Our sweet baby girl was born March 5th at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. As a brand new mom, there were two things I never expected: 1. To need so much help and 2. That the world would shut down and help would not be readily available. I felt like I was drowning. My husband is an essential worker so not only was he back to work a week after our daughter’s birth, he was working more days and longer hours than his usual schedule. I was left alone to figure out how to care for this precious baby, while sleep-deprived while battling my out of control hormones. But even in the midst of the crazy going on around us, I had a tribe of women who helped me in every way they could to ensure I was thriving.
Thankfully the world around us is not locked down like it was in those early months, but as we all continue to practice social distancing I (with the help of my mama tribe too!) thought of a few things that would be helpful and could easily abide by social distancing rules.
Before we begin, I think it’s important to note the sensitivity of how a mother is feeling during this time. While hormones are raging and sleep deprivation is occurring a mother’s emotions and anxiety are already heightened. And even more so during a national pandemic. Be extra sensitive to how mama is feeling regarding Coronavirus and others coming into contact in any way with her, her home, and her baby.
With that being said, one thing you can do for a new mom is to help with chores! This is a huge help for most of the mamas I talked to and I know it was a help for me as well. Looking around and seeing all that needs to be done in and around the house while figuring out how to care for your new bundle of joy is overwhelming, to say the least. However, mama might not feel comfortable with you in her home. So what are some chores you can do outside the home to be of assistance? Offer to take the dog/s for a walk, mow the grass, wash the car/s, grab her mail from the mailbox. Are you running to the store anytime soon? See what you can pick up and drop off to save her a trip. I know I was petrified to take my beautiful newborn baby out into a world full of sickness so anytime you can save mom and baby from having to be in public is probably so appreciated.
Secondly, mamas of new babies need the essentials to thrive: food, water, and lots and lots of coffee. Consider making a meal for her and her family and dropping it off on the front porch to keep things contactless. Swing by her favorite coffee shop and get her specialty drink to sip on, again an easy item to drop at her front door. And to make things even easier on you, why not gift her with an electronic GrubHub or Door Dash gift card so she can order whatever sounds good and it be delivered right to her?
And finally, what I considered to be the most helpful and supportive, what kept me going during such a trying and uncertain time, and what is the easiest thing to do of all that maintains the rules of social distancing… use your words. Send that mama an encouraging text message, check in with her on Facebook, set up a time to FaceTime. During my first few weeks postpartum a few friends and I would set up evening FaceTime chats and honestly, that was my lifeline. I looked forward to preparation for those chats the entire day. I warned them my baby may fuss the entire time or I might have to feed her in the middle of our call. But that didn’t matter to them, they wanted to love me through it all. I had women who I was close to, women who I knew from work, women who I hadn’t talked to in years all reaching out to me to see how I was doing. And that was the most beautiful thing that could’ve ever been done for me during that time.
So the moral of the story, during “social distancing” I want you to remember to stay social and never distant to that mama. She needs you. And you are equipped with several ways to help her.