I have such fond memories of each shower thrown for me as an expectant mama, but one event stands out as a favorite. When I was hugely pregnant with our twin sons, my friends in our neighborhood put together a lovely and low-key shower that was wonderfully without cheesy games or extravagant decor.
Glasses of wine for them, sparkling juice for me. Platters of cheese and fruit and sinking back with laughter into the couches of the warm living room of my next door neighbor while music played softly in the background. It was far more Girls’ Night than traditional shower, and as I weathered those last days carrying my third and fourth children, it was exactly what I needed.
I thoroughly enjoyed the bigger, more traditional showers thrown for me when I was expecting my older girls, but this particular shower helped me understand why there are so many mamas-to-be who much prefer a simple celebration to anything planned by Pinterest.
If you find yourself hosting a shower for a friend or family member who has specifically stated that she prefers simple over elaborate, you might be at a loss for what that could look like, particularly if you are a Big Party person yourself.
Photo by lmnop88a
1. Instead of a shower, throw a “sprinkle”
A “sprinkle” is the lite version of the traditional shower. Generally given for women who already have at least one older child, a sprinkle is low-key and laid-back: casual invitations, no games, light fare. For the mom who doesn’t want a big fuss, a sprinkle could be the perfect fit.
2. Plan a Sip & See
Depending on the cultural climate where you live, a Sip & See can be hosted by friends or by the happy parents themselves. The idea behind a Sip & See is that it’s held after baby arrives. Like a sprinkle, there are rarely games (baby will probably be sleeping, eating, or fussing!), and the atmosphere is more about eating and talking than focusing on Mom opening gifts. A Sip & See might be a particularly fitting choice when a baby joins the family through adoption.
3. Make it practical
It’s hard to turn down the opportunity to buy darling newborn outfits for the mother-to-be; I’m a repeat offender of this practice, to be sure! But some moms might find an emphasis on the practical best fits her hopes for a simple celebration.
This might take the form of a diaper shower where guests are asked to bring boxes of disposable diapers and wipes or to select cloth diapers from a registry. Other moms might prefer a meal shower so her freezer gets stocked with healthy homemade meals from friends to help save her sanity during those first few weeks. And in this Facebook thread exploring shower ideas, one mama shared how her shower guests helped out by making homemade baby products during the shower!
4. Choose the path of Blessingway
Photo by Erin Vest
Some women might eschew the concept of a shower altogether, preferring a more spiritual approach to this moment in life. A Blessingway focuses on honoring and blessing the mother-to-be but without the pressure of being watched while opening gifts. Some elements of a Blessingway would include pampering the mother with something like a massage or pedicure, speaking words of blessing over her, and giving gifts that would encourage and support her during labor such as candles, music, or beads which can be strung into a necklace reminding her of the support of women who are dear to her.
5. Help other moms – locally or across the globe
Finally, other women who truly do not want to accumulate any more gifts for herself or the baby may be drawn to the idea of a shower that blesses other women. In this case, guests could bring gifts to be donated to a local women’s shelter, pregnancy center, or foster family resource room. For the more globally-minded mom, a hostess may turn the shower into an opportunity to create clean birth kits for women in remote, underdeveloped areas. (Adriel Booker shares details on this and other ideas in her Love A Mama Community).
Celebrating a woman as she brings her new baby into the world should be a beautiful part of communities of family, friends, and faith. A shower doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing, and as more and more women explore the realm of simple living, ideas abound for ways to celebrate that are meaningful for the guest-of-honor and her guests!