A woman I know got Mother’s Day off to an early start by giving birth to twin boys last week. I noticed that a snapshot of the babies was posted on Facebook with a note saying that everyone was healthy, with more details to come. I wrote a message of congratulations and assumed that more updates would be posted once the family left the hospital and had some time to settle in. After all, it’s not like a new mother has tons of time to update Facebook!
A day or so later, the mother in question did, however, add a second Facebook posting, apologizing for not yet being able to return the dozen voicemails on her phone or repeated requests for details about the babies’ names, etc. She explained that she and the babies were still recuperating in the hospital but she would try to get back to everyone.
Wow! If anything, this woman’s friends should be the ones to apologize, as they clearly haven’t been giving her enough space. It’s nice to receive well wishes and visits from loved ones, but this girl was clearly being hounded within minutes of giving birth. I would certainly not expect someone who had just delivered two babies to be waiting by the phone or making time to return my call.
Unless you have a very close and special relationship with a friend, sometimes the best way you can offer support to a new mother is to simply give her some space. Send flowers or a card, but don’t pounce on the family until they’ve had a chance to settle in and are ready to introduce the baby to others. In some cases, this may take a while if the baby has health issues. Being a new mother takes a lot of adjustment!