that day.
— Dierdra, Kansas City, Missouri