A mother blessing is a celebration of new life. It can be used by anyone, including those expecting a baby, adopting a baby, or just in need of a celebration of life in general. Some people use it as an alternative to the more traditional baby shower.
Where Did the Mother Blessing Come From?
The term "mother blessing" is sometimes interchanged with the term "Blessing Way." The latter is actually a Navajo term, used to refer to rites and prayers concerned with healing, creation, harmony, and peace. The Navajo people do not approve of its appropriation by those celebrating pregnancy and motherhood, which is why mother blessing is often used instead.
A Mother Blessing Is Different From Your Average Baby Shower
Unlike your typical baby shower, there is no emphasis on commercial gift giving at a Mother Blessing. Guests are simply invited to spend time with the mother-to-be.
The tone of the mother blessing is also much more positive, without the sharing of labor and parenting horror stories that seem so common at the traditional baby shower. Other attendees also appreciate the absence of silly baby shower games.
So what do you do?
Typical Activities You Might Include at a Mother Blessing
Prayer Flags: Inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, these are strips of cloth on which guests can write a birth blessing or positive message. When the guests are done, the mother is given the flags to read and take with her to her place of birth.
Necklace: You can orchestrate the making of a necklace or other piece of jewelry for the mother to wear in labor to remind her of everyone thinking of her. You can either ask everyone to bring a bead or have them make a bead from clay. You don't have to be artistic to do this. If you choose, you can have each guest talk about what their bead symbolizes.
Belly Casting: This is a great way to celebrate a woman's pregnancy. Belly casts are fairly simple to do and act as a great keepsake of the pregnancy. Pamper mom while you do the cast for an added treat.
Candle Lighting: Have each guest bring a candle. Set them up on a single table or all around the room. Then, have each guest light their candle and say a blessing or positive affirmation for the mother-to-be. Another way to do this is to send each guest home with a small candle. When the mother goes into labor, a phone tree is started and all the candle holders are notified to light their candles and think good thoughts as the woman labors.
There are also co-ed mother blessings (parent blessings/family blessings). As you would honor and respect the mother, so you can show honor and respect to the father.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the birth of a new baby, it is a special occasion. A mother blessing is but one way to show recognition of this exciting new stage of someone's life.