Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Ways New Moms Like Help

Learning to ask for help is humbling, frustrating, and wonderful all at once. It's not something I yearn to do often, so here's hoping a bottom near me starts healing soon. =) I have been blessed, so I am indeed grateful. But I have also learned a thing or two, and want to chronicle them in hopes it helps keep another mother sane.

~ If you commit to come to a mom's home, arrive on time or call to let her know you'll be late. And when you commit to come, be up front about how long you plan to stay. In other words, don't spring the surprise that you are staying for lunch on her thirty minutes after you arrive and that you'll be happy to eat leftovers. If you want to stay for a meal, I suggest bringing and assembling the ingredients yourself.

~ Don't offer to come to do a project and then stand around like you expect her to offer you tea and cookies. Initiate getting the work begun. She probably already feels awkward asking you to do her chores, so don't make her ask twice.

~ When you offer to do a project, do the project. Don't go all ADD on her and flit from one thing to the next without finishing any one thing. If you say you'll do her laundry, chances are she is counting on you to do just that.

~ If she asks you to put together a recipe from her own archives, now is not the time to change it up by deciding to cut the salt in half or leave out the white sugar. And you might want to follow the directions in the order they are given. After all, cooking can involve scientific reactions, and it would really be a bummer for her to have to throw out an entire batch of something because directions weren't followed. But of course, you'll never know this, because she will be too shy to tell you that you made a fatal error with her much anticipated cookies.

~ If you bring a meal, make sure it isn't spoiled. And again, please include something green.

~ If you clean or wash dishes, be thorough. Oh, and ask which one is the hand soap and which one is the dish soap.

~ Study up on the Biblical character of Martha. See her capabilities, even if she did get a little too task oriented at times. She had a real gift. Who knows? Maybe the mom you are serving has that gift too, and maybe it's hard for her to accept help. And maybe it's even harder for her to be grateful for the help she accepted when it leaves her feeling like she has an even bigger mess on her hands.

~ And if you are the mom, maybe it would be better to just let the laundry pile up, buy frozen meals and paper plates for a couple of months, and order a boat load of movies to keep you company. There are just some days that idea will seem a heck of a lot easier, especially if you are a particular mother like me. I had no idea I was so particular, and it was a big surprise to find out that not every one does it the right way like me. =) (Please catch my humor and don't think I'm really that arrogant. I do like "my" way and think it works well, as the women who came before me in my family would also agree. But I'm learning that not everyone has a clue what hospital corners are, or that it's a good idea to wash hands before beginning a cooking project. While that drives me bonkers, this world would be really boring if everyone looked and acted like me.)

I'm low in the cheerful, laid-back attitude department at the moment. It could be because I'm still doing laundry, making a new batch of cookies, and figuring out what meals we'll make this week while dealing with a baby who has a sore tummy and takes cat naps. Oh, and that doesn't include the latest "guess which body part this is" game that is my life now that everything below my waist has been rearranged and changed. I see the OB in two weeks, and will find out from there what specialists I'll get to see in my future. Frankly, I just want to be able to leave my house for extended amounts of time without packing a diaper bag for two people, if you know what I mean. Repeat after me.....this will get better.....this too shall pass (and without stool softeners!).....this sense of humor is not a bad thing....this really will get better....and one day you really will be able to take all things bottom related for granted again....I just don't know when.


Kimberly said...

Oh the number of times being able to blog about the situation that made me want to cry helped me to laugh!

I remember taking pictures of Emma and Becca's more extraordinary messes once upon a time...

I see you writing a very, very helpful book about this some day. Maybe you're suffering to help change the world, who knows!

Kork said...

OH!!!!! I had SUCH a hard time when my neigbors brought us meals, and tried to change my sheets after Captain Chaos was born!!!!!! Mom & Dad were in NYC taking care of my Grandmother's estate and funeral arrangements, while I was at home with my 1st child, a husband with a sprained ankle who couldn't go upstairs, while I was recovering from a long labor that ended with an emergency C-section...

Let me just tell you that I am already training Captain Chaos on hospital corners, how to "properly" clean up after brushing teeth, washing dishes, and how to load the dishwasher the right way! hee hee...

I'm still glad you have people coming to help you, and SO wish that I could be there to assist...

Lots of prayers and hugs!

Sarah said...

I sooo know what you mean. When I had son#1 by emergency c section relatives came to visit and stayed HOURS wanting tea and cake and more tea and more cake. In the end the only way I could get them to go was by pretending to fall asleep on the sofa.People just don't think and if you are a nice polite person like you, they don't get the hints.Good luck. It will get better, promise!! S xx

MamaVee said...

My favorite when I was recovering from my c-section was when people would bring us dinner, and then stand around and talk and talk and talk, while the dinner got cold on the counter and I was fainting from hunger.

So sorry to hear that you've been having a difficult time and I hope you recover speedily!

Kelly said...

That's a great list, too bad it sounds like you learned most of it from experience.

It bugs me too when people don't do things exactly like I would do, mostly my husband. It must be so frustrating to not be able to do all the things yourself.