"Giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure not available to males.

It is a woman's crowning creative experience of a lifetime." ~ Dr. John Stevenson

"The Road Less Traveled..." of Parenthood

Following your instincts instead of the crowd

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference."

Robert Frost

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

After the Birth, What a Family Needs

This post on Gloria Lemay's blog is awesome. She has a funny, yet very practical list of things friends and family can do to help out a mother with a new baby. I've been blessed to have meals brought in for the first week or so, but really wished someone would have come clean up the kitchen, done a load or two of laundry and watched the little ones so I could take that precious shower. It's hard for me to ask people to do those things, but if they had offered, I'm pretty sure I would have taken them up on it! I also love her suggestions for bringing healthy salads for mom and healthy snacks for the kids. Usually after that first week, my kids are bouncing off the walls from all those desserts and I'm craving salads and greens. Even though I'm grateful not to cook in those first few days, I'm almost anxious to get back to it just so we can eat healthily again. (Incidentally I've noticed that eating plenty of greens seems to help boost my milk supply.) I'm not sure how to broach the subject with people without sounding picky and ungrateful. Any ideas?

I also loved the suggestion of watering the plants. Who would have thought of that? But it's always something I neglect for weeks after having a baby. The comments on Gloria's post also reminded me that with these last three babies I wished I could just kind of disappear from society for 6 months or so with just me, the baby, and my family--kind of like a vacation where someone else does all the cooking and cleaning. It would be divine to really get to know my baby and make all those post-partum adjustments without the stress of daily life. I know, I'm really dreaming, but can you imagine how great that would be?

In all fairness, though, I have to say that when I was having my miscarriage I was blessed to have a wonderful friend give me a foot rub, make me a gallon of green drink to last me throughout the week and then clean up my kitchen. All pregnant and post-partum mothers should be so fortunate to have such a friend!