Baby showers are supposed to be fun and maternally empowering. They are supposed to be about female camaraderie and bonding. If you do it right, they are! It’s a celebratory mark on the calendar before seeing your closest and dearest friends (or your own reflection) become limited by sleepless nights, nursery rhymes, mastering the perfect baby formula and changing dirty diapers. As many women have said before, once you become a parent, you’re either busy or tired all the time.
Just because you are spending an afternoon with your favorite coterie of female warriors, it doesn’t mean you should leave your manners at home. Giving gifts, eating cake, playing games and socializing is fun, but there’s still an element of decorum that needs to be followed at a baby shower. Think of it like this: A baby shower faux pas is like a child throwing a tantrum at the playground. One of your friends, probably already a happy and seasoned mother, is going to look at you with eyes that say: you do that again, missy, and I am going to march you right out of here. Take a look at some of the manners, morals and decorum that should be followed at a baby shower.
1. Answer the RSVP in a timely manner. Just because the hostess is your friend doesn’t mean you can saunter through the door like it is a Saturday morning coffee klatch. Similar to a wedding, baby showers take planning and preparation. Food needs to be prepared or catering services need to be called. The hostess is going to need an accurate headcount in order to organize everything. Furthermore, not everybody lives in a sprawling town house. Interior space and party set-up also need to be taken into consideration.
2. If you RSVP that you will not be able to attend the shower, don’t give a long-winded excuse. No expecting mother wants to hear some far-fetched and socially awkward explanation. All you need to do is find the perfect, most adorable gift and use ground shipping to get it to the hostess by the day of the baby shower.
3. There is a good chance that there are going to be people you do not know at the baby shower. While you are great friends with the hostess, her social world might not completely revolve around you. In other words, there is always the possibility that you might not get along with someone at the party. However, it is important to be polite and on your best behavior. This special day is not about you, but the hostess and expecting mother. If you have issues with neighbor Sally about Obamacare, take it up some other time.
4. While in your mind you might just be trying to help or share experiences, avoid horror stories about difficult births at all costs. The baby shower is a time for joy and connection, not anxiety and terror. If you start talking about your friend’s 48-hour labor, prepare for icy glares, if not firmly being taken by the elbow and marched out of the room. That’s right, missy.
5. Save yourself some embarrassment and avoid giving an inappropriate gift. Gift giving can be tricky if you don’t pay attention to the mother-to-be’s preferences. If you opt for religious-themed gifts, be sure you know the parents religious leanings. If you’re interested in providing the family with a big-ticket item, make sure you check the registry first. You don’t want to make the mother uncomfortable, even if you have the best intentions!
If you follow these simple guidelines, then the baby shower should go off without a hitch, happy and faux pas free!
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