One of the most appreciated gesture when a Mama has just birthed, whether it be baby number 1 or 6, is the meal roster: dinners being made and delivered by a group of friends to the woman who has just given birth. Having the burden of dinner removed can be an enormous help for the newly birthed Mama.
Here’s our top tips of things to consider and how to organise:
- About a month before baby is due to arrive, check with the mother-to-be if she has any food intolerances (or if breastfeeding, whether she will be avoiding any particular foods such as onion, garlic and spicy foods etc)
- Put together a calendar, email it out and ask each friend/person to claim and cover one night for dinner. She will make the dinner just before tea time and deliver it. Depending on whether it’s okay to visit, either drop at the door (sending the new Mama a text to say that it is there) or drop in for a super quick visit (depending on how things are maybe you could serve it up into bowls/plates, so all she has to do is sit down with her family and eat)
- Send the roster to the new parents-to-be and to all the rostered-on parents. That way everyone knows who is delivering and when.
- Offer to return the serving dishes etc of the woman who brought dinner the previous night so new Mama doesn’t have to worry about it.
- If you do stay for a visit, consider doing something useful
- If, after she has had her baby, you realise there is no meal roster being organised by anyone, as a last minute/emergency measure, you can rally some friends together and organise a big MamaBake session to big batch bake some meals for her and her family and yourselves too (while you’re there) – if you do it this way ensure that the meals can be frozen.
Have you been on the receiving end of a meal roster? Have you organised one for your friends? What’s your experience?
I have had meals organised for me, it was lovely… but then got too random- I think the key is to communicate well, so that you aren’t dropping off dinner at the same time as the pizza delivery guy is arriving!
Offering to return serving dishes etc is a great idea. One friend of mine “borrowed” my lasagne dish and returned it full… another friend was careful to deliver everything in disposable containers… but there was one dish that I had hanging around in my kitchen unclaimed for a long time!
We have had a lot of success with takethemameal.com. It pretty much does what the emailed calendar does but all neatly online where everyone can access and edit it. It even sends reminder emails to the person rostered on.
Last year I was part of a small group of women who met together primarily to read the bible but with half the group having babies during the year we did a lot of cooking too.