The social media sharing culture has upped the ante in ‘eventising’ life moments. Celebratory cultural milestones have got more expensive, theatrical, commercialised and, well, let’s face it, a little over the top. And wherever there’s a trend, an anti-trend will follow. Cue the Mother Blessing, an antidote to gender reveal glitter cannons, gimmicky baby shower games, elaborate gifts and expensive catering. The get-together is focussed on taking time to celebrate female friendships, with guests ensuring the mum-to-be is flooded with support and words of wisdom before embarking on one of the biggest transitions from womanhood to motherhood. It’s space for the woman to tune into herself and experience a moment of being a ‘sister of her hive’. You’ll find cake, people who genuinely love each other (not just there to bring a gift and get in the IG pic), probably prosecco, but with the addition of prayers, poems and handcrafted, thoughtful offerings. Less John Lewis gift list and more handmade flower crowns and bouquets, candles or a bead to symbolise fertility, birth and motherhood. These selected items are there to be worn or act as a reminder during labour of her strength and support from others.
All sounding a bit spiritual? Well, it kind of is. Did you read our post a few months back about the explosion of all things mythical and magical?
This intrigue and craving for human and spiritual connection certainly runs deep in this cultural movement. In fact, the ritual of the Mother Blessing can be traced back to ancient roots, inspired by an ancient Navajo ceremony called a ‘blessing way’, which provides mums-to-be with a tribal sense of support and hope, reflected in gifts of spiritual positivity:
- Burning of sage – known for its cleansing properties and capacity to rid all negative thoughts and energy
- Food feast – guests spend time making the mum-to-be’s favourite dishes as a show of warmth, love and comfort as well as for energy
- Henna tattoos – an ancient practice, using a special blend of herbs and oils on the mum-to-be’s bump that will make her feel empowered and beautiful before birth
- Massage and feet cradling – a warm foot bath with sprinkled petals and blessings
So, whilst we’ve got you feeling all zen and smelling the sage, let’s take a look at three big things that we at The Pineapple Lounge think this anti-trend tells us about the future of parenting culture:
1. Less about baby, more about parent
These get-togethers are all about the woman and less about the baby – no sniffing poo-replica nappies or guessing the weight and gender here. Instead, it’s about sharing the eternal truths of parenthood and providing mum-to-be with practical support, tips and empowering advice. By continuing to spend time developing the self, they understand this will be later mirrored in their children – and the symbiotic effect between parent and child is increasingly being placed under the lens. A few years back, Gina Ford was the parenting guru with her strict, rigid guide to functional routines for babies that focussed on their sleep and feeding only. Fast forward and the UK’s current role model is Giovanna Fletcher – and the title of her book, podcast and live show, ‘Happy Mum, Happy Baby,’ says it all.
2. Tribal support over judgemental competition
At some strange point along the internet timeline, things like breastfeeding, labour experiences and other physical elements of child rearing became a competition against others and the self. Ushering out the ‘my labour was worse than yours,’ the Mother Blessing places emphasis on each mother’s unique path and is respectful of her choices and experiences before she’s even had the baby. Similar to how a wedding congregation chants ‘we do’ to pledge support throughout the high and lows of a couple’s relationship, the guests at a Mother Blessing encourage and adopt the mindset that will support the choices and preferences of the mother as she adopts them in the best way for herself and her family – truly a diversion from the mainstream culture of having to get things right from day one. This is something Birds Eye capitalised on smartly when they rushed to the aid of ‘insta-mums’ who had been bad-mouthed as ‘fish finger mums’ in the British press. Cue empowering campaign of solidarity, featuring said insta-mums – and a truck load of fish fingers sold in the process.
3. Laying the foundations for an uncommercial route to parenthood
Baby showers place an increasingly high commercial focus on the baby. Gender-coloured balloons, mountains of clothes, endless safety, feeding and changing gadgets, and piles of plastic toys. On the contrary, Mother Blessings set the tone for entering into parenthood without solving every problem with a purchase or piece of tech. It champions the DIY trend and maker movement, spanning baking, arts, crafts and personal gifts for mum – representing friendship, shared happiness, meaning, purpose, and the importance of emotional intelligence.
Have you ever attended a mother blessing? We’d love to hear your experiences! And if you’d like to know more about how to tap into parenting movements and think outside the conventional parenting box, contact Emma@thepineapplelounge.com
or call us +44 (0) 203 735 5700.