If you are planning a baby shower for a friend or relative, or just helping to organize it, there are some common sources for tension and drama that you should avoid. The last thing you want is a shower that leaves the mother-to-be feeling upset or awkward. These feelings can easily spread to other guests attending the event. Here are three sources for baby shower drama and how to avoid them.
Including the Father & Other Men
It is becoming more common the father-to-be and his male friends to attend the shower for the baby, but that can cause drama if it is not handled properly. Here are some things to consider:
- Don’t force it — make sure the men actually want to be involved and don’t just feel obligated. You don’t want to have bored, annoyed men at the shower
- Don’t make it a surprise — some of your friends and relatives might feel uncomfortable with men there so make sure everyone is aware that it’s a co-ed shower — think ahead of time and they aren’t surprised by it
- Get them involved — if you’re going to include men, don’t have decorations, themes, games, etc focused strictly for women
In the end, if for any reason including men is too problematic to pull off, consider holding a separate shower either just with them and the couple or with other friends and family who don’t mind. The last thing you want is awkward tension and bad feelings among yourself and your guests.
Having an Imbalanced Guest List
Whether or not you include the father and other men, there are usually four groups of people that guest lists can draw from:
- The father’s family
- The father’s friends
- The mother’s family
- The mother’s friends
When making your guest list you don’t want anyone to feel alone and surrounded by people they don’t know. Above all else, make sure the mother-to-be has some people she knows and is comfortable with, to keep her relaxed during the celebration.
Make sure when you’re preparing your guest list for the shower that you create a good balance of each type of group. This way everyone at least has a few people they know to talk with, which will make them feel much more comfortable. However, trying to include all four groups in one shower for people with big families or lots of friends can cause the guest list to get out of control. In that case, it might be better to break up the shower into two smaller events: one for the father’s side, one for the mother’s. Some parents-to-be also have a third shower organized by just their friends.
Opening Gifts for Hours
One of the most awkward parts of a baby shower can be the opening all the gifts. If you have a lot of people, all of whom bring a gift, you could have the new mother sitting and opening gifts while everyone else sits and watches for far too long. That can get very tiresome for everyone, the mother and the guests. Here are some ways to avoid this:
- Don’t open them at the shower — have the parents open them together privately and thank the gift giver through the thank you cards
- Break it up into smaller sessions — open a few gifts then play a game, open a few more then have some food, and so on
- Enlist the guests for help — having a friend or relative help open gifts next to the mother and show them to her so she can thank the gift giver can speed up the process
This is also another reason to either keep the guest list down to a certain number or have separate, smaller showers than one big one. It also makes planning and budgeting the baby shower easier for whatever friend or relative holds each one.