While Mom enjoys the swollen ankles and constant kidney shots of pregnancy, Dad has a role in the process as well. Many guys play an integral part of planning for the new addition. But, often, they are left out of the parties. Sure, there are some couple-themes that usually result in a host of men sitting awkwardly around the room while women ooh and ahh over tiny baby things.
Shouldn’t Dad get a chance to celebrate his impending fatherhood just like Mom?
A lot of people say a resounding yes. So there has been a new type of shower that celebrates a man’s change from being a husband to a father. Taking it’s name from a bachelor party, when he moved from a single guy to that old ball and chain, a Dachelor party brings guys together to celebrate your favorite guy’s impending move to fatherhood.
Take a hint from the name. A Dachelor party is more like a Bachelor party than like a shower. There will be no tiny sandwiches. No sweetened tea. No frilly pink cards and gift bags. But that doesn’t mean that it’s all about strippers and booze. Instead, think about it as a chance for a new Dad to celebrate with the guys in his life that have already been there. So lets take a look at opportunities for men to celebrate.
Your Dachelor party doesn’t have to be the booze fueled Vegas-palooza that Hollywood shows. It can be a fun time for guys to celebrate this milestone. It’s all in the planning. First of all, talk to the Dad in your life. See who he would like to invite to a party. Discuss the purpose of the party and encourage those friends that have already made the leap into fatherhood. It’s also important to consider the Mom’s baby shower. When it comes to guests, you may want to make sure that you don’t have a lot of overlap between the two. For example, you would not want to simply invite all the partners of the women coming to the Mom’s shower. It might put too much pressure on the couple who might find it difficult to provide a gift for both showers.
What does your favorite Dad-to-be really enjoy? Is he a football fan? A Trekkie? Does he take the day off when a new video game comes out? Use his passion as the theme for the party. Design the invitations, thank you notes, decorations, and food around your theme.
There are lots of options for a Dachelor party. Because Dad isn’t required to give up alcohol, don’t neglect places like Dad’s favorite sports bar or golf course, miniature or otherwise. If you choose a grill theme, consider having it in someone’s backyard. If sports are his big thing, consider planning his party around a game or a ski weekend. Is your dad a micro brewer? Tie his party into a trip to a local craft brewery. Just make sure it’s a time for him to relax and talk to his buddies about the changes in his life.
Your guests will want to know what to bring Dad. The best way to handle the gift conundrum is with a gift registry. If Mom is already having a shower, you can forward that registry with the invitations. Just be sure to add a few things just for Dad. Some great ideas are books designed to help Dad deal with this new little person in his life. They can be practical, such as The Baby Owner’s Manual, or touching such as Why a Daughter Needs a Dad. If your Dad wants to raise a budding science geek, consider the book Experimenting with Babies that includes fun experiments you can do safely with your baby. Be sure to include some books Dad can read with the growing baby such as Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada. But you don’t have to just stick to books, there are lots of fun gifts that can help prepare your new Dad to bond with his baby such as Dad and Baby “matching” tops or the always useful Dad’s Diaper Duty Device that keeps everything handy.
Keep your food in context with your theme. Obviously, a grill out will feature steak, burgers and corn-on-the-cob. If your party is at a sport’s bar, make sure that your guests will have plenty of bar eats such as hot wings, potato skins and nibbles. Your golf course might benefit from sandwiches or drinks at the turn. This can be even more fun if you serve at the turn of mini or putt putt golf. While Dad’s can have alcohol, the last thing anyone wants is for a pregnant Mom to have to pick up an inebriated partner. So, keep drinking to a reasonable level.
Like any other baby shower, make sure that you have a way to get gifts home. This becomes especially important if the guys have gotten together to get him that jogging stroller he had his eye on. But even smaller gifts can be a burden if he is taking a cab back home. Also, while it’s important not to make generalities, some men do need reminders to drop a quick “thank you note” for all the gifts.
There are some who object to Men’s showers. They say that it is the mom who carry’s the baby and deserves to be celebrated. Who can disagree with that? But a Dachelor party doesn’t take anything away from the Mom or her traditional celebration. The reality of the situation is that more and more, men are celebrating this wonderful transition in their lives. While it may not be tradition, it still recognizes the changes that are going on in his life too.