This is kind of a How To Not Throw Your Own Baby Shower...
...just as much as it is an appreciation post of all the people I've met since moving to California a little less than a year ago who came and drank and celebrated our baby boy.
So because we moved, and because husbands family is all over the Midwest and East Coast and mine isn't involved, it was up to me to throw a baby shower.
**Shout out to my lovely former employee and his family who not only provided me a space to throw the shower but also provided so.much.booze for all those not pregnant.
Step 1: Pinterest
This was probably the most overwhelming step because there are hundreds of game recommendations and DIY things and I had no one really to consult on what games were fun or "must haves" and which ones could be skipped. I ended up purchasing Baby Shower Bingo and a Crossword puzzle, plus this guess how big my tummy is giant tape measurer and none of them got touched. Again, partially my fault because at the party I was both hostess and Mom To Be so I kind of got lost among chatting people up and never was like..."hey, you know what we should do. Play some games." So, piece of advice/ tip number one, A) get someone to help you if you're not having a shower thrown for you and B) if you can't get someone to help, at least get someone to be the party host. You will get lost among your guests.
Step 2: Party City
Working 50 hour weeks did not allow me to be the DIY mom of my dreams. I turned to Party City for everything (mostly because they had everything I needed in one aisle at a reasonable price). I bought the games no one touched, the giveaway candy and all the decorations. I walked in there, grabbed their pre made baby shower kit x the number of people coming and walked out. No bad mom guilt here, because everything was ridiculously cute. Tip two: mom guilt is too much effort. Do what's best for you.
Step 3: Register for Stuff
And, tip three, don't expect anyone to get anything off your registry. This is not a knock on people's gifts, I am very appreciative of everything and anything people spent their time and money getting and gifting us. This is more of a "I wish someone told me..." moment. I spent a lot of time choosing brands, products and researching the good and bad of what I wanted. We ended up with maybe 5% of the gifts given to us that came from the actual registry. In retrospect, I wish I had just asked for gift cards. Everything given to us was lovely, but not everyone has the same tastes and style that you do; I did not open presents in front of people simply because we ran out of time (and almost forgot to have cake--see tip one, above) and in the end was glad I didn't.
Step 4: Evite
I, for 10 seconds, considered spending money on Save The Dates and paper invitations. Then I remembered doing all that for our engagement and ran in the other direction. Instead I set up a virtual invitation, uploaded my contact list; linked the registries and bam. Done.
Tip 4 DIAPER RAFFLE. Research it. Do it. Don't ask questions. None of my research led me to this piece of advice and this left us with 0 diapers. Because I had no one to consult, I had no idea this was a thing! I wish I had. What an easy way to get people to bring diapers!
Tip 5 (and one I did do) to grow your book collection, ask for a book instead of a card. We put a cute poem on our invite to encourage a more meaningful memento from our guests. The only con is that because the beautiful sentiments will be written in the book, you can't return them, so you might end up getting more than one of the same book, or a book you really don't like. This, overall, is an excellent card replacement (especially if you're like me, who keeps nothing).
Step 5: Food
Going back to handy dandy tip number two, mom guilt is for suckers, and I hated that while I was at work, instead of working I was worrying about what I was going to feed my guests and if they would judge me if I didn't cater and...STOP.
We ended up ordering all of the bagels (all of them) and cream cheese from Panera. Getting a whole bunch of coffee and tea. Using a good friends Costco membership for the cake (that everyone raved about) and picking up some candy. I love bagels. I was the pregnant lady at the party. I decided if I'm worrying about anyone. It should be be. Pretty crazy concept, huh?
Last and Best Step (6):
At the end of the day, I threw on a dress I already had in my closet and added a blue ribbon. My husband was by my side and so many people that I had barely just met took time out of their day to celebrate with us. Just like the best piece of wedding advice anyone can give you, I'll say the same for your baby shower (and I think it's applicable to all major moments in your life). This day is for you. Relax. Do your best. Make sure you're happy and having fun and somehow, even with all the mistakes. Even with all the things you could have done differently.