If you have hosted a baby shower, chances are you have been to one or two.
Or a dozen.
More often than not, they follow the same pattern: Women arrive at the home of the hostess. They eat finger food or have a brunch. They have cake, either shaped like a baby, or in a tower of cupcakes. Then everyone plays games and heads home with a cupcake or candle. It’s nice, but maybe it doesn’t suit every mom-to-be. But there are lots of different ways to celebrate the impending birth of a new human being. Here are a few non-traditional ways to celebrate Mom and Baby.
Look, we all know how Mom got into her present condition. Just because she’s carrying a baby doesn’t mean that she doesn’t mean that she has lost all ability to enjoy life. Sure, she can’t drink alcohol, but she can enjoy other things. Like the company of her best girlfriends.
So why not plan a girl’s night out to celebrate her impending motherhood. Designate a driver, not the mother, or hire a limo service for the evening. Take the Mom to all of her favorite pre-baby hangouts. While she can’t drink booze, she can indulge in all of her favorite virgin versions or mocktails. At every stop, have another guest regale the party with pictures or stories, (or both) of the many times they had visited the establishment.
Visit a variety of venues that offer music, comedy or dancing. If you can find venues with her favorite performers all the better.
Bring a large t-shirt with you. Place a large piece of cardboard inside and ask each guest to sign the shirt with indelible markers. As you move through the evening, ask bar managers, and even performers to sign the shirt. You can present the shirt to Mom as a keepsake of the evening. If you make sure it is larger than normal, you might have a great shirt for her to wear during labor a delivery. That way, when she is working so hard, she can literally wrap herself in the love of her friends and memories of good times.
Do you know a classical art lover who’s having a baby? Then this might be the shower for you. Talk to your local art museum or gallery. Many are also available as venues for private parties. If you don’t have that option, you can still take your group to the local gallery as patrons, then move on to another venue for eating and presents.
If you don’t have a gallery or museum nearby, then why not create your own. Purchase or print the mother’s favorite pieces and place them in fun or functional frames around your shower venue. If you can’t find her favorites, then concentrate on masterpieces that feature mothers and babies. Instead of the typical baby shower games, offer a chance for your guests to make their own masterpieces. You can collect jewelry findings and let each mother make stroller or purse charms. You can print out large masterworks and cut out the faces of the models and create a masterpiece photo booth. Print the pictures on site and place them in small frames as unique favors for each guest to take home.
Maybe your favorite Mom-to-be is more of an artist than an art lover. So why not have a baby shower that gives your guests and guest of honor the opportunity to express themselves artistically. Be sure to let guests know that they might get messy at the shower and make sure that they dress accordingly. Send out blank cards for invitations and ask your guests to decorate the front as they see fit and bring them to the party. You can then display their work as an Invitation gallery.
Instead of games, set up different types of art projects. Know a weaver? Set up a loom in one corner of the venue and encourage the guests to weave a few lines into what will become a blanket for the baby. Purchase some air-dry clay and let your guests make their own sculptures or pinch pots at another station. Put out small canvasses and paint and have an artist lead the group through a simple painting project. Don’t know any artists? Then pick out a favorite DIY artist on YouTube or boot up your favorite Bob Ross video.
You don’t have to leave food out of the art. Cover large sugar cookies with a smooth coat of royal icing and let your guests draw or write notes on their own cookies with edible markers. Or place out a wide range of frosting and let your guests create their own cupcake masterpieces.
Finally, purchase several larger canvases. Ask the Mom what colors she has chosen for the nursery. Purchase paint in those and coordinating colors. If necessary, thin the paint so that it sprays easily from squirt guns. Encourage each guest to shoot the canvas, creating an original piece of modern art for baby.
Rather than having the having the shower in a home or restaurant, why not really help Mom relax. Call a local spa and set up a time for your mom and guests to have a day of pampering. This works best with smaller parties, since few spas can accommodate groups of a dozen or more. Set up times for manicures, pedicures, facials and massage. While your guests are being pampered, offer them finger foods such as fruit a charcuterie platter. Be sure that they have plenty of water or sparkling fruit juice to drink.
When it comes time to open the presents, make sure that there are people to carry larger items out of the area, so that freshly painted nails don’t get scratched and newly relaxed muscles aren’t strained. You can send your guests home with little favor bags that include polish, lotion, scrubs and artisan soaps.