Having a newborn is challenging. From managing new emotions triggered by hormones to learning how to survive while sleep-deprived: it can all be a bit too much. This switch is especially hard for first-time parents. There’s so much they don’t know, and they have to figure it all out on the fly. You could be wondering how you can support them from a distance during this period of social distancing. First off, on behalf of new parents out there, thank you for stepping up. The most important thing for them right now is knowing they have a support system they can rely on. Here are some thoughtful ways you can lend a helping hand from a distance. They work even if you live in another town or country.
The best thing you can do for any new parent is to offer a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. This is especially important for single parents. You don’t have to say or do anything; just listen. Provide a safe, nonjudgmental space where they can laugh, cry, vent, and talk. This shows you are thinking of them and you care in a relaxed and supportive way. Since you can’t be there physically, call and text as often as you can. However, don’t expect an immediate response back. If you can be available during odd hours even better. Let them know that you are there to talk anytime, whether it’s during the day or at 3 am when they wake up to feed the baby.
Send them a care package
New parents work hard all day, every day, taking care of their kids. They have very little if any time for themselves. This is where gifts come in. They are a great way to show you care. Send them something meant to take care of them, a treat of sorts. You will be surprised how much a bar of chocolate and a magazine might mean. If pressed for time, consider sending something like The Care Package, which has gorgeous options sure to make new parents feel looked after.
Buy groceries and have them delivered
Grocery shopping can be hectic. Add in a newborn and the fatigue that comes with having a never-ending to-do list and a trip to the grocery store is not something any new parent looks forward to. That said, they still need these supplies. Ask them for their grocery list, then go grocery shopping and have them delivered. If you live in another town or country, you can surprise your loved ones with a week’s worth of groceries ordered online. With the ongoing pandemic, keeping new parents and their babies out of public places has never been more important.
Make a pep talk jar
Write down all the reasons you think they make great parents and put it in a jar and send it to them. Mention anything and everything you can think of. You can even ask your mutual friends and family to chip in. Take this as a chance to remind them how strong and wonderful they are. This pep talk jar will serve as a pick me up on those extra trying days.
Parenting can be hard. However, with a support system, new and single parents can make it through good and bad times. Remember, they are navigating a lot of milestones and moments, but these thoughtful gestures can remind them that they are not alone.