I hate baby showers. I hate the little pink or blue confetti scattered across the table (because why?). I hate the dainty finger foods (give me a real sandwich), and I hate the dumb games. Seriously. If you send me an invite, only do so if you're throwing a totally modern, gender neutral party with none of the above or I'll politely decline. This ain't my first rodeo, so while some of the typical stuff is OK, most are things no one actually wants to do at a baby shower. Please tell me I'm not alone here.
My first baby shower was held in the community room at a Panera Bread. My (then) boyfriend's mother offered to throw it, supposedly inviting everyone I knew. There was great food (because Panera) and none of that confetti, but yes: there were games. The worst of it all? Hardly anyone came. I was humiliated. It was my first baby so it was kind of a big deal. Where was everyone? I'm obviously so over it (read: definitely not over it).
A few years later, when pregnant with my son, my mom offered to throw me a shower at her house with the basic ground rules as previously stated. We had great food, cake (because who doesn't love cake?!), and people actually showed up. That was a hella good shower. I don't have anything against anyone who wants to play baby games or partake in all the intimate questions about labor and delivery, but I'm just saying: I'm not into it and I really don't think most people are either. For the most part, they just don't want to hurt your pregnant feelings. Just so you know, here's my worst offenders list in case you're in the planning stages and aren't sure whether or not to include afternoon tea (seriously, please just stop).
Hang With A Bunch Of Ladies They Don't Know
It's no secret I'm an introvert and dislike being put out of my comfort zone but I assure you, not many honestly love being thrown into a room full of strangers — usually all women — to celebrate your baby. We endure because we care about you but, in all honestly, we wish we could crawl into a hole as we sit in the corner with our cheese plate.
For my second shower/party, I insisted on everyone come — men and women. It was a celebration, after all, and shouldn't be reserved for just the women I knew. But, to each her own, I guess.
Play "Wrap The TP Around My Pregnant Belly"
As I mentioned, the games are stupid. Let's just get that out of the way. I've yet to experience any that aren't ridiculous and/or that provide an actual, usable prize. I don't want to do anything that has to do with guessing your girth, weight, or baby's head circumference. I don't want to look at diapers and figure out what kind of melted chocolate is inside. I don't want to team up with a stranger to decorate your belly with toilet paper. I sure as hell don't want to play "who knows the mom-to-be best" because I'm just a friend of a friend of a friend and really just came for cake. Also, congrats.
Watch The Mother-To-Be Open Presents For An Hour
I get zero joy seeing a pregnant woman take forever as she carefully unwraps pretty wrapping paper, waiting on a family member to write down what the gift is. I went through these motions at my baby showers because I felt the pressure to do so. Honestly it made me uncomfortable being the center of the attention with (sometimes) inauthentic reactions to the gifts. This is why, with my kids birthday parties, we've implemented a "no opening gifts until everyone is gone" rule. It lets everyone just enjoy the party without a boring lapse of activity and conversation.
Eat Toddler-Sized Foods
Put the finger foods away. We are grown-ass adults who want grown-ass foods. If you're throwing a party, please feed your guests more than mints and a small slice of cake, especially if it falls at or around lunchtime. I realize you're trying to be cute for the sake of reminding us it's a baby shower and you want little things but, you know, no. Food should be normal-sized portions or I will eat the whole tray and won't be sorry. Believe that.
Go Around The Room For Introductions
"Hi. I don't know any of you and I barely know the mother. I will also never see any of you again." Can I just pass and hope you'll forget you ever met me?
Hear About Your Pregnancy Pains In Gory Detail
We get it (and I've been there). You hurt. You want to show us your swollen feet or tell us about how many times you peed that day. Can we just not?
Discuss Anything Taboo
Don't talk to me about sex, politics, religion, or really anything that isn't light and fluffy or related to that damn baby because, for two hours, I'm hyper-focused on when this thing is over and I don't think it's the best time for heated debates, respectfully.
Be Expected To Stick To The Registry
I've had registry and I understand how invaluable they are. There's things you're going to need (especially as a first-time mother) and you want people to buy you those things.
However, sometimes there's a gift that isn't on the registry but is just as thoughtful, that you might also need. If someone is willing to put thought, money, and time into getting you anything, just be grateful and don't expect everything to come from the registry. I promise you won't use half of it.
Accommodate Weird Themes
Cowboys or cowgirls, princesses or princes, airplanes or robots? No to all of it. I'm happy you're stoked about the baby but I cannot, and will not, wear a themed hat. Partner.
While I expect to hear a little about pregnancy and the labor/delivery plan, can we not get so specific? Like, I don't really want the end note to be that you're planning to eat your placenta for health reasons or literally anything that directly proceeds it. We all know how this having a baby thing works so let us just enjoy our free cake and be on our damn way. Thanks for the invite, though!