How to Help a Fellow Mom This Mother’s Day

How to Help a Fellow Mom This Mother’s Day

Our favourite day of the year is coming. From macaroni necklaces to chef-made meals, a good Mother’s Day comes in many forms, just like the women we honour on this special day. This Mother’s Day, we’re resolving to pay it forward and take a moment to honour the fellow moms in our own lives, whether they be the mom down the street, in play group, or a friend who lives out of town.

Here are a few ways you can raise up a fellow mom this Mother’s Day. Because it takes a village.

The Mom with a Brand New Baby
As tempting as it is to log some snuggle time with the new bub, mom’s boobs are leaking, she’s sleep deprived, and she feels (and let’s be real, probably looks) like crap. Oh the magic of those first postpartum days. As new moms, if we could send our best friends clairvoyant thoughts, it would be to postpone that see-the-new-baby visit until everyone is feeling a little more human. A quick hello, and maybe a supply drop-off, will do for now. Since no one is cooking a few days postpartum, a homemade meal that just needs reheating is a lifesaver. (Buy a disposable aluminum pan from the grocery store so no one needs to worry about returning your dish to you). A bag of groceries is a thoughtful gift too—not only is a new mum too overwhelmed to cook, she’s definitely not leaving the house to buy provisions.

When you do pop by for your proper visit and snuggle, consider bringing lunch or some snacks with you—sushi and wine, or soft cheese…after nine months without, they’ll love you for it. If you feel comfortable doing so, offer to run a load of laundry, do the dishes, go on an errand run or take the older siblings out for an afternoon.

The Mom with a Sick Baby
A very sick child is every mom’s worst nightmare. Do offer to help with logistics—they might love groceries dropped off or an extra set of hands ferrying other kids to after school sports—but the most important thing you can do is let this mom know you’re there for her. Everything else fades away and her world becomes very small—nothing else matters except the health of her kid. Know that her priorities have likely changed, offer your support—and that’s really all you can do.

We love: NICU’s and Post Traumatic Stress, by Tales From Mummyland.

The Mom with the Kid Who’s Having a Meltdown
The grocery store, the parking lot, the food court…and a kid who’s in full meltdown mode. It’s never, ever fun, and feelings of failure start to creep in. When you see this mom, make eye contact, and say, ‘Hang in there. You’re doing great.’ Those few words of encouragement will mean so much.

The Mom Who is Grieving
You don’t know what to say, but your heart is breaking for them. Start there. An email, text, or call to say you’re thinking of them is the best place to start. They may want space, or they may want to talk—just let them know you’re there to offer either. If you feel so inclined and want to send a care package, there’s even a company that delivers postnatal care packages to women who experience miscarriage and later pregnancy loss.

We love: How to Help Bereaved Families After the Loss of a Child, by Telling My Story; The Grief That We Can’t Talk About, by 27th and Olive, and Five Ways to Support a Grieving Friend, by Talk Nerdy to Me.

The Expectant Mom
They’re probably being inundated with well-meaning advice. Unless they ask for your advice, stick with: ‘This is awesome news.’, ‘You’re going to be a great mother.’, ‘Can I watch your kids for you?’, and, ‘Please, take my seat.’

We love: Five Things You Shouldn’t Say to Women Planning Home Birth by 27th and Olive.

The Mom with a Special Needs Child
Since her child often requires extra attention, this mom would appreciate the offer to help with other kids—take them to a movie or on an outing—or if you are able, offer to watch her child with special needs so that mom can enjoy some one-on-one time with her other kiddos.

If you’re out and your kiddo notices someone who appears different, and is either innocently staring or has perhaps asked a question loudly enough to be overheard, apologize without shame and use the opportunity to start a conversation about differences. In her open letter, ‘To the Embarrassed Parent of the Child Pointing at My Daughter’, mom Courtney Westlake tells us word for word what she wishes other parents would do and say when confronted with this situation—and we think her response is brilliant. It’s helpful, but it’s also inspiring and wonderful.

We’ve had the privilege of reading many posts from our wonderful Special Needs Storytellers over the years, and the number one theme is always: don’t make assumptions. Every kid is different, and has different abilities.

We love: 10 Things Every Autism Parent Wants You to Know, by Bubbles Make Him Smile, Talking to Children About Difference and Disability, by The Big To-Do List, and 10 Things That Shouldn’t Be Assumed About My Child with Autism, by Running for Autism.

The Mom Who Doesn’t Have Life’s Essentials
Give the ultimate gift—help a child survive. It’s the best gift you could give a mother. UNICEF has a variety of care packages at a range of prices—an HIV test kit for 8 women (so that expectant mothers can get the medical support they need to keep their babies HIV free) costs a mere $12.  A new mother pack for $40 will insure that 24 infants receive their vaccinations. Whether you can spend $10 or $100—there’s a gift option that could help a mother and baby desperately in need.

The Single Mom
Offer to watch her kids for an afternoon, and then set them up at the arts and crafts table to make homemade Mother’s Day cards. Make cookies or bake a cake together so that the kids can present her with their baked goods and works of art on Mother’s Day. You will give her the Mother’s Day she dreams of.

The Mom Who Works Outside the Home
This mom needs someone in her corner when the boss calls an unscheduled meeting at 4:30. If you can, be the person who can pick the kids up from school in a pinch. Be there for her when she needs to be in two places at once.

The Mom Who Works Inside the Home
Whether a WAHM or a SAHM, this mom never. gets. a. break. Bring coffees and pop by for a chat—she’ll appreciate the adult conversation, no sitter required. Or pack some snacks, put the coffee in a thermos, and invite her out for a play date and chat at the local park.

We love: The Stay-at-Home Mom 5 Year Itch!, by Mayahood.

The Mom Nearing Burn-Out
We’re in the trenches, day in and day out. It’s a marathon. If you or someone you know is nearing burn-out, encourage them to rally their village. Call a friend, a parent, or a sitter if you can and take a night off—or at least a few hours in the evening. Take a bath or watch a movie, paint your nails and have a glass of wine—anything that’s relaxing and restorative for you. It might seem small, but take a step back and don’t feel bad about it—self-care is essential. You can’t look after your kids if you’re sick, run down, or just not coping.  And talk to another mom—we’re all in this together.

If you have a partner—arrange a date night. If getting out of the house is just not an option—take a page out of mom blogger Ashely Rodriguez’s book and cook at home. Take an evening to reconnect with your partner—it’ll energize you, we promise.

We love: No One Else Is Getting the Mom of the Year Award Either, by Mayahood, and To the Mom Who Is Depressed, It’s Going to Be Okay, by UrbanMoms.

We know that taking time out for yourself every day is often a dream, not reality. Help yourself stay sane by putting this ethos into practice: have one thing, every day, that’s just for you. Something you can look forward to. Whether it’s 15 uninterrupted minutes with a coffee and a magazine or just that ice cold diet soda you’ve been craving, have a treat, make it yours, and make it non-negotiable.

Your Mom
And this Mother’s Day, don’t forget to call, visit, hug, and celebrate the woman who raised you. We love you, Mom.

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