I recently read and liked this post about a mum acknowledging another mums tiredness.
It resonated, but my dear friend Elise taught me something very important recently: when a new mum says they're tired don't just commiserate. Don't just say 'let me know if I can do anything'. Take it further. Dig deep, and find a way you can help without having to be asked.
Because when a mum says she's tired, it's our turn to step up to the plate, in whatever way we can. Even if we ourselves are tired. Even if we have a baby on our hip and dishes in our sinks. There are still things we can do.
Here are some suggestions:
- Make her a cup of tea. Hot water. Whatever. Get some fluids into her. Bring her the hot cup and make her sit and drink it. There's honestly nothing better...
- If you're at her house, do the dishes. Even if there are just a few in the sink it can ease the mental load.
- Consider if you can take any older child for a walk to the local playground. Even just half an hour around the block can give a tired mum time to pooh on her own!
- Bring her a meal, or a muffin, or a preprepared dish that she just needs to shove in the oven. Better yet, save both of you the hassle and get her a Let Lulu voucher. It'll be the best money you ever spent.
- Check in with them via instant message if you're up in the middle of the night. If they're awake and struggling you could just be the beacon of light they need to last another sleepless hour. My sister doesn't even live in the same country but she regularly provides me with support and guidance thanks to wattsapp.
- If they have a partner, check in with them too. If mum is tired, it's likely that the significant other is struggling too and they may have some helpful suggestions about what you can do to ease the load. Just prompting them to organise some self care, or seeing if they want to hang at your place for an afternoon, will let them know that you care and love them.
Have you got any other practical tips about how to help a mum when they say they're tired?
This article first appeared here.