Monday, July 11, 2011

Blessingway or Baby Shower? It doesn't always have to be about the gifts.

The decision to have a baby shower can be difficult, especially if you've already had a baby and a shower before.  Sometimes friends and family care enough to ask if you'd like one and sometimes they don't care, they're throwing you a party whether you like it or not.  True, telling someone you do want a shower can be awkward and you might feel funny creating a registry, but rest assured, these women are most likely living vicariously through you and want nothing more than a great excuse to go out and shop for cute baby items.

But what if you have most of what you need?  This is where your best friend, sister, mother, or in-laws come in.  They should make it their priority to make sure guests know what you need or do not need.  Registries can make you a little uneasy but they do work.  Send a message by registering for just a few things you need.  If they're big ticket items then guests might get the picture and buy you a giftcard or give you cash.

Registering for cloth diapers?  Many online retailers have gift registries and you could either print out a small tag or write in the card that you've decided to use cloth.  At the very least this would let friends and family know that you do NOT want disposable diapers.

Don't want a shower at all? Traditional showers can seem like they're all about gifts and silly games, but truth is, I think each baby deserves a party to honor their mother and their upcoming arrival.

Consider a Blessingway!  A Blessingway is similar to a shower but focuses more around honoring the mother-to-be and lending her support and encouragement, and truly celebrating the upcoming birth.  Ideas might include...
  • Making a nursing or labor necklace for her to wear.  Each guest could bring select beads or stones and then at the Blessingway you could make the necklace together as a group.
  • Have a special journal made and allow guests to write words of encouragement, advice or their favorite quotes for the expecting mother to read.
  • Sew a baby book or blanket.  At a recent Blessingway that I attended we each made a quilt square for the baby and then one local friend of mine took on sewing them all into a nice soft book safe for little one to play with.  We also all signed the inside of the fabric cover.
  • Have a massage therapist there to give the mother-to-be a massage, foot rub or pedicure.
  • Consider asking each guest to make a food item, craft, drawing or other unique gift.
It's important that each mom-to-be is honored and that her wishes are upheld.  Don't feel forced into the baby shower option if you really don't want one or feel it's not your style.  Tell friends and family about the idea of a Blessingway, ideally you wouldn't have to tell

What are your thoughts?  Do you feel a party or shower is appropriate for each birth or just the first?  What are your tips?


Karen said...

I'm Catholic, so each individual child is usually celebrated at baptism, shortly after birth.

But on the topic of showers, if someone wants to really throw a friend/relative a shower when they probably already have everything, I've heard a great suggestion: a freezer meal shower! Everyone brings a frozen homemade meal for the family to have, and include "x" copies of the recipe for all the guests to take home. Then mom will have meals for the first little while, or if someone is bringing over hot meals, she can save the frozen meals for when baby is having a rough day, and toddler is screaming that he's starving, and mom just doesn't feel like cooking. This could also be expanded to include other helpful things, such as one day of cleaning, babysitting for baby's siblings, etc.

Jill said...

Showers for subsequent kids just seem fairly 'wrong' unless you've got a new spouse and it's their family, or it's been 10 years and all your stuff is gone, etc.

Genevieve White said...

I thought it was weird when my SIL had a shower for her second baby, but I guess it is more common than I thought. It will probably be a gap of 3-4 years between my first and second so we will have gotten rid of most of the big items and possibly clothes, etc. In that case it makes sense - or if you know the sex of the baby both times and they are different. We opted not to find out!

De in D.C. said...

I wish I had been offered a shower for my second child. There was a 9yr age gap, and we had long since gifted or sold all our first son's items (all our friends knew this - the joke was we got pregnant because we got rid of everything!). I enjoyed being pregnant much more the second time, and would have liked to celebrate the expansion of our family.

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