If there's one helpful thing I think women would do well to learn and accept while they're pregnant, it's that it's okay to ask for help when the baby arrives. While we all want to be, and perhaps think we will be, that mom who has everything under control, no problem, the fact is it's hard, and sometimes you just need help.
The key, however, is knowing how to ask for help the right way. Gawker got a hold of a Facebook post complete with a Google doc from a new mom who was not shy at all about asking friends and family for help, which is good. Except it's how she asked that is so incredulous. Here's a taste of what she suggests people should do for her written in what comes off as the most condescending, self-centered tone possible.
She starts out pleasantly enough:
Dear friends and family,
The following helpful list are the kind things that we will remember and appreciate forever. This is what [Parent]'s body and soul needs, and will be most helpful for our bonding with the baby. By devoting just a few hours doing one of these things, we will get the support and rest we need with our newborn in the house.
People often want to help and don't know how, so composing a list of things they can do is great. Except when it reads in part like this:
Come over at about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then complete one or more household chores, such as:
-scoop the litter box
-take [our dog] for a well deserved walk or run around the neighborhood or park
-clean the kitchen or the bathroom
Come over at 10am, make me eggs, toast, and ½ a grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw anything out that you doubt — don't ask me, just use your best judgment. Clean the kitchen stove and the kitchen floor.
Come over in your work clothes and vacuum, dust, clean the litter box, and then leave quietly. It might be too tiring for me to chat and entertain, but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to a clean, organized space.
There's more where that that came from, but you get the idea. Giving some suggestions is one thing, but dictating the good will gestures of friends and family this specifically is going just a tad too far.
Still, while annoying as hell, I have to say that something like this is a lot more helpful to people who genuinely want to help out new parents than a resounding echo of "nothing, we're fine."
Did you/will you ask for help with your new babies?
Image via Chalky Lives/Flickr