So most of us when we bring a baby home feel like we have our hands pretty full just with baby feeding the baby, changing the baby, etc. so the last thing we want to think about is feeding ourselves or our families. When we moved to Nashville and had our second child Tia one of the ladies at the church organized wonderful meals for us. So about 3 times a week someone from church would drop off dinner and we would get to rest and enjoy.
As a new Mom often you have people who are close to you who ask if there is anything they can do to help as the baby approaches, this is one of those things. If you know your friend to be organized ask them if they would mind helping to organize for meals to be brought for the first 6-8 weeks after the baby arrives.
When I am organizing meals for others I use a website called www.TakeThemaMeal.com. This website is remarkably easy to use and it allows for those people who do want to be involved to sign up and then Takethemameal.com sends them reminders and updates for you. So for the most part the work is at the front end for the organizer. Typically I will send the Mom-to-be and email that looks like this so I can get all the information I need:
Hi ________, I would love to organize for you to have food provided for you and your family for the first month or two after the birth of your child.In order for this to be effective and a blessings I am wondering if you would mind giving me some information to help in organizing these meals? Do you have the email addresses of family and friends that might be interested in providing a meal? These might be cell/small group people, church people, friends, family, work associates or anyone else you can think of. Can you tell me if you or your family have any food allergies, preferences or favorite things to eat. Are you expecting family to come and stay for any extended period of time after the baby arrives and do you know the dates? This information just allows for those bringing the meals to plan for any extra adults that might be there for the meal. Can you put together a short list of 3-5 restaurants where people can do pick up orders for those that are less confident cooking or have less time but would still like to bless you with meals. Typical restaurants that people use are either ones close to their house or chains like Chipotle, Five guys, Burger Up, Blue Coast, Wendy’s etc. Typically after the first week or two depending on the amount of people able to participate I plan for meals to come every other day as there tend to be lots of left overs and people typically don’t have room for all the food. Lastly, Can you give me your address for the meals to be dropped off at and any gate or door codes that might be needed. I also need a drop of window of time that you would prefer to receive the meals to ensure they are there by the time your family prefers to eat as much as possible. If you have any questions or thoughts please go ahead and shoot me an email.We are so excited to bless you during this time. Blessings, _________
Then when I have the email addresses back I start to plan. For the first baby I usually ask for people to start signing up for dates on or up to a week after the due date with the provision that if they have not heard that the baby has arrived then they let their arranged meal date pass and go on-line and pick a new one or two.
Your email out to those who are being asked to participate will need to include the address of the mom-to-be and a drop off window. Some people like to eat earlier then others so it's good to have that information from the start. You will also want to neatly communicate the food restriction and preferences info and to go order info that you got from the mom. Point form stuff that is simple and easy to read is usually better as far as not overwhelming those people you are asking to sign up. Through the website you can send reminder emails to those who don't seem to have resounded or if you have their cell numbers shoot them a text and ask them to check their junk mail for an email regarding an opportunity to bless _______.
The first 6-8 weeks are the hardest interns of recovery, sleep and figuring things out which is part of why this is such a HUGE blessing.