pregnant chick: 28 weeks (bring, do, take & an ode to accepting help)

The 28 weeks pregnant photo! I am now 7 months pregnant. Kayloo is usually pretty flexible when it comes to posing. Mickey takes a bit more coaxing. Fancies himself a dog model or some such thing.

Guess what! I recently learned that I have been pretty much completely useless when it comes to visiting someone with a new little bundle of joy (a friend of mine shared with me what she learned at her prenatal class).

It’s okay! I’m not beating myself up too much about the whole thing. I figure it’s like trying to be helpful in any area you don’t have direct personal experience with. I’m about as helpful with babies as I would be helping someone relandscape their yard. Sure, I could hazard a guess, but really, what the hell do I know about big rocks and fountains and little gnomes? Nothing.

So, now that I am armed with direction I thought I would share my newfound knowledge just in case I wasn’t the only one who was doing it wrong.

Turns out, when you go to visit a family with a newborn, it’s not necessarily a “visit” but a chance to help. In all honesty, they mostly likely don’t have the time or presence of mind to chat (as much as they would love to catch up, in the beginning most new parents only have baby poop, pee and a distant hope for sleep on the brain). A few short weeks ago mom and dad had control over how they spent their time… NOW however, mom and dad are ecstatic but shellshocked and no matter how much reading and planning they did beforehand their world has been completely turned upside down by 10 lbs of baby-ness.

So, once mom or dad has said it’s okay to drop by (make sure you ask, some folks are okay with the random drop by, some folks want a few weeks to get their druthers) the rule of thumb is this:

  1. Bring something
  2. Do something
  3. Take something away

For example:

  1. Bring some apples
  2. Do some dishes
  3. Take some garbage away

Or:

  1. Bring a casserole (a few friends have said ready-made food was the BEST gift they received)
  2. Take the dog(s) outside for a walk
  3. Take some mail to the post office (maybe they have Thank You cards they want to send out)

Or:

  1. Bring some toilet paper (or nipple cream or whatever else they say they need)
  2. Occupy baby while mom goes and has a shower or takes a nap (keep in mind that baby might cry. It’s cool. You can handle it)
  3. Take the recycling away

BUT, here’s the catch:

Often new parents will not admit they could use your help. When you ask if they need anything they will say, “No, no!”… but they are lying. How often do you ask for help? Probably not very often. Parents usually feel like they are supposed to have everything under control at all times and admitting they are out of laundry detergent is uncomfortable to say the least… or maybe when you ask they can’t think of what they need right at that second because they are wondering where they left their sanity. But either way, there is SOMETHING they need.

Now that I have learned this I am #1) going to follow the “bring something, do something, take something away” mantra for family and friends with new little ones, and #2) when my baby arrives do my darndest to accept help when family and friends offer it. I know I would be honoured to pick up some coffee and carrots if one of my friends asked me to do it, so I am going to try to swallow my pride and let people help me.

The more we accept help the closer we will get to rocking our happy, helpful communities.

And the less chance we will have of running out of toilet paper.

More belly bump pics:

27 weeks pregnant (christmas edition)

26 weeks pregnant (psychedelic tool edition)

25 weeks pregnant (clean freak)

24 weeks pregnant

23 weeks pregnant (the meltdown)

22 weeks pregnant (grand canyon edition)

21 weeks pregnant

20 weeks pregnant

19 weeks pregnant

18 weeks pregnant

10 Responses to “pregnant chick: 28 weeks (bring, do, take & an ode to accepting help)”

  1. Cristol says:

    OMG you are right on the money with the no help thing. I think first time parents (moms especially) think they need to prove to everyone how capable they are of handling it all. Great post Shauna! I’m sorry I had to miss seeing your beautiful belly =(

    • Yeah, I suck in the accepting help arena. I pretty much *always* say, “It’s okay! I think we’re good!” I am going to try though!

      It’s too bad we didn’t catch up this time around, but we’ll try again next time! It’ll happen! 🙂

  2. Maggie says:

    You look fantastic!!! And you are so, so right. Asking for help is HARD. I have no idea why, but the response is always, “No, thanks! I’m good” even if you’re so not good! Something to think about and work on…

    • Thank you, Maggie! My husband had a prof in uni who said by denying another a person the chance to help you, you are denying them a very special gift. So, by allowing someone to help us we are actually doing something special for THAT person. I try to remember that when I am trying/pretending to be a superhero.

      Hugs to you!

  3. Genevieve says:

    I always bring food to new parents. Usually a lasagne……. it’s nice not to have to worry about making meals when you have a new baby!! If I were there I’d bring you a dinner for sure!!!
    My mother-in-law stayed with us for a week when we got home from hospital and it was sooo great. I didn’t have to worry about food, laundry or leaving the house!!!
    I didn’t think I’d want it but it was so helpful!!!
    I’m sure your mom will be down as soon as you go into labour………

    • Awww, thanks Gen! When I first heard that ready-made meals were so popular I felt self conscious about it for some reason, I have no idea why. I only recently learned this so I’m just starting to get into the “bring food” groove 🙂

      Yep, mom will be there right away- we will definitely be fed and the house will be spic and span 😉

  4. Shauna says:

    I love your blog Shauna but this one particularly made me smile. I think every mom can relate to this. I also just wanted to congratulate you and hope you enjoy every hiccup and kick that baby gives you. I loved that part of being pregnant.

  5. John says:

    Hey babe,

    Great post. You look awesome! x