Before life with a baby, I never stopped to pause in my daily life to think about how to be a good friend to a new mom. To be absolutely honest, it never really crossed my mind until I became a new mom myself. When my friends became moms, I acted the same and talked to them the same. Perhaps the only thing I noticed that was different in our friendships was that our conversations had shifted to baby talk. I checked in on them, visited, brought gifts. That’s what good friends do, right?
I thought that was all there is to it. Until I really started noticing in detail what some of the friends did for me when I became a new mom and how much I appreciated it. Let’s face it, we all want to be a good friend. The fact that you are even reading this post is enough evidence that you are willing to be a good friend to a new mom!
5 Ways to Be a Good Friend to a New Mom
1. Check in on them, like really check in on them.
We get it. Babies are amazing. So cute and utterly adorable, right? However, after I became a new mom, I really appreciated the friends who checked in on me and asked me, “how are YOU doing? Is there anything YOU need?” It’s nice to talk about the baby, but even nicer to know that YOU haven’t disappeared. Take the time to make your new mom friend feel seen and heard.
2. Don’t invite yourself over until they are ready.
As a good friend, the first thing you think is best to do is to probably visit your mom friend and their baby. It’s different for every mom, but it may be best to leave the ball in their court. You could just say, “I can’t wait to visit you and your baby whenever you’re feeling up to it!” This way, there’s no pressure, and they have time to settle with their new lifestyle. That means definitely NO surprise visits! Once they are ready to start having visitors, your new mom friend will appreciate your thoughtfulness and patience.
3. If you can’t relate to them on a mom level, simply relate to them as a person.
New moms are overwhelmed and most likely completely exhausted. If they are talking about how they didn’t get any sleep because their baby was up all hours of the night, now is not the time to talk about how your baby was a great sleeper. On the other hand, if you don’t have children and can’t relate, let your new mom friend simply vent about their tiredness and exhaustion. Everyone can relate to being exhausted, even if the root of that exhaustion is due to caring for a newborn baby! Also, if you didn’t have the same experience, simply listen and validate how hard that would be for them as a person.
4. Bring them food or whatever you think they may need.
I still remember as clear as day when a good friend dropped off some Thanksgiving dinner food on my doorstep. That day, my husband and I had been in a zombie state. We had no thoughts about dinner even though it seemed the rest of the world was celebrating Thanksgiving peacefully in their homes. We had absolutely nothing prepared and ready for dinner, and it was simply not on our minds. A message came through on my phone from a friend saying she was thinking of us and dropping off some food on the front porch for us. I couldn’t have been more thankful.
When you do visit your new mom friend, bring them a thoughtful gift that shows that you care. Baby clothes are always a good idea. However, it may be nice to think about what the new mom friend might really need. This could be food or a self-care gift such as a sleeping eye mask or bath salt.
5. Give them thoughtful advice when they ask.
When I was confused about various baby topics and asked my mom friends for advice, I really appreciated the friends who were sincere. I remember asking, “Wow, this is really hard. Does this get any better?” My friend said to me, “It will. It totally will.” She told me that she remembered things getting better in two-week intervals and talked about her own personal experience. She was validating and encouraging, and I remember how hopeful I felt at that moment.
Remember that for this new mom friend, everything is brand new for them, and often it can feel as if the world has been turned upside down. Be gentle towards them and offer them sincere caring advice when they do ask for it.
These are the top things that I appreciated the most from my friends. Everyone is different, so don’t be afraid to ask your mom friends what they would appreciate the most! Do share with us something a friend did for you when you were a new mom that you really appreciated. We would love to know!