A new mom needs more hand-holding than most. Her world is upside down and she is sleep-deprived. The baby came out a while ago but she is still carrying the reminder of the child.
The Mom’s Code should have a rule that we should buy new clothes for the new mom that make her look and feel good about herself. These cute little babies are dressed to the nines while the new mother has maybe one thing she feels decent in. Babies should be adorably dressed—but make sure the mom has a few new outfits as well. She may even protest and say she is going to lose weight and doesn’t want any clothes that fit her now. I asked a buyer for women’s wear at Bloomingdale’s about clothes that tend to flatter women who have regular legs and arms but a bigger midriff due to pregnancy. She recommended tunics and long sweaters. They emphasize the legs and arms and face—but hide the waist! Let’s get a clothing line devoted to moms in transition. I was always too proud to wear maternity clothes after having a baby but I could not fit into my tailored clothes from the year before either. It often takes years to transition back to how we looked before, so there should be stores that specialize in clothes that flatter the post-birth mom. These stores should be simple and easy—if the new mom is buying for herself, chances are she has 15 minutes to shop, tops.
As part of the Mom’s Code, let’s give gifts to the mom. Many people give gifts to the baby’s siblings so they don’t get left out—what about the mom??
Family visits are a chance for a mom to showcase her newest treasures. In-laws, take pictures of the mom too. Too often families are obsessed with taking pictures of themselves and the baby. If you son or brother just had a child, don’t just take pictures of him—insist on having the mom in some too.
And stop saying how the child looks like everyone in your family (even grasping at remote relatives in the family tree). This is really annoying to a new mom.
Watch and entertain her kids so the new mom can eat too. Chances are she will feed her children first but then take them completely off her hands and maybe even out of her line of sight. Kids will always prefer their mom, especially when they are getting tired.
In-law women—your brother or son wants to help his wife but then again he does not. He wants to join the fun so his wife is in an awkward position. With young kids, she has to keep a semblance of a routine—she might have to duck out to put the kids down for a nap or feed them foods they like at certain times. I had a situation yesterday where there was a wine tasting and wiffleball game. My sister-in-law needed to bring her two little kids back to the hotel to take a nap (kids are six months and two). Her husband was willing to go in the minivan and help but his eyes were pleading to stay, so I went with her cheerfully. Neither one of us is from California so we had to rely on phone navigation. If she were alone, that would have been a nightmare. Sisters, always volunteer to go and help. Young moms on vacation need help. Women! Go with her and keep her company. Share a glass of wine sitting on the floor.