Why I Think Every Mother Deserves a Baby Shower
I once knew a young woman who unexpectedly got pregnant outside of marriage, and although her family threw her a baby shower, they ensured that the event was not a celebratory one, but more of a practical occasion for outfitting her and her baby.
The invitation was solemn—no fanfare or cutesy requests. It called for prayer for the expecting mother, who was obviously in dire need of some re-direction, right?
Here's the thing:
I believe that a baby is always a cause for a celebration, and that every mother, regardless of age, marital status, income, or employment, deserves a baby shower where she can feel excited to prepare for her baby.
I've heard the arguments against showers, especially for teenage mothers, that go along the lines of worry that we will somehow be “promoting” births to young women whom we feel aren't ready to become mothers.
But here's the thing:
I was that young mother (I wasn't a teen, but I was still in college when I became pregnant), and of all the things that worried me the most about parenting, it was the thought that I didn't deserve to be happy about my baby because I wasn't a “real” mother.
And any gesture that made me feel more like a normal mother who had permission to love her baby made a world of difference to me.
Because it's not up to us to judge a mother—any mother—for how well she will perform her parenting skills. It's not up to us to judge when she should and should not become a mother. It's not even up to us to judge how happy she gets to be about her baby.
We all know that parenting is hard and that having a baby at a young age can present its own set of challenges.
But it doesn't mean that when it happens that that baby and that new family doesn't have every right to feel loved and cherished and supported as much as a picture-perfect couple who has done everything “correctly.”
An afternoon party with some watery punch and a few cheesy diaper-themed games will not cause a boost in teenage pregnancy.
But I can almost guarantee you that it will give a much-needed boost in one young mother's life.
What do you think? Are teen baby showers ever a no-no?