Navigating Baby Showers
Whether in person or a virtual baby shower, attending these events are hard. You are excited for the expectant mom. You want the best for them. But you’re worried that your emotions might get the best of you if you have to face yet another shower.
Just for the record, no one is expecting you to go. Family and friends love you and don’t want you to attend if it’s going to be too painful. It’s okay to send a gift with someone and share your congrats in a card. Even if they don’t understand, it’s better than needing to “use the restroom” every time you can’t control the tears.
I have been torn too. Do I go or don’t I? Can I handle it? Do I want to handle it? In an effort to want to bless others and not let the infertility overtake my life, I’ve chosen to go most times. I’ve felt shaky and nervous walking up to the door of the house. I’ve felt waves of tears waiting to break forth as I look at one adorable outfit after another.
I can honestly say that it has been worth it every time, especially when the mom-to-be knows my story. By making an effort to attend, it has created a better relationship between the expectant mom and me. It shows that I do care about their family and am cheering them on.
Leaving the shower after a fair time of attending has given me a sense of accomplishment too. I can feel strong and confident because I did it! I jumped over that hurdle again. I’ve proved to myself that infertility doesn’t have to run my life. God does. That’s what matters most.
The Lord will equip and strengthen you to do it. He’ll give you what you need to see that event through. He honours your intentions and cheers you on the whole time. It is an act of laying yourself aside for the love and good of others. This is something Jesus cherishes and smiles at. It’s what we are called to do. (Don’t feel guilty if you can’t do it though. He understands grief just the same and is there with you).
So, are you’re ready to tackle this monstrous feat? Are you ready to join those pink and blue parties? If so, here’s how:
Own every moment of it.
Find a wingman. If you know anyone else that is going, buddy up with them. If you don’t, ask the expectant mom or host if it’s okay to bring a friend. Having a wingman is a great comfort. She can be a needed distraction when you need to break away from a conversation that you can’t handle. She can fill you with little jokes or “insiders” if you need to have a laugh.
Hit up the snacks. Don’t gorge on them, but linger around them for a bit. Being in the kitchen or near the food gives you something to do. Take your time picking out little munchies. It’ll often create space to start up conversations with people. Usually if it’s people you don’t know, they aren’t going to get into heavy baby talk. They’ll want to know a bit about yourself. Use this opportunity to ask questions about others and get to know some people. Again, it’ll cause a nice distraction. Don’t panic if they ask you if you have kids of your own. Just a simple no will suffice. You don’t have to give them details.
Game time. Yes, baby games galore. You could get lost in all the baby thoughts. Or, you can choose to let your competitive side loose and rock those games!
I was feeling like I was on the verge of crying. It was hard looking around at the chocolate slathered diapers and cookie rattles. Then I prayed that God would help me switch up my attitude.
I was going to conquer the games. I was going to have fun and feel good about it. I panicked about the attention I was getting as I answered the questions, but I didn’t let that stop me. I was going to win.
It made it more enjoyable. I suppressed the thoughts about the intimate baby themes and looked at it as a game to be won. You know what? I did win! I was the proud champion. So girl, kick some butt and have fun trying.
Gifts can certainly be painful. If they save the gifts to the end of the shower, ask if the mom can open yours near the beginning. Mention that you have to leave early. Hey, you’ve conquered the food, games, and conversations. Well done. It’s okay to set your escape plan for a bit earlier than the end of the shower.
If the gifts are after people have eaten, make your way to the kitchen and ask to help clean up. One, it’s nice to help out. Two, you don’t have to watch and listen to all the oohing and awing. Whoever is running the event will most likely appreciate the extra hand anyway.
Don’t feel bad if you get there and need a little breather in the bathroom or outside. Bring some extra foundation in your purse if you need to touch up your face after crying. If you get there, try it out, and feel like it’s too much, you can leave. No one will be offended. You tried. That will matter most. And hey, I’m so proud of you for trying. Each step you take towards healing and overcoming the grief of the infertility, the easier it’ll get.
You can handle this. You are strong enough. Well, maybe you aren’t, but I sure know that the Holy Spirit is. If you truly want to go and bless this family, the Lord will give you the strength needed to do it.