We are out there among you. We are just like you, trying the best we can to be the best we can for our kids. The only difference is that we have lots (four or more) of kids so we sometimes disappear unintentionally into the background. We are the moms who seem to always be pregnant, nursing, or tending to young children. We have not yet found that beautiful space where all of our kids can entertain themselves and play nicely, go to school all day, or are potty-trained and sleeping through the night. Even though it has been many years since the first baby, many of us are still suffering sleepless nights!
So what do you do when your mom friend with lots of kids is having yet another baby? You want to support her but have no idea how. She appears to have it all together and figured out. Based on my personal experience, here are seven wonderful ways to let her know you still cherish your friendship and connection even if she is still in that place in life that you left ages ago.
1. Text her.
Let her know she’s on your mind. Something as simple as, “I’m thinking of you. How are you feeling?” goes a long way. If she doesn’t respond, don’t hold it against her. She’s trying but she may have morning sickness or is sneaking a nap before pickup and after-school activities. She saw your message, and it made her smile. If she does text back, respond. She is happy to have you chatting with her. Keep the conversation going if you can. It’s making her day!
2. Make extras for dinner and drop it off to her.
Don’t ask if she needs anything. She doesn’t know what she needs past the hour in front of her. She definitely can figure out how to get it all done, but that doesn’t mean it’s planned out, smooth, and easy. If you drop off a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) she will breathe easier that day.
3. Offer to host a playdate at her house.
She wants to hang out, but taking all the kids out of the house pregnant is no easy feat. Preparing snacks and activities for a playdate is most likely not something she wants to do, but she wants to see you and have the kids play. No offense is likely to be taken if presented as a way to show you’re looking out for her!
4. Sprinkle her.
As she gets closer to the end, she may be feeling lonely. She’s too tired and uncomfortable to go out. She likely didn’t have a baby shower or celebration of yet another pregnancy. She is in a holding pattern while everyone else is moving forward. She’s likely OK with this but is possibly a bit lonely and craving a bit of the first-pregnancy attention that disappeared by the third pregnancy. So drop her a bottle of wine (for post-baby), some chocolate, a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure, or some pretty scented lotions and candles. She will feel the love.
5. Sprinkle the baby.
She probably doesn’t need a baby shower, but it is very likely that she is preparing for baby like it is her first but with actual knowledge of what she needs. Baby gear and clothing do not last through four kids, especially when there are more of one gender than the other. Swings last a baby and a half. Clothing may make it through three but gets gross by the fourth. Ask her what she is planning to restock and surprise her with something. Or just get a cute baby outfit and lovey to show her that you know she is sick of looking at all the same old baby clothing.
6. Invite her out.
She probably wants to come out. Don’t assume she will say no, even if that is all she has said since she became pregnant. Still include her. Even if she bails last minute, don’t let up. She doesn’t want you to forget her or move on, leaving her behind. She might say yes (but probably won’t). Still invite her. She will feel like she still has a social life waiting for her on the other side, and that matters.
7. Don’t hold it against her when she always declines your invitations.
It likely has nothing to do with you. Know that you are doing exactly what she needs you to do, even if she forgets to acknowledge it. Her brain is mush, her body is exhausted, her kids are going bonkers, and she is ready for baby. If you want to make sure she hasn’t moved past you, just ask her and I bet you get, “I’m so sorry, I’ve just been a scattered disaster the last couple of weeks but I’m so glad you’re reaching out. Please don’t stop!”
We love being moms of lots of kids. We want a big family and the crazy fun chaos that comes with it. We recognize that we may get lost from view, and it’s OK. But if you want to keep us around, we likely want to stay, so reach out. We are still here!