Saturday, 1 February 2014

Why I am Dreading My Baby Shower … Just A Little Bit

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ungrateful for my family hosting the shower or my family and friends coming over and showering me with gifts. I am so touched that my family and friends care about me that much that they want to celebrate our little miracle coming into the world. So why would I dread my baby shower?

It’s a long story but to begin, as someone who is pro-life I want to make sure that I’m sending the right message out there: Having a baby is affordable. However, in today’s society, it’s almost an inconceivable thought to try to have a minimalist approach to bringing a child into the world. The way I see it, this baby doesn’t need much, and I can make do without most of the gadgets first time moms usually purchase or receive. Sure there are some things I will need, like a crib and a changing pad and a stroller. There are also things I would like to have like a nice glider with a matching ottoman, or an ERGO baby carrier. But, those two things are not necessities and should not take precedence over things my child will truly needs like diapers. And so, with that in mind, I’ve put together a list of items that myself and other moms have deemed “necessary” and I’ll do my best to avoid purchasing things that are not on this list.

Before people started warning me about waiting until the baby shower to buy things, I just thought of the baby shower as a time before the birth of the baby to get together with family and friends. We would play games, eat some cake and have a great afternoon. But now it seems as though I’m forcing people to get me gifts. I HATE that, because I’m not a gift grubby person. I don’t expect people to get me presents and it makes me feel as though my husband and I are some sort of charity case.

What really bothers me the most is that even if I don’t expect people to get us presents, I know they will. However, I am extremely worried about getting items I will never use. There are a lot of baby items that are very personal, like a stroller. I need something agile enough to get around on unpaved trails, but not so heavy that I can’t lift it. Even if I pick out my perfect stroller, I’m concerned someone will purchase a lovely stroller I’m sure, but not the one that works best for me and my family. Another example would be receiving 100 different outfits which are all the same size. My child will only be that size for a limited amount of time and I do not want to have 100 outfits that are all worn once, if that. I’m just so worried about receiving too many things that will stay in my house untouched and unused until I finally get the energy to donate them or sell them online.

All those worries have lead me to decide to register for the shower. This was a hard decision to make BUT I feel that in this situation it is necessary. As a general rule, I hate registries because it can be viewed as saying: “You must get me something, and I will limit your choices to ridiculously expensive things”. However, in this case I’m hoping it will convey: “ If you must get us something (and it’s not necessary that you do), please consider choosing something from our carefully selected list of necessary baby equipment.” The way I see it, we will have to buy these items regardless of if we receive them at the shower or not. By purchasing something from our list, our friends and family will not only facilitate our transition into parenthood BUT will also avoid me the gruelling task of sorting through endless amounts of items we won’t need.

Please don’t think I’m kidding myself thinking that everyone will purchase from our registry. More than likely, some will avoid the list like the plague and purchase something I unexpectedly love. However, the registry will allow me to somewhat control the amount of things we receive and subsequently the amount of wastefulness.

So to my friends and family who are planning or attending my baby shower. Thank you so much for caring enough about this little life in my belly to be part of this special day with us. Your sheer presence is enough, but if you feel the need to bring a gift with you, please consider choosing something from our registry. The items we have selected are all items we feel will be required in the coming year and will be put to good use. We love you and are so blessed to have you all in our lives.

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