Where is the love in baby showers?

Baby showers. We’ve all been to at least one, or fifty.  Typically, they’re all the same. Punch, sweet treats, corny games, small talk and watching mom-to-be open endless gifts. 
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good baby item bingo as much as the next person, but the more showers I go to, the more it bothers me that there just isn’t any love for the mom at a baby shower.  I know she’s opening an exorbitant amount of gifts that she probably really does need for the coming baby, she’s getting kisses from Great Aunt Susan, belly rubs from everyone and all these people have come out for her, right? But how often does a mother come out of a baby shower really feeling cherished, strengthened, empowered, and confident about her upcoming birth? 
I think we need to change it up. Retiring the baby shower might be just what we need, to be able to really show momma that we care. This leads me to the Blessing Way, a tradition that originated from the Navajo people, is a sacred ceremony preformed before the birth of the baby to celebrate the rite of passage into motherhood. In the more recent years, the blessing way has become more popular. 
Modern blessing ways, or mother blessings, put the focus back on the nurturing and emotional fulfillment of the mother. We want her to be bursting at the seams with joy, empowerment, happiness, love and peace by the end. There is nothing better than going into labour with your cup filled to the brim! 

Some common activities that are done at blessing ways are:

Bead ceremonies
All the guests bring a bead that they feel represents themselves and their tastes. At the ceremony, a string is passed around. Each guest says a prayer, or blessing for the mother and then strings on their bead. At the end, she has a beautiful necklace or bracelet full of beads that represent those blessings over her. She can wear the beads during labour to remind her of the support and love that surround her. 

String ceremony
The string ceremony is one that will have all the guests thinking about mom and baby even after the blessingway is finished. 
All the guests sit in a circle. A ball of ribbon or string is passed around and wrapped around each guests wrist. After a prayer or blessing is said for the mother, the long piece will be cut into individual strands to be then tied around the guests wrists. The guests will keep the string tied around their wrists keeping her in their thoughts and prayers until they are notified by text or phone call that mom is in labour. The guest will then cut off the string saying a prayer,
Blessing or positive vibes to the labouring mother. 

Birth art
There are many different ways to express creativity around the subject of birth. Some people may choose to make prayer flags, paint birth affirmations on canvas or rocks, or create a birth vision board for mom. The possibilities are endless and the mother is left with a beautiful keepsake at the end to be used during labour and to keep for many years to come. 

Pampering the mother
In the final weeks of pregnancy, it’s no secret that woman typically aren’t feeling too glamorous. Guests can spoil the mother by painting her nails, soaking her feet braiding her hair, massage, or henna tattoos. 

Sharing a meal or snacks
Eating is, universally, a means of bonding. There’s something about sharing a meal that can connect us so much easier than without food. Find out what mom is craving or what her favourite foods are and share them. 

As a western society we put a lot of emphasis on material goods and baby showers are a great example of that. It isn’t to say that new parents don’t need gifts; but I really believe that mamas need more than that. They need to feel loved, nurtured, and empowered to do the biggest thing she’s probably ever done in her life. She deserves all the love.