We thoroughly enjoyed reading a funny article by Caitlin Moran “How to have a baby the british way”, highlighting some interesting points about baby showers in the UK. Moran describes how baby showers have the wrong priorities,
“We’re setting a bad example by throwing a party for someone who hasn’t had the decency to stop excreting through someone else’s digestive system yet. Make all parties about the person who’s had to grow a whole extra internal organ. She’s the one who could do with the morale boost.”
Mothers Blessings, based on the Navajo tradition are becoming increasingly popular and involve wishing the mother a peaceful birth, the sharing of food and then henna painting the arms, legs and belly. In the article Moran and Jen Harvies of Queen Mary University of London discuss how this is actually not such a good thing if you are British and it is making the Navajo culture commercialised, when in fact the Briitish should be inventing their own pregnancy ritual.
However Caitlin Moran goes on to describe our very own ritual which us Brits already have!
“Part one of the ceremony. A few weeks before the baby is due, the mother-to-be’s friends gather at her dwelling, pointing out all the ways it is unsuitable for a baby. This is called The Helping Ritual and consists of saying things such as, “It’ll be head over arse down those stairs as soon as it can crawl,” and, “The bloke next door looks like the Child Catcher. If your kids ever go missing, check his cages first. Absolute sex case.”
Part two of the ceremony. “Wishes for a peaceful birth.” By some physical process of synchronicity that no one yet understands, women who are already mothers can guarantee their friend a “peaceful” birth by reciting all the ways their births went wrong. The more you say things such as “screamed like a tortured animal”, “trainee midwife kicked it across the floor” and “tore myself a new anus”, the more it’s presumed the mother-to-be’s cervix softens and yields. There can be no other reason why mothers would do this.
The gathering of the family. The mother blessing must, of course, involve members of the mother-to-be’s family. At this point in the ceremony, it is traditional for a brother or sister to take the mother-to-be into the kitchen and say things such as, “Don’t worry – if it gets Grandad’s ears, I will get it plastic surgery for its 16th birthday.”
Feasting. As befits a special occasion, a variety of premium snacks is laid out on a trestle table. The mother-to-be starts eating cake while her closest friend secretly presses “Go” on a stopwatch. When the first guest stares at the mother-to-be and says, “Did you know there’s no such thing as eating for two? You only need an extra 200 calories a day! That’s just one slice of bread,” the mother-to-be’s best friend shouts, “Forty-three seconds! Who had 43 seconds in the sweepstake?” while the mother-to-be continues balefully to eat the cake because there are precious few pleasures in her life right now and, really, cankles don’t matter when you’re a week away from being brutally gifted a second anus.
The dumping of the items. Many guests will have used the occasion to bring thoughtful presents for the mother-to-be – massage tools, Netflix subscriptions or much more effective contraceptive devices. One guest, however, will always brightly trill, “I had so many beautiful baby things from when my ones were wee and I didn’t want them going to waste in the loft! So I’d love to gift them to you!” And then dumps upon the mother-to-be approximately 500 bursting bin bags of revoltingly tatty baby-gros, which smell of a combination of mildew, poo and a baby food they don’t even manufacture any more.”
Any of these events sound similar? Lots of home truths in there I think. People love to share a negative labour story don’t they! Also heard the ‘you are not eating for two’ a few too many times.
Are you having a baby shower soon, maybe even having a mothers blessing? Or perhaps you have recently had one? We would love to hear from you.
Laura and the UBA Team xxx
Original article from The Times, by Caitlin Moran, taken from and with thanks to https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/caitlin-moran-how-to-have-a-baby-the-british-way-33jjk2mkf