NEW MUMMAS - Sproglet Shower Vs Baby Bestowal - why I'm so uncomfortable with the baby shower concept.


 I can count the number of baby showers I have been to on one hand. It's not just the ridiculous games with melted mars bars in nappies and people playing guess the weight of the impending arrival whilst chomping their way through pink blue or yellow themed confectionery surrounded by helium balloons announcing "its a boy/girl ".
Nor is it the present buying - although it should be noted that as infantile as I find the nappy game I do find the present buying, especially with a list, really gauche. I mean when did it become a God given right to be bought gifts for a new arrival? I didn't even have a wedding list (but I understand why they exist as people end up with 6 toasters etc) but to assume you can be bought high cost items such as prams and other paraphernalia is just rude. I saw an article recently suggesting various baby shower gifts and the Author was either very rich or only has one friend who gives birth a year. Prices ranged from £1000 down to about £50! Not a mention of a cute hand knitted gift anywhere (which to me would rank much higher in thought than a £1k pram!).

The thing that really bugs me about baby showers is that the baby hasn't arrived so how can they be celebrated? It is a well known fact that birth is the most dangerous day of life for both Mother and baby. The World Health Organisation makes no secret of the reality that 303,000 Women and 2.6 million babies die during the birth process worldwide each year. The UK as a developed country ranks poorly. 11 babies are born sleeping each day. It is on one level too horrific to contemplate. It is much easier to push that thought to the back of your mind and instead focus on pinning the dummy on the baby whilst blindfolded or completing a nursery rhyme quiz. I just can't do that though. It feels too false.

At my last check up (being geriatric I appear to have a fair few) my Doctor told me that sometime knowing too much from a medical perspective isn't helpful, and she's right. It isn't something I dwell on, as that in my opinion would be as equally unhealthy, but it is something that I acknowledge tragically and heartbreakingly does happen.

We live in a country where we celebrate everything too early. Christmas trees get put up in November (and then taken down on boxing day as everyone is sick of them when Christmas has only really just begun!) and everyone is planning their Easter break in January. I have chosen not to find out the sex of the baby and I haven't pre planned definitive names yet (much to my friends frustration as I keep getting text suggestions of what I could call him or her based on their likes and dislikes!). I'm not perfect - far from it. I often wish the week away only to find the weekend flies, but in this situation I am choosing mindfulness and I am living in the moment rather than in the future. That isn't me being pious. I tried to practice mindfulness once back in my corporate days and was the one who had tears streaming down my face with laughter as I had to lick a raisin and focus on that as a concept in a room full of people who were (mainly) being far more serious than me. I'm the biggest cynic in the world when it comes to contrived situations but to me the least contrived situation is pregnancy and I am damned well going to enjoy it.

I anticipate that being a Mum will be the most demanding responsibility in the world. There will be endless nappies to change, projectile poo, hormones everywhere and no sleep so why make light of it now in such a sugar coated chintzy way? I would much rather focus on the coping mechanisms adopted and shared by mums such as "Mother Pukka" who describes herself as someone who "happens to be a parent" and truthfully blogs about the reality of a child. At least that is good preparation (and very amusing).

It was my birthday last week and I had a surprise afternoon tea with 20 of my lovely friends and family. It was so nice to see everyone and spend time with them (and I was very impressed with hubby, for not only organising it and keeping it a surprise, but making very clear it was for my birthday). I am proud to say there wasn't a single piece of baby related evidence in sight - save for a rather large bump! When our baby makes an appearance into this world I will quite happily accept token gifts and visits. I'll be delighted to see friends (and yes I'll still supply wine as well as tea!) and in the same way I will continue to buy presents for friends when their babies are born (I have put some ideas below of the sorts of things I buy) and if they happen to have a party and invite me whilst pregnant of course I will go along. What others choose to do is up to them but I will continue to politely make my excuses from any game filled, present listed event. However, I'll be the first to be ridiculously excited when their miracle makes an entrance into this big wide world. Why celebrate a bump when the best is yet to come?


1. Natural Baby Shower - Finn+Emma's organic hand knitted toys (sold throughout December) Natural Baby Shower will be donating a like for like toy to Mother and Baby refuge charities across the UK in time for Christmas. From £15.00

                                                                                                                                              Natural Baby Shower

2. Dotty Fish - Practical but aesthetically pleasing gifts. Dotty Fish produce fun, practical but reasonably priced leather shoes, tag blankets and bibs. With shoes starting at £7.99 and tag blankets at £8.99 these UK produced products are a great idea for newborn presents (boxsets available from £20.49)

3. me&i organic unisex baby clothes. £20 for a babygro does seem quite steep. However
I absolutely love the fact that these baby clothes haven't been divided into "pink" and "blue".
I bought one recently for a friend who already has 4 boys and her fifth was a girl, but she hates pink. As they are Swedish the design allows enough room for a fabric nappy so if your mate is using disposables there is loads of room for growing!


4. Wooden Name Train £21.50 6 letter name  -  What child doesn't love a train? Unless your bestie has named their child something unfeasibly long (like Montgomery) then this is a nifty little idea and great for unusual names as they will rarely find anything personalised. The added bonus is they can play with it when they are older, so what starts life as a nursery decoration actually has a double life!

Name Train

5. MoKee Mobile £34.95. As you can probably tell I am a little bit in love with all things scandi at the moment and the moKee range is no exception (more guilty splurges to follow when I execute the nursery decor I have planned!). This 100% natural grey felt and plywood mobile is contemporary and affordable. This is the top end sort of gift I'd buy (personally) but it is a little bit cool so definitely worth the spend

    moKee Mobile

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