As parents, we’ve all been there — those exhausting, sleepless first days after your baby is born. Your mind is mush. Getting out of your pajamas is a major accomplishment. Food is an afterthought. In between constant baby feedings, poopy diapers, and taking care of your other kids, cooking a meal is the last thing on your mind.
That’s why I think a good meal is one of the best gifts someone can give after a baby is born. No one wants to cook, let alone grocery shop after a new baby arrives. And what says you care more than a home-cooked meal? It’s love in a casserole dish. I’ll take it.
There’s now an organized way to help out friends who’ve just had babies. It’s called meal Train, a website that lets people set up calendars to coordinate meal deliveries for families who need it. You simply set up a personalized calendar and relatives and friends jump online and add what days they plan to bring something and what. A friend who just had her second baby was recently a meal Train beneficiary and she said it was a huge help. She and her family had meals — and leftovers — that held them over for a month after her son was born.
And meal Train certainly doesn’t just have to be for families with new babies. It can also be used for families facing a serious illness or someone who has been injured. I helped organize something similar when my Aunt was fighting cervical cancer. It was a great way for relatives and friends to help out during such a difficult time and I’m pretty sure my Aunt loved the company during food drop-offs as much as she liked the food.
If only someone could start something similar for laundry and cleaning your house after a baby arrives. I may be on to something.