My best friend is about to become a mum for the first time. I am waiting for the “It’s happening!” message every day. Already a mum of two, I understand the journey her and her hubby are about to begin, and I want to support her as much as I can, without stepping on any toes. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to do for a new mum; so I’ve got a few suggestions, some of which really helped me out when my two were newborns, and others I hope to do for my friend.
Give her time
Probably the most important thing you can do for your friend is accept that she will be very busy now. Even if you have one of those friendships where you don’t message for months, but are still great friends; the dynamic is completely different now. Her priorities have changed, but that’s not a bad thing; you just need to adjust. If it takes a few days for her to reply to a message, don’t take it personally. She has most likely read the message straight away, and even drafted a a reply in her head. But her newborn may have made a funny noise, or she got so caught up with feeding that she simply forgot that she didn’t actually reply. Give her time to learn how to be a mum, and soon you friendship will be back to what was, with a cute new addition.
She is still your friend
When you go to visit, don’t make it all about the baby. Yes, babies are so cute it hurts, but she is still your friend. She may not feel like anything but another accessory for the baby to feed off and sleep on. You won’t realise what it means to her to talk about anything but cracked nipples and nappy changes. That being said, if all she talks about is the baby, let her…just talking to another adult (who isn’t sleep deprived) will be a refreshing change.
Bring food or do a chore
Don’t turn up empty handed, and I’m not talking about presents for the baby. Grab some take-away on the way there, or bring a prepared meal from home. If you can’t do that, wipe down a bench or put on a load of washing; there will be something you can do around the house to help. Your friend will probably tell you not to worry, but it won’t be much of a fight. Just smile and nod and continue on with your task. Something like that only takes a few minutes for you, but it will mean the world to your friend.
Respect her wishes
Another important one is to respect the wishes of your friend. If she has said to not visit for six weeks, until bub is vaccinated, then make sure you listen. If she wants you to wash your hands before cuddling the baby, don’t roll your eyes. This is her child…her rules. Even if it’s something you don’t necessarily agree with, you would expect the same level of respect from her.
Only give advice when it’s asked
One that I know I am struggling with, is giving unsolicited advice. I am definitely guilty of this and it’s hard because it comes from a place of love. When my best friend told me she was pregnant, I was so excited; I had two children and now it was her turn to start this epic adventure. But what right is it of mine to spoil all the fun? Just because I have kids, doesn’t mean I know everything and am an expert. What works for one family, may not work for another. Obviously, if your friend comes to you for advice, by all means help however you can…but try and bite your tongue until she does.