I was several months into my second pregnancy when I got a text message from my friend, something to the effect of, "Can I throw you a baby sprinkle?"
I remember recoiling immediately. There wasn't even a moment of hesitation before I had my answer: nope. No, thank you. Hard pass.
I didn't want to offend my friend, but I'd thought these "sprinkles" — a party to celebrate a mom's subsequent baby without all the fanfare of a full-fledged baby shower — were, at best, a silly trend and, at worst, just plain tacky. My family had already generously showered me once before, and asking for another one of their precious Saturday afternoons felt like bad etiquette.
I tried to delicately decline, but my friend saw through me and pummeled me with reasons why I was wrong.
She convinced me I could set the tone of the sprinkle — I could opt out of gifts entirely if I wanted to, and I could also forgo a bloated guest list. I decided to accept my friend's offer to throw me a party, but only for an intimate group of mom friends I'd made since my first child was born.
"There should be no end to the amount we shower our fellow mothers with love. If anything, it's bad etiquette not to do it as often as possible."
Most of all, though, she helped me realise that unlike a baby shower for one's first child — in which the novice mom-to-be opens up gifts for gadgets she doesn't quite understand while surrounded by well-meaning women giving her advice she can't begin to comprehend — a baby sprinkle is a far more meaningful welcome to motherhood.
The second (or third, or fourth) time around, you know what's in store. You know what's coming, and more of those in attendance do, too. You're entering into this new chapter with eyes wide open, and the opportunity to celebrate that feels deeper than before.
This is where I should interject and say that I didn't actually end up having a baby sprinkle. Well, at least, I wasn't in attendance. I ended up going into labor several weeks early and gave birth to my second baby the night before the party. I'm not joking when I say that the first thing I thought of when my water broke was a deep sadness that I'd miss this celebration. I cried more than a few tears over the bad timing of it all — I'd ended up wanting this silly sprinkle so badly.
I wanted – nay, needed – a few hours away from my toddler, who was constantly underfoot that last trimester. I wanted a break from my husband, my house, my to-do list – all things that didn't bother me when I was blissfully pregnant and not yet weighed down by life as a parent. I wanted my fellow mom friends around me once more before I gave birth, to remind me of all the good things to come so I could stop focusing on all the terrifying things I knew where on the horizon. Unlike before, when I needed support for the unknown, I now desperately needed it for what I knew too well.
I didn't get to attend my baby sprinkle, but at my request, my friends gathered without me – they chit-chatted and laughed and ate cake and swapped stories and did all the things one does at a baby shower. No gifts were opened, but knowing that these women were there for me, even when I couldn't be, was such a powerful reminder that these gatherings are so much more than frilly invitations, delicate gift wrap, and sweet buttercream frosting.
There should be no end to the amount we shower our fellow mothers with love. If anything, it's bad etiquette not to do it as often as possible.