I’ll be honest, this topic has been on my heart for a really long time, so I’m so happy to finally share it with you all! This past year has been incredibly tough for many with the conditions of the pandemic, navigating through working from home and online learning, and not being able to spend time with loved ones like we all desire. But my heart has especially been with the teachers who just became new moms this past year.
Motherhood is the most rewarding and fulfilling job I have ever had, but some days it’s just tough – if you’re a mom, I know you feel me! But I can imagine that becoming a new mom in the midst of a pandemic while also trying to juggle teaching is a whole new level of tough!
If you teach with someone who just became a new mom, I’m sure you’ve had many thoughts like, “What can I do for her?” “I want to help, but also don’t want to be overbearing.” “Should I go to her house? Maybe she doesn’t want visitors.” I’ve put together a few ideas for you to help your fellow colleague down the hall – ideas that may not seem like a major help at the time, but make the biggest impact!
Ask What School Related Tasks You Can Help Complete
There are some things only the mom herself can take care of – i.e. pumping being the biggest one, if she’s nursing. We all know it has to happen during planning time, lunch breaks, or recesses – our most precious times of the day!
If you can, ask your colleague what you can do to take some planning responsibilities off her plate so she can use her breaks to pump, while still staying caught up on tasks throughout the day. Do you teach the same grade? Offer to plan a few lessons to help her get ahead for the week, or share some time-saving resources that you’ve found useful. Do you see a big pile of lamination on her back table that you know needs cutting? Offer to take some home for the evening.
Make a Meal
Before doing so, be sure to ask your colleague if she would be okay with you bringing a meal to her. While it’s an incredibly kind gesture, it’s important to keep Covid precautions in mind and respect her wishes if she prefers to not receive outside food at this time.
If she’s totally fine with getting a little help in the kitchen, be sure to first ask if she has any food intolerances, allergies, or anything that seems to be affecting the baby if she is breastfeeding. For example, I would recommend straying from cooking anything that is spicy or involves a lot of dairy. You could also get her meals taken care of for a longer period of time by creating a “meal train” at school! Ask other teachers in the building if they would be willing to make a meal for her, as well. Schedule the days that someone drops off the food at her house or brings it to school to have her take it home with her.
Meal prepping and cooking is a huge time-consuming task and I know your colleague will be so grateful to get to spend evenings relaxing with her new baby, rather than cooking and cleaning in the kitchen!
Bring a Little Pick-Me-Up to School
When a new mom pours her heart and soul into her tiny humans every single day (it can be exhausting some days, but always absolutely worth it!), it’s nice to be thought of once in a while.
If you make a quick stop before school to get a coffee or special drink for yourself, pick an extra one up for your teacher friend. She has probably received a ton of baby gifts in the past few weeks, but gifts/gestures just for her – probably not as many! I know when I was a new mom, it always made me feel so appreciated when someone took the time to think of me, when the attention was usually all on my baby.
Take On Pet Tasks or Running Errands
Do you live in the same area as your colleague? Offer to walk her dog in the afternoons for a few days or pick up her grocery order for her! Life doesn’t stop when we have a baby, but sometimes it’d be really nice if it at least slowed down. 🙂 You can definitely help her out by taking a few of these kinds of “life duties” off her plate!
Be a Good Listener
Your fellow teacher is waking up every morning and listening to 20 little voices in her classroom every day. She’s going home to take care of a precious new baby, and she’s probably waking up multiple times in the night to do so, too. Check in on her. Ask how she’s doing – not to create small talk, but to truly check on how she’s keeping up with everything! Sometimes the greatest thing we can do for someone is sit and listen. She will greatly appreciate the adult conversation, too!
Motherhood is a beautiful thing and all new moms deserve to have all the support in the world as they navigate through this new chapter of life. Do what you can for your colleague. You have no idea how much happiness it could bring her!
What are some other kind gestures you’ve done for new moms that they’ve loved? What did you appreciate when you were a new mom? Feel free to share in the comments below!