S is for Support.

Support Is Comforting

Nothing Feels Better Than Support

One of the best things we can do for another person is to support them in their choices.

True support involves active listening, considering all of the options, remaining fair and impartial, and not trying to coax someone into making a choice because it is the choice that we would personally make.

You Are A Trusted Confidant

The thing that a family most wants when they are pregnant, in labor, or learning about their need baby is support. They want to hear your stories and experiences. Your friend trusts you to give them feedback and advice. They trust that you aren’t going to tell them terrifying stories. And they trust that you are going to make them feel better, alleviate their fears, and assure them that their experiences are normal and valid.

Different People Need Different Types of Support

Every single person on this planet is unique. Each person believes in a different way of doing things. Everyone gets to make a choice that is right for them in the moment.  Can you remember a time when someone was pressuring you to make a choice, but they weren’t actively listening to all of the elements of the decision because they were too hung up on their own experience or emotions? Being able to actively listen is a huge asset.

Honest Support Is Real. It Does Not Create Fear Or Unrealistic Expectations

When your best friend is expecting her first baby and is sitting with you at brunch and asking you questions, you are in a place of extreme honor. You are her confidant. You are the one who gets to hear about how she’s pretty sure she peed herself last night. If you are the friend that can assure your friend with both the beautiful and ugly side of pregnancy, birth, and parenting, you are one of the most beautiful people ever. If you can tell her how it felt to have your vag stitched back together but that it really was worth it to see your baby for the first time, you are a true friend.

Be A Cheerleader

New parents don’t need other people to question their choices. They don’t need to be overwhelmed with the “wrong” way to do literally everything. They need one (or more) people to be cheering encouragingly from the sidelines.  And sometimes that looks like this:

YOU ARE NORMAL.

PARENTHOOD LOOKS GOOD ON YOU.

I’M SO PROUD OF YOU.

YOU AREN’T GOING TO FAIL.

YOU’RE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY, AND THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS.

LET ME FEED YOU.

LET ME WASH YOUR DISHES.

I’LL SIT WITH YOUR BABY WHILE YOU SHOWER AND NAP.

YOUR FEELINGS ARE VALID.

YOUR BABY, YOUR RULES.