Last weekend my mom threw me an amazing baby shower. It was a wonderful day filled with delicious food, cute favors, adorable decorations and a room full of loving family and friends. That night, I was reflecting on the day, thinking about the last time there was a party thrown in my honor—about two years ago at my bridal shower right before Dan and I got married. I started thinking about all the ways baby showers and bridal showers are similar, like being the center of attention, opening a mountain of gifts and having an upcoming life-changing event. Then I started to laugh while thinking about just how different life is now compared to then.
Here are five major things that are drastically different during a bridal shower and a baby shower.
- Your appearance. At your bridal shower you are usually in “wedding diet” mode and at the thinnest you have ever been, and wearing the smallest size you have ever worn. At your baby shower you are likely the heaviest you have ever been. This has perks during a party. At my bridal shower, I was on a sugar-free diet and forced myself to eat a piece of cake to not be rude to the host. At my baby shower, I had a piece of cake, a giant pink cookie and a chocolate chip cookie.
- Your attire. For my bridal shower, I took my teeny tiny self to find a cute, white dress months in advance to ensure I had the perfect dress. I distinctly remember trying on six or seven dresses, trying to find the perfect one. For my baby shower, I had to assess my wardrobe a few days prior to make sure the flowy, loose fitting tent I had decided to wear still fit my belly and ever-widening hips.
- Gifts. Baby shower gifts and bridal shower gifts are meant to prepare you for different phases of life and are therefore very, very different. Similarity: people tend to give “undergarments” at both showers. Difference: at a bridal shower, you receive lacy, sexy lingerie. At a baby shower, you receive nursing bras. Similarity: people love to buy towels. Difference: you receive luxurious, soft bath towels at your bridal shower to warm your marital home; at your baby shower, you receive towels with hoods intended for tiny humans.
- The nature of the advice you receive. Similarity: guests love to share their horror stories. I don’t know why, but people love to tell you how terrible things can be. Difference: marriage advice and baby advice are totally different. Just like people talk about how hard the first year of marriage is, everyone has an opinion on the first year of being a new mom. At this point I just tune out sentences that start with “just wait until…”. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate well-timed, well-intentioned words of wisdom, but you telling me that I will never sleep again doesn’t exactly give me the warm fuzzies.
- Your immediate future: Around the time of your bridal shower, you’re likely planning a trip of a lifetime—your honeymoon. People love to ask questions about where you will go and what you have planned. At your baby shower, you’re probably starting to think about how you won’t be traveling anywhere for a long, long time. And if you haven’t realized this, don’t worry, someone will remind you: “Just wait until you try vacationing with kids!”