This past weekend we celebrated babies. We are having a baby boom in our extended family and in our circle of friends.
We hosted a Sip and See for a new cousin. In attendance was another newborn...along with a bunch of doting women. The Sip and See was pea themed because they added a new pea to their pod. It was a play from their pregnancy announcement. So cute!
And we also went to a Brit Tikkun (a Hebrew baby naming ceremony). It was a lovely ceremony where the parents promise to raise the baby in the Jewish tradition. Family and friends were there to witness, to love, and to support. It was a beautiful and meaningful service.
It was a weekend of newborns and there is another baby on the way...another cousin.
With all these babies it is hard not to get sentimental about my own "babies." Our Little Miss will be 5 this month and The Boy is 9 1/2. I feel like it was yesterday we brought them home from the hospital.
Look how cute they were!
I love snuggling these new little people in our world and inhaling all their newborn yumminess...well that is until they scream or poop all over me and then I feel a lot less wistful.
Parenting is hard work...it is hard work no matter the stage...just different kinds of hard.
I feel like our number one job as parents (other than keep them alive...and some days that is all we have) is to raise kind people. Truly...the more kind people the better.
Your job is to love your children and make them feel safe and secure.
You know the way we feed babies, burp babies, or hold babies will change and evolve. The kinds of gadgets, beds, and car seats will keep changing. What doesn't change is that our children learn from what we model...so let's make sure we are modeling kindness.
And one way we can be kind to parents...new and veteran...is to help them out.
So here is a list of ways you can help lighten the load for new parents.
- Lend a helping hand. Come help with house work. Put away their dirty dishes, wash some clothes, etc. Maybe you aren't tight like that with the parents or they don't want people all up in their business. You can ask them what would be helpful (they may know) or give them a list of options of things you can help with (they may not have the energy to think of something themselves). Or if you can afford it offer to pay for a service...housecleaning, dog walking, or yard work (or you could do it yourself).
- Let them sleep. When you share your life with a newborn you get soooo sleep deprived. I told a friend it was the ultimate injustice of parenting that these babies come into the world when you are already so tired and exhausted and babies basically say "Here, hold my beer" and they show you a new level of exhaustion you never knew existed. So offer to hold their baby so they can sleep. You can go over and sit and be on baby duty so the new parents can get some much needed zzzzz's.
- Make a dish. Bring them some food. Keep in mind likes and dislikes and dietary restrictions. And bring them something easy to manage. They don't need extra work. And if you aren't a cook there are lots of options...go the grocery store and get something pre-made, give them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant (bonus points if they deliver), or even a food delivery service (or if your local grocery store offers online shopping offer to pick it up for them).
- Shower them in love. Baby showers, Sip and Sees, or even baby naming ceremonies are about the baby for sure, but really it is about the family and you are showing up to show your love and support of the family. That baby has zero idea you are there, but the family knows. Sure you can tell the baby you were there from the beginning, but it is more than bragging rights. For baby gifts sometimes families have registries and sometimes they don't. I like to do a combo of something they ask for and something homemade like a knitted hat or a blankie I sewed (you know I am all about the fast craft). It doesn't matter what you bring, what matters is that you are there. Oh, and be there in the beginning, but circle back in a few weeks...people tend to dissipate after a few weeks after a baby is born and some times that is when parents need the most love (and help).
As a parent one of the best parts is having our friends and family love our kids and have their own relationship with them. It seriously warms my heart so much.
Parents are trying to raise kind humans, help them by being kind. Babies may not remember you were there from the beginning, but they can feel that you love them.
I do miss the baby stage, but I am sure enjoying these two knuckleheads. And I know that these busy days are fleeting so I am trying to live each day to the fullest.
These two will always be my babies.
Have a great day!
See you soon! And be kind!