Anyone else uncomfortable with the whole baby shower thing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-06-2006, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just making conversation here--no real "problem" to report. Just finding myself a little weirded out by all the baby shower preparations.

My best friend is putting together a "friends" shower for me in January . . . and some family members are putting together a "family" shower in February. Don't get me wrong--I am excited to see everyone, SO grateful that everyone wants to help us with preparing for the baby, and I feel really blessed that I have so many friends/family gathering around at this time.

(*sigh*)

At the same time, though, I am REALLY not used to being the center of attention . . . I am usually the party planner, the organizer, the hostess. Chalk it up to my Cancer nature (the den-mother of the Zodiac!), or low self-esteem . . . I'm just not that comfortable with being the focus of events. Even my bridal shower was a little weird for me, although it was made easier by the fact that it all got thrown together very quickly, so there was little time for me to stress out about it (we only had 7 weeks total between proposal and wedding).

It's not like I'm having to do any of the real planning (although my friend has been consulting with me for ideas, since I would like to go the Blessingway route instead of traditional baby shower games) . . . but trying to put together an invite list for her has been hard; I am having a tough time wrapping my head around the idea that these women are going to want to come to this party. I just feel like I am going to be "fishing" for presents, you know?

I would really like to get over this discomfort . . . I am concerned that, once the baby comes, I am going to have a hard time accepting the help that I will need because of my underlying suspicion that people are offering to help because they think they should, instead of because they really want to.

Argh . . . I KNOW that this (or at least most of this) has got to be all in my head; I KNOW that my friends are dear, wonderful people who are very excited about this baby (no other kids in our immediate sphere). Why, oh why do I feel so squeamish about the idea of gifts and a party and all the trappings?
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#2 of 8 Old 01-06-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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Yeah, being the center of attention (especially in groups of people you're not entirely close with) IS odd. Baby showers are great for a couple of things, though...you get lots of things you need (just being practical!), and it's very, very special to have a large group of friends, family, etc. pulling together to welcome a baby and create a space for him/her in the world. I know it's just "stuff," but when we put the twins' baby things out in preparation for their birth, I really _liked_ the feeling of their little things coming from so many different people. Sleepers from my IL's friends, a diaper pail from my mom's co-worker, whatever! All these random people had taken time and effort to say "welcome, baby." So, odd feelings aside, showers can actually be pretty special.

That being said, with this second pregnancy, I don't want one! We have all the stuff, and close friends will give special little tokens or clothes, so I'm not overly eager to be the "odd" center of attention again!

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#3 of 8 Old 01-06-2006, 04:50 PM
 
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I feel a little weird about it too. Esp. when people keep asking "Where did you register?" because I feel like I'm asking for gifts! But after the baby comes, he/she is going to be the center of attention in your life for the rest of your life....so I say just enjoy being the center of attention for a little while longer!

What is a blessingway? I see people talking about them on the main pregnancy board, and it sounds nice, but I've never heard of it.
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#4 of 8 Old 01-06-2006, 05:21 PM
 
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I felt this way about my wedding shower a few years ago (which was a very large affair, given by family, and involved people I had never met brining me gifts). But since then, I have been on the planning end of several wedding and baby showers, and have paid more attention when I've attended others. I think they are just part of the custom in most of middle America, and that in general if people show up it's because they want to! When I planned my SIL's wedding shower, I was amazed and somewhat humbled by the number of people who genuinely wanted to help throw the event that was really all about people coming to give her gifts. Most people love the idea of weddings and newlyweds and BABIES! And they are genuinely interested in helping a new couple or a new mom get started. Plus showers feel optional enough that an invite doesn't have to be a call for a gift--if people can't make it, I don't think they feel compelled to give a gift (although many want to anyway). In my experience planning SIL's, people who I wasn't sure should be included showed up and expressed how glad they were to be on the invite list--they took it as being included rather than asked.
All that said, of course I'm feeling a little uncomfortable about mine too! But I'm certainly going to go in with more confidence and hopefully more gracefully than my wedding shower. And I am going to loudly exclaim over every single thing I open, and even find something nice to say about baby bottles, if that's what I get, because my guests will be there giving me their time and gifts out of love, and they won't know if I return them.

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#5 of 8 Old 01-06-2006, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahwuko:

A Blessingway is an alternative to the traditional baby shower, supposedly based on Native American traditions which are meant to honor the birthing woman and surround her with support and love to prepare her for labor. It is less about the baby, more about the mom-to-be. One of the traditions I really like is having each guest bring a bead that represents something that they want for the laboring mom, and then they all get strung together to make a necklace for use during labor.

Basically, I have asked my friend to find a way to avoid all of the traditional shower games--no dropping safety pins into a jar, or trying not to say the word "baby", or things like that. So, she has to find a way to fill the afternoon! I'm guessing, though, that it will be a normal friendly get-together with a slight focus on baby stuff . . . although my MIL will be there with some family friends, so it may not be as "loose" as it normally would be if it was just us girls!
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#6 of 8 Old 01-06-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birth Junky
I just feel like I am going to be "fishing" for presents, you know?
Oh yeah, I totally know what you mean! There are some people I want to be at my baby shower, but I feel kind of uncomfortable inviting them, because I don't want them to think I am just looking for presents.

And don't get me started on the whole registry thing. I see the point, of course, but to me, it just seems like GIMMEGIMMEGIMME. Everyone keeps asking us where we're registered, though, so we will probably break down and just keep it to a very simple, short list. I feel soooooo self-conscious about it, though.

I am dreading the baby shower at work, too. I am not particularly close to any of my co-workers, so I really don't want them to feel obligated to buy me anything. But it is sort of "tradition" at my office. Maybe I'll ask to just go out to a group lunch instead. That way, I can keep it a social event, rather than me standing up there all alone in front of a big group of people, eating cake and unwrapping the gifts.
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#7 of 8 Old 01-06-2006, 08:25 PM
 
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Hmmm, well I liked my showers and being the center of attention, so I don't have that problem. But, maybe it would help if you put this in a different perspective. Think of the baby shower as being for your baby, not for you. Just concentrate on enjoying your baby's first party as if it was his/her birthday party, because in a way it is!

Also, a lot of women LOVE going to baby showers. They really get joy out of picking out cute baby stuff, and helping out a new mom. So, the shower is for THEM, too.

I don't know if that helps, or not, but I thought I'd try!

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#8 of 8 Old 01-06-2006, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tip, honeybee--that is a good way to look at it.

I also understand what you meant, wencit, about the registry--it was weird enough registering for wedding presents when DH and I got married.

(*sigh*) I am SO much better at taking care of other people than taking care of myself!
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