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:
- Bring something
- Do something
- Take something away
- Bring some apples
- Do some dishes
- Take some garbage away
- Bring a casserole (a few friends have said ready-made food was the BEST gift they received)
- Take the dog(s) outside for a walk
- Take some mail to the post office (maybe they have Thank You cards they want to send out)
- Bring some toilet paper (or nipple cream or whatever else they say they need)
- 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)
- 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)
23 weeks pregnant (the meltdown)
22 weeks pregnant (grand canyon edition)