Some of our friends and group members may have a new baby either through birth or adoption.
So, how do we C.A.R.E. for our friends and group members who are adjusting to life with a new baby?
CRISIS – Understanding the Stress of Adjusting to Life with a Baby
Self-care is at an all-time low, particularly for the mother.
Financial pressure increases – particularly if one parent chooses to stay at home instead of return to work.
Health issues for the birth mom and newborn are a real concern – not to mention the rollercoaster of hormones and emotions.
Lack of sleep heightens stressful situations and conversations for the parents.
Parenting other children in the family as they adjust to a new baby is also a focus and sometimes a concern during this time.
Most parents experience guilt when returning to work after having a new baby or adopting – especially if this is their first child.
Anxiety over pumping in the office – the topic no one wants to talk about but is a reality for many first-time moms who are breastfeeding their babies and going back to work.
APPLICATION – Practical Suggestions for Encouraging New Parents
LOOK – Realize your group member may actually need time to ease back into their new normal as a friend, coworker and now a parent. It may take a few days or weeks before they are able to bring their best. Recognize that there may be tension and guilt they may feel when the time comes for them to return back to work.
ASK – Sometimes our group members need our encouragement during this time. Check in with them by asking a few questions:
LISTEN – Be available just to listen to your group member talk about whatever they need to share. Keep in mind this time is often an emotional rollercoaster. Tears are normal, as is wanting to dive back into routine.
REFERENCE – What Does the Bible Say About Parenting?
ENGAGE – Next Steps For Engaging Your Group Member
OFFER encouragement and support – especially if you understand what they are going through. Share your own stories (funny or frustrating) as a way of normalizing the circumstances; but be mindful to listen more than you share.
CONNECT with them in a fun way to escape the stress of this season like morning coffee or lunch with work friends, where conversation is light, funny and interesting, and not all about babies, kids or parenting woes.
SUGGEST a Counselor if they are really struggling to adjust to this new season; invite them to attend a Hoboken Grace Church service with you. And if they enjoy reading, give them the gift of a helpful resource, such as:
PRAY for your group member, their new baby, their spouse, and the rest of their family.
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