By: Emily Pardy, LMFT, PMH-C
Becoming a parent is a life-altering experience filled with joy, excitement, and many sleepless nights. As friends and family, showing support during this time is crucial, but it's important to do it in a way that genuinely helps rather than overwhelms. Here are five thoughtful ways you can show up for new parents and make their transition smoother.
1. Respect Their Space and Energy
Imagine being in their shoes – sleep-deprived, adjusting to a new routine, and trying to figure out the whole parenting thing. Offering the option of dropping off a casserole or essentials without expecting an extended visit is a lifesaver. Give them the freedom to say, "Thanks for dropping by, we need some quiet time right now." It's a gesture that respects their need for solitude while still showing your support.
2. Bring a Gift that Actually Helps
When visiting new parents, never show up empty-handed. Remember that casserole I just mentioned? It's not just a meal; it's a symbol that you care. A small gift for the parents or a little something for the rest of the family goes a long way. And don't forget the power of a frozen meal – it's a convenient gift they can enjoy when they're ready.
3. Ask About The Whole Family
While the focus may be on the baby and the new mom, remember that both parents are experiencing a seismic shift. Inquiring about the well-being of the whole family – including the dad and older siblings – shows that you care about their collective journey. It's a simple act that acknowledges their new reality.
4. Tend to Older Siblings and Pets
The arrival of a new baby often means a shift in responsibilities which can be overwhelming. Offering to help with the older siblings or pets can be a game-changer. Picking up the older kids for a fun outing or taking the family dog on a walk gives the new parents a moment to breathe and bond with the newest addition to the family.
5. Actions Speak Louder
Offering help is kind, but taking the initiative to actually assist is even more meaningful. Don’t just offer to help, actually help. When you see tasks that need attention – like laundry or dishes – don't hesitate to roll up your sleeves and tackle them. It's the small, everyday gestures that can make a world of difference in their lives. Your genuine support will not only be appreciated but remembered.
Supporting new parents isn't about grand gestures; it's about the thoughtfulness and sincerity you bring to their doorstep. By respecting their space, being considerate, and offering practical help, you're contributing to their smooth transition into parenthood. Your actions and how you show up for new parents can have the power to create lasting memories during this incredible journey.
If you find yourself in need of professional help, don't hesitate to reach out to us and schedule a session. Our dedicated team at Ready Nest Counseling is here to help you navigate life's challenges and transitions with care and compassion. Whether you're experiencing difficulties related to conception, pregnancy, postpartum, infertility, loss, parenting, or relationships our therapists are ready to support you. We offer both in-person and virtual therapy. Schedule a therapy session with us today and take the first step towards a healthier you. Ready Nest Counseling also offers support groups for new moms. Remember, you don't have to face it alone – we're here for you.