Parenthood is one of the most mentally challenging and physically taxing things a person can ever do in their life. It’s a time of both great upheaval and happiness, and having the right people around you is key to feeling like the good and healthy parent you are, especially in the early years.
New parents can get very easily overwhelmed, and as a friend or family member, you’ve got the chance to step up and be the supportive personality they need right now. Being pregnant is hard enough, but once the baby actually arrives, life is only going to get more challenging for the parents involved! Do your bit right now, if you’re able to, and help prepare the beloved soon-to-be parents in your life with ideas like those listed below.
Volunteer to Run Errands
Running errands helps a soon-to-be parent take the weight off of their feet, and focus their mind on more important or pressing issues. After all, someone who is 8 months pregnant and has ached all over their body doesn’t want to have to run out to get a new pint of milk! They want to sit down and rub their feet or have the chance to talk to a midwife, and that’s something you can really help out with.
So, offer up a bit of time for going back and forth. If you’re off grocery shopping, pick up the items they need as well. If you’re doing laundry, turn up and offer to wash their clothes as well. If you’ve got a free couple of hours, offer to help them clean the house up after the nursery renovation has finished. Any and all of these options are great for helping out at such a crucial time and will help this period of calm before the storm be the relaxing and strengthening moment it needs to be.
Make The Soon-To-Be Parents Some Tasty Treats
Cooking for soon-to-be parents is a big thing to do; you’re taking time out of your day to do something that’s not only nice but high effort as well. Cooking and/or baking can be a time-consuming activity at the best of times, even if you enjoy it, and if you’re planning to drop some items off at your friend or family member’s house, you’re going to be whipping things up in bulk, which can be expensive too.
However, it’s a great way to prove you’re in this for the long haul, and to also show your loved ones how supportive you are – it’s what people need to be reminded of right now! Rustle up some baked goods, or a few healthy lunches every now and then, and the soon-to-be parents in your life will love you forever!
Of course, pregnant people often need to follow a strict diet, either by doctor’s orders or because of the cravings they’re experiencing right now. However, if they’re still in the early stages of their pregnancy, or you know just what they need to eat right now, you could whip up some tasty treats that’ll really go far. After all, who doesn’t love to chow down on a chocolate chip muffin when you’re stressed out and about to go through some very big life changes?!
Throw Them a Baby Shower
A baby shower is one of the biggest and best things you can do for the soon-to-be parents in your life; it’s a celebration of the upcoming birth and the new addition to someone’s family, and it’s a good way to help the couple fulfill their extensive and expensive shopping list! So, if you want to be supportive, make sure you piece together a for a baby shower. It’s the best way to bring the closest friends and family together to reassure the soon-to-be parents about this huge step they’re taking.
However, a baby shower can be hard to plan, seeing as there are so many things you can do here. Most of all, you need to keep the parents in mind – you might be the one organizing it, but the look and feel of the party need to reflect their personalities. Ask whether the shower would be better held before or after the birth, and then find a nice, comfortable location to hold it. Usually, this is the home of the parents themselves, as it’s the easiest to get to, as well as being a familiar and cozy environment.
You also need the occasion to be fun. It’s a chance to talk through what life with a baby will be like, yes, but it’s a good idea to have the cutest baby shower games in your back pocket as well. It’ll certainly make the day memorable, and it’ll help soothe away the worries of the soon-to-be mom and dad.
Always Be Up for a Chat
Finally, make sure you’ve always got a bit of time for the soon-to-be parents in your life because simply offering your time can go a long way! Letting them know you’re around, and that you’re always up to be their shoulder to cry on or their soundboard when they just need to vent, is key to helping out. Emotions are running high in their household, after all, and combining being pregnant with worrying about the upcoming birth can create the perfect storm.
Try to make your chats constructive as well. Make sure you leave them on a good note, as often as possible, and that you always know what the other person wants out of the conversation. For example, don’t offer advice if they’re not looking for any. To help you out with this, be sure to ask at the start of the conversation what they need most right now, and then follow their lead.
Of course, you don’t have to be available to them 24/7 – that’s impossible to pull off and obviously a little crazy! Make sure your phone is always on, and that the upcoming parent in question knows they can always reach out to you if need be. This little boundary keeps things healthy for you too – it’s good for them to take you up on the offer, but don’t let yourself be taken advantage of here.
Do You Know Soon-to-Be Parents?
If you do, you’ve got the chance to prove just how good a friend or relative you are! Go the extra mile here, during an uncertain and potentially worrying time in your loved one’s life, and help them to settle into a life with their new bundle of joy. Any of your efforts will be appreciated, even if you just have the time to chat with them every now and then because adjusting to being a parent takes a lot of time, courage, and strength.
So, maybe your best friend feels like they’re in over their head, or maybe your sister has no idea how she’s going to cope with having to get up 5 times a night to soothe the crying. Either way, you can step in to help alleviate these worries, and help any new members of the family be brought into a loving and supportive world.