Baby Showers: Commercial Crap or Important Occasion?

When I was pregnant I specifically forbade my friends from throwing me a baby shower. In my eyes, the concept was commercialised, cliche, American rubbish and I could think of nothing worse than sitting around with all eyes on my ever expanding belly while awkwardly accepting gifts that I didn't feel I deserved.

In their typical fashion, they completely ignored my wishes and threw me one anyway. Afternoon tea at a fancy golf club no less (I would have preferred Pizza Hut) and in the end it turned out to be a very pleasant afternoon - apart from the horrific moment when I opened a 'gift' from my 'friend' Ben in front of my Nan which turned out to be a packet of extra safe condoms to prevent any further 'unexpected surprises'. Cheers for that. But still, my perception of baby showers remained unchanged. I just wasn't really a fan.

This weekend I attended the baby shower of one of my oldest and bestest friends. At 33 weeks pregnant she is now just 6/7 weeks off joining the (mother)hood. Her baby shower was a much more laid back affair - a little garden party at her parents' house. And honestly? It was a beautiful afternoon.

When I had my baby shower I couldn't understand the need for it. At that time my circle of friends were still tight. We lived nearby and saw each other regularly so why did I need a designated, Cath Kidson themed event to celebrate my pregnancy? But now, over four years on, our lives have all moved on. Work, kids, relationships and distance all mean that we don't get together as much as we'd like to - such is life. At some point during Saturday afternoon it occurred to me that this might be the last time I see my friend before she becomes a mum. It's almost certainly the last time we'll all be together before then. It was quite emotional.

And while the bunting and the games and the Pimms in mini milk bottles were all lovely, I think the occasion represented more than that. It was a last chance for us all to be together, along with the yummy-mummy-to-be's family, before her life changes immeasurably. An opportunity to mark the closing of this chapter of her life and celebrate the one that is about to start. The biggest chapter so far!

I'm still not completely sold on baby showers and I don't think I'd ever be able to eat a cake that was designed to look like a vagina. But having had such a brilliant time at my friend's, I think I've become at least a little less Scroogey about them.

What are your thoughts on baby showers? Commercial crap or an important occasion?


Post a Comment