Monday, February 23, 2009

My answers (and thoughts/comments) regarding baby showers

I fit into all of the categories, so I'm going to give all my answers below. But first, I would like to give some thoughts/opinions about this topic. I apologize now if my opinions are negative to what you did. I am definitely on the conservative side of this topic. Maybe it's my age, maybe it's where I grew up, maybe it's just the way I think.

~ The reason my friends and I were even talking about this was I have been shocked at the number of baby showers I've been seeing from people lately. Mind you, I understand some people just like to have as many parties as possibly thrown in their honor, it's just that personally, I find it presumptuous. I can see how some can't be combined, like work and personal, but I think that most of these situations can be avoided. For instance, I found out which one of my best friends were going to throw my shower and we talked about guest lists early on. This way, if anyone outside of the group (work, in-laws, etc) asked about a shower, I would tell them so-and-so was throwing it and they would be invited. Now no one had a reason to throw me another one as family, friends, in-laws, work, everyone was invited to just the one. To counter having a bajillion people invited, I only invited those who would expect to come. None of my guests learned of my pregnancy from my invite.

~ As for showers for additional pregnancies, I personally find it in bad taste. And while I think there are reasons why a traditional shower for a 2nd child would be okay, I also think many of the reasons people rationalize 2nd showers with are just that - rationalizations. Not in the Water had a great comment in the last post about this: "I am sorry your first was a girl and you chose to register for all pink gear including the pack n play and the stroller. But I am not going to supply you with now blue gear just a few short years later. " I 100% agree!

Other reasons I've seen which I think are rationalizations are ~"I've moved since I had the last baby, so none of these people have purchased a gift for me." (Are you kidding me? Having a new guest pool isn't a good reason to ask for presents!) ~"I gave away/sold all of my baby stuff, so I needed everything again". (it's "our" fault you didn't save your stuff and your guests get to foot the bill?) ~ "I'm having twins this time!" (One of my best friend has twins and I know this doesn't mean double the stuff. It means 2 cribs, swings and bouncy seats, but since you have all of your singleton stuff already, this isn't a stretch. Using this rationalization, should we all be sending OctoMom baby gear?)

There ARE very good reasons for having another baby shower too - like losing all of your things in a fire. I ~do~ think all babies deserve a celebration though! Have a "no gifts" get together. Have a diaper shower. As much as I'm against baby showers for 2nd(+) babies, I'm just as against doing nothing at all. And let me say that I will always still get a present for all my friends having their 2nd(+) babies. I simply think requesting gifts by having a registry is in bad taste. (again, sorry if this offends anyone! It's totally just my opinion.

~ Now for my opinions on registries! I am someone who ~loves~ the use of registries. I am just from the school of being conservative when it comes to asking for gifts. When I completed my registry, I was sure to put on A LOT of items in all price ranges. This way, my guests could buy a few little items totaling $10 or go for something as expensive as $50, which was my upper price limit. My inlaws and parents wanted to get one of the major ticket items for us, so I just told them what we still needed. I felt really weird putting the expensive items on there. Even though people will buy what they want, just having large items made me feel like I was actually asking for them. A few people wanted to go in together on a large purchase and they either asked me what else I needed or they pooled their money and got a gift certificate. Truth be told, we bought most of the big ticket items ourselves way before the shower, as I think as married adults who made the decision to have a baby, it was our job to purchase what our baby needed.

Enough about me being all opinionated and here are my answers:

first time moms (1st pregnancy, regardless of # of babies) ...
1. How many baby showers are you getting?
~ One.

2. Who is throwing it/them?
~ A few of my girlfriends.

3. If you are having more than one shower, is there a reason why they can't be combined?
~ We did combine. One shower had friends, family, in laws and coworkers.

4. Is there anything you left off of registries? (big ticket items? breastfeeding supplies? Anything?)
~We left off anything over $50 and didn't register for breastfeeding supplies at all.

second time moms (2nd pregnancy) ...
1. Are you having a shower for your second baby?
~ no and yes. (keep reading)

2. If no, why not? (skip rest of questions)
~ We didn't think it was appropriate for a 2nd baby.

3. If yes, how long has it been since your first baby shower? Is this baby the same gender as first?
~ Babies are 15 months apart. Babies were both girls.

4. If yes, do you feel "bad" for having another baby shower? Are you doing anything to make it more acceptable like requesting "no gifts" or "diapers only"?
~ We would have felt bad to have another baby shower, so we had a diaper shower. My girlfriends threw it, but it was at a restaurant and I paid for all food/drinks. The shower invite directed "no gifts" and to bring a pack of diapers instead. Funny thing is the diapers cost about $10-15 bucks and I ended up feeling guilty anyway!

5. If yes, how many are you getting?
~ Just the one diaper shower.

6. If more than one, is there a reason why they can't be combined?
~ n/a

7. Did you complete a registry? If yes, was there any differences from how you registered w/ your first?
~ no way!

third(+) time moms (3rd pregnancy or more) ...
1. Are you having a shower?
~ No.

2. If no, why not? (skip rest of questions)
~ Didn't feel like it was appropriate. We did have friends in another state throw us a bbq in celebration of the baby.

Those ttc +1 ...
1. Does being invited to baby showers bother you at all?
~ It ended up that way.

2. If yes, when did it start to bother you? (ie: how long in the ttc process?)
~ After the year mark and first failed treatment cycles.

3. Do you think the girl who invited you should have done anything special to accommodate you?
~ no way. I thought it was nice if I got a call outside of the announcement, but that was so not necessary.

4. Do you feel rsvp-ing w/ a "no" and sending a gift is an appropriate response for your own self preservation? Or do you think your own IF is no reason to not attend and you should just suck it up?
~ If you need to protect your heart, sending a gift and not attending is completely appropriate. I did suck it up for a few close friends, but in all truthfulness, they were the ones who understood.

5. Have you ever had a bad experience in regards to a baby shower invite? (drama involved either being invited or even ~not~ being invited?, etc?)
~ Nope.

Those ttc and dealing with secondary (or more) IF ...
1. Does being invited to baby showers bother you at all?
~ Yes.

2. If yes, when did it start to bother you? (ie: how long in the ttc process?)
~ since I had primary infertility, all baby showers bothered me from the start.

3. Do you think the girl who invited you should have done anything special to accommodate you?
~ no way. I thought it was nice if I got a call outside of the announcement, but that was so not necessary.

4. Do you feel rsvp-ing w/ a "no" and sending a gift is an appropriate response for your own self preservation? Or do you think your own IF is no reason to not attend and you should just suck it up?
~ If you need to protect your heart, sending a gift and not attending is completely appropriate. I did suck it up for a few close friends, but in all truthfulness, they were the ones who understood.

5. Have you ever had a bad experience in regards to a baby shower invite? (drama involved either being invited or even ~not~ being invited?, etc?)
~ No.

6. Do you think there is added pressure on you to "just be happy" because you already have a baby?
~ Yes. Unfortunately, secondary is even harder to understand than primary infertility. For as hard it is for a non-IFer to understand IF itself, not even an IFer understands secondary IF - and it sucks big hairy monkey assballs. I also believe there are two types of Secondary IF. The first group is women who had an easy time conceiving #1 and now they are having a tough time with #2. And then there are the women who have never had an easy time.

7. Does the fact you are dealing with secondary(+) IF make baby showers harder or easier for you?
~ Harder because of #6 above.


Jessica said...

I agree with you 100%. I'm pregnant with my second and I have already been asked about having a showe. Of course I said "no way!". Instead, we'll have a meet-and-greet BBQ after the baby is born (and specify "no gifts please").

Anonymous said...

Nancy...thanks for your honest opinion. I often thought about how other felt on this subject. It is nice to know others feel like I do also. I have never wanted any type of shower, I always felt if I was having a child I would provide what they needed, I would not feel comfortable asking someone else to purchase something for them.

hkleineweber said...

I felt bad having a shower for my 1st, I didn't want one but my Mom insisted. We asked that people bring diapers, wipes, you know the basics. I did register but I was seriously bad at it and I think there was only like 10 things on there. People ended up bringing blankets/books/and diapers. Which was great. We did nothing for #2. Well we had a meet and greet shortly after we came home and asked for NO gifts. Of course people cant come over with out a gift so we ended up with alot of diapers and wipes.

The only way I would approve of a second or third baby shower is of course like you said a fire or some kind of disaster and if it has been a while between PG. For example if your last child was 5-10yrs ago. Like my BFF. She had her son and 10yrs later had a daughter so it was great she had a shower.

areyoukiddingme said...

I had 2 showers - because my friends and family live 300 miles from my husband's friends and family. Otherwise, one would have been more than enough.

I registered for everything, even the expensive stuff, because everyone I know will buy whatever they want and ignore the registry anyway. I registered at BRU and most of my gifts came from Kohl's or Baby Gap. It was more of a tracking tool for me.

I agree that one shower for one baby is enough. But, I always give a gift whenever someone is having a baby, regardless of whether there is a party. Thus, I'm not terribly offended by a shower for a second baby - it just makes me think the mom is kinda shallow (unless there's a reason, like your fire example).

Showers + infertility = tough one for me. My best friend and I were due 6 weeks apart, but I lost the baby. Then I got pregnant again and lost that baby 2 weeks before her shower. I was helping with the organization of her shower, and I didn't want to back out. It was hard for me to be there, especially since I couldn't tell her what was going on without adding a touch of sadness to her day.

When I had my shower, I invited a close friend who had been trying for years to have a baby. I know that it was difficult for her, but she tries to be a really positive person. Fortunately, my sense of guilt was allayed somewhat, because she had twin girls a year later.

Steph O. said...

Hmm, reading all the responses gave me a few things to think about. For example, I'll try to get big ticket items in a gender-nuetral color!

I do think that every baby should be celebrated though! Maybe it's because I'm a middle child. Even if the showers after the first are just smaller "welcome the baby" bbqs or something.

I think that any shower should be had after the baby is born though. I don't believe in it being bad luck to celebrate before the baby's born, but really so much could still happen. (sorry to sound like a pessimist)

I think it also depends on your group of friends. In the congregations I've been in, it's not unusual to get 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th showers. It's a fun excuse for a bunch of women to get together & coo over a baby. It's understood that nothing is expected. Diapers/wipes, & sometimes cloathes are brought anyway though.

Also- question- Isn't each child supposed to get their own (new) carseat? Esp the bigger ones that they stay in for longer? I've heard that over the seasons of hot & cold weather, the plastic expands & contracts making it less reliable in case of an accident.

Sarah R said...

My mom had to push me to register because she planned my shower. I wasn't going to, and DH really didn't want to. We did it together anyway, and it was mostly cheaper stuff (3-packs of bibs, bottles, a couple outfits, etc.). I did feel greedy doing it--I didn't register when we got married because we had already been together for 9 years, cohabiting for 8 of those years, so I didn't see a point. We didn't need anything. We had a very casual wedding also, and it cost hardly anything ($40 to rent the park shelter, $50 to pay the judge, and my mom and aunts made all the food; the beer was the most expensive thing).

Anyway, this post reminds me of what my SIL did. She went out and bought a pink carseat/stroller combo (just under $200), then e-mailed her 3 sisters and told them to pitch in for it!!! She said that since the other sister had a big gift that they pitched in for her shower, then she should have one too. The thing is, the sisters had already bought her things off her registry! Then she expected them to buy her this too. OMG, she is the greediest most self-centered person ever. Wow. (This is the same one who when I was pregnant asked me why anyone would want to do that to themselves--breastfeed--this was before she was a mom; why the heck would she give me her "advice"?).

Amanda said...

I think your thoughts are spot on.

I let some people throw wedding showers for me and that was an embarrassing guilt-trip, so I'm pretty well resigned to not having a baby shower (if I ever get that far)... buying baby stuff might be cheap compared to IF treatments anyhow. Plus, I just can't bear the thought of someone joking about "When's #2 coming along?" or "Didn't your parents explain what causes that?" Haha, so not funny anymore.

April said...

I can only think of one friend who had a baby shower for her 2nd baby. Her second baby came along nine years after her first, so really the only thing she still had was a crib. She was planning on buying everything herself but her sister wanted to throw her a shower. I didn't mind going to that shower.

For my 2nd, I def. do NOT want a shower but I love the idea of a bbq (no gifts) in the baby's honor! That's one thing I've always felt bad about w/my friends, that their 2nd or 3rd baby didn't get as much fanfare as the first.

This is my first child and my MIL is throwing me a shower. We're doing it jack and jill (cuz my hubby wants to be there, and so does my FIL) and it's going to be a big picnic for everyone to have fun and eat at. We DID put a couple of big ticket items on our registry, not that we expect anyone to buy but becuz both our mothers asked. I have a feeling they either want to buy it themselves OR go in on one of the big ticket items with the baby's great-grandparents. But I'm not counting on anyone buying the 3 pricier items. I fully expect to get them ourselves!

Thanks for this post! I like to see what everyone else's opinion is on the matter.

Mareike said...

I can talk about baby showers and registries too. I used to think that registering for gifts was really creepy. I didn't do it for my wedding (yuck plural) or having my children but I now appreciate that there are some folks I really want to give a gift and to know what they really want can be helpful. I hate inconveniencing anyone so seeing what they still need is helpful (I'd feel like crap if they had to go through nightmare of trying to return something they already had.)
I don't share the boy/girl thing about clothes and colors so I agree with those folks who are bothered by people who think they need different stuff if the second baby is a different sex from the first. (and they think it's fine to ask other folks to finance.)
Yes a new baby should be celebrated. It IS hard (sometimes) to make it clear that you are celebrating this new life and gifts are not in order.
Gifts our of love can be most wonderful. Gifts out of obligation are just bad karma (in my humble opinion of cours.)

Sarah R said...

I love your new "up there" pic!!!!

Heather said...

I went to a second baby shower last month...this time for a baby girl instead of a boy, and I didn't mind it at all. (It hadn't occurred to me to feel offended!!) The couple only put little stuff on their registry, and everyone pretty much bought what they wanted for the new baby, registry or not. All just cute girly stuff, mostly clothing. I think maybe it also depends on the person having the baby--this friend is one of the most genuine, unassuming people I know, so it was a pleasure all the way around.

Big hairy monkey assballs" LMAO!!

ssbean said...

I don't agree with an all out baby shower for 2nd and 3rd, and so on, babies; in most cases. But, if there is a 5 plus year difference between the youngest and the new baby, then I think it's appropriate. Who keeps baby stuff for 5yrs?
But, I have a question for you. My sister in law is pregnant with her 3rd. Her other 2 are 5 and 7, a boy and a girl. She doesn't feel comfortable with a shower, and I respect that, but is she just saying it because it's the respectful thing to say with your 3rd?

Not in the Water said...

WOO HOO! I got a shout out!! And I pretty much agree with you with the shower things.

DH and I are NOT going to the Couple's Shower for his friend's 2nd kid. The father to be alone makes over $120,000 they can buy a pack n play.


Anonymous said...

Baby showers are not usually done here (thank goodness!). I find the idea so strange - having a baby and expecting other people to buy all the baby stuff. So weird.

I had a Blessingway before TTG was born. That isn't a gift occasion though, more a pg/birth/woman celebration. As an infertile I was way out of my comfort zone to be honest. I can see how it would be nice though.

We got a few gifts after each baby was born, which is the norm here. Parents buy their own crib/stroller etc etc. Or not, in our case lol.