Recently, there has been discussion about celebrating ‘Birth Days’ or the day that you gave birth to your child. Michelle has stirred up and circulated some wonderful ideas for helping Moms receive credit on these special days. I agree, Moms are an important part of birthdays, and do deserve recognition.
Similarly, why is it customary to throw a baby shower only for your first child? You endure the same forty or so weeks of pregnancy for all of your children, and one could argue, that second, third, and fourth pregnancies are actually harder than your first, because you are chasing around one, two or three other little ones. We should be celebrating every birth, showering mothers and pampering them for the birth of each child. Unless you are Michelle Duggar, how many times are you going to be pregnant? Not that many.
If you are a younger or middle child, you know what it is like to get hand-me-downs until you are a teenager. Over the past year I have attended baby showers for both second and fourth babies. Never once did I think, “oh, this lady is GREEDY” or “do I really have to do something for her AGAIN?” I was honored to pamper the expectant mom and to do something special for her ‘not first born’ child.
At this point I would like to disclose to all readers, that I am in fact five and a half months pregnant with my third child, and in no way does this bias the contents of this post.
My sister-in-law, Em, is thirty-nine weeks pregnant with her first child. A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to host a baby shower in her honor. I discovered a few helpful bits of advice that I would like to share with any other working mom(s) who are in the process of planning or attending a baby shower or thinking about throwing a baby shower:
Do NOT host it at your home: If you have children and you are a working mom, the burden of opening up your home to a gaggle of other moms is significant. Save yourself the hassle, stress and worry and have it catered at an off-site location. I have also found that in the long run this will save you money. I have thrown several large events at my home and have ended up paying more than if I would have treated everyone to brunch at a restaurant. Do yourself a favor, find another venue!
Delegate! If someone offers to help you, take them up on it. Establish a plan for the event and delegate accordingly. For Em’s shower one friend offered to do favors, one friend did decorations, and another helped me organize the guestbook. If you are a guest attending a shower, contact the host when you RSVP and offer to help, it makes a big difference.
Choose a Theme: Themes help to make any event seem more polished. Be careful, taking a theme too far can become tacky. You have to find the right balance. Without a theme, scheme, or sense of organization, showers can seem hodge – podge or too thrown together. For this particular shower the theme was a ‘gender neutral, organic, ladies who brunch’ type of event. The color scheme was yellow and green, the favors were organic potted flowers, the decorations were organic yellow and green flowers (with a splash of purple tossed in), and the guestbook included recycled materials and a Polaroid of every guest, with a space for each guest to write a note to the expecting Mama and new baby.
Treat your guests well: It is a lot for working Moms to arrange their schedules to attend events like baby showers. There is something that is not getting done at home while they are attending the event; keep this in mind. Pamper your guests. I have found that it is the small details that make guests feel welcome. Make sure everyone is introduced to everyone else. Serve delicious and comforting food, and have a couple of options available in case someone does not like beef, seafood, French toast…etc. Prepare favors for guests to take home. All of these accommodations can be done on a budget. There are so many wonderful and cheap ideas on Etsy that guests will appreciate. At Em’s shower guests were given a potted plan and a decorated cupcake to take home in a to-go container. Guests were treated to a starter cocktail, brunch, and choice of dessert. Keep the event short and sweet. We were in and out in about two hours.
It’s all about the Mama and Baby: Your guest of honor is the reason that everyone is coming. Make sure that you have chosen things that your guest of honor likes and will appreciate. It is her special day, and every decision should be made with her in mind. Also, keep this in mind when you are a guest attending a shower. Select a gift that you think will be helpful to the guest of honor. Sometimes I get caught up in selecting something that I want, but really, it needs to be something the new Mama will appreciate, enjoy and use. It is the expectant mom’s special day, and the most important thing is to make certain that she is happy! (But don’t forget to enjoy the day yourself; you did put in a lot of work to make it happen.)
Doesn’t this look like it was a fun day? Don’t you think every Mom deserves something special for every baby that she has? I’m not suggesting that it has to be a bank-busting, present wielding, over-the-top affair…but in my opinion EVERY Mama and EVERY baby deserves a little something special. Spread the baby shower love!
As a side note, I have convinced our very own blogger, Patty, to let me throw her a baby shower for her new addition, Baby Boy Girard, coming September 2012. I will make sure to do a follow-up post to share the experience.