A baby shower is traditionally an event held for the mother, prior to the birth of the child, to give her presents for the baby’s imminent birth. It is usually a party hosted by a friend, (this helps set up the aspect of generosity), and the gifts, if the sex of the baby is known, are colour coded and little is given that is for the mother and her upcoming experience. But it is a lovely gesture and is becoming increasingly popular.
Truthfully, a newborn child needs very little… A few baby grows, and lots of muslin cloths….
We, at The Mother’s Journey, teach that the child needs the first 40 days post-labour to bond with the parents, to arrive, to peacefully awaken to the new reality. The birthing mother needs time to adjust to massive changes in her reality: if breast feeding, to become settled, in the partnership to find ways through the ever changing new roles, routines, exhaustion, possibly post-Caesarian recovery or stitches, and the chaos that comes with a child needing 24/7 care, love, attention and clean sheets, clothes and nappies.
We propose an Alternative Baby Shower…
An event utterly dedicated to the parents to be, to the mother, to the child. A way to celebrate the space needed for the parents to welcome the child into the world in calm, peace and space.
It can be organised by a friend, (as the notion of asking is easier third hand), and can be a party, but the gifts are completely different to baby grows and booties.
What is asked of the friends, family, participants, is that they give of their time and generosity to facilitate the bonding of the parents with the baby.
The potential needs are best discovered by the host or organiser who asks the prospective parents what they would like in terms of help: It could be to pay for a cleaning person once a week for 40 days, or mowing the lawn. Maybe someone agreeing to come in and change all the bedding once a week and sort out the laundry. A couple of friends who take it in turn to make a meal twice a week, say a lasagne or something that can be heated up when needed. It could be paying for a masseur to come, doing the washing up twice a week, walking the dog each day….. The list is wildly open to the needs of the couple or the mother if she is single.
Those joining in the Alternative Baby Shower are then offered the option of choosing which need or desire they would like to take on.
There are lots of options, and the point is to give the new parents space and time to familiarise themselves to their vastly altered reality.