When I was pregnant with my daughter, my second baby, I didn't want to make a big fuss. I've already had a baby so I'll skip the baby shower, I thought. Yes, I survived without a baby shower - but it felt like I had skipped the celebrating of this baby. Something ceremonial seemed lacking. And that's when I stumbled upon blessingways! A blessingway is a celebration of new life and an opportunity to show kindness to the expectant mother. Perfect for any mother, a blessingway can be as elaborate or as simple as you'd prefer. In recent years, these blessingways have become more and more popular. Millennial parents like myself are looking for unique ways to celebrate new babies beyond the traditional gift-giving events.
What Is A Blessingway Supposed To Do?
It's easy to see what baby showers accomplish: new baby and mama go home with a wealth of gifts to usher them into this new phase of life! That's a fantastic purpose - and one that's uplifting all-around. While baby showers are more concerned with the material side of child-rearing, blessingways are focused on a mother's spiritual well-being.
Traditionally, blessingways are part of Navajo culture. These gatherings are a pre-brith ritual to strengthen the mother and welcome the new life to the tribe.
Who Gets Blessed At A Blessingway?
Friends and family gather around an expectant mother to pray, meditate, and celebrate with one another. But blessingways aren't just for pregnant women! Mothers who are adopting children may choose to host a blessingway involving the kids, welcoming them into the family. The ceremonial nature of a blessingway gives meaning and gravity to the life-changing event that is growing a family.
I didn't want a baby shower with my second baby - it felt redundant. We were team green, so all our gear was gender neutral anyway! But a blessingway is a great way to welcome a second, third, fourth, or whateverth baby into the brood! Involving older siblings can help them process the new addition. Creating a sense of ceremony can create a structure that helps kids feel secure in a time of change!
RELATED: What To Expect At Your Baby Shower
How To Host A Blessingway
Consider the type of event you're like to host, or who is supposed to benefit. Since a blessingway is a more intimate event, it may be wise to limit invitations to a very select few. Imagine yourself having a sleepover, or going on a road trip, with your closest friends. Who is in that car? That's who should be at your blessingway! If you're a person of faith, consider inviting a mentor or a pastor to offer religion-specific blessings.
Each blessingway is uniquely tailored to the family at its center; so each ceremony will include items that are significant in that family's life. Some groups choose to sage the home or light candles in prayer. Others create flower crows or bracelets of positive energy to support the mother in labor.
Add A Candle Ceremony To Your Blessingway
My personal favorite is the candle ceremony! Choose a votive candle for each person in the group and a larger pillar candle for the mama-to-be. Each person gives her blessing and encouragement for labor, then ties a string around their candle and a matching string around the larger candle. When the mother is in labor, each person lights their candle until the baby is delivered. This show of support and solidarity can be so uplifting for a laboring mom!
Whether you decide to have a blessingway, a baby shower, or both - be sure to celebrate your new baby and your own strength and bravery. After all, motherhood is far more than a biological reality. It's a spiritual experience. Moms share a sense of comradery for having walked through the fire - and a blessingway is a great way to celebrate that togetherness.
Did you have a blessingway instead of a baby shower? Send me pics on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 with #BlessingwayBaby.