Just say no to baby showers!
That was the phrase of the day the other morning in the infertility peer support group. (Ladies Night In on Wednesday, March 30- Danbury office- 6:00, as well as every Saturday morning, in Norwalk from 9:30-10:00am!)
Yes, another baby shower. Yes, another friend/sister/cousin who needed us there, whose day would not be complete if we were missing.
We talked for a while about what we really add to a loving, joyous occasion if we are sitting there miserable. We talked also about our presence being missed, especially with a very close friend or family member but whether that would ruin their experience or just alter it.
I love the phrase.
Just say not to baby showers!
I know that there are lots of losses when it comes to infertility and fertility treatment. And we don’t want to add to that list unnecessarily. Staying away creates distance and causes resentments and misunderstandings. I get it.
We are trained to do the right thing. As women, that usually includes taking care of other people first and being thought of as selfish for considering ourselves at all. Our interests, desire, comfort often comes second, third or even lower on the list.
How about considering self preservation?
I did a radio show the other day with my best friend. Yes, I am too old to use that phrase, but none the less, I do. She talked about what the flight attendant says in the warning announcement.
You know. The one that talks about "in the possible event". The possible event being that the plane crashes or lands more suddenly than planned and the oxygen masks pop out. And Pamela reminded the interviewer and me that the instructions are to put the mask on yourself first. Uh huh. Not reach over and put it on your child/husband/elderly mother sitting next to you/best friend. Put the mask on your own face first.
That’s exactly right. If we are not taking care of ourselves, how can we possibly take care of someone else? Going to a baby shower and feeling miserable, distraught, resentful, is not taking care of ourselves. It is not placing the mask on our own faces first.
Not every baby shower is impossible to attend. There are moments that we all feel resilient enough to be able to sit through a shower and ooh and ah over gifts that we wish with all our heart we could have for our own babies. There are ways of going and staying for only a few minutes or having a friend with us, or having some lovely thing to do afterwards or some other coping mechanism that makes sense to us.
Still and all, I like the oxygen mask. Put it on yourself first. Just say no to baby showers.