Surviving the Shower: Baby Season Etiquette

The babies are coming!

Whether you read that statement with joy or dread says a lot about where you are in life with regards to procreation. But even if you’re maintaining an aggressive grip on the single life, it’s inevitable that at some point soon you’ll find yourself in a room full of personified estrogen, all cooing at sleeper sets and Baby Bjorn.

And you know what? It’s going to be great.

Wherever you are on the childrearing spectrum, there’s a role for you. From the awkward dude at the office shower to the always-the-bridesmaid older sister, to the dozy third-trimester guest of honour, here’s how to make the best of stork season.

For the Less-than-Comfortable Co-Worker
It’s true: being dragged into the boardroom to gawk at a belly or a tightly-wrapped pile of blankets can make you question your pay scale – especially if you’re a Tinder-frequenting single male.

Then again, if you’re looking for a way to impress one of the fine ladies in marketing, holding the baby (and faking confidence while doing it) can work to your advantage. If you just know you’d drop it, earn points (and escape baby chat) by offering to help with the refreshments/clean-up instead. It’s a win-win.

And if you absolutely can’t stomach any of it and desperately need to finish your TPS reports, make sure you’re tossing the appropriate amount of cash into the kitty before the shower to contribute to the gift. And don’t forget to sign the card.

For Carrie Bradshaw
It’s Sunday afternoon and you’re reluctantly skipping out on a hangover brunch to drive to a suburban house belonging to your friend’s mother-in-law. To talk about strollers. Meanwhile, the closest thing you’ve done to breastfeeding is… nevermind. This could be a rough one.

Unless you bring bubbly. And a sidekick.

Both of these will serve as something to distract you when you arrive, which means not getting stuck at the door talking to Aunt Margaret and also being a welcome sight for mama-to-be, who’ll appreciate you livening up the party… even if she can’t drink.

Once you’re settled, don’t regale the group with tales of your childless escapades, but instead ask questions, enjoy the treats, and give Aunt Margaret a chance; you never know what wisdom she might have to share. Plus, it’ll keep her from pestering your pregnant friend about when she’s planning for her next one.

For the New/Almost Mom
The best advice we can give here, and you’ll have to pardon the pun, is to milk it. You’ve worked hard to get to this point keeping yourself and the little human in your tummy as healthy as possibly for the better part of a year. This deserves massive kudos. And presents.

This also gives you the autonomy to celebrate the way you want to. Considering you’re most likely being robbed of sleep in some way, if you want your event to last exactly 120 minutes, say so. Games, love them or hate them, are completely your call as well.

Open the gifts now or later. Serve only cake if that’s your style. Have an escape plan to avoid welcome-over-stayers. The day is yours. Enjoy it.

And if you’re totally comfortable in this setting, that’s great, too. We think you’d agree with this piece of parting advice: always get a gift receipt.


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