But please, send me ideas or websites. I really should have sent the invites already but I want to do something that won't scare the little old aunts, but will still feel meaningful.
What was the nicest shower you ever went to? what do you wish your shower/blessingway had been like? What was your fav part?
I think now that a mother's blessing would have been a nice thing, but 20 years ago, that was not heard of.
In retrospect, if I was to have a mother's blessing to celebrate becoming a first-time mom, these are some things I would like - all guests to bring a collection of special, beautiful and unique beads, with all of the supplies so that I could create unique jewelry. Someone artistic on hand with henna tattoo supplies who could create a special tummy tattoo. Gifts of aromatherapy, different teas, mama made diapers and slings. Music playing. Candles lit. Diffusers with essential oils. And each guest to give a special gift of a recitation of a special story, poem, quote, etc.
Those are my thoughts on it anyway.
This is a little different because the MIL asked me to host it for a whole heap a lot of folks who are not familar with Mother Blessings.
Here's what I decided: I got a nice scrapbook, and I am going to place a pic of the expectant mom with her lovely belly on the first page, and write 'I Wish For You' at the top of the first page and let folks take it from there.
I decided on baby roses with babies breath for favors. I am going to wrap them in ribbons and my girls will hand them out as folks leave. I am also thinking about giving out packets of sunflower seeds as well.
I'll say a little blessing for the mother & babe & dad when it's time for the buffet. I am going to serve sparkling water, lemonade & iced tea, large green salad, finger sandwiches, and fresh cut fruit. I'll also do a white cake with white icing and coconut flakes on top. I am going to decorate the dinning room with little stuffies from my children and hang their artwork around, to make it look child-like and hopeful.
I am praying this feels personal for the mother and babe, and not too scary-different for the elderly great aunts.
Canadian mama to A (C/S May 2004) and R (induced VBAC Dec 2007) expecting #3 in July. Currently obsessing over permaculture, photography and beekeeping.
They all independantly chose neat gifts for the baby (one sister did all bath-related stuff, one did clothing, one did feeding (bibs and beginner spoons, etc. since I bf) and the other did toys. My mother did heirloom items--a afgan crocheted by her, a quilt, a special "first portrait" outfit all made by her. All the gifts were separately wrapped.
They each also enclosed a beautiful, unique picture frame, with a picture of themselves in it.
They sent everything to my older sis, who boxed it up. Then she enclosed some beautiful votives, other cute homemade favors, and then some traditional shower decorations--rolls of streamers, pkg of balloons, disp. camera, and disp plates, forks and cups with baby themed pictures.
She then bought a giftcard to a large-chain grocery store so that I could go purchase a cake and other refreshments to serve at the "shower". Sent it all to me in a huge box with written instructions--to decorate for the "party" before opening the gifts, to take pictures (I made dh videotape it), etc.
The neat, special part to me was I was supposed to set their framed pictures up around the room so they could "be there" with me. And that I was to keep those pictures near me as support and love during labor/birth. Then, once my son was born, they asked me to keep their pictures and return the frames to them with pictures of my son in them.
It was really neat and thoughtful. Not alternative or "crunchy" at all, but there was so much love in that box, and it meant a lot to me. The women in my family have always been close (sometimes too close--we are all drama queens, lol!) and I was the first of us sisters to become pregnant, and I was really missing them since we all lived so far apart!
DS (2/02), DD (3/04), DS (1/06), DD (12/07), and DS (3/10)
~~*~~Not your typical Pastor's Wife!~~*~~
Top picks would be:
The Year after Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
The Baby Book by William and Martha Sears
Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn.
Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen.
(the first tow would've saved my sanity, and the last two would've saved our family a lot of pain :-/)
She totally lucked out and got 4 different carriers- lol. An REI backpack,since her dh is an outdoorsperson, a Maya wrap, a batik OTSBH and a navy Bjorn. Some of us pitched in and got her a used Amby bed. She also recieved handmade fitted diapers from an -ex WHAM. Plus, organic prefolds, a hand knit wool sweater, some organic baby clothes, wooden toys, books, a baby jogger, wool & silk baby items (Ok- those were from me. lol) A shorn lamby (not a skin), a moses basket and a wooden Euro highchair. All the older folks loved the tiny sherpa fitteds with the little snaps at the umbilical cord. "You girls today are so smart". I don't know why- but no negative commentary at all. People esp loved the backpack- that thing was equipped, i tell you. And from her MIL! lol
We had a lot of fun and it was all sweet and everyone was kind.
Our Mother Blessing consists of lighting candles- often birthday candles- by our toddlers and olders. We've used Chunnukah candles in the past because they are so colorful. The children love them. They sometimes sing happy Birth Day to the baby or something like that. Sometimes one of us adutls will read a passage from a book we like, or maybe a story book. We used "On The Day You Were Born' in the past. We also brings beads- some we've made ourselves. We pass the cord for the beads around and each person, and children too, if they want, say a blessing or wish to the mother and/or babe. i always wish the mother a baby with a good latch. We wash the mother's feet , give her a pedicure, and sometimes we paint her toenails. Sometimes we braid hair, depending if the person likes that. We bring gifts as well sometimes, but they tend to be outgrown baby clothes or little item of nice shampoo or oils etc. Nothing extravagant. I have some wonderful pics of the children dancing around one woman sitting in a rocking chair- hands linked and just singing to her. It's so sweet.
I am going to put a temporary butterfly tat on my sister's belly nearer to her due date, or maybe in early labor if she feels up to it. I have heard of some folks doing a henna belly. I have not done that yet, but next Mother's Blessing, I will.
And we eat. lol
what exactly is a blessing way. My friend wants to throw me a baby shower even though this is my second baby and i thought of maybe having a daiper aprty or ask for a sling. as i am going to clothe diaper this time and have nothing as my first dd is still in sposies. I actually bought what i found out later were crappy dipes to switch and she freaked and didn't want anything doing with clothe dipes. and now we are broke so i figure if we can get people to give them at the shower it will help. there's a huge diffrence in spending $20. at a time as oppossed to getting all those clothe at once. although i plan on starting to buy some after three months and making some as awell. well attempting. My first attempts with jewely's didn't come out so great, so this time i wiill get a pattern. oh sorry for hijacking. on with ideas.
for my babyshower with jewely we handed out a little bag with three kisses in it. the one was actually a chocalate chip wrapped in foil. we might to it again for continuity (spelling?) cuz now they make little kisses that are a little bigger then chips. then we can have a whole kiss family.
Courtney and Cree, baby made 3, added one more then there were 4, sakes alive, then we had 5, another in the mix now we have 6!
A Momma in love with her Little Women-Jewel Face, Jo Jo Bean, June Bug, and Sweet Coraline.
You can google it, and find great websites for ideas. Some common things have been mentioned. Basically, you want everyone there to focus energy on making the new mama-to-be feel loved and relaxed. Sharing stories of births, or how they met the mama, or poems or wishes, etc. Giving a foot rub. Doing a smudging. Doing a belly-casting.
Here's how mine went:
Everyone met at a semi-remote campsite along a river. Lots of mamas and kids. Everyone brought food for a brunch. Some mamas and kids found wildflowers to make a wreath for my head (at the time I had dreadlocks, so braiding hair was out of the question!), while other mamas made a belly & boobs cast. Took lots of pictures. Opened a couple presents that people had brought (tea from one mamas home-grown herbs, thrift store baby clothes, etc). Then we made a meal plan and schedule for visiting/helping (it was to be a scheduled cesarian, so I needed LOTS of help!). Then we just ate and talked and had fun. Nothing too ceremonial, but my friends really aren't that way, we'd rather just hang out and relax together
Then after the lil' bambino was born, a mama brought over the finished belly cast (finish with gesso) and a pretty photo album with pics from the Mother Blessing.
This is getting to be quite a long post, but one more thing...
for another mama's Mother Blessing, one mama took her to a day spa and she got the royal treatment (this was everyone's gift) and while she was doing that, all the other mamas went to her house and cleaned the HECK out of it. Painted rooms, refinished wood furniture, etc. etc. She was SO happy! It was all stuff her DH was too busy to do, but things that drove her crazy! And the papa had her older kids with him for the day. Then the mama went to pick her up, and we all went to a neighbors house and did a potluck and belly casting in her gardens. Also, we brought something to put in the mama's freezer for when baby was born!
Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids , living the dream on our urban farm
At #2 shower, we had squares of fabric, that people painted, wrote verses on, and any wishes for the baby. These will be made into a quilt.
I don't especially look at showers as a greed frenzy. I think of them as a wonderful chance to celebrate a wonderful time of mom's life and the baby that is to come out of it. I like gifts that pamper mom, like a gift cert for a pedicure (you know how hard it is to cut those nails) or cyro. I also like gifts from other moms that share their experience from motherhood. And of course handmades.
It doesn't all have to be about silly little bears with pacifiers and "it's a girl/boy balloons." Though the cutest was baby mice, from the house mouse designs. I have a lot of fun putting on parties. They can be creative, ingenuitive, and embody your particular lifestyle also.
I'm not expecting anything this time, though I live in a very different place with lots of frineds and family around me. The only thing I think we'll ask for is for my parents to help us bank the baby's cord blood. We just don;t have the money this time. and of course I expect everyone to come and see the baby after he's born.