Thursday, January 27, 2011

Baby Showers and Birthmoms

Baby showers can be painful for some birthmothers, especially newer birthmothers, although I do know some older birthmothers who still get emotional at the thought of attending baby showers.

I think that baby showers are painful for birthmothers because they remind of us what we did not have and what we missed. Most of us who are now birthmothers did not have that celebratory baby shower that so many new mothers are thrown in the late months of pregnancy. It’s almost like the baby shower is a passage to motherhood and it’s one of those rights that we miss so going to baby showers can be difficult.

I attended a baby shower when my son was just a few months old. I should have politely skipped, but I forced myself to go. I busied myself by helping serve refreshments and made it through the shower but shed many tears later in the privacy of my own home. Nine years later, it’s much easier.
If you feel too emotional or you are not ready to attend a baby shower just yet, politely try to bow out. Most of the times friends and family will understand. Don’t sacrifice your emotional health just to be there for appearance sake.
If you don’t want to bow out or feel obligated to attend, try going a little bit early and then leaving once it starts to get crowded or go towards the end of the shower. This way you are still making an appearance but you can avoid some of the “oh’s” and “ah’s” and baby shower games.
If you have decided to attend a baby shower and you need a gift but just can’t handle the baby sections of stores, then opt to buy a gift card or instead of buying a gift for the baby, buy a gift for the mother. She’ll receive a ton of gifts for the baby so you could buy her something pampering (like bath gels, candles, gift certificate for a massage, fuzzy slippers, a robe, etc.) and attach a card reminding her to take time for herself.
If you attend a baby shower and begin to feel emotional, take a minute to yourself in the bathroom or another area where you can just have a moment to collect your thoughts, breathe, and regain your composure. I usually offer to assist with refreshments, cut cake, or some other kind of activity that will keep me busy for a bit.
Do baby showers bother you? Do you have any helpful tips on how to survive a baby shower? Please share!


  1. we do birthmom showers here. one day i will get around to blogging about it, but life is busy! they are awesomely fun though. the birthmom registers at target (or similar place) for stuff she wants just like if it was a baby or bridal shower. food, games- there are some fun birthmom games, decor, prizes, a special cake/dessert, laughter, friends, etc. its a celebration- of new life, new love, new beginnings, acknowledging the new familys and new friends that the adoption has created. its reveling in the awesomeness that it is to give birth, become a mother and delight in the empowerment that comes from women supporting each other thru lifes journeys.

  2. I attended a baby shower when my son was just 3 weeks old. Some good friends of mine adopted a baby girl 5 days before he was born so this was a welcome home/baby shower. It was one of the hardest things I have done. I had a complete meltdown shopping. I held up well at the shower and chose to leave before they started opening gifts. They had sent an email saying they understood if I was not up to coming, but I wanted to celebrate there child with them.

    I attended my first baby shower since then in May when my son was not quite two. It was much easier with no tears shed.