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3 Fun Activities You Can Plan For A Baby Shower

3 Fun Activities You Can Plan For A Baby Shower

Most baby showers involve far more than gift giving, snacks, and chit chat about the imminent arrival. Most traditional baby showers also involve games and activities.

These activities serve as both a reminder of the support network surrounding an expectant couple, and as a much needed distraction from preparing for a new baby.

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Over the last decade, baby showers have become increasingly gender-neutral, and many now disregard the need for themed color schemes and gifts. The same can be said of popular shower activities – for instance, 20 years ago, the games played were very feminine. But the themes and activities associated with modern showers are more diverse, basically depending upon what the soon-to-be parents choose.

To name just a few things to keep in mind, moms- and dads-to-be have to consider their guests preferences such as resolving dietary preferences, while dealing with picky eaters or those who are controlling their kid’s sugar intake.

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The Classic Shower

As an example of a typically gender-centric activity, old-fashioned baby showers used to involve games including “fun” activities like flashing the belly of the pregnant woman through a projector screen setup and have everybody size it.

While this might sound unusual, it actually gives close friends and family members the chance to talk and ask questions about the physical aspects of a pregnancy, without seeming too forthright or inappropriate. It is very important when it comes to physical games like this one that it is clear whether or not the expectant mother will be comfortable. If games like this are on your list, you might want to think about drawing up a female-only guest list.

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The Gender-Neutral Shower

It is much more common these days for baby showers to be relatively gender-less. This means that baby-related contest, games, and activities are suitable for both men and women. A good example is ‘Finish the Rhyme,’ which sees the host (or the pregnant woman) reciting nursery rhymes from a book. The job of the guests is to guess the words that she intentionally misses out. The individual who guesses the most missing words receives a prize. In fact, guessing games are extremely common, because they are easy to set up and the rules are simple – why not try “Guess the Baby Food,” or “Guess the Baby Product”? Of course, you can change the topic, be creative and tweak the game, or offer prizes.

The Boys Better Shower

As more men are getting involved with baby showers, it is important to make sure that they also are catered to. While the best thing to do is always to try and reach a good balance between gendered activities, by planning games which are suitable for everybody, it is true that boys-only activities can introduce their own brand of fun.

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For instance, the host can organize a diaper changing competition, and let the men duke it out for the title of Champion of the Change. For a variation on this theme, get the male guests to put together the perfect “day out with baby” bag, and then have female guests judge the results.

In essence, a baby shower is designed to take off some of the financial pressure associated with preparing for the arrival of a child (by offering gifts and useful items), and to distract expectant parents from all of the work and stress involved in getting ready for a new baby. One must not go very serious on preparing such event or fret out shopping for the gifts since it can be easily bought online. What’s important is that the baby shower activities needs to be fun, creative, lighthearted, and entertaining.

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

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