Crazy New Parents Ask Their Crazy Friends To Do Crazy Chores
This morning I saw a story about a Google Doc that a tipster forwarded to the offices at Jezebel. The document was composed by a new mother, and outlines all the ways in which her friends can
serve help her now that she apparently has the hardest job in the world that no one has ever done before. I’m speaking, of course, of caring for a newborn.
Either I have very low expectations and the worst friends on the planet – or this woman is bat shit crazy. I am going to go with the latter. I would do no justice describing the insanity that is this letter, so I am going to print it in it’s entirety, with some personal comments, of course.
Dear friends and family,
The following helpful list are the kind things that we will remember and appreciate forever. This is what [Parent]’s body and soul needs, and will be most helpful for our bonding with the baby. By devoting just a few hours doing one of these things, we will get the support and rest we need with our newborn in the house.
1. Ask us what groceries we need around the house and bring them to us. We likely need toilet paper and milk.
2. Drop off a big super greek salad with grilled chicken. We will dress it ourselves at home. Or, drop off frozen homemade food like lasagna we can reheat later.
*Allergies/intolerances include: Soy anything (including tempeh and tofu), carrageenan, guar gum, gum acacia, xanthan gum, carob bean gum (anything with the word GUM in it), lentils — Please read labels. Many of these ingredients are in store bought food.
Oh my God. These are the people that you invite to your home for Thanksgiving dinner, and they send a note before the event detailing what they can and cannot eat. I hate these people.
3. Come over at about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then complete one or more household chores, such as:
-scoop the litter box
-take [our dog] for a well deserved walk or run around the neighborhood or park
-clean the kitchen or the bathroom
Wait, I have to “put you to bed?” What kind of weird shit is this? Why can’t you just be like the rest of us new moms, that stick our kids in a swing and take a 30 second shower? It’s a rite of passage, lady.
4. Come over at 10am, make me eggs, toast, and ½ a grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw anything out that you doubt — don’t ask me, just use your best judgment. Clean the kitchen stove and the kitchen floor.
5. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum, dust, clean the litter box, and then leave quietly. It might be too tiring for me to chat and entertain, but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to a clean, organized space.
Hold up – do you know how long it’s been since I’ve cleaned my own kitchen floor? Don’t even get me started on the litter box, which is a constant source of angst for me and my husband. I’m expected to secretly slip into your home and do all of this without speaking? No.
6. Take [our dog] for a well-deserved long walk or run around our neighborhood or Prospect Park.
How about I take your dog for some well-deserved new owners, since you people are crazy?
7. Come over to fold laundry or clean and give [Parent] a break so she can go enjoy some r & r, go to a coffee shop, a bar, or something else fun. Vacuum and fold more laundry. Clean the litter box.
8. Make a giant pot of vegetable soup in our kitchen and clean the kitchen completely afterwards. Then take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house. Reline the kitchen garbage can with a fresh bag.
More litter box duty? I’ve got nothing here.
Being a new parent is hard. I can attest to that. But wouldn’t friends that were close enough to you to come clean every inch of your home and “put you to bed” kind of know what you need without having to be given a list of demands? I think so. That is why I find this letter so unsettling and weird. So what if someone brings you some food you don’t like? Isn’t the gesture of community what counts here? Because if it isn’t, these people should stop wasting their time directing their “friends” and start looking for a live-in maid.