Monday, July 26, 2010

Love the Little Bundle, Hate the Pre-Baby Shin-dig

Cross-posted and archived from DC Metro Moms.  Original post date January 14, 2008.  Thank goodness times are changing and some baby showers are no longer this way.  In fact, The Fifth Element's was a brunch with vodka and champagne.  Fabulous. 

I attended a baby shower this weekend in one of those spacious clubhouses that can only be found in a brand spankin' new community. My friend is about to have her first baby. So I, like many of her other friends, turned out to celebrate this new bundle of joy and welcome her to motherhood.

In theory this is a great idea. Beyond theory it is fabulous for only one person. OK, maybe two. The mother and the baby. The mom gets pampered and showered with attention and she gets the items she needs for little junior's arrival. There's cake too which I believe no event, even a trip to the grocery store, should be without. I love celebrating my friends journey through pregnancy, her impending birth and child's arrival. However, I just can't get beyond the fact that I just loathe baby showers. I dread them with the hatred of a thousand pastel colored burp cloths and a million ill-fitting breast pumps.

My husband seems to think that all women must love going to these events. He sees it like a vacation day for me. We women go without the kids if we have them and it is an afternoon spent with our friends. Pfftt... I say. Sure. Color me a pessimist but I find these events excruciating. Does he really think I enjoy watching someone open a bazillion items from Target, Babies R Us and Pottery Barn Kids for two hours? Items that have already been destroyed and are no longer worth fawning over. Items that you are sick to death of seeing in your own home? Does he even realize how nauseating it is to look at those diapers with Mr. Good-bar in them? Or is that a melted Twix bar? Tasty. Does he realize I do not enjoy eating chicken with rice bits just to score some body lotion or mini-soap. No, he thinks I love it. He thinks all women must love the chance to throw unwanted advice at a new mom. That we live to talk baby talk and discuss the birthin' of the babies. For me that could not be more wrong. His belief gets my baby shower dread ball rolling too.

Then the introvert in me comes out full-force during the event as well. I yearn for darkened corners to eat my cake and punch in peace. My nerves are forever jangling as I make baby small talk and give the sort of advice that warrants putting me in that dark corner anyway. Advice like, "Labor? Piece of cake! I feel smug saying this but Ha! Twelve pushes. Don't worry." I mean this to ease the nerves of the new mom but I end up riling up the rest of the mothers who gather around. Either that or I feel like I sound like I'm drunk and I end up back in the corner nibbling cheese or staring too long at the baby cake. I try to do my part, to be a good friend at these events but I always end up feeling like I come up short. That the fact that I would rather be swillin' a drink laced with vodka vs. daintily eating a tea sandwich is painfully obvious. It probably is. I have never been one to hide my emotions well.

I think what it boils down to is that every shower seems much like the other. The format remains consistent and stuffy. The colors and themes do not change. The elderly aunts and grandmothers are the only ones who truly enjoy these events. It gets harder and harder to ooh and aah over a crocheted whatever with each passing function. While this past weekends baby shower was incredibly easy and not mind-numbingly boring it did make me pause and think. Then vow. I vowed to myself that if I ever throw a baby shower myself it will not be some staid affair. There will be no storks, no pinks and blues. No punch with floating bits of sherbet will come near it. I simply cannot do it. I'll do my best to keep the mother in mind but gosh darn it,as God as my witness, there will be champagne (sparkling cider too of course), music, possibly some Wii or Karoke and NO GAMES. Unless of course those games involve cake.

I can easily say this will never happen. No one will ever ask me to throw them a baby shower simply because they know my hatred of them. That and I think they fear that I might just be sick enough to play 'pin the bootie on the belly' of the new mother just for laughs.


baby girl said...

I love baby shower, I've been only in two, but still if it a close friend of my it especially fun.

Reply January 14, 2008 at 11:51 AM Linda said...

I always think of that Sex and the City episode where Miranda wants chicken wings at her shower!! I've only been to a few babyshowers, even my own were odd since we were overseas. But my first one was "virtual." We lived in the Middle East. My friends sent all the gifts and we connected on IM and had a virtual baby shower with friends/family while I opened presents in my PJs. It rocked!!!

Reply January 14, 2008 at 01:24 PM merseydotes said...

I hate those hokey games and decorations. At my baby shower, I insisted on only games that could be plaid with a pencil and paper (ie, things you could write down) - no diapers, Baby Ruths, baby food, dolls, etc. It was great. I hosted a shower for a friend, and it was all about good food, white wine, chatting and presents. And great cake.

Reply January 14, 2008 at 01:56 PM Bittermom said...

I would love to attend a baby shower thrown by you.

I do also agree that cake should be served with everything. But only good cake. Please don't even think about going to Walmart for a cake.

Reply January 14, 2008 at 03:22 PM GirlFren said...

Ya know, I hate baby showers, too. I've thrown two and it caused me so much anguish I didn't sleep for days. Just knowing that I was hosting an event that would essentially be endured begrudgingly by everyone in attendance just sent me over the top. Too much to bear. And then, when I was preggers with my son, I had to sit through THREE different baby showers which just made me feel so very very guilty. Guilty for the people who had to come, guilty for all the stuff I was getting, guilty for wishing I could avoid all of it altogether. My wisdom? Showerees and Showerers must abide by these rules: 1) If you are the recipient of a shower, you must remember to be super, super thankful to everybody who comes, everybody who sends you some good wishes, and to the nice people who threw you the shower. Thank them multiple times. 2) If you attend or throw a shower, you must really try to send out good vibes to the guest of honor because that person is special and deserves some happies for their special event, and shouldn't have to feel bad about it. 3. No games.

Reply January 14, 2008 at 04:59 PM Caitlin said...

The worst baby showers I've been to are the ones that got rescheduled because someone thought it would be cute to schedule the original within two weeks of the due date. Usually everyone brings the gifts by the house, so by the time the rescheduled shower rolls around, you feel like you have to buy another gift, because you don't want to look cheap.

Reply January 14, 2008 at 10:12 PM Michele said...

Count me in with the old ladies because I love baby showers. With two caveats -

1 - I dont want it to be one of three or four showers for the new mom. I hate when you spend time, thought and good money on a goft just to have her say "Oh I got this at my work shower and my book club shower too!"


2 - I want good food. Champagne or wine is a bonus. If you are going to suck up most of my Saturday or Sunday, at least feed me well.

Reply January 16, 2008 at 01:26 PM LawyerMama said...

I banned games from my baby shower. It was co-ed and at 5pm. Everyone left work early for a little cocktail/happy hour shower with food and booze. It was great. I also told everyone to feel free to ignore me and talk while I opened gifts. If I could have gotten away with not opening them there, I would have! If it weren't for the cake and the large pack 'n play assembled in the room, you wouldn't have known it was a baby shower!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:39 PM

    If I ever have a baby, you can throw my shower! How I loathe the pastels! And the games! And the stupid small talk that results from the mish mash of people in the room. Do I want to design a felt imprint for a damn onesy? NO!! Otherwise my name would be Ralph Lauren! Now give me a martini and leave me alone.... -E


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