Flowers left on the front porch, a thoughtful note, warm dinner or a gift card for delivery, offers to care for the kiddos, a simple care package: reaching out to a friend in times of need goes farther and means more than we realize—until we’re on the receiving end.
When we get sick or receive hard news, Mama, life doesn’t stop. We might have to breastfeed between emergency trips to the toilet, take a child to their doctor visit while enduring a migraine, or even celebrate a kiddo’s birthday with anxiety looming overhead and a stomach bug. These times are rough to say these least, but it’s also in these times that we can really show up for each other.
Last year when I was pregnant, my husband and I got a horrible stomach bug the same weekend. On top of months of already tough pregnancy nausea, I was now dealing with a virus and needless to say, we were down and OUT. Trying to take care of our other two littles and just survive felt next to impossible. I’ll never forget my friend Megan coming over for a few hours to play with our girls (risking getting sick!) and bringing us warm chicken soup. That soup tasted like the absolute best thing I’d ever eaten. And being able to lay in bed for a couple hours: gold.
I’ve been both the recipient of and given small gestures of help in times of need like having a new baby, being sick, or receiving hard news. I’ll always cherish when my church sent us a gorgeous bouquet of flowers after my grandfather died last year or the book of prayers a dear family friend mailed to me when she knew I was going through a stressful time recently. Honestly, it’s more about being thought of and cared for than what is actually given. There’s something about the: “hey, I’m thinking of you in this hard time,” that provides a depth of comfort that can’t be measured.
Recently, my friend’s son had to have his appendix out. I was easily able to whip up a batch of our favorite chili and a salad to drop off at her house for dinner. It was honestly minimal effort on my part, but a big blessing to her. Even though it’s easy to order in food for yourself these days, there’s just something about a friend delivering a home cooked meal that feels special and deeply kind.
Mamas, if you’re having a hard time and someone offers to help: say yes! Say yes to groceries being picked up for you, a random errand being run, an offer for hot coffee dropped on your porch or a meal delivered. It can be hard to acknowledge our need but if no one knows we’re stuck, how can they offer to help? I’ve grown in this over the years and now have no shame letting friends know when something challenging is going on.
I want to be there for my friends so I assume they want to be there for me.
That’s the sweet side of a hard time, feeling cared for by people in your life. My heart is full just thinking about the gestures of love and generosity over the years and it motivates me to do the same. Whether it’s for a best friend or a friend you’ve only made recently, a friend in town or a friend out of state, even the smallest porch drop off item, quick text to check in or note of encouragement means the world for someone whose day, week, month, or year has been crummy.