One of the things we write about pretty frequently is encouraging pregnant women to realize that it’s ok to accept help – before and after the baby is born.
As far as I’m concerned, pushing a human being out of your vagina seems like the most exhausting (and terrifying) activity in the world.
So of course, of course, your friends and family want to help out as you settle in with your little bundle of joy.
But there’s a way to ask… and a way NOT to ask for that help.
As an example of the latter, Gawker published a Facebook post (complete with Google doc) from one new mom that presents us with a teachable moment.
“Dear friends and family,
The following helpful list are the kind things that we will remember and appreciate forever. This is what [Parent]‘s body and soul needs, and will be most helpful for our bonding with the baby. By devoting just a few hours doing one of these things, we will get the support and rest we need with our newborn in the house.
Ok, this looks nice and normal. And let’s face it, there’s nothing more annoying than people who say “oh, we’re totally fine” and make you GUESS how you can help out.
But then things take a bit of a dark turn. Here’s how this new mom outlined her
Come over at about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then complete one or more household chores, such as:
-scoop the litter box
-take [our dog] for a well deserved walk or run around the neighborhood or park
-clean the kitchen or the bathroom
Come over at 10am, make me eggs, toast, and ½ a grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw anything out that you doubt – don’t ask me, just use your best judgment. Clean the kitchen stove and the kitchen floor.
This next one is my favorite…
Come over in your work clothes and vacuum, dust, clean the litter box, and then leave quietly. It might be too tiring for me to chat and entertain, but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to a clean, organized space.
Come over to fold laundry or clean and give [Parent] a break so she can go enjoy some r & r, go to a coffee shop, a bar, or something else fun. Vacuum and fold more laundry. Clean the litter box.
Listen, she really wants you to clean that litter box.
What do you think? Is this a helpful list for friends and family, or did this new mom go too far?