August 25-31 is Be Kind to Humankind Week, an idea I can really get behind!
With lots of new babies born to doula clients and friends this summer, I've been doing my best to help support and nurture new parents. I was inspired to come up with ways to be kind to humankind by being kind to new parents.
Give the benefit of the doubt.
When you find yourself at Chipotle with a baby having a meltdown at the table next to you, try to keep your cool. Maybe baby is coming down with a cold; maybe she missed a nap because of a doctor's appointment. Or maybe baby is just having a moment. Assume the best about these parents; a sympathetic smile instead of a disapproving glare might be just the supportive gesture that the baby's parents need to get through to the next nap. And giving the benefit of the doubt can be a way to be kind to yourself, too, since it lets YOU off the hook from stressing about it.
Make extra soup.
And share some with your friends who just had a baby. More and more moms in Tulsa are creating meal trains for the initial weeks postpartum. Friends, family, and other folks in the parents' community sign up to bring a meal, taking the burden of preparing at least one of the three squares off their shoulders each day.
Yep. Not much to it. A smile can go a long way. Bonus points if you can find a way to non-patronizingly tell them that they are killing it with this new parent gig.
Like to try new natural body care products? You'll love Harlow05. Need some new family portraits? Call Misty Tharp. Looking for an activity to do with your own kiddos in Tulsa? Join Rachel Hay's Music Together classes. (And feel free to share the businesses of other parents of young kids in the comments!)
Tell people you love them.
I hear about it all the time. As we reach our late twenties and early thirties, friends start having babies, and your social circle starts to look like two distinct groups: Parents and non-parents. And if you're on the non-parent side of the divide, you undoubtedly have a bit more free time. (I know, 'cause I'm also on that side of the divide!) Reach out to your friends with new babies: Send a sweet text, Facebook message, or (if you wanna go big!) a card to tell them you love them. You might not be able to coordinate schedules for drinks like you used to, but that doesn't mean you don't care.
Get them a massage.
One of my favorite ways to be kind to humankind is massage. Surprised? Nah, didn’t think so. Since I see so many clients for prenatal massage, I always try to remind them towards the end of pregnancy that POSTPARTUM massage is also a thing...a really good thing. Giving a gift certificate for massage is really sending two messages: 1. I care about you. And 2. You can still care for yourself. And who doesn’t love massage? (Ok, some people might not, so get them a gift certificate for a Heads, Shoulders, Feet & Toes session instead.)
And after all that?
Get YOU a massage
Parent or not, be kind to yourself.
Be Kind to Humankind Week doesn't have to end on Monday. You can spread the love every week; it's always a great time to be kind to new parents! Between a very likely major lack of sleep, feeding a newborn every 2-4 hours (at least!), and all the opinions most people around them have about everything they do, most new parents could use a little kindness. Let the rest of us know any other ideas you have in the comments - let's share the love!