Consider - Catherine emphasises the importance of ‘observing before you act’, she explained a situation where she was sitting in a waiting room and a young mother seemed to be overwhelmed and struggling with her baby. Catherine’s first thought was to reach out and offer to hold the baby. However, Catherine stopped, observed and by pushing this initial reaction to the side, she soon realised that reaching out and her offer to help would have been taken as Catherine undermining this mother’s ability. A book, Smart Mothering, written by Dr. Natalie Flynn discusses the concept of ‘bombardment syndrome’ which explains how mothers in the current day are often bombarded with so much information, advice and assistance these days that they can often feel disempowered, unsure and lacking in confidence as to what advice they should follow. As someone who’s wanting to help out, try to be really considerate of this.
Connect - relationship first! Establish a connection with this mum first before you offer your support. Support, without an established connection, can often seem fake - which is completely the opposite of what you’re intending! Often, this connection and feeling welcomed in the community can be an amazing feeling for a new mum who is commonly feeling overwhelmed!
Converse - sometimes, all a new mum needs is a conversation and a connection. Becoming a mum can be a rather isolating situation. However, having a reminder that her community is around her to support and empower her can be a lovely act of reassurance. Bring the outer world in, and let her communicate her needs. Just by beginning a single conversation, you can learn a lot about what she needs, how she’s feeling and how you can help her out - or perhaps it will clearly communicate that she doesn’t need your help. We can never assume that our help will automatically be wanted, and respecting these values is super important. Starting a conversation just needs to begin with ‘Hi!’, whether you know her enough to knock on her door, or if you bump into her out and about, have the confidence to start the conversation!
Once all these bases are covered, here are some ideas on how to help out a new mum:
- bring her a takeout coffee
- empty the dishwasher
- give her some freezer meals for a quick and easy dinner
- walk the dog
- change the bedsheets
- take out the trash
- donate old baby things which were expensive
- run a couple of errands
- ask if she needs anything picked up from the supermarket
- give her your number and let her know she can text her if she needs anything
- remind her how well she’s doing!
- don’t offer advice unless she clearly asks you for it!
Hope you have a lovely week, we’re looking forward to sharing more of our Motherhood Month content with you!
From our home to yours,
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