Becoming a mother is no doubt a time of transition. It is beautiful, it is sacred, it is special and it is challenging. You are filled with so many emotions - happiness, excitement, worry and anxiety. You hope you are doing all you can to give your child a wonderful upbringing and to be the best you can be for him or her.
Your mind is going a million miles a minute, thinking about someone else- putting another person's needs before your own, but then also trying to maintain your sense of self. Learning a new type of balance in a very unbalanced time in your life. Learning to take slivers of me time when you can, because it is oh so important. Trying your best to remember to feed yourself before 3pm or to take a long shower.
On any given day, a new mom is singing, comforting, loving, entertaining, feeding, bathing, cleaning, wiping and teaching her little one around the clock. She loves every part of her new job and new life but- it is new and it is different.
There are no doubt so many ways a woman's community gathers around her at this time - offering wisdom, advice, friendship, laughter, company and sometimes if she's lucky - home-cooked meals.
But here's one thing we can all do for the new moms in our lives - whether they are close friends, a family member or a stranger you meet on the bus...and that is this:
Say hello to her first.
Granted the baby is cute, the baby is cuddly - but she has been around much longer than the baby and wouldn't it be nice to let her know she matters just as much now as she did before? That she matters independently of the sweet baby in her arms?
I remember a few interactions I had in the early days that left me questioning whether I had become invisible. So I can say with some authority that it likely won't make a difference to the child whether you smile and play a few minutes before or afterwards, but to the mom - it will count.
In the first 3 months after giving birth, I feel like this is so important. This the time in her life where everything has changed drastically and so this simple gesture that seems small on the outside, can make all the difference. Especially to a woman who has given of herself, her heart and her body to birth another life.
She probably sees herself as part of a mom and baby package right now. She probably doesn't always recognize her own needs. She probably could use a tiny gesture to let her know she's still the individual that she was before the baby arrived.
So if you only do one thing for a new mom you know, please do this:
Just make her feel like you see her too. Just look at her, smile and say hi to her first. I bet it will matter.