NOTE: Daniel and Kelly speak to this question on Episode #17 of The Abel Speaks Podcast. You can listen on Apple, Spotify, or your app of choice.
Welcome to the Abel Speaks Podcast, where we speak to commonly asked questions by parents who have received a life-limiting diagnosis for their child. We’re Daniel and Kelly Crawford, and we’re glad that you’ve joined us. Hello friends, and welcome back to the Abel Speaks Podcast. Today’s question will get right to it. It is a common question. Should I have a baby shower? What do you think, Kel?
Yeah, this is a common question that we get, and I’d say the answer maybe. What we’ve kind of seen is, I think there’s three options here. And we’ve seen families do all of these options, and it has felt good and right for their family. And so we’ve seen some parents choose to just do a traditional baby shower, and that blesses that mom and dad, and they just want to do things that feel normal. And that’s good, and there’s nothing wrong with that if that feels like it would excite you and bring you joy. And then we’ve also seen families just choose not to have a baby shower. They feel like they maybe are more practical, and they’re like, “Hey, we don’t know if we’re going to need all this stuff, so we’ll just wait. And if we do need it, then we can maybe do something after the baby is born.”
And then we have a lot of families that choose just more of a middle ground between those two options and do something that maybe people aren’t giving the normal baby gifts, but they might give the family gift cards, or they might just have a morning where everybody gets to come together and they just spend time praying over the family and celebrating that child’s life. Because the point of a baby shower is practical in terms of getting items that a baby might need, but it’s also just a way for friends and family to gather and celebrate that child, celebrate new parents. And that is still worth celebrating even in a situation that is not typical or different than we had expected.
And so we’ve seen parents maybe do an overnight trip with their best girlfriends, or even sometimes we see the dads do that with their guy friends of just, hey, we’re going to set aside a weekend to spend with our close friends and family and use that to celebrate our child and just have just a moment that marks we’re going to set this aside for celebration. And so it can look a million different ways. We’ve seen moms go and just go get their nails done and have a good dinner or brunch in their PJs or whatever that might look like. Options are endless and you can choose whatever feels… What we tell parents is just do what feels most life-giving to you and that feels like a blessing to you. If it feels stressful or if it feels like, hey, that might just be too sad, then you don’t have to do that. So that’s kind of how we typically counsel.
So essentially, I’m hearing you say is maybe, it depends, and what you’re mainly saying is the yes or no doesn’t depend on the traditional here’s what I think of when I close my eyes, and here’s the main ingredients and kind of the playbook and the formula of a baby shower. That might, when you close your eyes and do that, that might sound awesome, in which case, run free. But if any aspect of that maybe feels not awesome or difficult, then know that A, you don’t have to do that. And B, you can think outside of the box on other ways of… It essentially comes down to, should I have a baby shower? Why? Why would you or why would you not? And what would be the goal?
And as you said up front, if the goal isn’t necessarily to just kind of rake it in from Babies R Us, if the goal, which hopefully is always the case, is just to bring together our loved ones to come to surround us and show that love and support and care for us and to speak of and celebrate and honor the life of our child, then that is great. And that can look any number of ways. So anything else you would add?
Yeah, I would say, obviously, in our culture in the US this is something that the moms feel more pressure than the dads might. But I think something that is trending upwards anyways is just having more of a couple’s shower for baby showers. And I think that seems to make the moms feel a little less vulnerable because it can just feel vulnerable, I think, to be having something that is celebratory, but there’s also a lot of sadness and sorrow there. And so it just can feel unsure of how you might feel on that day and what emotions might come up. And so I think we have a lot of families where they’ll have more of a couple’s baby shower and it just feels like a little less pressure and just that, hey, your person’s there, and if things get tough, then you guys can kind of work it out together. And so I would just say if that feels like a good option, then go that route.
Sounds great. Well, we hope that those tidbits and just areas to think through are helpful. And that wraps up this episode of the Abel Speaks Podcast.
Hey friends, thanks for listening in. We hope this content has been helpful. At Abel Speaks we exist to support families who have chosen to carry a child with a life-limiting diagnosis, and we want you to know that the foundation of that support is rooted in relationships. And so if you are a parent in this circumstance, then by all means, continue listening in, but we’d really encourage you to reach out by sending an email to email@example.com. Again, our heartfelt prayer is that this episode has served you in some way and that we might have the opportunity to serve you further in the future. The Abel Speaks Podcast is produced by the team at Tarnow and Company and mixed and edited by the team at Sound of a Rose.