NANA’S HOUSE by Teresa Bell Kindred
Most moms love having help when they bring home a new baby, but they don’t want someone coming in and taking over. Here are some things you can do for the new parents without being pushy or overstepping boundaries.
Grandbaby on the Way
No matter how close you are to your daughter or daughter-in-law, it’s always best to ask her opinion. What may seem like a great idea to you may not be something she wants or needs. Before trying any of the suggestions below, talk to the new or prospective parents. Tell them what you would like to do and ask their permission. More than likely they will want your help and welcome it, but other couples prefer privacy. Remember, it’s their decision as to whether or not they want your help.
Ways I Have Helped
1. Cook food to take over. I know how tired I felt after each of my children were born. Taking over a couple of home-cooked meals allows mom to rest and dad to do things other than cooking. Plus, it doesn’t mess up their kitchen!
2. Do their laundry. It always amazed me that a new baby could create so much dirty laundry! The larger the family, the more dirty clothes to wash. I have many years of experience as Chief Laundry Technician at our house, so I don’t mind the washing, drying, and folding—and it’s a big help to new parents.
3. Entertain the other children. If there are older children, offer to chauffeur them to school or other activities they are involved in. If they are not yet in school, keep them busy while mom attends to the baby or takes a nap. Offer to spend the night and, if mom is bottle feeding, take a late-night shift so she can rest. Assisting the older children with bath time and teeth brushing is helpful, too. One of my favorite things is to read my grandchildren a book, listen to their prayers and tuck them in for the night. There are few things sweeter than the prayers of little children.
4. Help with the pets. Someone has to feed and water them, and it’s something the new parents may not have time for. If they have a dog, it may need walking. Look at as exercise for you and the dog!
5. Go grocery shopping. Ask for a grocery list and do the weekly shopping for them. Even if all you do is call in the order and pick it up, that’s still one less thing the new parents have to do.
Finally, don’t forget to rock the new baby and get some snuggle time. Like Mammy said in one of my favorite movies, Gone with the Wind: “The best days are the days babies come.” Enjoy your new grandchild!
Teresa Kindred is a freelance writer, former teacher, and author of several books, including The Faith-Filled Grandmother (2019). She’s the mom of five grown children and “Nana” to six precious grandchildren. She and her husband live in Kentucky. Her blog for grandparents is at NanaHood.com.