The title may seem like it is a mistake, that that can’t possibly be right.
The number of children that reach the age of one year has never been higher than it is now. And the health of children into adulthood, while sinking, is not due to a lack of care rather social factors like poor nutrition.
With an increase in stability, health, and access in infrastructure families can be smaller, with a higher rate of survival for their offspring.
Smaller families mean parents have more resources for their own economic development, especially women who can pursue careers outside of the home. It also means more resources can be devoted to the education and development of each child.
The result is that you produce children that are more educated, and who become more skilled and productive workers of the future.
But caring for children hasn’t always been an easy task. Even in the modern age caring for a family is rout with challenges and help from the greater network of family and friends was often the only way to help ensure survival of offspring.
Still, the more industrialized things became things changed. People had more access to infrastructure that took aspects of more communal life away. Tasks that were once a challenge, causing people to work together were now trivial, easy to access, and abundant.
And yet with all of this progress, starting and caring for a family was still difficult.
In many societies you will find rituals that are similar to the baby shower. While the names are different the ideas are similar. And they are still common to this day. Some could argue that what once was a necessity is now moved into the are of tradition, but many new parents will tell you with great zeal that they were thankful for all of the help they received.
Having a baby is a challenge even under the best circumstances.
In some cultures, even here in the west, having a baby of a certain gender is seen as a handicap. Having a little girl in various cultures is seen as a weakness and having support from the closest people in your group can be a support that wouldn’t be their else wise.
While it is unimaginable to think here in the US, many mothers would love to have the same support. When an American mother is thrown a girls baby shower she takes the experience for granted. Yet in some regions of India and China, and even in some South American nations mothers would be amazed to learn that American women celebrate the birth of a girl.
While baby showers for girls aren’t anything to marvel about anymore. There was even a time in our history that would look on us in amazement.
I see baby showers as an evolutionary necessity that allowed us to reach a point where we are able to nurture a child and build community. A strong community that gives us the best possible footing. One that has never been achieved in the history of mankind.