The pros and cons of organising your own baby shower

Planning your own baby shower has some benefits.
Planning your own baby shower has some benefits. Photo: Getty Images

The generosity of people never fails to blow me away.

Since we announced our pregnancy, we've had a steady stream of gifts and good wishes quite literally arrive on our doorstep.

It has been quite overwhelming and each time I hold up a teensy little outfit, flick through a cute book or rattle a new toy, I tear up at the thought that all this is actually happening to us.

As is tradition, family members started asking about baby shower plans a number of weeks ago so they could plan a trip to be here for it.

I think technically the tradition is that someone else throws a shower for you, but with a lack of volunteers, it fell on me to arrange my own. Any excuse to binge on some more Pinterest - it's like my wedding all over again! But it does feel a bit weird arranging my own shindig and it's not really the done thing, I know.

On the positive side, it means I'm somewhat in control of the gathering and can draw the line at games that I find ridiculous (the nappies plus melted chocolate bar, as an example).

It also means I can make the focus on what I think it should be; celebrating a new life and the support I have around me.

I'm really looking forward to having different generations and friends and family around me to create some memorable moments before I forever become someone else's mother.

Wow, I can still barely type those words.

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I think it'll be fun to have everyone guess what gender the baby is, what we're going to call the little mite and when he or she will make their entrance into the world.

I'd really like to find a way to make some cool keepsakes from the baby shower so I can remember this special time. 

Despite the fact I'll probably try to hide from the camera, it'll be good to have some evidence of me as a 'ship in full sail', surrounded by those who have supported me through the often stormy seas.

That generosity I mentioned earlier definitely spills over to the baby shower, with some people already asking what they can provide for our expanding family.

Now before someone says it, because they always do, I know that all a baby really needs is shelter, warmth, food, water and love.

Trust me, my aim is to provide all those things in abundance.

But there is a whole lot more to this exciting time, indeed there is a whole industry built around what expecting parents' wants and needs are.

I've tried not to buy into it too much; there are certainly some things I wanted to splurge on, and other things I'm happy to source second hand.

But what to say to people when they ask what we'd like as gifts?

We don't expect anything; we have some stuff already and the means to provide what this child needs.

But on the flipside, as someone whose invite list has gone from 21st parties and flat-warmings, to weddings, 30ths and baby showers, I can appreciate that being given some options for practical gifts is useful.

I don't expect gifts whatsoever, but I can appreciate the tradition came about to help mums and dads-to-be have all the things they need for the new arrival.

So what to do?

A few people have mentioned a gift registry, which seems a bit extreme; others have suggested a more general list of potential items. 

I'm thinking about just asking everyone to bring a plate instead; I'm all about the cake at the moment and that's always a welcome gift. 

Essential Mums

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