There’s been something on my heart every since we started hashing out our business. Heck, you could even call it the reason for our business. But, I’d really felt it in the past as I navigated through my own postpartum and now as I’ve been sifting through the baby shower realm on Pinterest. That is:
We need to take care of moms.
Now, we all know that we love our friends and family. We love sharing in the joy of welcoming a new baby into the world. But in our modern-day American traditions, what are we doing for mothers to shuffle them gracefully through pregnancy, labor, and brand-new motherhood?
I love baby showers. I love all the cutesy things. I love the feminine vibes. But as I continually research baby shower ideas for our business, I can’t keep myself from thinking there’s something missing.
As I pin recipes for baby shower punch, I wonder:
Yes, but how do we encourage mom?
As I click through baby shower themes for boys, I think:
Are we giving mom the direct attention she needs?
As I research baby sprinkles, I hesitate:
Are we properly preparing mom for this transition as her community? Or are we just handing her more stuff?
The time during and after childbirth is tumultuous. The needs of a postpartum mother are immense and we unfortunately don’t live in a time when that is naturally provided by community living and multigenerational homes. So, these emotional and physical needs often go unmet or ignored.
I’m wondering: are we cooking for our postpartum friends? Are we lending a hand in their homes? Are we stocking their pantries and bringing hearty baked goods? Are we sitting down to listen to birth stories? Are we available as our friends process the fresh and all-encompassing change in their families?
I was reading through The First 40 Days a few months ago and caught my breath when she brought up the Blessingway.
THIS. THIS is what’s been on my heart all along!
Hen Ou writes:
For millennia, women have been recognized for their role in the cycle of life; they have been acknowledged for all that it takes to bring a baby into the world and for all that they must leave behind, and take on, when they become mothers.
Contemporary society, however, is notably lacking in ceremonies or rituals in which significant passages in life are honored. Sure, we’re quick to design a baby shower for an expectant mother, but these gatherings are usually centered around gear for the baby and rarely speak to the significant shift in identity that the mother-to-be is about to experience. Participating in some kind of ceremony or ritual before you give birth is a way to honor the transition that you are about to experience, to bring sacredness and respect to the process of one human being becoming two. Regardless of your belief system or spiritual practice, a Blessingway or pre-birth ceremony will serve as a reminder that you are about to do something beautiful and important.
Isn’t this beautiful? This is truly a wonderful way to focus on mom in-and-of herself. It’s a time for all of mom’s closest friends to encourage and uplift her, and to reaffirm their support as she wades her way into motherhood. We can use it to draw close to a pregnant friend and celebrate all she’s about to do and what we love about her as a person.
Isn’t this our desire in close friendship? To draw even closer? To encourage and give good, hearty, meaningful support? These things don’t come naturally in our modern world. They require that we really try. They require that we make them happen. And I think it’s time for that change.
Women in the West have taken this idea and modernized it, calling it a Mother’s Blessing. I prefer to call it a Mom Shower.
I hope to unpack this idea further, to develop it for us, the women who live here, in America, and for us who desire to get back in touch with true feminine connection and community. Luckily, there’s no formula here and you don’t need my permission. If you have a close pregnant friend, throw her a mom shower. Bring all her closest friends and family together, and celebrate her. Encourage her, bake together, stock her pantry, share birth stories, talk about her postpartum hopes so that you can help meet her needs when the time comes.
How does Marabou support women?
We live in culture where “bouncing back” is more valued than proper rest. As admirable as it may be for a sports star to get back on the field, the same rules don’t apply to postpartum recovery. The traditional resting period has been stolen from women through pressure to get back to their job or simply through lack of presence.
Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood often live too far away to be of any help. Household chores and caring for older children inevitably fall on the mom. But she just delivered a new life! She needs rest.
Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. Break out of a destructive cultural norm and start a Marabou registry today.
With a Marabou registry you can sing up for any service which will benefit you or someone you know during the postpartum recovery period.
Postpartum doulas for a first time mom
House cleanings for moms of multiples
Childcare for moms with older children!
Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.