I had a lovely talk with a mama-friend a few days ago, that served as a good reminder and motivation for me, so I wanted to share with you all.
When my friend had her last (3rd) baby, a little over a year ago, I took her family dinner one night, about a week after the baby's birth. Once a week for the next three weeks I went over, with my kids in tow, brought lunch, and spent a couple of hours with her. Once I held the baby while she showered, mostly I chatted and kept her company as she nursed and folded laundry, while our kids occupied eachother.
I meant to keep going once a week until at least six weeks, but stuff came up, everybody in my house took turns being sick, and it didn't happen. I felt bad that I hadn't done more. It didn't feel like I'd done much at all. Last week when we were talking, it came up, as she mentioned the thank you card she never sent me. "For what?" I asked. She proceeded to tell about how lovely and supportive I had been, and how much I'd done for her during those first few weeks. I honestly had no idea! She had/has lots of family, church family, and friends. I assumed they would have all been doing at least some of those things for her as well. Apparently, not many were.
It was reminder to me how far a little bit of effort can go, and that it's never safe to assume someone has all the support they need without you. If each one of us puts in the little bit of effort to provide one meal for a mom with a new baby, and whenever possible makes sure that she is getting some time to shower alone and fold her laundry, it will be effort well spent. Even if you can't financially afford to provide a meal, you can hold a sweet baby while mama showers, or do a sink full of dishes or vacuum. You can take her older kids or her dog for walk. Even if you only visit and do one chore during her entire postpartum period, it matters. It makes a difference.
We live in an area with an estimated 50% of mothers experiencing postpartum mood disorders. Lets each do that tiny bit to help support eachother and reduce our risks of developing such a devastating condition.
Also, Happy Saint Patrick's Day.