I just hit my third trimester of pregnancy — and it feels surreal. By no means did my experience start smoothly. Extreme morning sickness plus a traveling husband and first-trimester depression made things a little rough, to say the least. But even considering all of that, this pregnancy has gone by faster than expected.
As I near my due date, more and more people have been asking the usual pregnancy related questions. Are you nervous about being a mom of two? (Yes.) Do you plan on having any more? (Go away.) How do you feel? (Like a whale.)
And my least favorite question of all: when will you have a baby shower?
To be clear, I don’t think these people mean any ill will when they ask me questions about a baby shower. Depending on the individual, I’m actually quite flattered that so many people want the opportunity to welcome our new child with gifts.
At the same time, none of that is enough to change the deep-seated disdain I feel towards baby showers. So no, I don’t want one. Here’s why:
1. I hate attention.
This is my second child. With my first, I had a small intimate gathering in my hometown held around Thanksgiving. There was good food, the crowd was small enough that I wasn’t incredibly uncomfortable, and I was blessed with thoughtful gifts. But I still hated it.
I don’t enjoy situations where I am the center of attention. I’m not a social butterfly. Being an ambivert, I’m completely fine with missing public events. But it’s a lot harder to miss an event that was created in your honor. I don’t like the pressure that comes with knowing any event was organized with me specifically in mind. And despite the fact everyone there was close to me and had significance in my life, I could not wait for it to be over.
2. I hate the games.
I have to admit, there is something I hate even more than being the center of attention — mandatory icebreakers and group games. I have yet to attend a baby shower that doesn’t have some form of obligatory group activity. *insert death glare*
I know, I know. We all have free will. If I don’t wanna participate in shower activities, I don’t have to. But come on, who wants to be the jerk who attends the baby shower and doesn’t honor the schedule set in favor of the mother?
For me, the only thing worse than being forced to participate in a bunch of diapers smelling games at someone else’s shower is to sit back and watch as other people participate in them at my own shower.
It would be different if the baby shower games where things I enjoyed like Cards Against Humanity, charades, or taboo. But I have never been fortunate enough to be invited to a baby shower with games that cool.
3. I don’t need a weight reminder.
At a baby shower, almost every event is set up to remind you about your weight in some shape or form. There’s bound to be one, if not more, games that wrap things around your belly and expect guests to guess how many rotations it takes to find your new circumference. No thanks to toilet tissue looping around my body to remind me that I’ve gained a substantial amount of weight. That’s a hard pass on the jokes and the measurements.
I can do without feeling like a beach ball while others win party prizes for guessing how many pounds stand between my current weight and my favorite dresses. At baby showers, people spend time discussing your size recreationally.
I know everyone means well, but considering this is my second go-round, I know what I want out of my pregnancy experience. We have to stop forcing pregnancy scripts on mothers. Believe me, I have more than enough to worry about without forcing myself to pretend to be comfortable with socializing, weight conversations, and sucky games.
Can we please respect that and move on?