You guys know all about the typical baby shower. Usually it’s women only, with pastel blues, pinks and greens, baby themed decorations like Baby-Q or Little Lambs, and silly little games like “What kind of poop is smashed inside this diaper?”
Well . . . that’s not really my style.
I understand that a baby shower is supposed to be so everyone can shower you with gifts so that you have what you need for the baby, but damn. What about me? The person carrying that baby is experiencing a major shift. I’m about to become a parent! Do you have any idea what that means???
I’ve heard a lot of people say that you should have to get a license before becoming a parent. That way, at least there’d be some kind of test to see if you’re “ready.” Well unfortunately, that doesn’t exist. So why not an “Anti-Baby Shower?
Birth as a rite of passage
I had the idea to throw an Anti-Baby Shower after reading the book, Birthing From Within, and taking a birthing class based on the same principles. I learned about the incredible transformation that I was about to experience of an individual becoming a parent. Birth As A Rite of Passage. So I decided I wanted to honor this change and I wanted my friends to come and support my husband and I through it.
“Anthropologists have described tribal initiation given to young men/women coming into adulthood as physical, psychological and spiritual ordeals that are a test of courage and endurance. Initiations alter your knowing of who you are. In rites of passage, success is usual, but not without risk to life, limb and soul. During this process the child dies and the man/woman is born.” England and Horowitz, Birthing From Within
I wanted to give my husband and I a tribal initiation. I wanted to test our physical, psychological and spiritual selves. I wanted to test our courage and endurance. And, okay, maybe I wanted to have just one diaper game for the guests.
Everyone that came had to paint my belly. Now, I have a lot of industry friends that are nowhere near their parenting journey. Many of them were uncomfortable even seeing a pregnant belly under clothes let alone touching a bare skinned belly with their fingers. But once they got their hands in the paint, any discomfort faded away. It was like being reverted to 1st grade. Everyone loves finger paint.
Warning: the below photos contain graphic content. I blame it on improv comedy.
Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. There are ways to get super creative here. AKA Circumcision wieners floating in a pot. I spent a LOT of time on Pinterest, looking for funny/disgusting food metaphors. I think I found the best ones. Let me know what you think!
Were some people grossed out by eating a “nipple bite?” Maybe…but they sure devoured the Morning Sickness Dip. Have fun! Because doing the normal thing is boooooring!
Here comes the tests of psychology, endurance and stamina. I wanted this to be legit! So, we transformed. My husband became “Sunday Morning Dad,” and I became “Soccer Mom.”
My husband’s endurance and stamina test was a competition to see how fast he could get the baby, carseat and stroller in the car. He did have some issues with breaking down the stroller. Those things can be a pain in the ass!
My task was to get my two “kids” (volunteers from my friends) dressed and in the car before soccer practice. They had fun playing the role of my kids and making this harder for me saying, “it’s too hot mom,” and “I’m hungry!”
Our psychological test came in the form similar to one of those newlywed tests where we both had chalkboards to write down our answers. If our answers matched, we would earn a point as “parents,” but if they didn’t, the “baby” would get a point. The questions came from my friends. They had to ask us challenging parenting questions and boy, let me just say, my friends are smart and did not let this opportunity slide. They asked things like: At what age will you feel comfortable leaving your baby with a babysitter (not family)? Who is going to be the person who gets up for the 30th + time when the baby won’t go to sleep? At what age will you feel comfortable knowing your child is having sex? At what age is it ok to feed your baby strawberries? What will you do when you find pot in your child’s room?
They did NOT hold back and we were all the better for it. What I realized through this game was that my husband and I were more on the same page than I thought. It was funny, challenging and also endearing. I laughed so hard at moments I think I wet my pants. Because of this game, I felt like my husband and I were definitely going to work together as a parenting team and that we had each other’s backs.
I also had different stations set up where my friends had to write me little notes about who they thought I was as a person versus who they thought I would be as a parent. Those were critical in helping me navigate my transformation. I still look at those little notes to this day to give me strength and a good laugh.
OKAY, I had to have ONE game for the rest of the guests. And since baby showers love diaper games, I had to have one too.
My diaper game consisted of passing out adult-sized diapers to my guests and letting them know that the first person who could pee in their diaper while we hung out at the party would win $100!
It was a challenge because folks get shy peeing in public. 😉 In the end, there was a winner. And damn, it was funny.
All in all, we were ready for parenthood knowing we were supported by our friends and each other.
There’s nothing wrong with baby showers but personally, I think there needs to be more emphasis in our society on honoring the transformation of the soon-to-be parents. What are the things that YOU need during your transition? What would make you laugh or give you strength? Implement these things into your party and I promise it won’t be another Saturday afternoon with tea and crumpits, but a memorable day that will fuel you through your entire parenting journey.
Oh and please share your ideas and photos with me! I’m so curious what you all come up with.