The Catholic school here is known for the excellent hot lunch and the fish frys on Fridays during Lent are well known and they make deliveries. So there are two things in place: food safety and the ability to coordinate delivery. Would meals (same as the school hot lunch) being delivered be something appreciated?
Highly depends on the cost.
Our parish dinners are $10 per person. I can’t afford it at all.
But it’s not a bad idea. A post partum mom would probably really enjoy an easy delivery of meals for the littles that they will actualy like/eat.
A meal I didn’t have to cook, post-baby, would be lovely. Nothing fancy! I mean, I remember one person brought some deli meat and made sandwiches for us one time, and I LOVED them: tasty, filling, could eat with one hand…
Ditto some adult companionship and conversation. And if you brought coffee…well, that would be Just Plain Awesome.
Someone who’d play with the older kids for an hour or two while I napped with baby.
One of the nicest things someone did for me after one baby was just to ask, “hey, is there anything I can pick you up at Walmart?” a few days after I got home. Saving a sore, exhausted new mom a much-needed trip for a necessary item or two was so wonderful!
Honestly, even just someone at church saying “congratulations” with a nice card would be lovely.
I’ll be honest, I have a dual motive there. As a post-college single woman, I also often feel like I’m lacking adult companionship, because the women around me are largely focused on their children and families. I’d be more than happy to bring a big pot of soup over and share tea or coffee with a new mother - it gets me out of the house and talking to someone face-to-face too!
Heh. Of my small circle of close college friends, I’m the only one who has kids. Every year, they drive down for a “girls’ weekend” to which we all look forward to immensely. They see and like the kids, of course, and vice versa, but what they (and, I suspect, I even more so) look forward to is that it’s really an adult weekend: we have lots of coffee and tea and go out to a museum and catch a show and go to a favorite sushi restaurant for some fantastic sushi and talk about everything from books to philosophy to politics to feminism to history, and rarely a peep about kids except as they might pertain as a subject to us or how we’re doing. (They were a wonderful support when I had PPD, in no small part because they had a better frame of reference for “normal, pre-kid UbiCaritas” than my mommy friends, most of whom only met me post-kids.) We have widely divergent viewpoints on matters religious and political, but we all love and respect each other, and we’ve all learned a lot about one another’s beliefs by having some really fascinating discussions.
It’s incredibly freeing. I start counting down months in advance because as much as I adore my kids, I’m still someone other than mommy, these women remember me before I was mommy, and we can talk about things other than diapers and feedings and whatnot.
Meals would be a good start. When I was Protestant, there was a well-developed “meal train” in our church for families who’d just had a baby, who had someone seriously ill, etc. I’ve been surprised by how little the Catholic parishes that I’ve been members of have in this regard.
I do agree with the above commenter who said nursery during Mass really isn’t a great idea. Our parish tried to start a nursery recently, but pretty much no one signed up and the idea fizzled out. That suits me just fine. I just got my toddler to (mostly) behave at Mass… If he starts learning that he can play all the time if he goes to nursery, all that hard work on behavior will be all gone! And even though he’s just turned 3, he does pay attention sometimes. At home he carries around a broom pretending that it’s a cross, he pretends to do a Gospel reading, etc. So observing the Mass is making an impact on his little mind and heart – I don’t want a nursery to send the impression that he isn’t welcome in Mass yet. Now, someone to help me wrangle kiddos in the pews or at communion time? Sure thing.
Another thing is, make your cry room comfortable for new mothers. The best cry room I ever saw was at a parish I visited near OKC. It was darkened, had a few rocking chairs, and a few different pillows mothers could borrow if they needed to nurse a baby during Mass. End result – babies who had to go to the cry room calmed down quicker, and the cry room wasn’t a loud, crazy place. It also sent a message to new parents, I think, that this room was to help them and that they and their kids really do belong in Mass. It was a room to calm down in, not a room to sit and play in.
Having someone pick up some groceries for us would have been really great after my husband went back to work. The first two weeks weren’t too bad, even though I could barely move, because he was there to do laundry and pick things up from the store. After he went back though, that was hard. If I could have handed someone a list and some money, that would have been really helpful.
I’d say meals too, but our son has some bad food allergies and as a result there are certain foods we cannot allow in our home, so we don’t eat things prepared by other people anymore. But I imagine that would be a huge help to people without those concerns.
I’d be happy if they’d put a changing table in the bathroom. Even better yet! Put one in the men’s room!
Its funny. We know a priest who is undertaking the responsibility of building a new church because 4 or 5 are closing. He’s not near us and we go to see him every now and then.
He demanded that the restroom had a changing table because he was really embarrassed when we traveled and we needed to change our baby and had no place to do so. I told him that he should make sure that the men’s one had one, too.
Apparently, they are going to do 3-4 “family style” restrooms and they will ALL have changing tables. GO FATHER!!!
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