Be Thankful For Whatever Help You Get After Having A Baby
Having a baby, particularly your first baby, can be one of the hardest things you will ever go through. You can prepare for months in advance and still not be totally ready for the ways your life will be changed by that little sack of flour. You and your partner will have your hands full and naturally, you will want the assistance of anyone willing to offer it, but it is important to be thankful for whatever help you get after having a baby. In the moment, it may feel like you are the first and only person on the planet to bring a new baby home and you will feel that you deserve All The Help but the fact is, no one owes you a single darn thing and being grateful for anything you get is the order of the day.
I have seen those ridiculous lists floating around the internet of “Ways To Help A New Momma” and frankly, if someone gave me one, I would set fire to it. In a self-absorbed “new momma” haze, do some women forget the rules of etiquette and life in general? It is helpful to keep in mind that NO ONE- not even your own mother- owes you a single thing after you have your baby. Of course, it is absolutely wonderful if anyone wants to help and you should accept any and all offers of help that you are comfortable with but I am intensely uncomfortable with these lists. If people want to help you, it is coming from their heart and I’m sure they will have no trouble coming up with something nice that they feel compelled to do for you. If they ask what you would like, suggest something simple but giving them a giant list of complex wants and needs (or posting it on Facebook) is so totally out of bounds and obnoxious.
And yes, I realize that years ago, things were different. Women banded together in person, not just over the internet. Of course they still exist now in a limited fashion but there were church groups and neighborhood women who would bring over dinners and help out without the new mother having to say a word. That is a beautiful thing and I wish it were more prevalent today but the fact is, many women have full-time jobs. Or, are at home all day with their own brood. Finding the time to come over and vacuum a new mother’s home or bring her a lasagna can be a tall order in this over-scheduled life that most of us lead. That is what makes it all the more crucial that new mothers just be grateful for what anyone offers and not issue unsolicited demands or requests.