In the past six or so months, there’s been a surge in the baby population in my world. My oldest daughter gave birth to her second son. Friends’ daughters are having babies. Family members are giving birth too.
It’s all good.
The baby showers, the babies, the joy and celebration of new life brings a smile to everyone’s face.
Except, that is, the new mom who is bedraggled, exhausted, emotional, overwhelmed, and feeling very, very alone in her new role as a new mom.
It came to my attention yesterday through a conversation with my daughter (now the mom of two boys two and under) that there should be something akin to “pre-baby counseling” just like there is “pre-marital counseling”.
There just should.
We spend lots of time before we get married making sure both partners are on the same page with the major issues of life.
But no one prepares the new mom (and dad) for what life is like after the baby arrives.
Sure, women get the benefits of baby showers and they’re terrific…but don’t come close to prepping the mom for what’s ahead.
So my smart daughter (who’s trying to help other fresh from the birthing room moms) cope with the sleepless nights, the colicky baby, the roller-coaster of emotions, and the gritty reality of newborn neediness, suggested this great idea.
New moms need a small circle of seasoned moms (of all ages) to commit some time/energy/practical help and encouragement/perspective/shoulders to cry on for the first six months after the baby arrives.
I think this is a great idea.
Let me clarify.
New moms need the ER list of women they can call/text/email/visit 24/7 for those first tumultuous months of motherhood.
Friends and family who are committed to supporting the mom by doing several key acts of service —
Encouraging her to go with her instincts as the mom.
Assisting her in daily duties until she adjusts to being a mom.
Walking alongside her and being her cheerleader when she wants to give up.
Offering her perspective that even the toughest days will pass.
Making sure she gets a little time to herself to regroup and recharge.
Assuring her she is not alone and proving that by consistently contacting her even if it’s just for a five minute you-can-do-this conversation.
This idea of a “pre-baby” counseling service is one that needs to percolate some more…but if you have a new mom in your circle of friends…don’t let today go by without reaching out to her in some small way.
The life (and mind) you save may be the one who is rocking the cradle of our next president. 😉