A Note from Chris Adams: I can still remember the first few weeks as a new mom of twins that were 10 and a half months old when they became ours! After waiting years to become a mom I thought I’d live in bliss now. Oh my! I felt guilt as I dealt with being overwhelmed, and yet I loved those babies! I felt many of the same emotions expressed in this article introduced by Deb Douglas and written by Allison, a mom of busy littles!
Deb Douglas: My son turned 34 today. It’s been a while since I was a new mom! Watching my daughter-in-law and my daughter have babies this year has been a reminder of all the things I have forgotten about the delicate balance of motherdom. So I turned to an expert and young mom herself, Allison Pickett, to reacquaint me with ways to minister to new moms. Allison sent me her story (including a letter to her son that we’ll share next week) and some practical helps. They are so good I have to share them with you!
Here’s Allison’s Story
My oldest child turns four years old today. That means I’ve only been a mother for four years, but because of all the books, blogs, and studies I’ve read, I qualify for at least a decade of motherdom. Well, maybe drop that down to seven years because I mainly only read the titles and form my own opinions from there. I have zero time to read up on all the latest techniques and methods. I have to watch Big Brother and/or shave my armpits at some point during the week.
I am shocked by how s-l-o-w four years feels while I’m in the daily grind (dishes, diapers, crying, unending energy, mealtimes, and boo boos). But then he wakes up from a nap, and he’s four years old, going to Pre-K, and navigating all bathroom business on his own. At this rate, I’ll lay him down for a nap tomorrow, and he’ll wake up to tell me he needs a razor and some fuel for his hovercraft (the future!).
Do you have any first time moms in your life? They need our support more than ever. Many times, they are happy, scared, fragile, and tough all at the same time. Becoming a parent is not for the faint of heart and not a journey to be taken alone.
Here are a few ways to reach out and walk alongside the new moms in your community.
- Pray for her. The most important step is listed first. Write her name down, and pray for her. Ask God to give the new mom peace and strength. Pray the parents and baby will feel God’s love and protection as they start their lives together.
- Keep in Touch. It’s easy for a new mom to isolate herself. She’s exhausted, she’s behind on everything, and she probably wants a shower. The last thing on her mind may be friendship, but we know how critical it is to keep in touch with friends and family. Call her or text her. Just hearing from you can boost her spirits and remind her there’s a world outside of her home.
- Offer to Help. Ask what you can do to help. She may decline because she doesn’t want to inconvenience you or admit she needs help. Make it easy for her to accept your offer. “I’m making a double batch of spaghetti; can I bring you the other half?” “I’m going to be on your side of town today, can I stop by and hold the baby while you take a shower/nap?” Try to make it an easy “yes.”
- Validate her feelings. New moms are taking on a lot in the first few months. They may be excited but overwhelmed, in love but exhausted, want to do it all but may not have the experience. They may be mourning previous losses. Help a new mom understand her feelings aren’t weird. Share your stories and your experiences if you’ve been there. Let her know that crying and laughing within the same 60 seconds is normal and OK. If she confides in you that she is experiencing depression, put her in contact with a professional who can guide her through the recovery process.
- Provide Opportunities to Take a Break. Remind her of the times and dates that your church offers childcare. It may be for a Parent’s Night Out, a Bible study, or a Mom’s Group. Give her the information so she can take advantage of an hour or two away. Being off “mom duty” for a short time can help her recharge.
Come back next Friday for Part 2 of this story!
Allison Pickett lives in Monroe, Louisiana with her husband and three wild ones. She regrettably loves soda and sweatshirts but proudly loves fresh air and spinach. You can read her blog at allisonpickett.wordpress.com