Having a baby shower is a common tradition for many families in the United States. It is typically put on by the mother to share with her closest friends and family members, which are usually females. The shower serves as a party for both the expecting mother and the baby who is on the way. The day is filled with talking, laughter, playing silly games, and gift giving.
And just like any other parent, it is perfectly appropriate for you to have a shower for your baby or infant. You are on the pregnancy path as much as other parents and a baby shower could be a milestone to consolidate your new family status.
At the same time, there are things to consider for adoptive parents when having such a party. It is a stressful process to plan and coordinate. Not to mention, for first-time parents, parties can be overwhelming. Some couples might feel uncomfortable with the idea or simply does not know what is best for them.
A baby shower is not a requirement for all parents. Here are some things to help you decide whether having a baby shower is something for you and your baby.
Pro – You will receive things you didn’t know you needed
When adopting a baby, you will need a lot of things. Even if you think you have the perfect list of items, there will be bound to be things you will forget. This is most relevant if you are adopting a baby or an infant for the first time. Luckily, a baby shower is a perfect place to receive anything you might miss. Or something that you will need a lot of – like diapers.
Baby necessities are also expensive, so it is always nice to have a helping hand when it comes to the financial burden of the baby journey. For example, you probably wouldn’t spend outside your budget t, but receiving it as a gift from someone else would be a nice surprise.
You might also be concerned about getting things that you won’t need and might have to return. Even if this is the case, you can use gift receipts to exchange it. If you want to be as efficient as possible, you can send out your registry to your guests. It will save you a lot of time and money and can also erase a load of stress for your guests.
Pro – Spending time with family and friends
Baby showers used to be only for females, but that tradition has long been changed to fit a more modern world. Co-ed showers are great to see everyone you love and respect, either to catch up or to hear any advice they have to give from their experiences.
Though hearing the same thing over and over again might get bothersome, you will still benefit from building connections that will be needed along your parenting journey. Having a strong support system is crucial for any tasks, and parenting is no different. You will need guidance, recipes, tricks for home improvement, or even a babysitter from time to time.
Aside from those things, you will need people to talk to through times of difficulties or stress. Parenting is hard and you won’t be able to do everything on your own. Family and friends will always be there for you.
Pro – It is part of the journey
Having a baby shower is a landmark occasion to commemorate the arrival of a child. Such an event does not distinguish between a birth child or an adoptive one. What makes it so special is the recognition of the parents and of the love the child will receive.
If you feel an overwhelming pressure to make it a certain way, just remember that it is your day. It is absolutely okay to be a little selfish. The people who are there are the ones who want to be there in the first place, so don’t feel like you are forcing them in any way.
After the baby is home, it will be unlikely that you will have time to celebrate all the hard work you did. A baby shower is a good excuse to relax for a little bit. You also need to remember that you are not on this adoption road alone, and that’s something else worth celebrating.
Con – There will be a lot of eyes on you
Even though it is technically called a baby shower, the spotlight will be on you until the baby arrives. You will be bombarded with gifts and attention. You’ll be put under a lot of pressure to keep the lively environment going.
There will either be a lot of talking that you may or may not enjoy, or you’ll have to play games to entertain the guests. Popular games include: guessing the number of chocolate bars in a jar or guessing the gender. Unless you thrive in this kind of situation, a baby shower is not a good fit for you.
Con – You may hear inappropriate comments
While having your closest friends and family members around might sound joyful at first, they might not be able to help themselves to say or ask certain things. If they are unaware of what the adoption process entails or are not open to the idea, their comments can be very hurtful. In order to avoid any negative encounters, it might be in your best interest to avoid having a baby shower altogether.
However, if you do want to proceed, be prepared for the improper questions. Here are some answers you can use to divert the situation. If someone asks about your fertility or your husband’s, tell them the child is your own. If they ask what happened to the real parents, tell them only positive things, or you don’t have to answer this at all.
Con – Guests, including yourself, might feel forced into the fun
It is a tradition for baby showers to include silly games to keep the guests involved. Sometimes there are even prizes for winners to keep the joyous feeling going. However, it can turn into a waiting game of when the next activity will be instead of focusing on the mother and the child.
What’s fun for some people might not be fun for others and you will stress yourself further by trying to sort that out.
Baby Shower Yes or No?
The adoption process is long and difficult one; you and your baby deserve some festivity at the end of the journey to start another. The purpose of a baby shower is to honor you on this rigorous route and that is it. You do not need to follow tradition or be afraid to do your own thing. Your happiness and comfort are above everything else.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Lisa Truong is an undergraduate journalism major at the University of Denver. She is minoring in writing and Chemistry. She has been commended by professors for her news stories as well as creative writing.
During her freshman year, her essay “See Ya on the Other Side” was displayed at a writing exhibition sponsored by the University of Denver. That essay later went on to be published in Many Voices One DU, a book also sponsored by the university.
Lisa frequently volunteers to be a leader at the Daniels School of Business for their quarterly Ethics Boot Camp where students learn about the importance of character in business. In her free time, Lisa enjoys watching animated movies with her mother, listening to music, going for bike rides, and eating breakfast food.
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Craft, Carrie. “Considerations When Hosting an Adoption Baby Shower.” LiveAbout. May 23, 2019. https://www.liveabout.com/hosting-an-adoption-baby-shower-26604.
“Having a Baby Shower? Keep These Pros and Cons in Mind.” The Everymom. May 19, 2018. http://theeverymom.com/having-a-baby-shower-keep-these-pros-and-cons-in-mind/.
Www.facebook.com/americaadopts. “Planning A Baby Shower For Adoptive Parents: 3 Tips For Success.” America Adopts. May 24, 2016. http://www.americaadopts.com/planning-a-baby-shower-for-adoptive-parents-3-tips-for-success/.