When women hear they're going to be a grandmother, it's as if they're going through pregnancy all over again (minus the baby bump and cravings). They have to brush up on their burping techniques, stock the house with diapers, and invest in some must-have baby gear. So it's only natural that some grandmothers-to-be would want to celebrate the occasion like they did when they were expecting — with a baby shower. The grandmother baby shower has become a rising trend over the past few years, with women across the country gathering to celebrate the future grandmother with festive food, fun games, and gifts. The purpose of the party, however, is not to steal shine away from the mom-to-be. Rather, it is to prepare these women for their new role.
"It's a recognition of the fact that we're entering into a new phase of our lives," Susan Adcox, a writer at Guide to Grandparents and grandmother of seven, tells Today.com. "We're not quite prepared for what a change that's going to be in our lives. And to have some close friends who you discuss that and celebrate with is really wonderful." These days, the role of grandparent requires more than squeezing cheeks and slipping the tot a $5 bill. With the rising cost of child care, more couples are relying on their parents to take care of the children while they are at work. When a baby shower is thrown for a grandmother-to-be, they are able to receive tips from their friends, as well as any equipment they may need when their grandchild comes over. While some see this as a "gift grab" opportunity, Lizzie Post says it is a chance for friends of the future grandmother to show their support.
"It's much more a sweet gesture from friends to say, 'We know you're going to be doing a lot with this little baby, and we know you're really excited, so we want to get you set up,'" Post, a spokeswoman for the Emily Post Institute, tells Today.com.
Still, some people believe throwing a grandmother a baby shower makes the moment less special for the mom-to-be. To deal with this, Post suggests that the grandmother asks the mom-to-be beforehand how she feels.
"It's really important for mothers to realize that this baby is sometimes the best thing to happen to a grandmother in years," Post says. "But it's also important for a grandma and everyone else to recognize, if this is a first-time mom, she might really want to own that role of it being first-time and having it be about her."