When I had H, I was two months shy of turning 22. Most of my friends were preparing for their last finals as undergrad students (I had graduated the semester before). Needless to say, I was the first to do the whole baby thing.
I hadn’t yet acquired “mom friends” and didn’t really have any family around, so it was just J and I figuring out the whole baby, sleep deprivation, survival thing on our own.
At least one baby, even our high-needs, vivacious, colicky, don’t-sleep-til-Brooklyn first born, in hindsight, is easier than when you’re on #3. Of course, by the time you have three, you’ve been around the block a few times and have a solid groove going on, so it’s easier in some ways, too.
But the one things that is always, always, always helpful, whether it is baby #1 or #19, is food.
I will forever go out of my way to bring food to a momma who has just had a babe; whether it’s a close friend or someone I barely know through the grapevine, because I know how so extremely helpful it is.
With H and B, I had no food deliveries outside of what I ordered in (and we aren’t going to discuss how much carry out we ate during those days, ha). We fended for ourselves and we survived. We didn’t even know that there is a world where people bring others food after they’ve had a baby, ha.
But by the time we had M, it was a game changer. The half dozen or so meals that friends brought us was quite nearly life changing.
Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but seriously. When you’ve got a new babe and two other kiddos, not having to think about dinner when you’ve survived the whole day solo is a Godsend.
At this point, I will make people food for nearly any occasion: new baby, broken bone, illness, bad day; it doesn’t matter. Who doesn’t enjoy a night off from cooking, but still eating a yummy home cooked meal? I aim to make half a dozen pans of enchiladas a month to deliver to friends, because hey – who doesn’t want them!?
When you have a baby, everything is so time consuming. You’re racing against the clock in between naps and breastfeeding and playing with big kids that it can be hard to even squeeze in a shower some days, so obviously meal prep can seem unobtainable at times.
Whether you’re a parent or not, if you know someone who has a new baby, make them a meal. If you don’t live nearby, or simply don’t enjoy cooking, order them their favorite carry-out, delivered straight to their door.
Seriously, the #1 thing you can do for any parents, no matter what number baby they are on, is provide them with food. They will appreciate that more than anything else; I guarantee it.