Throwing a baby shower whilst you are still TTC is not the easiest thing in the world…in fact, it’s not easy, PERIOD! But if your girlfriend is having a baby, telling her “I love you girl, but I can’t handle this” might not really work. Of course in some cases, you probably could do this, and your friend probably could understand, and all will be fine in your world. But in a lot of cases, tit doesn’t.
First of all, with any kind of shower, the Mommy or Bride-to-be is typically oblivious of what’s going on, so the planning is amongst her friends. If you are all fairly close, it might be easier for you to have a heart-to-heart talk with the other friends to let them know how hard this will be for you. If you’re close enough (or they are not mean heifers), they could agree to run with it and spare you the gory planning details. But what happens if they are complete strangers whom you can’t talk to? What happens if you are the closest person to Mommy-to-be? What happens if Mommy-to-be is your closest and tightest friend in the world, who has bailed you out of many a nasty situation, been there for you through thick and thin, and was solely responsible for planning your own bridal shower and/or hen night? You kinda owe her, don’t you think? Exactly. So…here’s what I think. Whether you’ve been TTC for 1 month or 10 years, put on your party planning hat and get cracking! Here’s why.
I’m not one of those who thinks women TTC should run away from anything baby related. Yes, it might remind you of your own situation, but rather than wilt at the sight of a pair of baby booties, use them as a source of encouragement. Whenever you happen upon anything that spells baby, remind God of His promises to you. It’s not easy, but try to train yourself not to sink into a sea of depression when surrounded by anything baby related. Yes, you might be able to turn off the TV when the advert with adorable baby comes on, and yes, you might make it a point of duty to bypass the Mothercare shop in the mall, but you can not avoid babies in their entirety. Like it or not, they are everywhere. And like it or not, at some point, you will have to enter the baby shop to buy gifts for some person or the other, or run into family, colleagues, or acquaintances with their babies. Developing a coping mechanism is really your best bet.
Now…back to the baby shower. If you are the one planning it, you need to let your love for the Mommy-to-be be your driving force. Think about how you want to make this a special one for her, and plan the shower like you would any good party. Because let’s face it, baby shower or not, food and entertainment are absolutely critical. When it comes to planning the games, feel free to delegate that to someone else if it touches a raw nerve. You could always use the excuse of not knowing much about babies to get out of that one. As for the decorations, gifts, cake, and other things that could explicitly spell baby, rather than feel overwhelmed and intimidated by them, get into the fun and excitement of it all…of picking the perfect cake design, of selecting the perfect gift(s) that will make Mommy-to-be smile, of getting the event venue looking as pretty as possible, and of giving her a party she won’t forget!
If you are not planning the shower, but just attending, then your problem is already slashed in half. Trust me, you won’t keel over and die when you walk into the venue, elaborately decorated with baby paraphernalia. Instead, it will be a chance for you to rejoice with Mommy-to-be, catch up with old friends, enjoy good food and good company, and have a good laugh. Yes, it is possible that there will be some smug mommies, the kind that won’t be mindful of the people in their midst still waiting on God, and instead choose to reel off tales about how wonderful motherhood is and how fantastic their children are. Apart from the fact that these smug mommies are everywhere, so you should have developed a thick enough skin for this, rather than allow yourself get depressed, be encouraged by their smug tales. Be accepting of the fact that yes, motherhood is indeed wonderful, and that hopefully it will be you one day. And if the spotlight falls on you and the other women still waiting for children, don’t be resentful of the attention, but instead graciously accept their prayers and well wishes, and look forward to the time when, hopefully not in the distant future, it will be your own baby shower ;-).