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The Baby Shower

A lot of my friends are skipping the wedding and are going straight to motherhood. This made me think of where the idea of a baby shower came from, and it’s real purpose other than presents and food.

According to Wikipedia: A baby shower is a way to celebrate the expected or delivered birth of a child by presenting gifts to the mother at a party, whereas other cultures host a baby shower to celebrate the transformation of a woman into a mother.

The term shower is often assumed to mean that the expectant mother is “showered” with gifts. A related custom, called a bridal shower, may have derived its name from the custom in the 19th century for the presents to be put inside a parasol, which when opened would “shower” the bride-to-be with gifts. Alternatively, the term possibly denotes a “first showing” of the new baby to the wider family and circle of friends.

I feel with today’s culture of Instagram, Facebook, and SnapChat, the formality of a shower is more of a nod to tradition. And on the flip side, an opportunity to capture photos with friends and family to post on your social media channels. Some of my favorite games are guessing the belly size of the mother, the scorecard for what do you have in your purse and figuring out what chocolate is in the diaper.

I think with my recent shower what I was not expecting was a bunch of other expecting mothers and their screaming babies. It’s a little hard to have a good time when you are surrounded by children. But, on the flip side, this is probably the few moments when these desperate mothers can get out of the house and have some social time with the girls.

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