When I was pregnant, hopeful, and excited to do all the parenting things, I had so many plans. My daughter was the first grandchild on both sides, and after the initial shock of the pregnancy wore off I had plenty of volunteers to plan along with me. With my second, however, the planning was all on me. Looking back, there's definitely some bad decisions I made when planning my baby shower — things I wish I could go back and do over. I assumed things would be similar the second time around but, well, I was wrong.
Pregnancy with my youngest was something my partner and I planned and hoped for, and not just for a few months but for a few years. When I was finally pregnant, though, the only two people who seems to be considerably excited were my partner and I. We decided we'd still have a baby shower, though. It had been almost five years since we had our daughter, and we were preparing for a boy this time around so we wanted to facilitate an opportunity for people to give us "boy things." Most importantly, we wanted to celebrate the life we had been hoping and waiting for.
At the time, my hormones were all over the place and as much as I tried to hold it together I, well, couldn't. In the third trimester I was put on bed rest because my baby's life was at risk, too, which definitely didn't help matters. So, and as you can imagine, planning a baby shower was more stressful than it needed to be. With that, here are some decisions I made that might not have been the best way to go. Hey, at least you can learn from my mistakes, right?
I Made Way Too Much Food
All the food was taken care of for every single baby shower I had during my first pregnancy. I didn't have to plan, shop for, or cook a thing. With the second pregnancy, however, I had to do everything.
When you're pregnant, craving everything, and in charge of the menu, it's a bad decision to be ambitious. Not only did I scour recipes for weeks, and have to endure the long shopping trip for the ingredients, I was on my feet (against doctor's wishes) for hours, cooking, baking, and creating all the foods I wanted for the party.
I Criticized People Who Couldn't Make It
I know my hormones were out of control, but I couldn't help it! During my baby shower planning I was told a handful of friends couldn't make it to the party. The news shouldn't have been a shock to me, because the event was going to be over an hour away at my mom's house and it was being held in the middle of summer. Still, I didn't handle those conversations very well. Like, at all. Sorry?
I Didn't Specify An End Time
I decided to make this baby shower open-house style. I didn't want a traditional party like I'd had with my daughter because, honestly, I don't enjoy the games and uncomfortable gift opening. I just wanted everyone to gather and hang out and celebrate our baby.
The problem? Thanks to the phrasing I used on the invitations, some over-stayed their welcome. By the time I was ready to relax and take a bath, there were still people at the baby shower. Ugh.
I Had No Budget
You know what's worse than a pregnant woman with cravings in charge of the baby shower menu? A pregnant woman with no set budget. I went way, way over the amount I should have, and then cried about it endlessly. It didn't matter how much planning had taken place, with no budget it was a free-for-all at the grocery store. Plus, I was hungry.
I Was Too Greedy
You know those invitations that request diapers or books? Well, I did that, and I really wish I hadn't. While my partner and I knew exactly what we needed for our second child, and didn't want excess gifts or money spent on things we didn't need, I should've re-worded the invitations so they didn't sound so ungrateful. Anyone who planned to show up should've been good enough.
I Didn't Have A Set Guest List
The very first baby shower I ever had was planned by my (now) mother-in-law. The setting was a sandwich shop, and she put a lot of thought into the event (even thought she wasn't entirely thrilled about the pregnancy). I was grateful for her effort, to be sure, but because she planned the party I had no way of knowing how things would play out or who would attend. And sure enough, on the day of the baby shower only a couple people came. I was mortified and disappointed. And though it wasn't my mother-in-law's fault, per se, the guest list part should've been left to me (at least so I could follow up with the people who didn't respond).
Apparently I didn't learn my lesson with my second pregnancy, though, because the open-house style event,made it hard to know who would show up to that one, too. Luckily, it was a success. But, still.
I Didn't Consult With The Host
The party was to be hosted at my mom's house, but I planned a large portion of the party without asking for her input. I think it's safe to say I had control issues. I was a tad insecure, and afraid, that I wouldn't feel important at my own baby shower, and at one point I even argued with my mother to the point that I threatened to leave the entire event. Again, a lot of it was hormones, but it was also the result of me trying to do everything by myself.
In the end, though, my second baby shower was a success. I just wish I hadn't made so many bad decisions when I was planning the damn thing. Then I might've been able to actually, you know, enjoy the party.