Anybody having a blessingway or baby shower? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A friend called me today to see if I wanted to have a blessingway. I told her I did, and we talked about some ideas that we've seen at different ones. I like the idea of marking the occasion, but don't want it to be too spiritual or anything. I want it to be very casual, without the candles. Maybe instead of saying their wish for the baby and me around in a circle, they could just write it in a book or something. Since this is my second child, I don't really need anything, so a traditional shower isn't necessary. One thing I'm thinking about is having everybody create something together. I'm going to one where everybody was asked to bring a found object to make a mobile. Any other ideas ladies?
Are any of you having a blessing way or a baby shower? If you are, do you know what kinds of activities are planned?
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#2 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 08:23 AM
 
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This is a good thread. My mom is planning a "shower" for me too but this is my second baby and I really don't need or want anything.

Forgive my ignorance but I've never heard the term "blessingway". Is this associated with a certain religion?

Amanda - wife to DH Kellyjog.gif, Mummers to Trentreading.gif born 03/03/05 Bridgetdust.gif born 08/08/07 and a IT'S A BOY! Kennedy babyboy.gifborn 02/20/11!
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#3 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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I had one a few weeks ago for our twins. This is babies 8 and 9 so we realy needed to start all over because all our stuff was so so trashed or broken.
I was so thankfull that my DH cousin did that for us and didn't just think we were ok and had every thing like every one else did thought.
We had small sandwiches, fruit salad, macaronni salad, and veggie plate with some icey type of punch. We sat ate and talked a lot at first, then opened gifts. Some one wrote down all the gifts I got and who gave them to me and that was so helpfull because I could send out thank you cards and name the items they gave me on the card.
We played only a few games one of the games was that every one guessed how many onsies I would get in my gifts and the one that came the closest won. Another one was guessing how many cotton balls were in a jar, we did a word scramble that had baby item words all scrambled. We also did one that had my husbands name and my name spelled out and we had a choice to either do a wish or trait that started with each one of the letters in our name or we could have played it were we name a baby item with each of the letters in our name. And who ever came closest or the most of what I wrote down was the winner.
I hope you have fun.
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#4 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Forgive my ignorance but I've never heard the term "blessingway". Is this associated with a certain religion?
I think it's traditionally a Navajo ceremony for pregnant women. It marks the passage of the woman to motherhood rather than the arrival of the baby.

One thing that a friend did last time was go around in a circle and say a wish for me, while lighting a candle.
Another way to do it is to pamper the mother. Have her feet soaking in warm water, massage shoulders, brush hair, etc.

I also opened a few gifts, but it wasn't the "Ohhhh, how cute!" kind of thing.

I'm looking forward to this one, but it definitely feels different this time since I'm already a mother.
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#5 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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Oooh I just googled the term and it sounds so wonderful! I think I will tell my mom about this.. she wanted to plan a shower but we were struggling with a different term because we really are looking for just a celebration of the baby and some good wishes as I countdown to labour. It will probably be just family and our best friends.

I really like the idea I found on one site of giving candles to the guests as they leave. when you go into labour you can have someone contact the people who can light their candles to send strength and positive thoughts to the mom

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#6 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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Those are 2 different Blessingways. The Navajo don't get any baby stuff until after the birth. They believe it is bad luck. The modern American Blessingway is a more intimate and spiritual sort of baby shower that focuses on wishing the mother well for the birth.

I just had a shower. We didn't have any of the typical shower games and activities. I have never been to a baby shower before, so I don't know what is normal.

I didn't want to do anything at all intimate because I am not close with my female relatives, and I don't really have any female friends.

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#7 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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One thing I did with DD for her first birthday (partly because we were overseas and partly because 1 year olds really don´t need presents) was to ask all of her female relatives and important female friends in our lives to write a letter to DD talking about what they think are the important things she should know to be strong, confident girl in the world. I put the letters in a safe deposit box, and we want to give them to her on her 12th or 13th birthday. ETA: We told everyone to seal their letters in an envelope and know that we would not read them. They were to be personal letters from the woman to our daughter, and for her eyes only.

I think this would be a nice idea for a blessingway too.
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#8 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 02:23 PM
 
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Marah Jade wants to have a birthday party for the baby so I think we will do something shortly after the birth when I feel up to it. I think she just wants an excuse to eat cake . She has the cake picked out and everything. Everyone will want to meet the baby so I figure this will be a good way to get everyone together. The weather will be nice so we will probably have a BBQ or something. I don't really expect gifts it is more of a welcome the new baby kind of thing.
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#9 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 02:25 PM
 
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I didn't want to do anything at all intimate because I am not close with my female relatives, and I don't really have any female friends.
I just wanted to add whatever we do will not be female oriented. I don't agree with the whole exclusion thing. My male friends want to see the baby as much if not more than my female friends :
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#10 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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I just wanted to add whatever we do will not be female oriented. I don't agree with the whole exclusion thing. My male friends want to see the baby as much if not more than my female friends :
we invited women, men and children to my first shower and we will again.

Amanda - wife to DH Kellyjog.gif, Mummers to Trentreading.gif born 03/03/05 Bridgetdust.gif born 08/08/07 and a IT'S A BOY! Kennedy babyboy.gifborn 02/20/11!
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#11 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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One of my friends is doing a blessingway for me. Another friend wanted to do a shower, but we don't really need anything since this is baby #2, so we decided this was a better idea. We are planning to have everyone write a blessing/well wish/advice in a little journal. We might do the candle thing, too. We also talked about possibly having someone come henna/paint my belly. I'm mostly looking forward to just spending some time with close friends and family before the birth.

Amanda, wife to A , mama to D ('05), O ('07), and W ('10)
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#12 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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its killing me to keep reading the word Blessingway. KILLING ME!!!
please read this.

we are having a MamaBaby Blessing ceremony/celebration. it will be all female because it will be sacred and involve some ceremonies that focus on the feminine divine and empowerment.
we are going a yarn/bracelet/connection ceremony, a candle ceremony, a blessing for the labor and birth and for the baby herself, maybe some Henna, i would LOVE to do a journal. just need to go buy one. and a bead/necklace ceremony. and of course cake, cause whats a MamaBaby blessing without cake right?

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#13 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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its killing me to keep reading the word Blessingway. KILLING ME!!!
please read this.

we are having a MamaBaby Blessing ceremony/celebration. it will be all female because it will be sacred and involve some ceremonies that focus on the feminine divine and empowerment.
we are going a yarn/bracelet/connection ceremony, a candle ceremony, a blessing for the labor and birth and for the baby herself, maybe some Henna, i would LOVE to do a journal. just need to go buy one. and a bead/necklace ceremony. and of course cake, cause whats a MamaBaby blessing without cake right?
Now that is totally different than what I was thinking about and yes I would agree that should be all female. An actual ritual or ceremony I would do that with but a general welcome the baby party no.
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#14 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 04:40 PM
 
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My mom and sister keep saying they're going to give me a diaper shower, but they still haven't sent out the invitations. Oh well, if it happens, it happens.
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#15 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cujobunny View Post
we invited women, men and children to my first shower and we will again.
We did that with our last baby. It was a shower for us, not just me.
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#16 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 05:09 PM
 
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Although this is my 4th baby, this is my 1st boy so I need almost everything. (and want almost everything) I am having a green pooh bear theme party and for baby Anthony. I really like the idea of the journal and the bead bracelet! Those are new for me but sound very special! I think I will do those too. I think I will have women only! I have had one with both sexes and one with only women and I feel women only is how I will go this time!

a:5:{s:9:"signature";s:273:"
a:5:{s:9:"signature";s:164:"Wife to H Antonio:, Mother to DD Kathleen 12,: DD Yoseleen 9,
DD Jasmeen 5, and DS Anthony 2,";s:7:"insider";N;s:6:"awards";N;s:10:"selections";s:0:"";s:8:"featured";s:0:"";}
";s:7:"insider";N;s:6:"awards";N;s:10:"selections";s:0:"";...
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#17 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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We are getting showered and showered!

MIL is hosting one for us out of town (about 4 hrs away) for the extended
family living there. It will be a low-key bbq in her backyard for all ages and
genders with maybe some structured activities. I'm told my husbands young
cousin (4 yrs old going on 22) recently attended a shower and LOVED fashioning
a "hat" out of gift ribbons, so if she wants that, I will agree to it.

Also, a friend is hosting a bbq in town for everyone we know that we can get
to come out, same sort of thing as above, not planning any "shower games"
really, but if someone is dying to do it, I'll probably give in. (The one shower
game I do like is where you pass around a roll of ribbon or string and people
cut off a length that looks to them like the circumference of the belly then they
measure it around you to see how close or far off they are...leads to lots of
hugs from everyone putting arms around you!)

Also, probably before the big "invite everyone" bash, some girlfriends are
planning some sort of women-only ceremony/mama blessing. I like the
journal and bead ideas and might steal them... I'd also kinda like to get the
belly painted!

And after all this, I plan to be exhausted!!!

mama to my little lion, Ariel since 10 Aug 2007
all about love
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#18 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 07:26 PM
 
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I threw mother blessing for my cousin last summer and it was wonderful. It was definitely an all woman thing focusing on the female empowerment, etc etc.

For "activities" we did the going around the circle and giving a blessing for the mother; I had everyone bring a bead and then we all put them on a necklace for the mother; we painted stones with special pictures for the mother to focus on during labor if she wished; and we gave the mother a pedicure and a head massage that including brushing her hair and putting a wreath of flowers in her hair.

On the invitation I wrote gifts should be in the form of food to freeze, something homemade or the plan of helping after baby is born, so no "presents".

I got most of my ideas from a site called snowboardmommy.com. I thought the whole party was wonderful and a great alternative to the traditional baby shower.

Good luck!

Andrea mommy to G(2/97), S : (1/04), E & J (7/07)
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#19 of 40 Old 06-06-2007, 10:22 PM
 
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I'm acutally having two baby showers, and a baby/mama blessing ceremony. One shower is through work and I asked for diapers (yeah fuzzibunz!) and the other is apparently going to be huge (20+ people already - yikes!) and very traditional. The work shower is mostly just dinner out with presents for me.

My baby blessing party (I call it a blessingway, I'm pagan and had only ever heard it in that context before... : ) will be very small and just me and my good female friends.

We will also have some sort of "meet the baby" party for everyone after baby is born. At which point we will likely colapse and not see anyone else until the winter hits!

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(I call it a blessingway, I'm pagan and had only ever heard it in that context before... : )
: myself. It's my opinion that to keep the name of the ceremony that you are imitating is to honor its origin and roots; to change the name and keep the idea is to ignore that it came from somewhere else originally.
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#21 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 03:17 AM
 
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but, a Blessingway is actually a traditional Navajo ceremony for many things and Blessingways are really even given to mothers to be.
so to call a ceremony or celebration honoring the mother and/or baby a blessingway because it sounds nice is inappropriate.
we all need to be careful of cultural appropriation.
many of the ceremonies at mamababy blessings have NO roots in the Navajo tradition. ok. i cant think of any that DO have roots there.
so really, its wrong.

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#22 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 04:59 AM
 
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No. I didn't get a shower with my daughter and I won't get one for this baby. I just moved and don't know enough people. I'm okay with it though.

: Mom to a wonderful teen girl, a happy little boy and a cute baby girl
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#23 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 07:51 AM
 
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since we won't be having a pre-baby party here, my husband and i are thinking something in the way of a "baby open house" where family and friends can come over and meet the baby, have some light food and drink and then leave! just a few hours one afternoon so that it isn't too much for me or the baby.
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#24 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 12:24 PM
 
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but, a Blessingway is actually a traditional Navajo ceremony for many things and Blessingways are really even given to mothers to be.
so to call a ceremony or celebration honoring the mother and/or baby a blessingway because it sounds nice is inappropriate.
we all need to be careful of cultural appropriation.
many of the ceremonies at mamababy blessings have NO roots in the Navajo tradition. ok. i cant think of any that DO have roots there.
so really, its wrong.
Is it possible there are many variations of Blessingways for various religions? Blessingway is certainly not what the Navajo called it I don't personally speak Navajo but my brother's native language doesn't sound like English so I assume Blessingway is a translation. As an example the baptism ritual for the Latter day saints is completely different than the baptism ritual for the Catholics but they are the same in spirit and both called baptism.
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#25 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got this from wikipedia. After googling the term, it's clear that many modern American women use it to describe their mama/baby blessing style. Yes, the Navajo ceremonies are different, but perhaps the mama/baby blessing was inspired by it. I'm not sure it's all that wrong to call it that, but I've never talked to somebody who is Navajo about it. I wonder what their point of view is.

The Blessingway is one half of the Navajo song ceremonial complexes, the other half being the Enemyway. The rites and prayers in the Blessingway are concerned with healing, creation, harmony and peace. The song cycles recount the elaborate Navajo mythology related to the rites contained within the Blessingway.
Perhaps the most important of all these rituals is the Kinaaldá ceremony, in which a young girl makes the transition to womanhood upon her menarche. During the course of the ceremony, the girl enacts the part of Changing Woman, the deity responsible for fertility entering the world.
Ceremonies regarding expectant mothers are also part of the Blessingway. However, these are not to be confused with some ceremonies held by other cultures for expectant mothers, which may also be called blessingway ceremonies regardless of their actual connection with the Blessingway.(see below)
[edit]A variation on the American tradition of a baby shower

A blessingway can also indicate a variation on the standard baby shower in which a gathering is held before the birth of a baby to provide support and encouragement to the expectant mother. This form of blessingway shares no cultural connection to the Navajo tradition, and shares only the name.
One form that a blessingway can take is common in coastal northern California is as a non-consumerist adaptation of the more traditional baby shower in which close friends and family, sometimes all women, and sometimes both men and women, gather to show support, coordinate postnatal meal plans, sing, and bless the mother. Often a ball of yarn is passed around the circle with each person present wrapping the yarn around a wrist (or ankle if having yarn around their wrist would interfere in their lives, i.e. if they work as a nurse) to symbolize being tied together as a community in support of the mother. When the circle is disbanded the yarn is broken and participants tie the yarn onto themselves as a bracelet or anklet, and it is worn until after the baby is born.
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#26 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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Is it possible there are many variations of Blessingways for various religions? Blessingway is certainly not what the Navajo called it I don't personally speak Navajo but my brother's native language doesn't sound like English so I assume Blessingway is a translation. As an example the baptism ritual for the Latter day saints is completely different than the baptism ritual for the Catholics but they are the same in spirit and both called baptism.
Latter day saints don't baptise there babies. We give them blessings or are you talking about when a child turns 8 then we do babtise them.
But this whole blessing way is very interesting and I am so glad to learn something new.
Shawnii
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#27 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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Latter day saints don't baptise there babies. We give them blessings or are you talking about when a child turns 8 then we do babtise them.
But this whole blessing way is very interesting and I am so glad to learn something new.
Shawnii
That is exactly my point. You don't baptize your babies but you still use the term baptism at some point to denote the water clensing ritual correct? To say a person can't use the term blessingway because it is slightly different than how the Navajo performed the ceremony doesn't make sense to me. If pagans have a ceremony called a blessingway they should be allowed to call it that.
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#28 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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but Pagans dont HAVE a ceremony called a Blessingway, unless you are refering to all non Christians (you know, us heathens) as Pagans, just cause we arent Xtian
it would be like me saying "i'm having a baptism and a bris when my baby is born, come have cake" i would be introducing the baby to the world, and possibly doing a naming ceremony, and maybe even blessing with water, air, fire and earth, but by no means is it a bris or a baptism.

really. its WRONG!.

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#29 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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but Pagans dont HAVE a ceremony called a Blessingway, unless you are refering to all non Christians (you know, us heathens) as Pagans, just cause we arent Xtian
it would be like me saying "i'm having a baptism and a bris when my baby is born, come have cake" i would be introducing the baby to the world, and possibly doing a naming ceremony, and maybe even blessing with water, air, fire and earth, but by no means is it a bris or a baptism.

really. its WRONG!.
Twinklefae mentioned calling it a blessingway and being pagan so I apologize if I made an assumption that there was a pagan ceremony called a blessingway. So are you saying a non Navajo person should not be doing a blessingway ceremony even if they follow the rules?

BTW I am not a Christian and I am not Pagan. Just wanted to clear that up.
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#30 of 40 Old 06-07-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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The name of the rite, Hózhójí, is translated Blessingway, but that is certainly not an exact translation. In the Navajo language [diné bizaad] the term encompasses everything that is interpreted as good - as opposed to evil, favorable for man. It encompasses such words as beauty, harmony, success, perfection, well-being, ordered, ideal. The intent of this rite is to ensure a good result at any stage of life, and therefore the translation of Blessingway.

http://www.hanksville.org/voyage/nav...ly_People.php3

I did a search and there are a number of posts on this subject.

I have now also heard the terms Mamablessing, Babyblessing and Birthblessing. All of these sound nice to me too and seem much more self-explanatory to guests that may not be familiar with the term "blessingway"

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