Alright, hear me out here.
First baby comes and everybody and their sister is head over heels, ready to meet the tiny new addition, excited to help you get everything ready, full of promise and anticipation.
Oh man, the tiny baby outfits, all the soothers and bottles, maybe some nursery decor and even a breast pump are on their way as everyone showers you with gifts, attention and kindness. It is great! What a blessing, and something that most moms look forward to.
Sometimes, mothers are blessed to have more than one shower, a second baby, a different gender, maybe there is an opportunity for a gender reveal. So many ways to gift new parents or new again parents with all the things that they need to succeed and SURVIVE the baby stage with their new growing family.
Stink, there are even Daddy Diaper Parties, all the men (and women) come together for a poker night, or *if you are like my husband* a game night, and guests bring a box or two of diapers – GENIUS! Fill the closets with DIAPERS, it’s not like you won’t need them (so many diapers).
And then you have five babies and the mood changes, sure … people are still excited, but all the parties seem to stop.
** this was not the case for our family, I will just put that out there, because this was our only little princess and because I have amazing friends, we were surprised with a baby shower over which I cried for days, I am very thankful for my ladies **
I get it! I mean, after five littles there is not a TUN that you need to pick up to make room for baby but WHAT if we did something a little different?
What if we started making postpartum pot-lucks a thing?
A gathering to welcome the new baby and shower the mom-again with frozen meals.
“Fill their Freezer”
I’m serious yo!
When a family with littles, with a previously established routine, with everything put together, welcomes a new member … things can get crazy. Routines change, siblings get jealous, and sleep is illusive. It means that everything that is normally running smoothly around the house … well, it runs less smoothly.
^^ not JUST dinners, let’s be honest. We just welcomed our fifth baby, our little princess and every meal seems to be a grab and go option. Yogurt, crackers, sliced veggies, and cheese sticks >> covers all the bases and is effective for AT LEAST breakfast and lunch.
So here’s what I’m proposing.
All babies should be greeted with a postpartum pot-luck.
A gathering of friends and families where everyone is encouraged to bring a meal, maybe frozen muffins, even fresh fruit, to help shower the family with all the things they need to stay nourished when all else seems to be going insane.
Pasta dishes freeze and reheat really well. They are easy to prepare, inexpensive, and most children love them *which is a bonus when you are helping to feed a family*
Rice and bean meals are a solid option, filling and nutritious, they add a little spice and (again) are relatively inexpensive and easy.
Cookies (these can also be frozen if you are the type who likes to bake big batches)
Crackers and cheese
There really is no shortage of things that you can make to help bless a family when they welcome a new baby, anything that freezes well or could last a day or two in the fridge would be welcomed.
Use disposable storage trays or dishes that you do not expect to have returned soon (or ever). A new mom, even a new again mom, will most likely forget where she (or her husband) put the tray after it was washed and it may be a month … a year even … before you see that casserole dish again. The best take out containers are the ones with the flat tops, ones that are stackable and can be tossed from freezer to oven without concern.
Portion the meals in two containers even if it is meant for the whole family. This allows the new (or new again) mom to cook to her family’s tastes. Somedays mom wants a nice home cooked meal and all she can think about is your tuna casserole, but then she KNOWS she already promised the kids frozen pizza … if she has smaller portions to reheat BONUS. Both kids and momma are happy AND she has a lunch or dinner for her and daddy another day.
ASK ABOUT ALLERGIES AND AVERSIONS. I mean, obviously no one wants to send a peanut laden loaf into a home with a child or adult who has a severe allergy so it’s best to ask. In another day and time I would recommend just making something that avoided peanuts but, today, everyone is allergic to everything, the only known safe food you could possibly send would be a bowl of ice … so ask first.
Toss in a treat if you can. If you don’t mind baking a tray of muffins or a quick banana bread (girl, I know you have about 32 ripe and frozen bananas in that freezer). Having breakfasts ready on the fly, or a quick snack when you’re feeling peckish during that 2 am feeding is a God-send.
Anyway, the thing that I am trying to get across is that moms can use meals. Moms can use a hand in the kitchen … so coming to meet the baby with a meal for the family (one that you do not also intend on consuming) is a blessing time and time again. It not only helps to keep the young … or older … family on track, it helps with maintaining a feeling of “normal” when everything else seems to have changed.
So do it, for the first time moms, for the seasoned vets, throw that pretty lady a postpartum pot-luck and fill her freezer with home cooked loving, reminding her each time she reheats that meal that she is loved by her village and that everything will be alright.