Monday, September 23, 2013

Purposeful Parenting: postpone the shower until after the birth, or skip it entirely!

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Throughout all of our discussions of "if we're ever pregnant/expecting a little," Jason and I always agreed: no showers. We're not a huge fan of showers, and it was a really easy decision.

Once we actually were pregnant, as I had expected, we faced a lot of opposition. My mum really wanted to throw us one, and other people we talked to thought it was crazy we weren't having one. But we had our reasons, and trust me, they were good ones!

We didn't want a shower because typically at showers, you get a lot of stuff. We don't really want a lot of stuff. We didn't need a baby swing, a baby bouncer, a million pieces of clothes bought at retail prices and a million receiving blankets.

And while some people have showers with the intent to stock up on diapers or formula/baby food, we weren't in the market for those items either. Bug is in cloth diapers, and she's strictly breast fed. In addition, once she is ready for regular food, we plan to let her wean herself to it, eating regular food.

I applaud those who have baby showers with a note to bring a book in lieu of a card. I think that's awesome. But we really love our local library {we should - Jason used to work there!}, and we don't need a million books in our home. We have a few, and we cherish the ones we have. They're very special to us. But make no mistake: Bug will be very familiar with the library and will utilize the services it offers - such as free books to check out!

If you insist upon a shower, I would really caution you against having one before the birth. I totally understand why people have one before: you want everything set up and you want everything you need right at your fingertips once the baby is here.

Here's the catch: you're not going to know everything you need. Everything we bought after Bug was born, clothes aside, I never would have envisioned needing. Some of the things we bought included:
  • SwaddleMes
  • A car mirror so we can see Bug while she's in the car
  • A neck pillow for Bug's car seat so her head doesn't loll around
In your case, you might have other things you want after the baby is born. And you will have to spend money out of pocket on those items.

If you do insist on a shower before hand, here's some tips that may help you:
  • Talk to a lot of moms around your age to see which products were absolute must-haves
  • If you're using disposable diapers and wipes, register for those - you know you'll need them!
  • Register for and ask for gift cards - this way, once your little is here, you can use the gift cards to get the items you didn't know you wanted
  • Always read customer reviews on items to pick the best one. After all, moms know best!
  • Keep any gift receipts you're given in case you really don't have the need for an item that's been given to you once your little arrives - store credit is always better than a gift that doesn't have a place in your home
If you're on the fence about a shower and are wondering about the perks of skipping it, I'll tell you that I didn't really have to deal with anyone telling me unwanted advice about my baby. That was really nice. Also, so many people bought things for Bug when she was born that I honestly didn't even notice I didn't have a shower! Some of the things that were gifted to us included:
  • A crib
  • A rocking chair
  • A million different outfits {bought at retail prices... ahhhhhhh!}
  • Bathing suit, sun hat and sunglasses {possibly the most genius gift given to me!}
  • Cloth diapers
  • Disposable diapers
  • A glow seahorse
  • Car seat toys
  • Blankets
  • Booties
  • Books
  • A stuffed animal
  • Cash for Bug's savings account
Even if you don't have a shower, I promise you will be blessed by the people in your life who adore you and want to bless your baby with a gift.

A shower can be truly special, but you must work to make it that way. Choose the special people in your life to attend. Keep it small and meaningful. Register for the items you only really and truly need.

I'm incredibly grateful that our lifestyle is minimal, and our home and Bug's room are a reflection of that. She is so blessed - by our love, and not by things. That's how I want her to grow up. I don't want her to be one person in a mountain of things. I want her to be one person who moves mountains.

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