- Give gift cards for restaurants.
- Give gift cards for Ubereats, Doordash or other delivery services.
- Helpful for those times when making a meal is just too much to manage.
- Pay for a meal service like HelloFresh or Freshly.
- Some services offer allergy free options which is great for families with food allergies/sensitivities.
- Pay for lawn mowing services.
- Pay for a few sessions or a few months of housecleaning.
- Mail a package for siblings with books, snacks, toys etc.
- Not only will big brother or sister be excited to get a package, having something new will keep them occupied, hopefully for a few days.
- Check in on a regular basis to see how Mom, Dad and family are doing.
- Be mindful to listen well and not be judgemental or offer advice unless asked.
- Be available whenever Mom or Dad needs to vent by phone or video chat.
- Sometimes we just need someone to listen and acknowledge they heard us.
- Be available for a video call or phone call when Mom is nursing, or parents need a break/distraction for siblings.
- I once desperately needed a break so I called my husband on his lunch break at work. He was not in but his coworker who answered the phone was willing to sing the ABC song with my toddler for 10 minutes which gave me a much needed chance to step away and take a few deep breaths.
- Consider asking local friends in the area to join a meal train, or schedule a time to stop by and do a quick chore like starting laundry or loading the dishwasher.
- Offer to read a story over the phone or by video call to baby and/or siblings.
- This could become a regular thing that everyone looks forward to.
I hope these ideas help friends and family who aren't close by to be able to share in the joys and work of the postpartum period. I know how hard it is to be far away from loved ones and how nice it is to be able to do something to help. Being able to help will let you be more connected with the postpartum family and believe me, every bit of help is deeply appreciated. I will never forget Brett's kindness in singing with my toddler, or how excited my son got when packages from Grandma who lived accross the country arrived.
Let me know what ideas you have in the comments below and I'll be sure to add them to my list. Here's a printable version to share with friends and family.