Kate Livingstone: Changed times for mums-to-be...

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This week I learned that a good friend of mine, Jean is going to become a grandmother for the first time.

Of course she’s understandably excited at the prospect.

I’m delighted for both her and her daughter, as from my own experience grandchildren bring a lot of joy to our hearts and it’s marvellous watching them grow up and seeing how well your own children cope with being a parent.

I mean, it’s always good to see how much attention they’ve paid to you over the years and the influence you have had on them.

However, from speaking to her it seems that things have changed a lot since I was expecting my kids, and yes, I know that wasn’t yesterday, but still.

For example, Jean was telling me that she’s been invited along to a baby shower, which is being organised by her daughter’s best friend.

Well, that’s definitely not something we had back when I was an expectant mum.

In fact I find the whole concept a little bit baffling.

It seems that it’s an American thing – like everything else appears to be these days – and it’s a chance for the mum-to-be to celebrate the forthcoming birth of her child with her friends and family.

There’s apparently games, food and drink and those attending will buy gifts for the baby and the mother.

Now, here’s where I’m just not convinced, as I’m somewhat superstitious.

I’m a stickler for the old belief that you shouldn’t have items for your new baby in the house until after they are born.

And for me, because of that I don’t like to buy any gifts for a baby until it has safely arrived in this world.

So I’m really not too sure what I would do if I was to be invited to a baby shower, as I really wouldn’t want to be buying anything, just in case it brought bad luck.

However, it appears that my daughter once again has no hesitation in calling me old fashioned.

When I spoke to her about this baby shower that Jean has been invited to, she said apparently they are a ‘thing’ these days and lots of women are having them.

She said they bring a lot of happiness to many mums-to-be, who are often oblivious to their planning as they are organised by friends or family as a surprise.

She suggested I think back to the latter stages of pregnancy and how uncomfortable it was, and to consider how much of a boost a wee party would bring. And if I do that, then maybe they are not such a bad idea after all ...