Long-time lurker here posting a thread for the first time. A very old friend of mine and her husband now have two children, the elder of whom is my god-daughter. The question is really what I can do to support my friend - her younger child is 5 months and just doesn't sleep. She's on maternity leave at the moment: her husband has a very demanding job, pulls his weight when he's at home but can't be at home nearly as much as he would like. God-daughter is 3.5 - a bit young for me to take out on long trips without either parent (especially as I don't have children of my own yet). I go round there when I can and always take lunch / go prepared to entertain god-daughter, but I live the other side of London so it's tricky to do that very often, especially as I work full-time (I used to go round fairly regularly after work, but friend is going to bed at 8 p.m. at the moment to try and sleep when the baby does, so that's not practical at the mo.)
I really want to help out, but what can I do? Very grateful for suggestions!
Send her a card with a personalised message telling her that you will always be her friend.
Give her a magazine subscription and tell her its for when she gets to grab a few minutes 'me times'
Send her regular short texts that she can answer when she has time.
Send her daughter a magazine or DVD or something like that in the post that your friend can use to keep her occupied for a while.
Think of some local days out that you and your friend and the children can all do together. Maybe a local farm or to a theatre show specifically for younger kids, or to the park. Suggest an idea and when you go, walk with and keep an eye on your god daughter while she tends to the little one.
Meet her for lunch and try to engage the kids in your conversation as well as having a chat with your friend.
But most of all - ask her what you can do, I'm sure of you tell her you want to help support her but are not sure how, she will be touched and I'm sure she will have the best ideas of all!
I'm very grateful for all these suggestions. I have asked her in the past what I can do for her but she always says she's fine - she finds it hard to ask for help, so I wanted to be able to suggest specific ideas. (Her husband finds this as well - it's not just me.) Going round there overnight to give her a bit of a break when her husband's away sounds a really good idea.