Next month is Mother’s Day, the official day of mommy pampering. Of course, there is disagreement on exactly how this day is best spent--with the family all around with gifts or alone and in silence, though the love of your family is substantial.
We sometimes only think of new moms at the very beginning (hello, newborn!) and on this annual holiday. But as my head has cleared from the newborn- and infant-fog that I enjoyed for about five straight years, I see new moms and moms of young ones in a new way.
Take the mama who has a six-month old--baby still is full of all sorts of newness… but none of us really notice anymore. All the squeals of glee at the baby have mostly been replaced with, “Hi. How are ya? That’s good. Me too.” And we move on. It’s here that I sometimes think moms are most at risk.
Postpartum depression for mothers can still occur anytime in the first year of baby’s life. The endorphins are gone and the newness has worn off. The nights are still long and the diapers a many. At 6 months, many moms are back to work, learning to balance life with a dash of grace and just-get-through-it.
It’s with that in mind that I’m encouraging you to check in on your mom friends. Notice her. Invest in her. There are suggestions for what you can do for a mom, but what’s most important is that you actually take the time and energy to check in on those mamas. It takes a village--go be the village. You might find that in connecting with and helping another mama you are able to find reprieve and renewed joy of your own.
In case you just don’t have a clue of where to begin:
A goody basket. Especially when you know the mom well, you can really curate a basket of goodies for her. Throw in a treat or two for dad, baby, or other kids too if you like. This can be as simple as her favorite candy, popcorn, and a movie rental. You can also make it far fancier with a face cream, gourmet chocolates, bottle of wine, magazine, and foot soak….the possibilities are endless.
A box subscription. Especially when the mom is far away, consider one of the many, many, many box subscriptions out there that can ship directly to mom a box of goodies. Some of these are mom-specific while others cater to types of people (snack boxes, vegan boxes, beauty boxes, ethically-minded boxes, and more). Just search online or check out a site that reviews box subscriptions. These can be just ten bucks once or a hundred or two for a year of boxes to grace her doorstep each month or quarter.
Prepared food. I mean, come on. No brainer. At 6 months post-partum we subsisted on boxed foods and the most basic and essential fruits and vegetables. Something that required more prep than a cut up apple was like a five-star, white-tablecloth feast.
Personal Shopper. Offer to grab a few things at the store before you stop by. If you know her well, just arrive with a few staples (eggs, milk, bread, coffee, and so forth). They likely won’t go to waste.
Clean. Depending on how well you know the mom you can approach this in different ways. Maybe come for a quick visit and just so happen to wash a few things if you are close. Maybe ask if you aren’t sure (especially if underwear are involved. People are weird about underwear.) This is best combined with--
Babysit. Even if it’s just for an hour. Even if she doesn’t leave the house.
I’m not giving you new info here. Just go do it.
Lynette is a mom of three children from ages 2 to 6. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.