5 Do's and Don'ts for Helping a New Parent

📷: Fowler Creations Photography 

Do you have one Facebook friend that just seems to have it all together? Let me just tell ya, I think half my newsfeed is new moms that are smiling glamorously with their sweet new family making me envy the "perfection". So I am confused, why do I look down and have breast milk leaking through my shirt, the dog barking at the neighbor, and a baby screaming at the top of her lungs while her dad practices his golf swing? 

Well, I'll tell you. It's because no one has it all put together as a new parent. What is really going on behind those perfect pictures? From experience it’s a sleep deprived, stressed out, emotional new parent just trying to make it through one day at a time. When my brother and sister-in-law had Hutton I had no idea how to help them nor did I even know that they needed help. They looked like the perfect cute family that had it all together. I wish I would've known these do's and don'ts to offer up a helping hand to them! Once I became a mom I realized having a new baby isn't as perfect and peachy as it seems. It is the most stressful yet so abundantly amazing roller coaster ever. Most times we, as new parents need help, but are too afraid to ask. So, when I found out my best friend was having a baby I vowed to help her out as much as possible. No excuses! From my own experiences this is what I found to be most helpful and unhelpful.

5 Do's

1. Bring food
Everyone wants to bring flowers to new parents, but that’s not the most helpful or useful gift. Let’s get real, they are so hard to transport home from the hospital AND they die in about a week, leaving me with another thing to clean up. A much more useful gift is making a meal. Remember, the best way to a friends heart is through their stomach.

2. Walk the dog/Run an Errand
If you live near new parents something as simple as walking the dog is a huge help. New parents have no time to their self so when they do get a spare minute they don’t want to use it walking the dog. If you don’t live close ask to help run an errand like picking up groceries.
3. Wash your hands
Washing your hands before you touch a newborn is important. No one wants to be "that" mom and freak when you got to touch their baby but it's true, newborns immune systems are so low that any germ could be the difference between life and death. So don't had to the moms stress level, wash your hands and put the new parents at ease! 

4. Encourage New Moms
Compliments are always welcome! Pregnancy is a long process and is hard on a mother’s body. New moms are always so critical on themselves to lose their baby weight immediately.   Remember, it takes 9 months to put it on it could take just as long to get it off! Any words of encouragement to help them love their new body are always welcome. Give the woman credit where credit is due, she just did the most amazing thing in this world by bringing a human into the world! Plus, everyone loves a good compliment!

5. Get her out of the house
New moms stay in the house all day long. We know all you dads think that is living the dream, but it gets tough being cooped up day after day. If the mom is comfortable leaving the house offer to go on a walk, go get your nails done, anything to interrupt the monotony of the day.

5 Don’ts

1. Don’t go to the hospital
This may seem unusual but new parents are so tired from the birth they need time to rest and be with their new family. Visiting the family at their house is best for the new parents. This way they have time to spend quality time talking to you and you are guaranteed to hold the baby because, who are we kidding, that’s the real reason you are there!

2. Don’t stay long
New parents are still getting use to the crazy schedules of a new born. So, when you go to visit make sure you don’t overstay your welcome. Remember what Benjamin Franklin said, Guest, like fish begin to smell after three days😉

3. Don’t give advice
Being a new parent is overwhelming enough trying to figure out what your baby needs and getting in a new rhythm. New parents do not need your advice! Just because it works for you doesn’t mean it will work for everyone and the last thing a new parent wants to hear is how perfect your parenting choices were. New moms generally feel like they are doing everything wrong so don't add to their paranoia. 

4. Don’t come visit late at night
Just because newborns don’t sleep through the night yet doesn’t mean you can stay as late as you want. New parents need as much sleep as they can get, so unless you are invited to come late at night, don’t come!

5. Don’t get offended
New parents are just that, new parents. They are learning their routine with their new baby and sometimes that means they have to cancel plans. Don’t be upset just because they cancel, they are still learning how to balance being parents while remaining social.

Hopefully this will help aide you in your new endeavors with friends that have become parents. Help them achieve the perfect Facebook picture you see on your newsfeed of other families! And for goodness sake, do NOT overwhelm your already exhausted friends. Just take them some food, tell them they’re beautiful, and be their friend when they come to you for a break!

Chatt later,

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