Seems like a silly question, doesn't it? The idea of an entire afternoon spent celebrating a new life coming into the world and you being the center of it? Having tables full of good food and a home full of your closest friends? Acquiring numerous and thoughtful gifts from every guest invited? What woman wouldn't want that?
So then why does a seemingly innocent and fun afternoon carry with it so much anxiety and stress? Why do I find myself frustrated and in tears when faced with planning the details? Is something wrong with me? Am I the only mommy-to-be that feels this way?
Before I officially decide to cancel my baby shower I wanted to take some time and explore the issue. Perhaps then I'll be at peace with my decision and perhaps find a creative alternative to this fairly universal right of passage.
First, I have always struggled with being the center of attention. Some people crave it. I hate it. It's a theme that has played out in various arenas of my life. It is a role that I am simply not comfortable in. I prefer to stay on the sidelines. I can shine just as brightly from there. The idea of having a party where I am the focus freaks me out. It makes me super nervous and anxious.
Second, I feel like baby gifts are the driving forces of these gatherings. Not only are gifts expected, but your guests are given a list (registry) of what they should buy for you and the little one. The whole thing seems so selfish. And yet it remains a defining characteristic of most showers. Don't get me wrong. I'm not above receiving gifts. I'll be the first to admit that Eric and I are still in need of many baby basics. We have no clothes, no sheets, no diapers, and only a few toys. But it makes me feel so self-centered and materialistic to expect that my friends will buy me these things.
I am so excited to bring this new life into the world. I beam when I look at the ultrasound photos. I smile every time I glance down at my belly. Eric and I are so blessed, so happy, and so humbled by the whole experience. Once the baby is born I look forward to having some type of "welcoming party" so that all of our friends (near and far) will have the opportunity to meet this little person. And to celebrate this new life.
I'm just not sure having a traditional (pre) baby shower is for me.
I hope my friends and family will understand.