by: Jenelle Landgraf
It seems that everywhere I look there is a pregnant lady! Maybe I'm just noticing more because I'm pregnant, or perhaps spring is the time of year when a lot of people are having babies. It could also be that I am 30 and so my social netowrk is just in the "baby stage".
Whatever the reason, babies and pregnant ladies are everywhere, and I have multiple baby showers on my calendar. Whether you love them, loathe them, or just accept them for what they are - baby showers continue to be a tradition in our culture. Which got me wondering - where did this tradition come from and how has it changed over the years? Thanks to the genes from my mother and grandpa Bob, my wondering often leads me to "research". Thanks to the Internet, I no longer have to rely on the encyclypedias like my grandpa used to do. I came across ths little article about the history and evolution of baby showers that I'd like to share:
"There is no way to determine exactly where or when the “baby shower” originated. There are several theories on baby shower history, but none can be proven. No matter where and when baby showers were first introduced, today they are a very special event celebrating a new life.
Some historians have found evidence of baby showers, or something similar, quite some time ago. These discoveries lead experts to believe that celebrating birth started in ancient cultures, like those in the Egyptian and Roman times. No definitive proof is available, but historians have deciphered data which could mean baby showers took place.
When you look at baby showers from long ago, you see that most of the gifts given to the family were handmade. Articles of clothing, blankets, and even food items were provided as gifts for the new family. Showers in the past occurred after the birth of the child, so many times part of the “baby shower” was the viewing of the new child.
The “baby shower” as we celebrate it today began after World War II. Family and friends gather together, in a party atmosphere, to celebrate the birth of a new baby. At the start, only woman were invited to attend such a gathering, but today these celebrations can include the father, grandfathers, and any male family members.
In recent years, the baby shower has started to occur before the actual birth of the child. With the new technology that is available to expectant parents, the gender of the child is not so much a mystery. Therefore, a baby shower can be thrown early in preparation for the baby’s arrival without the worry of buying the wrong thing.
No matter what the baby shower history is, the baby shower of today is a supportive and generous event toward new or expectant parents. With all the current trends toward “unisex” items, it is hard to buy the wrong thing!"
Personally, I love how different baby showers can be these days - from couples cocktail baby showers to tea time with just the ladies - it's fun to mix it up a bit!
Torrey and I attended a more "modern" baby shower recently that involved men feeding beer to each other out of baby bottles, so now my husband thinks baby showers are really cool. The showers thrown for me have been a little more "traditional" with cake, tea, silly games, and scrapbooking.
Whatever kind of baby shower you choose to have (or not have - that's fine too!), I think it's important that women continue to support each other pass down advice about motherhood.
It's important for expecting women to feel loved and supported, which is what I most appreciated about the baby showers my friends and family hosted for me.