If you were overwhelmed by baby shower feels before you had a kid of your own, you haven't seen anything. Going to a baby shower once you're a mom can be like navigating a field of invisible emotional triggers you didn't even know existed. In fact, it's not unlike keeping up with the ongoing relationship dynamics between the Kardashians and Kanye West and Taylor Swift. You will be intrigued; You will be confused; You will be humbled; You'll wonder why you're feeling so many feels in the first damn place. You'll kind of want to pretend it's not happening at all.
Will you miss your own baby, who you left at home before you wanted to let him nap but now you totally wish you brought because you can picture him in all the footie pajamas the guest of honor keeps opening? Yes. Yes to all of the above.
For the most part, I enjoy baby showers although I can totally understand why some people (mom or not) have mixed feelings about them. They can, at times, feel forced and dated and awkward. However, usually, if I’m attending one it’s because I have some fondness for the mom-to-be and want to show her some support during this glorious and intense time in her life. Still, that need to be supportive doesn't trump my own personal, often internal feelings. Allow me to share a bit more about what goes through a mom’s mind at another mom’s baby shower:
“I Got That At My Shower, Too”
Every familiar gift that's opened is like a testament to my friends' and family's awesome ability to pick out useful and/or effectively marketed baby products. Which, as we all know, is a skill to be proud of.
“I Wish I Had Gotten That At My Shower”
I mean, I made it through my son's early months without the help of one of those pillows designed to help him sit up comfortably and safely, so I thought I was doing all right. However, according to the mom next to me, my life is meaningless now.
“You Won’t Need That. Like, At All.”
I mean, if I can make it through my son's baby months with nary a footrest in the entire nursery, I bet you can too.
“Ugh, That’s Adorable”
Hats with animal ears on them, you guys. They get me every time. I turn into a complete puddle and am unable to function in the presence of one.
“Just You Wait, My Friend. Just You Wait.”
I don't mean for this to sound completely ominous, but more like half-ominous, half wonderful. Or even like one third/two thirds (I'll let you guess which is which). Hey, if that's not parenthood, I don't know what is.
“Maybe I Should Have Another Baby”
I'll admit, being in proximity to that many stuffed ducks and swaddle blankets does make one start thinking thoughts; complicated, layered thoughts about pregnancy and and cribs and placentas. Please stop looking at me like that.
“This Dip Is Delicious”
Starting today and forevermore, if a baby shower is not serving dip of some kind I would like to be notified in advance. That's the kind of information that should just go on the invite, you guys.
"Why Didn't She Just Ask Me What To Register For?"
What's the point of knowing women who became a mom before you did, if you don't look over their baby registry like an online review? I need to know everything she knows.
"I Should Have Brought My Baby"
For complicated reasons that only made sense twenty minutes before the shower was supposed to begin, I didn't bring him. I regret everything.
"How Many Copies Of One Particular Book Does One Family Need?"
Not that many, I can promise you. Even if it does tell your kid to go the f*ck to sleep.
"I Am Not Going To Play Any Games Involving The Contents Of Diapers"
I will play all the games in the world that simply involve writing things on a piece of paper. Those are my kind of games. However, when the diapers start coming out? Nope.