Do you have a friend or family member who recently became a parent? Being there for your loved one during this significant transition can be extremely rewarding. It’s not always easy to know how you can best help them because the needs of a new parent vary.
If you’re looking for ways to support your friend or family member, here are 10 tips that can make all the difference:
- Offer practical help. Ask if they need assistance with groceries, meal prep, laundry, or house cleaning. It’s a gift of free time that goes a long way. Even if they don’t immediately take you up on your offer, make sure to check in every so often and remind them that you are there to help.
- Bring food. Don’t just drop off dinner, make sure to stock their fridge and freezer with easy-to-prepare meals so they can grab something quickly when needed. Cooking for them is also a great way to show your care and support.
- Offer to babysit. Give them a break by taking over for an hour or two so they can take a nap, get some exercise, or just have a few moments alone. It can make all the difference for your loved one to have time to recharge and feel supported. All they need to do is hand you the baby and get out of the house!
- Listen without judgment. Many new parents are overwhelmed and have a lot of feelings that may be difficult for them to express. Being there as a patient listener can help them process their emotions in a supportive environment, and make them feel less alone on their journey.
- Give them space. Everyone needs their own time to adjust, and that’s especially true for new parents who are adjusting to life with a baby. If they need some alone time, encourage it without judgment or making assumptions about how they are feeling or dealing with the transition.
- Give gifts that help make life easier for new parents. Consider baby items that help simplify life, such as baby wraps that make it easier to wear the baby while doing everyday tasks. You can also give baby gifts that are fun, such as baby books or baby toys. Giving your friend baby items that make life easier will help them feel supported and cared for.
- Encourage self-care for both mom and dad. Remind them that taking care of themselves is essential for their well-being and the well-being of their baby. Suggest activities like going on a walk, getting a massage, or just having some quiet time alone to read.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about something other than babies. Ask your loved one how they are doing in other areas of their life. Talk about work, hobbies, friends, and family – anything that isn’t related to babies. This helps them not feel like all their conversations revolve around parenting and can provide a sense of normalcy during this new chapter in life.
- Ask if they need emotional support or counseling. Becoming a parent can be overwhelming, and there is no shame in asking for help. Encourage your loved one to talk to a professional if they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
- Celebrate this special time together. Celebrating moments like the birth of their baby, the first time the baby smiles or sleeps through the night can help create positive memories during this special time.
By following these 10 tips, you can make a huge difference in the life of your friend or family member who has recently become a parent. Showing your love and support will be greatly appreciated as they navigate this new chapter filled with joys and challenges.
A big congratulations to your loved one – being a parent is the biggest and most rewarding job of all. Support, understanding, and love will make all the difference.