I'll be the first to admit, I am a pretty big fan of baby showers. I mean, no, there are certain aspects of the entire celebration that I wouldn't consider my favorite way to pass the time, but I love celebrating a dear friend or family member and their choice to become a mother. I like watching them get all the attention; I like watching them open up presents; I like watching them be blissfully happy, if only for an afternoon. Still, there are things no one actually wants to do at a baby shower, regardless of how much they like attending them. While I think it's important that we support pregnant women regardless, the time has come for us to talk about some of these ridiculous baby shower pastimes.
I had a fantastic time at my baby shower, but I think it's because (for the most part) mine wasn't traditional. I served alcohol, because I didn't want my party guests to go without just because I couldn't indulge. There were no baby pictures of myself or my partner paraded around for all to see. We spent the first half (if not more) watching the World Cup, because it's the World Cup and you don't miss out on games you can only see every four years. I offered a few food items that I couldn't eat myself, we kept the games to a minimum and men were present because, well, this is 2016. I was surrounded by my fantastic friends and we laughed and joked about how drastically our lives had changed since college and it was an easy-going, low-key afternoon.
Of course, my idea of a baby shower isn't the end-all-be-all, and whatever that soon-to-be mom wants is (in my humble opinion) exactly what that soon-to-be mom should get. After all, she is growing a freakin' human being inside of her own body. That is definitely worthy of a party. So even if you, like me, don't like the following things, please do be an adult and just suck it up. In the end, this day isn't about you or me or anyone other than the pregnant mom and her future baby (or babies). Still, mothers planning baby showers at the moment, we sure would be grateful if these nine things kind of, you know, just went away.
Eat Baby Food And Guess What Flavor It Is
This isn't a cute game or a clever game and it certainly isn't a particularly enjoyable game. It's just, you know, pretty gross. Yes, some of those baby foods are pretty great I will admit (hello apricots, you slice of heaven in a jar). However, the peas? The blended vegetables? The stuff with beef? Yeah, no thank you.
Guess The Size Of Your Pregnant Belly
I guess to some this particular game could be fun or even endearing, but I've always found it to be somewhat shaming too, even if it's subtle and not at all intentional. The size of every woman's pregnant belly varies, of course, and having someone "guess" the size, only to have it be either ridiculously too large or too small, usually (in my experience) makes the pregnant woman being celebrated feel self-conscious. I'm not really all about making a woman feel like her body is lacking in any way, and I know all too well that it can be difficult to remain body positive when you're pregnant.
Plus, the spools of thread that always get tangled up and the sharing of the scissors because there's never enough pairs to go around and all that other crap. It's just taxing, OK?
Play Some Baby "Mad Libs" Game
I don't think these are fun in any situation, let alone when the "Mad Libs" game is overtly baby-themed. Honestly, I don't think anyone but Monica Geller-Bing would find this game to be even remotely enjoyable.
OK, Honestly, Playing Any Of Those Quintessential Baby Shower Games At All
Look, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the majority of your friends (no matter how many baby showers they've been to or how much they love you and your baby and all babies to ever be babies) don't necessarily like playing these games. We'll do it, of course, because we love you. We so, so love you. But, yeah, they're not really our cup of tea.
Talk To Your Great Grandmother Once Removed By Marriage (Or Some Other Obscure Family Member)
I actually really love meeting my dear friend's family members (and am lucky enough to feel pretty close to the majority of them). However, there's always that one baby shower where hundreds of people are invited, and so many of them are distance relatives the mom-to-be sees once a year, maybe. Getting stuck in a conversation with some fourth cousin that my friend barely knows is, you know, awkward. Especially when politics is somehow brought up (and with this presidential election, it's always brought up).
Talk About Labor And Delivery
Here is where I get to say that everybody is different (duh) and what is considered "inappropriate" to some isn't at all inappropriate to others. I, personally, have no problem talking about the nitty gritty that is labor and delivery. I find it fascinating. However, I can totally get behind the idea that this is in no way "party talk," and if the mom-to-be has never experienced childbirth before, there's absolutely no reason to even potentially scare her by talking about pooping on delivery tables or emergency c-sections or anything else of that nature.
Compare Parenting Choices
Now is not the time, my friends. Now is not the time. If you want to ask the mom-to-be what she plans on doing, I guess that's OK, but keep in mind that you'll likely trigger some anxiety because she can plan and plan and plan, but she probably has no idea what in the hell she is doing or will be doing.
There are so many other things we can all collectively talk about. Trust me, this soon-to-be mom will have plenty of opportunities as a new parent to have her parenting decisions judged ad nauseam. Ugh.
Be Forced To Only Eat And/Or Drink What You're Able To Eat And/Or Drink
I love you, my darling pregnant friends who can't have cheese or alcohol or sushi or processed deli meats. You are goddesses amongst us silly mortals and I find you all to be just incredible. However, just because you can't eat something delicious, doesn't mean you need to deprive everyone else of said deliciousness.
When I had my baby shower, I made sure there were alcoholic beverages available for my non-knocked up friends. There was cheese a-plenty and there were deli meats at the ready and there were things I, as a pregnant woman, wouldn't dare eat. After all, I'm the one who decided to be a mother, not them. I didn't want to ask my guests to stay away from the good stuff.
Sit Around And Watch You Open Presents
Ha, just kidding. Honestly, I could watch my completely content, wonderfully happy pregnant friend open up another box of adorable baby clothes all damn day long.