Baby showers are just as necessary as they are a special rite of passage. New parents need to load up that nursery with everything from wipes to nose suckers and the other goodies in between. And people like to buy tiny things. It’s a fact. Tiny houses, tiny food, tiny clothes, all things tiny are adorable.
Unfortunately, these gatherings have a reputation as being kind of a drag. I mean all the awwing and the oohing over each and every item, the well-meaning but over shared advice “Sleep when the baby sleeps. Clean when the baby cleans,” and all the unnecessary TMI delivery horror stories, or worse THE ONE PUSH ALMOST DIDN’T MAKE IT TO THE HOSPITAL IT WAS THAT QUICK labor stories (you can tell what sets me off.) Is any of this really worth it?
But I believe when a baby shower is done right, she goes home with so much more than the perfect baby swaddler. It should go beyond setting her up for success in the nursery. It is setting her up for life. When all is said and done, the stuff is just stuff and do not make the mom a mom. What makes that mom a mom is celebrating her.
It is celebrating who she is as a person today, in this very moment, regardless of the tiny person growing inside. It actually doesn’t even need to be about motherhood at all. Celebrating that mom to be as a woman, the woman who we love. The woman who is strong and confident in herself. The woman with a sense of humor. The woman who seeks out the fun in life. The woman who is intelligent and thoughtful and caring and guiding. The woman who is a friend, a daughter, a sister, a coworker, a leader, a neighbor. We celebrate all these things in her today, because they will be far more important to unpack from her diaper bag tomorrow than any of those Nature’s Best Pacifier Wipes.
We celebrated a very special person in my life recently, my sweet friend Meredith, as she is expecting her first baby in May. We wanted all her favorite people, one of her favorite meals, BRUNCH!, festive bubbly because this IS a celebration after all, and plenty of cheery reminders around the room of her snappy and lively personality. We left Meredith not with words of advice but with words of affirmation. Pretty messages on flowers and notes and coffee mugs so when in the midst of the chaos she can look around her space and be reminded she is loved.
I have made it my goal when throwing baby showers for new moms to be, that I want that friend to leave knowing a room full of people love her for exactly who she is. A roomful of strong women think the world of her and have every confidence in her that she CAN DO HARD THINGS. I want her to know that we know her strengths and will be praying for her and her family through each and every milestone. We will be her cheerleaders, her confidants, her prayer warriors, her crying shoulders. And when we cannot physically be with her as we are that day in that room with smiles on our faces, we are still always there ready to remind her of who she is and why we love her.
Because a mom who loves and celebrates herself is the only necessity every baby requires for growing and thriving.
We celebrate you, Meredith, and the amazing woman that you are! Baby G is a lucky little one to call you Mom!