How do you wish to welcome your newborn, infant, toddler or child to their community of family and friends? It is said, ‘Becoming a parent is like taking a trip to a foreign country: you have no way of knowing beforehand what you’ll encounter once you get there.’ When I was pregnant I read every book I could get my hands on hoping to unearth the secret of parenting. Although I was thirty eight years old then and felt I possessed some degree of self-awareness; I was also convinced that a set of crucial instructions must exist or be locatable somewhere out there.
When I took my first trip to purchase the layette with my mother and mother-in-law, my insecurities took hold. The pleasant saleswoman at Carter’s knowingly handed me the list of absolute essentials: 7 onesies, 3 footed sleepers, 4 side snap T shirts, 2 hats, 2 bibs, 2 blanket sleepers and 1 homecoming outfit. I read it and broke into fits of laughter. The saleswoman kept her distance, maybe attributing my behavior to an excess of pregnancy hormones, or perhaps her verdict was much worse – that I didn’t have what it takes to be a new mom. Once composed, I realized I was overcome by the absurdity of this list, actually believing it might contain the Holy Grail to bringing home baby.
That was many years ago, and now I can say I’ve learned a lot about being a mom just by being open to the journey that parenthood takes you on. A baby blessing ceremony or parenthood shower is a way to usher in these profound changes. It offers a way to ease and embrace your new identity as you become a mom or dad. Ritual and ceremonial space welcomes and encourages participation by baby’s sister(s), brother(s), grandparents, aunts, uncles, and guide-parents, godparents and your family and friends. And of course it welcomes and blesses the newest member of your family tree!
Indigenous People of America, Chippewa Chief Sun Bear, spoke this timeless, universal truth centuries ago; “When humans participate in ceremony, they enter a sacred space. Everything outside of that space shrivels in importance. Time takes on a different dimension. Emotions flow more freely. The bodies of the participants become filled with the energy of life. All is made new; everything becomes sacred.”
A custom baby welcoming ceremony or parenthood shower is designed to reflect the make-up of today’s family focusing on their individual beliefs, values and particular faith traditions (or no recognized religious belief) as well as their own unique story.
Together we look at your existing family traditions or rituals, your faith tradition if relevant and whom you wish to participate. Do you wish to name God-parents or Guide-parents and institute any new family traditions or family rituals? I am happy to create and customize them just for you – and also include your family and friends. We talk about readings and blessings. Perhaps you have a favorite child’s book you wish to include. You’ll get to see every word beforehand so you know for sure that your baby will be welcomed and embraced in the way which resonates and is significant for you.
A baby blessing or ‘path to parenthood ceremony’ embraces the anticipation, the joys, the hopes, the dreams and the overwhelming love you feel for your child. Re-interpreting this time-honored tradition serves parents and baby (baby’s siblings too). It paves the way to create and make space for family traditions and rituals that you can carry from birthday to birthday, re-inventing as you go. From this threshold, the opening and the path to becoming a parent naturally unfolds. Trust your journey.
Our work is collaborative. I will work with you to create a one-of-a-kind baby blessing ceremony, baby welcoming, naming ceremony, adoption welcoming, and/or a parenthood, mother, father shower or a family/sibling shower. You may reach me at 908-962-0642 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org