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Whoa Baby…Smiling on the Outside, Crying on the Inside

nicoleandtyler1In 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.

Faith.
Finances.
Future.

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. πŸ˜‰

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6 thoughts on “Whoa Baby…Smiling on the Outside, Crying on the Inside

  1. Thanks for giving voice to depressed moms. It happens in silence all the time and our society needs to recognize the needs of new moms. I like the preparation idea; proactive.

  2. Agreed. And, sadly, more and more, society is making moms feel like they have to “fit” their babies and children into the recesses of their lives instead of investing their lives into their precious children.

  3. I love the idea of pre-baby, and even in-progress parenting of babies and toddlers counseling/coaching. The one first can be tough but when you add subsequent babies the demands and juggling can far surpass “challenging.” Thanks Michele.

    1. Diane, love how you put it …and one of the best things we can do for a young mom is to tell her she isn’t alone. We’ve been there, done that, and in the larger scheme of life we can look back and know it’s all good. πŸ™‚

  4. As a mom with two kids under 3 and expecting my third, I so appreciate hearing this. Sometimes, it’s just nice to know that women who have gone before us understand us, appreciate us, and are willing to help because they know how difficult it can be. In those hard moments, it makes me feel like less of a failure for needing help. Since society doesn’t value family and kids, it’s so reassuring to be part of a community that does. Thanks for your post

    1. Chelsea, I applaud you for being the kind of mom who recognizes that her kids are more valuable than any other kind of investment and your kids will thank you for it later in life. They will. πŸ™‚

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