Today I hosted a baby shower for my dear friend. But not the kind you are probably picturing in your head. We’re both over what seems to be the standard shower these days. You know the ones I’m talking about.
Sit around awkwardly with an assortment of people you’ve never met while attempting to guess just how big mom-to-be’s belly is without going overboard and having her realize you secretly thing she looks like a small whale. Guzzling juice from a bottle with a slow flow nipple as if this skill is somehow worthy of bragging rights. Investigating melted and mushed mess in a diaper to guess what candy bar it was in a former life (if you have no idea what this game is, lucky you. Go on with your life knowing you’ve been spared a deep trauma that will forever ruin 100 Grand bars for you).
It’s also not her first kid so all the hullabaloo and long registry lists seem silly. Once you’re past the first, you have most of the baby essentials covered with the exception of a few major items you are not comfortable asking friends to purchase. Or maybe you’re lucky and have friends interested in funding your upgrade to a triple stroller and minivan, in which case, congratulations. You’ve essentially won the lottery.
Point being, the concept of showering or even sprinkling mom with gifts for baby, while sweet and always appreciated, if not what we had in mind when we talked about the shower a few months back. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure I know anyone so reluctant to be the center of baby-induced brouhaha. After some chatting and a lot of pin sharing on Pinterest, she was really liking the idea of a Blessingway. We hashed out some ideas and she trusted me to pull it all together.
If you’re not familiar with a Blessingway, it is a celebration of life and love, pregnancy and motherhood, in a tranquil, love-filled atmosphere. Rooted in Native American tradition, a Blessingway focuses on healing, creation, harmony, and peace. The purpose of a Blessingway is to nourish, nurture, support, celebrate, and encourage the mother-to-be while affirming that she will have a beautiful birth experience.
Well, today was the day and I think it was a smashing success! It wasn’t extravagant and it was only a handful of guests, but it felt just right. I even gave myself a free pass on the cooking and baking I’d usually do and opted from some bite sized alternatives from Trader Joe’s and Publix. The guest of honor left happy and, I’m proud to say, no guests left traumatized by so called shower ‘games.’
I’m certainly not qualified to lead a genuine Blessingway, but there are some beautiful sentiments we incorporated into meaningful activities, all in support of mom. Two of my favorites are the birthing necklace and candles for labor. For the birthing necklace, guests brought beads that have special meaning to them or speaks to their relationship with mom. The candles are something each guest took home with them to light when mom is in labor.
As usually, we failed pretty miserably of snapping photos of guests and ourselves, but I did manage to snag some photos of the set up. Check out the gallery to see how it all came together.
I was really pleased with how everything came together. It was a lot of fun making the flower arrangements and setting the scene, especially the snack table. The butterflies, baby’s breath, and scattered stones were some of my favorite little touches. I also enjoyed hunting down quotes that fit the activities I had planned. It was time consuming but well worth it. I’ve shared them below for reuse for anyone interested.
If you will be planning a baby shower anytime soon, I recommend studying up on Blessingways. I think you and the mom-to-be will be pleased with the refreshing alternative. There are also some other great activities we didn’t include for various reasons. Here are some I loved but that didn’t make the cut.
This can be done directly on mom’s belly or on a cast that she can keep. You can hire a professional or allow guest to partake in the fun. Or a little of both.
This is a special treat for the mom-to-be. She is encouraged to sit and relax while her feet soak in a warm water bath with essential oils, herbs, bath salts, or any other soak she prefers.
Guests gather and pass around a yarn or ribbon. Each guest shares a thought, prayer, story, or sentiment, wraps the yarn around their wrist, then passes it to another guest. After everyone has been bound by the thread, it is cute and tied around each guest’s wrist. They wear it until baby is born as a reminder to think of mom.
Quotes and Instructions
As I said, please feel free to reuse these images. Everyone commented on them and really enjoyed the sentiments. I also felt it was a fun way to give guidance without listing instructions. This allowed guests to participate at their leisure in between snacks and conversations.
If you do decide to host a Blessingway-inspired baby shower or have hosted one before, I’d love to hear about it! Tell me what you did and how it went for you.