- Publicly support me.
Do you have my back when Cousin Amy laughs about my choices for birth, breastfeeding and parenting? Even if I'm not around to hear it, will you put in a good word for me? Simply say something like, "She's done a lot of research and seems to know what she's doing."
- I don't expect big gifts.
Big gifts may be more common place, but I don't expect you to keep up with the Joneses. I'm perfectly happy with a lovely handmade blanket and your presence.
- Keep the cute stories about my childhood to a minimum.
I know you're excited to share stories of me as a child. Just remember, my work colleagues are listening. They don't need to know I streaked through the neighborhood or cussed like a sailor. Pick a cute story and let that be your only one. (You might even clear it with me first.)
- Don't steal my thunder.
Being a mom is super exciting and scary. My friends and family have gathered to celebrate my journey towards motherhood. Please keep in mind that this is my big day and I do want you to be a part of it. Help me pick out my outfit for that special day. Help me plan for the hostess gifts and games. There is plenty of room for you in my baby shower.
- Be nice to my friends.
You might know or like my friends, but even if you still blame Ashley for corrupting me as a teen, smile at her and be friendly. (For all you know her mom feels similarly about me.)
- Praise me for what I'm doing right.
Things have changed a lot since I was born. I might make different choices. But rather than point out how different we are, look for that common thread and tell me you approve.
- Help keep down the horror stories.
You are a leader in the family. The other women will follow your lead. Please help me keep down the horror stories about birth and parenting. I don't need to hear about Aunt Lil's 90 hour labor or the 15 pound baby born to your sister.
- Don't make fun of my gifts.
Yes, I really did ask for a breast pump and I'm thrilled I got it.
- Keep the relatives in line.
When eccentric Aunt Erin starts talking about goat farming or some such, can you reel her in? It's my party and I don't want to play family police officer.
- Know that I love you.
I'm trying just as hard as I can to be a good parent. Sometimes I'm going to do things differently. It doesn't mean that I don't love or respect you, just that I have to find my own way.
You might also take the time to read an open letter to you from the grandmother in your life and what she'd like you to know about your baby shower.