When Milo was born, I was kind of amazed at how much I was able to respond to people on my phone.
I envisioned it being a frantic, hectic phase of life with absolutely no time to check my phone at the hospital or during those first few days at home. And while I know that every experience is different (there certainly are frantic situations like emergency births, trauma that can occur, and other unexpected events), for the most part, the first few days are really quiet, sleepy, and still.
I found that I really loved it when I could communicate with my friends and family while I was in the first few days of motherhood.
But when you’re on the other side of it, it’s hard to know what to text a new mom…does she want to be left alone? She’s probably overwhelmed and exhausted, right? I don’t want to bug her, but I want her to know I’m here… These are all thoughts I’ve had, and now that I’m on the other side, I wanted to share some of the best things to text to a new mom.
Even though the days are sloooow and the baby sleeps a lot, new parents rarely sleep (because babies sleep in 2-hour stretches at the beginning.) It’s a weird time of feeling both exhausted and overwhelmed and (I’m just going to say it..) a little bit…bored. Yeah. It’s a weird time.
So texts from friends who want to check in are absolutely amazing. And because I have some amazing friends and family in my life (many of whom are moms), I’ve learned from them some of the most helpful things to text to a new mom.
Congratulations! He/She is beautiful. I hope you and your new baby are doing well! That’s it. No long lists of questions. Of course, if the new mom has a free minute and needs some time to chat, the messages will turn into that. But I remember feeling like there were phases when I couldn’t respond to anyone, so the questions kind of overwhelmed me, but the little “check in” texts were so sweet!
I’m going to drop ___ on your porch. Ok, this was my absolute favorite! I have some wonderful friends who would say “I just left some flowers on your porch!” or “Does homemade bread sound good? I’ll bring it over now.” It requires no energy from the new mom, and it’s so wonderful to feel cared for in that way.
And if you’re not sure if she needs/wants whatever you’re going to leave on her porch? Doesn’t matter! The gesture is sooo wonderful. For instance, you might think “does she really need more flowers? She probably has tons around her house and this is just going to go unnoticed.” I promise you: it won’t go unnoticed.
Or you might think “what if they already have a meal tonight and they don’t need one? Shouldn’t I ask?” Well, of course, check if they have a meal train. But if not, I’ve found that simply saying “I’m dropping this off, tell me if you have any dietary restrictions I should know about” is always appreciated. And if they don’t need a meal that night, they can put it in the fridge and eat it tomorrow!
A new mom will never get tired of people asking fawning over her newborn baby. 😉
I saw the sweet newborn pics on instagram! Any time you want to share more baby photos, I’m here for it. Ha…just indulge me on this one for a second. As a new mom, you just think your new baby is the cutest and most beautiful human to ever grace the planet. (Even though, let’s be honest…newborns kind of look like bald, wrinkly old men and they’re not at their cutest just yet.) Anyhow, it feels soooo amazing as a new mom to hear that someone else thinks your baby is adorable, too. Haha. So telling a new mom to keep oversharing on instagram is a fun little text to get. 😉
A group of us are meeting up on ___ date if you want to join! No pressure. Can be a game day decision. I remember getting this text from a friend after my firstborn arrived, and it felt sooo wonderful! She said, “You’re allowed to cancel at any time for any reason whatsoever and everyone understands.” That felt like a warm hug.
These types of texts are typically not helpful…
Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you! I am sooo guilty of this one, and I’m trying to use it less. The problem with this text is that it puts the responsibility on the new mom to come up with what she needs, ask for it (which is really hard to do!) and specify how to get it done.
Instead: “I’m going to send you a meal delivery gift card for you to use”. Or “I’d love to take your toddler out of the house for the afternoon – would Tuesday or Wednesday be ok?” Or “I just dropped off some lactation cookies on your front porch” or “I’m going to drop off a meal for you – do you have a meal train?”
I’d love to get together sometime! Again, this comes from sincerity and love, but as a new mom it can be hard to think about scheduling something weeks in advance. Even thinking of the feeding schedule for the next 6 hours is overwhelming! Honestly, it can feel like one more thing the new mom should check off her to-do list.
Can I come over sometime and meet the baby? Obviously this is a wonderful text to get from really close family and friends (I seriously couldn’t wait for every family member to drive the 3 hours from Dallas to Austin and spend the weekend meeting the new baby, and I had a few close friends who I really wanted to welcome into my house so they could hold him for the first time), but in general, it’s nice to wait a couple months while mom gets her bearings and feels ready to bring the babe out in the world.
Obviously there are so many ifs, ands, or buts to these. Every human is different and has different needs. You might be saying to yourself “I actually loved it when someone asked if we could schedule a get-together!”
But the main thing is always keeping in mind that she’s probably a bit overwhelmed with the newness of it all, and she’s definitely sleep deprived. (There’s no way around that one.) And so one of the best things you can do is to provide help that doesn’t require anything from her.