365 Days of Fun and Chillaxation – Blog#76 – Operation Food-Roster Post-Birth – One Perk of Having Two Weeks Worth of Friends
There’s a new baby in the hood and my whole community are rippling with excitement about it. Mostly, I found out about this on Facebook. Which is quite funny. We actually do talk to each other as well. But today I got to organise a food roster for the love-bubbled family (who are my friends – Lolly and Simon Dadley Moore), and it was kind of fun. Food rosters post-pregnancy are pretty standard here in Golden Bay.
So, what do I mean by a food roster? Well in my case, I’m working on organising two weeks of gluten-free, dairy-free meals to be delivered, hot and ready to go, at five pm, to the family. Sounds cool huh? The benefits of this plan are that one at a time, curious and excited friends get to meet the new baby and congratulate the proud parents and family one-on-one, in a nice gentle fashion. Also, it gives people a clear idea of how they can help and be involved in the process; and it keeps the family (or in some cases Mama) feeling in touch with their/her community during those early days of total focus on the new bubba.
If you don’t actually know two weeks worth of people, I suggest anti-natel classes and any other pre-birth class as a way to meet and form support groups for each other. The cool thing is, you’re helping each other. It’s a totally mutually supportive plan. Oh, and you’ll hopefully get delivered some amazing food.
How to organise a food roster when one of your friends has had a baby and you need a task to vent your excited energy into:
1. Talk to pregnant Mother and (often equally pregnant) Father and ask for a list of at least two weeks worth of friends – that’s if they make one meal each - plus their phone numbers. While you’re at it, get clear about roughly how much time they’d like to themselves before Operation Food Roster kicks into action. Arrange for the family to call you – the Liaison Officer – when they’re ready for their food delivery to begin.
2. When you get the call and Operation Food Roster kicks into plan it’s time to breath deep and sit down with a pen and paper. Prepare youself with a drink and a snack, prepare to focus! Draw yourself a little table (or, if you’re really organised, do it on the computer) with one column marked for the days you’re organising (Monday, Tuesday etc), one for the name of the person, and one for extra details. Grab that list of phone numbers, and dive right in. Just start anywhere. The couple may request that a few closer friends be the first to visit, and they may have extra messages to share with people via your new hot-line. They may also want to use you as their temporary Liaison Officer – which means they can remain in their Love Bubble, whilst also maintaining one link with the outside world.
3. Take a few hours to get as many meals rostered as you can. If you haven’t pre-warned people that you’re going to call on them, they’re generally quite excited to be approached as they become part of something really exciting.
4. Once you’ve got the first stage of your plan – perhaps the first week organised – inform the couple. You might email them the plan, or pop it round so they can cello-tape it on their fridge. Don’t push yourself too hard mind, do it in bursts. Keep taking breaks. Avoid straining something – er … your brain for example.
5. Once you’ve got that first week organised, you’ve created time to breathe. Over the next few days, complete the master list and pass on the details. Beautiful! An excercise in strengthening community! What could be better that that?
* Ensure that all people label their food dishes – I’ve still got at least one dish from one of the lovely people who delivered a meal to us three years ago;
* Be really clear about your food requirements – are you allergic to or intolerant of anything? Is there anything you just plain dislike? Is there a style of food your prefer?
* Use the roster as a way to get the message out to people about you and your family’s immediate needs – for example – today I was also able to let people know that the family wanted some time to themselves to peace-out in their love-bubble alone, until early next week; I also let people know that the chicken pox are going round and to keep any young ones who may be brewing it away until the coast is clear;
* It doesn’t have to be for two weeks, it can be longer or shorter;
* People may want to pre-arrange the exact meals they’re going to deliver – so you could add another column to your table.
So there you have it, my take on a food roster. Got any tips to add or suggestions that might make the process even easier? Leave a comment below my darlings!
Today’s rating: 9/10
365 Days of Fun and Chillaxation (as I raise my gorgeous son and grow my good news website to a subscription base of 100,000 people). The Low Down on this Blog.
Check out yesterday’s blog.