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In the past several years, however, my life has changed dramatically emotionally, physically (here’s looking at you, mom bod), and mentally.
Oh, and don’t forget to wash yesterday’s grime off your face, feed yourself in between the tantrums and poopy diapers, and be sure to drop off your son at soccer practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And the occasional Friday, but it depends on when the last game was.
exhaustingly relentless. I need my husband’s help. I need my mother-in-law’s help. I need the help of other uplifting moms around me.
1. Encourage Her
Being a mom isn’t easy, especially when it’s her first rodeo. When you see her putting her baby to sleep successfully, endlessly playing with her baby, or toughing it out through a brutal round of breastfeeding, let her know she’s doing a great job! We already doubt ourselves every second. Let us know when we are rockin’ momdom.
2. Run to the grocery store for her
It’s hard to leave the house when your baby is teething and fussy or when you’re still learning to accept your new postpartum bod. If you’re at Aldi’s or Trader Joe’s, ask her if she needs anything. Most moms always need something, but damn, it sure takes a lot of time and effort (and patience) to leave the house with kids to pick up some milk.
Moms don’t get enough credit. It doesn’t matter if she is a work away from home mom, work at home mom, or is stay at home mom; being a mother is a lot of work. Acknowledge the sacrifices she is making for her family and children. And the endless amounts of laundry she washes, folds, and schleps up the stairs to put away on a daily. Oh my gosh, I bet moms spent 1/4 of their life just doing laundry. It’s neverending.
4. Give her a hug
Motherhood can be lonely. Babies can be hard. And some days, she feels down. Bear hug her hard. Like her life depended on it. If she isn’t a hugger, rock your best Dr. Evil impression and ask for one.
5. Send her a text
Let her know you’re thinking of her. Even if she can’t respond right away, she will be so happy to hear from you. It seems like once a woman has a baby, her posse considers her to be too busy, too this, or also that, and they give up on reaching out. Please don’t. As much as she enjoys watching Baby Shark 152 times a day, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t wish to hear that little message alert jingle on her phone telling her her old friend is saying, what’s up!!
6. Tag her in funny memes
Sending a super funny quality meme is like a virtual hug from the sender. Memes make life more enjoyable. I have several meme strings going with different friends and family; we rarely speak a word on the phone. Like Egyptians, we prefer to talk in modern hieroglyphics and barbaric guffaws.
7. Invite her out on a walk
Being outdoors helps us all, especially new moms battling postpartum depression or stay at home mom blues. She will be so happy to have adult talk time, the chance to increase her steps on the Fitbit, and some fresh air will do her mind some good.
8. Treat her for lunch
She’s a mom now. All of her extra pennies go towards her kids or groceries to feed the little hellions. She will so appreciate it, especially if she doesn’t have to wash the dishes after, which brings me to my next point.
9. Clean the house
Is there anyone else that knows how to clean other than mom? Anybody? Anybody!? A clean house is such a special treat. With kids, it is dang near impossible to keep a clean house. Moms are regularly cleaning. It would be nice to have someone clean the house for a change.
10. Clean the car
Cheerios. Apple juice spills. Teething biscuits. Crumbs everywhere. Greasy handprints on the windows. Help, please!
11. Ask how she is doing
When you have kids, you will forever be put on the backburner. People will always call or text to check how the kids are doing or to see if the kiddo won their latest sports tournament. But rarely will they ask how mama is holding up. Don’t forget to check on her wellbeing. She barely has time to have her own back.
12. Compliment her (genuinely)
If she is donning a cute shirt, tell her. If she was able to stop her baby from crying lickety-split, tell her how impressed you are. If her hair looks fresh and fly, shout it from the rooftops! She needs to hear it!
13. Be present
Sometimes just sitting in the same room as someone helps. Being a new mom can be lonely. You don’t need to have big plans out on the town or attend the latest fancy-schmancy brunch spot you just read about on Yelp. Just coming over, binge-watching Netflix, or slathering on green face masks together as you sip mimosas (like the girls used to do pre-kids) can brighten her day (or week).
14. Share your wine
They say sharing is caring. But, sharing your wine is divine. Enough said.
15. Babysit for a date night
The husband works all day, and they barely have exclusive time together beyond the 20-minute dinner hustle that takes place just before mom has to start on the nightly baby routine. Watch the kiddos for a few hours so she can get dolled up, flaunt her new cleavage (hello boobies, you’ve finally arrived!), rock her old heels hiding in the back of her closet, and fall in love with her husband all over again. Just don’t wait up…….(just kidding)…no….not really.
16. Introduce her to your mom friends
Every new mom needs mom friends! Most moms live away from their families and the “villages” supposed to help them and guide them through motherhood. She will be so grateful to meet other mom friends who she can chat with about constipation, nipple pains, and losing that last 15 lbs. Help her build her mom tribe; she will be eternally grateful.
17. Stop mom shaming
Mom-shaming is ingrained in our culture and it sucks big time. We are all different moms from different cultures from different walks of life. Why should we expect that all moms would raise their kids all one way? It doesn’t make sense. Some comments not to make:
“OMG, you give your kid formula?”
“You should really have socks on your baby.”
“You shouldn’t be nursing in the middle of the night still.”
And the list goes on…….
STOP, STOP, STOP THE CRITICISM!
18. Buy her a coffee
Peets, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons. She won’t discriminate. Heck, make a batch of strong coffee at your house and just bring it over in mugs with a venti-sized grin on your face. She will be so damn happy!
19. Drink coffee with her
Coffee is fantastic, but it’s even more fun enjoying it with a friend and reminiscing about the old days. Like, that one time when you two took on alternate identities at a party and spoke in fake German accents and answered come-ons with random German words you learned from Rammstein, like Du kannst mich! Then, you died of embarrassment when you realized what those words meant.
20. Did I mention, coffee?
Coffee is good. Coffee is grand. A mom is always happiest with a coffee in her hand. If a mom doesn’t have a cup of liquid sanity in her hand, how can she even function?!