One of the worries that made me very a very anxious pregnant woman wasn’t about which baby gear to get or how I was going to care for a baby without parents nearby. Rather, as I write today on The New York Times’ Motherlode blog, it was whether to have a baby shower or not.
I’m Jewish and Jewish people traditionally don’t have baby showers. So, because I was superstitious and worried about celebrating my bundle of joy before she arrived, I spent a lot of time while I was pregnant agonizing over whether to have a shower or not.
If you find yourself in a similar quandary, today’s hint is to skip baby shower-related stress and just go ahead and have a shower. In other words, if friends or family ask if they can throw you a baby shower, simply say “yes” without any hesitation.
You’ll need all the financial help you can get amassing the necessary baby gear. Plus, if you want a baby shower and you’re not having one because you’re superstitious, there’s no scientific evidence that a shower will bring the evil eye upon you. In fact, many Jewish women these days have showers, and the same is true of women from other cultures also superstitious about celebrating a baby before birth.
“Given the larger culture’s embrace of the baby shower as a rite of passage, there is a diversity of opinion and practice among Jews,” writes Anita Diamant in “The New Jewish Baby Book: Names, Ceremonies & Customs – A Guide for Today’s Families.” In fact, Ms. Diamant told The Jewish Daily Forward back in 2005 that she herself had a baby shower two decades before and she “knows many Jewish women these days who have had one.”
To be sure, I’m not suggesting that you have a shower if you don’t want one. Rather, I’m just suggesting not to let old superstitions stop you if you want to have a shower but are worried, like I was, about not following tradition.
And if you’re still conflicted about it, there are shower-like alternatives you can consider. Some moms, for instance, wait to open shower gifts until after birth, ask for shower gifts for the mom rather than for baby or have a sip-and-see shower once the baby arrives. Others, of course, embrace the baby shower fully.
Ultimately, I fell into the latter category. You can read more about how I overcame my baby shower anxiety today over at The Motherlode blog.
What superstitions and old wives’ tales worried you while you were pregnant? How did you overcome them?