Extending Friendship to New Moms (ETHANProject #1: Enjoy Friendship)

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If you’re not familiar with the ETHANProject (Enjoy the Here and Now), you can catch up by reading the introduction post here

I’m excited for the first challenge of the ETHANProject! This week’s challenge is enjoy friendship. So let’s dive right in!Enjoy Friendship Challenge DescriptionVery soon, I will be enjoying friendship with my good friend who is going to be a mom for the first time! And that’s all I’m saying on the matter, because . . . well, you’ll see in a moment when I explain four ways to encourage your friends who are pregnant with their first child!

4 Ways to Encourage Your First Time Mom Friend

When I was pregnant with Dominic, I was pretty young. As a result, I didn’t have a ton of friends who were already moms. That has its downsides and its upsides, but one of the upsides is that now I get to watch the friends I had before become moms for the first time. That’s more special to me now than it would have been before I had kids. But let’s be real, I don’t know about you, but when I was a mom for the first time, it was sometimes scary! So here are four ways that you can encourage your friends as they become moms for the first time.

1. Let them share. If you’ll notice, I was very brief on the details about my meeting with my friend. Why? Because I don’t want anyone to figure out who it is I’m talking about. It’s her pregnancy, she should be the one to announce it. Same goes with labor details. If she tells you she is in labor/has had the baby, assume that is not your news to share. And don’t post congratulations on her Facebook wall – people can figure things out from that! Wait to say anything publicly until she herself announces it unless you have explicit permission. I know you’re excited for them, but imagine how you would feel if someone else told everyone else your very special news before you did.

2. Let them feel. Everyone feels different during pregnancy. You can feel wonderful and excited. Or you can feel nervous and scared. Or you can feel everything all at once! There’s not a right and wrong way to feel. We feel what we feel. However, there can often be immense pressure on pregnant women to only feel the positive emotions. Be a safe place for your friend to express whatever emotions she is feeling and be supportive of her – don’t dismiss anyone doubts and fears that she might have. Those are real feelings that she needs to work through too.

3. Let them ask. Sometimes when you are a first time mom you have a lot of questions. Let them know that you are a safe place to ask questions and there are no dumb questions. I try to be this person for my friends because sometimes I know there are just things you need to know but you feel silly asking your mom or your care provider. Or sometimes you just want to know what it was like for someone else.

4. Don’t tell them freaky stories. I don’t know why, but multiple people felt the need to tell me about their cousin’s uncle’s sister’s friend’s daughter’s hidden twin. You know, where there were two babies but the second baby hid behind the first during the ultrasound the whole time? Yeah, things like that totally freaked me out when I was pregnant. Same as labor horror stories. Now if your friend asks you what it was like, be honest. But there’s a way to be honest in a kind way and there’s a way to be honest in a scary way. Don’t be scary. Be truthful but be kind about it. Don’t say things like, “You will never sleep again.” Cause it’s not true. You do eventually sleep again and there’s no reason to freak your friend out.

So there you have it. What are you best tips for encouraging your friends as they become moms for the first time?

Enjoy Friendship EthanProject Challenge

photo credit: via photopin via flickr (license). Text added by me.

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