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Last week, after a two hour labor and one push, my daughter produced her second child and made me a Gigi again. A little pink bundle of baby girl joined her Two-year-old Tornado brother complete a matched set. I could choose to sit back and let her learn how to handle two kids at once (like I did), or I could step up to the plate with laundry and meals. Which would you choose?
We parents can have a huge ministry with our children and grandchildren, and one of the best ways to show Christ’s love to them is to be available to serve.
5 practical ways to meet essential needs when your daughter gives birth. Click To Tweet
5 practical ways you can help when your daughter gives birth
1.) Offer to keep siblings
If mama wants papa in the birthing room, somebody’s gotta keep the kiddos! The logical person is the grandparent. We know their sleeping and eating habits, and can provide a stable environment for our little charges while mama is away.
We kept the Two-year-old Tornado and mama was able to rest easy, because he sleeps well at Gigi’s house! Nap times schedules are adhered to, and favorite foods/snacks stocked. Sawyer missed mama a little bit, but the next best person to mama in his book is Gigi!
Grandparents provide a source of stability when mama leaves to have the baby. Click To Tweet
2.) Prepare meals for at least a week
This is easy for me because cooking for my family is my love language. (Don’t tell Gary Chapman though, he doesn’t recognize food preparation as any such animal.)
Get a list of family favorites and go to town. Mama is busily adjusting to nursing, rising all hours of the night, and healing. A meal is one less task for her and a practical way to minister.
3.) Launder the family clothing
There’s nothing that piles up dirty laundry quicker than that new, cherubic infant. My son used to soil five outfits a day which necessitated an equal amount of baths.
(I still remind him of this, even though he’s 24).
Babies are a whole laundry load in and of themselves the minute they enter the homestead. So if you really love your daughter, load up your laundry basket and start sorting piles. Just do it – don’t even ask.
She’ll love you even more.
4.) Provide a listening ear
She’ll need to talk about the birth, any nursing struggles she may have, and vent over the lack of sleep, the kids, and maybe even the husband. Sit back and listen, offer words of encouragement if needed, and keep your mouth shut. This is not your time to tell her how she should do this or that. Just shut up and let her talk.
She may experience baby blues. That’s normal, so forget yourself and your feelings during this time and be prepared.
Be supportive and sympathetic. She needs that, and if you won’t be that person for her, she’ll find solace in someone who will. Wouldn’t you rather it be you?
Your daughter may experience baby blues. Be there to gently listen and offer support. Click To Tweet
5.) Don’t tell her how to do everything
Yes, you’ve been here before. You know how to sit the baby on your knee and support her little head with your hand while burping. You know that if she lays that baby down on her back after feeding, he’ll get hiccups. And you definitely know that if she formula feeds and doesn’t immediately soak that spit-up covered garment, that stain ain’t ever coming out.
Don’t overwhelm her. Offer a gentle word here or there, but mostly, keep your mouth shut. She needs to learn most of these things on her own. She will notice how you handle the baby and pick up on how to manage everything eventually. And if you keep a lid on it, she may even ask.
…Or, she might Google. Just let it go.
After all, you learned on her; you were the one laying her face up repeatedly after feeding before realizing you were the culprit.
You have a ministry as Gigi, Grandma, Nana, or Grammie. Yaya, Glam-ma, or Mamaw. Whatever you’re called, remember, when your daughter gives birth, she needs you. Lay down the “I hope she doesn’t think I’m doing this forever” mentality and just do it. She’ll appreciate you and your bond will only grow stronger.
After all, Jesus called us to be servants, and ministering to your mama-daughter is one of the most practical ways to put your feet and hands to service. Your sympathetic ear and gentle nature will reap untold dividends; resulting in a strong bond, and also a pattern for when she someday becomes a Gigi too!
And now, I have to get back to playing race cars with the Tornado. Gigi knows how to build a mean ramp!
MTO (Mom Time Out) is waiting for you!
MTO is a closed Facebook group for moms in the trenches, tired of reacting to daily conflicts or annoyances in family dynamics with anger or frustration.
At MTO you will find a place to share your story and interact with others who have been there too.
You will find support, encouragement, Scripture Pillars, Goals, and a plan of action for attacking those feelings of overwhelm and frustration.
Click the picture below to fill out the information and join MTO today. The directions will walk you through!