Guest Post by Blake Fields.
Pregnancy is an exciting and scary time for women. Gone are the carefree days of yore, and mothers-to-be are faced with a future that is irrevocably changed. It is common for friends or family to host baby showers for their expecting acquaintances, but for those who have never had children, it is easy to make mistakes while planning this event. Below are some common mistakes that can make the difference between a happy, fun baby shower, and one that could be memorable for the wrong reasons.
Don’t invite people who don’t know the mother-to-be.
This should be a fun, relaxing time for everyone involved, so why make it uncomfortable by having strangers there? It is likely that personal stories will be swapped, and this may be awkward for both the guest and the mother-to-be. Remember: it isn’t about quantity when planning a baby shower, but about quality. Save new faces for girls’ night out after the baby is born.
Don’t ignore the needs and requests of the mother-to-be.
Most new mothers register for the gifts they feel they will need. This is a painstaking process, and it is unlikely that the mother-to-be will not know what she wants. If you choose to buy a gift that is not on the registry, be careful. For instance, my best friend recently had a shower, and I knew for a fact that religion plays a prominent role in her life. Accordingly, I bought two Bibles—one for her and a smaller one for her daughter—and matching bible covers. Had I not known that this was an appropriate gift for her, I might have offended or annoyed her, but she appreciated my thoughtfulness. Always be sure before straying from the registry!
Forego games that emphasize the size of the mother’s stomach.
Many new mothers experience stretch marks, linea nigra, and all sorts of other pregnancy-related things that make them feel self-conscious. Why add insult to injury? Don’t increase their angst by wrapping them with toilet paper, trying to guess their belly’s circumference, or anything even closely related unless you are certain that they are comfortable with their appearance. There are all sorts of fun baby shower games to choose from, without committing this faux pas.
Tailor the shower around the mother, not you.
If the mother-to-be is a vegetarian or has an aversion to certain foods, be willing to alter your plans for the menu. Likewise, if she dislikes the color pink, refrain from using it, even if she is expecting twin girls. Despite the fact that you are planning the shower and footing the bill, remember that it is not for you. When my cousin threw my shower, she spent a lot of money on expensive food that I was unable to eat because I was allergic to eggs! Not only was I swathed in toilet paper and given useless gifts by people I barely knew, but I did so on an empty stomach. With a little thoughtfulness and foresight, you can make this a memorable experience for everyone involved!
Planning a baby shower is an intricate process that requires time and effort. If you are able to commit yourself to planning something that will be enjoyable, go for it! If, on the other hand, you are unable to do so, or are unwilling to take the feelings of the mother into consideration, it might be best to allow someone with a little more flexibility to do the planning. This way, you can attend the event and relax, rather than fretting about everything. Whatever your choice, never forget that baby showers come and go, whereas family, friends and babies are forever. Enjoy!
Special Thanks to My Guest Blogger!
Blake Fields is a mother of three beautiful girls ages 12, 5, and 2.