Sign in to follow this  
aeheath

Relief Society Activity

Recommended Posts

So I am in charge of planning a relief society activity for my married student ward. Out of the 25 active couples in the ward, 18 of them are either pregnant or have had a baby in the past 3 months. Would it be a bad idea to have a group baby shower for one of our activities? I know a lot of the sisters don't live by family so this might be the only shower they will get. It would be more of a get-to-know each other activity with brunch, games, and a white elephant gift exchange. Our past activities have all been based on homemaking, budgeting, exercise, etc. and we never have a very good turn out. I feel like maybe a fun activity/party would have a better turn out. My concerns are: does this idea fall under the guidelines set up for relief society activities? And also- would it offend anyone who isn't pregnant or is struggling with infertility? My husband and I are dealing with infertility and I know I wouldn't be offended at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a great idea, though I would be very contentious of including people whom do not have children.  Perhaps phrasing it as "a shower for the children born to our ward family" (i.e., not just mommy and daddy, but to the ward as a whole).  I'd stay away from activities like "who's got the biggest belly" in favor of "who most has a Mommy's purse?" (i.e. the most stuff in it).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not in the Relief Society, and therefore comment only as a guest.

 

My impression is that one of the important things about baby showers is that the mom and the soon-to-be-born baby are the center of thought and activity. I am not sure that can really be done when you have two or more expectant moms. At that point, it becomes about how many gifts you can accumulate and who takes in the best haul. I think it would be a pity to have things become like that.

 

As I said, just a male outsider's view on things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My previous calling was to be on this committee, so that is where my viewpoint is coming from (mostly).

 

I am not sure that an activity that is geared towards the benefit of specific individuals is the intention of the monthly (at least, they were monthly when I held the calling) RS activity.  I am not sure how to phrase that so that it comes across clearly.

 

Traditionally, baby showers are thrown to help the mother with things needed for the baby, so gifts are expected.  How would you handle this with 18 babies/mothers?  Even a much smaller number would be problematic. Are you not expecting that gifts would be given?  If you are, how would that be handled?  Would you assign gift-giving to the attendees to make sure everything evens out?  What if you don't get enough attendees?

 

The white elephant give exchange puzzles me.  White elephants are usually fun/silly gifts, often not useful gifts.  Who would be participating in this exchange?  The new moms?  They would be coming to a shower where they are one of the guests of honor but then would have to contribute a gift?  Or is the exchange amongst the guests as well, and what would the purpose of that be?  I go to showers intending to give a gift, not receive one.

 

I can see wanting to do something for the expectant moms in your ward, but it can be delicate terrain to make baby showers an official RS activity.  You would have to be sure to do it for everyone and avoid favoritism. Perhaps some wards do this successfully...I don't know.

 

Also, I remember directives that RS activities not have activities where costs to the participants were involved (although it seemed to be ignored all the time....craft activities that had a charge for the supplies, for example) as that would bar some women from being able to participate.  With a shower you are probably going to ask everyone to contribute food, and now there would also be the expense of a gift...or gifts.

 

In my last ward,  we threw a shower for a first-time mom who had no family in the area, but it was not an official activity and was simply organized and attended by those who saw the need and responded.  But I can see in a ward where there are lots of women in that situation, that things would be more difficult.

 

While I haven't been a ward that made showers a RS activity, the last ward I was in did have a tradition of gifting each new baby in the ward with a handmade quilt.  Every baby got one.  I thought it was a wonderful way of honoring each new baby, and the quilt became a keepsake for each, as well.

 

I would say consult with the Relief Society President as to whether or not a shower could be one of the official activities.  She will either know the answer or know where up the chain to find the answer.  I would say that the regular, "official" RS activity should not be one that it is a gift-giving occasion for specific individuals.  Having a group shower given by members of the ward of their own volition would be more appropriate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the last few wards I've lived in, every spring we have a RS birthday party.  It's a party to celebrate everyone's birthday.  While their is cake, and maybe a white-elephant, the point is never about "getting presents".  The point is to just celebrate and have some fun!

 

I don't see why a baby-shower-RS activity has to be any different: the point it to celebrate many new lives into the ward-- and have fun!     It's not remotely about getting gifts or individual praise.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this