A Baby Shower Alternative
While I put "alternative" in the title of this post, I think a Mother Blessing is a great ADDITION to a baby shower for so many reasons.
A Mother Blessing is a ceremony that focuses on a small group of women supporting someone who is (usually) going through a pregnancy. I haven't seen one for adoption or foster care but I think it's a great idea and if any of my friends would like one for any reason involving motherhood, I am so down!
While a baby shower tends to focus on "showering" the parents with gifts and items to help them prepare for the arrival of a baby, a Mother Blessing is less focused on gifts and more on the experience of becoming a mother.
It starts with a group of women who are important to the mother with the intention of creating a circle of support. This support group is who the mother will rely on as her body changes and she creates a human life. It's very symbolic and I think rather lovely.
Before my first Mother Blessing, I had only attended one so I did a lot of research alongside my friend Rocio who in a way facilitated the event. I wanted to incorporate activities into the Mother Blessing.
My favorite activity was the Birth and Mother Affirmation Banner. Each guest made a pennant that was attached a banner. Each had a saying of empowerment, focused on the mother. It will be hanging up in my labor and delivery room to help give me support as I bring Baby Will into the world.
If you're attending your first Mother Blessing, I highly recommend checking out Pinterest or doing a Google search for birth affirmations. It's a little different than the focus of a baby shower because I think a lot of cards want to talk about the baby, but here it's sharing strength and courage with the mother as she does something as incredible as labor.
Another activity that I had at my Mother Blessing was creating floral crowns. I've seen a few Mother Blessings online that encourage guests to bring a flower to add to the mother's crown. However, wearing a flower crown is ridiculously fun and awesome and I didn't want my guests to miss out. So I had a floral crown station.
When guests walked into the party, there was a bench with a bunch of tall votives, this chunky (battery-operated) candle, embroidery thread in various colors, and scissors.
Each guest selected a color of embroidery thread and tied half to my candle and the other half to theirs. I love the symbolism in this because it ties us together. When I go into labor, I will "light" my candle and Rocio will contact all of the ladies who attended. They will light their candles as well.
We'll light a path to welcome Will into the world.
The candles were put into the center of the circle that the ladies would eventually sit around. I also placed my two Mamamor Dolls in the center as well, representing labor, delivery, and birth.
On the invitations, guests were encouraged to bring a charm that represented them, our friendship, or anything meaningful to them. As we sat in a circle after all of the activities had taken place, each guest talks about their birth affirmation and why the charm's meaning.
As each lady took her turn, I gave her a bangle with a little heart charm. In my Mother Blessing research, there's a beautiful tradition where the ladies tied thread around their wrists creating a tangible circle. They would then cut the thread and tie each off to create a bracelet. When the mother-to-be went into labor, they would cut their bracelets. A lot of my friends serve in jobs where jewelry or anything on their wrists can be a hazard so I thought a bangle was a more flexible option. That way the symbolism of the circle stays with her and whenever they wear it, they can think of me and Baby Will and say a little prayer.
A little Kim spin on the Mother Blessing was the Mimosa Bar. We had several juices and champagne on the side with plenty of fruits to add to drinks or to snack on.
Before the circle ceremony, I encouraged guests to eat. While food is great at any party, it's perfect at a Mother Blessing because of its social ties. Food has always been used not only for nourishment but as a way of people sitting together, sharing stories, and bonding.
It was brunch time so I had a crockpot breakfast scramble, biscuits and gravy bake, and s'mores crescents.
Some things that I learned in terms of hosting:
Try and prep or have the food done sooner rather than later. That was originally the plan but I ended up cooking a few dishes while ladies were doing the activities. Not a huge deal but something to keep in mind.
I'm having another Mother Blessing in Wisconsin and have talked with my lovely friend Courtney already, who will be hosting it. Since few people know or understand Mother Blessings, instead of just a formal invitation, I think I'm going to go with adding a letter explaining the traditions a little more in depth so ladies know what to expect.
My Wisconsin Mother Blessing is going to be a totally different vibe so get excited for that blog post!
It was a lot of fun and I am thankful and blessed to have such a great group of women to support me.