When someone has a new baby, how do you react? Are you the first one knocking at her door the minute she returns from the hospital? Or do you stay away, thinking the new mom needs bonding time with baby?
If you do decide that mom needs a visit did you know there are three key things, EASY things, you can do to solidify your spot as BFF in your friend's mind?
1. Bring food that you know they'll like. This means a take-out lunch from a high-end restaurant and bring enough food so that Daddy has something to eat when he gets home. Heck, buy enough for leftovers. Does mama have a rack of short ribs simmering in the crock-pot? Don't you dare accept any of it if she offers. You are not a guest. Everything that you don't eat is leftovers for them tomorrow. One of my friends left a homemade chicken casserole and fresh chocolate chip cookies at our front door and didn't even need to come inside. That is the hallmark of an excellent friend. Just ring the doorbell and drive away.
2. Bring a gift, even if you already gave a baby shower gift. Ask Mama what she needs or check her registry for lingering purchases. When in doubt, ask what diapers they use and bring those. Don't bring the cheapest diapers you can find that are imported from Mexico. Don't bring size-inappropriate-for-the-season clothing that suits your taste and not theirs. Don't bring decorative knick-knacks. No one needs you to decorate their nursery and nobody wants something more to dust around when they have a new baby. Don't take a random photo of pregnant Mama and put it in a frame. Save your money and put it towards something useful that they actually want. If someone gives us something that we don't need, want, care for, or didn't ask for, I assure you that we donate it sooner than later, so don't make me waste a stamp graciously thanking you for it when there is a registry full of stuff that I would love to have. Nobody ever said that a gift had to be a surprise in order to be good. I love getting presents just as much as the next person, but you'll never hear me say to just pick up whatever you like.
3. Make yourself useful. If the kitchen sink is full of dishes, turn on the water and start loading them up. Don't ask Mama if you should do it because she's going to say no even though she means yes. Just do it. See if there's any laundry that needs folding or heavy lifting that you can take care of while you're there. Vacuum. One of my friends not only brought food and a gift, but she called from the drugstore to see if I needed anything (indeed I did need something that was either poop or boob related) and started putting away all of the odds and ends that needed to go up into Rory's closet that I couldn't reach because of my c-section. Another friend came over with her husband. He watched the baby while she cleaned my kitchen spotless. What did I do? I took a bath, and washed and dried my hair for the first time in a week. I love this friend. I want her to move in with me.
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