Grandmom Showers

by admin on January 9, 2014

My daughter is insisting on an elaborate baby shower (to rival her wedding which was held in May). I have refused to participate and she has insulted me personally and said that I don’t love her or the baby. My other daughter and I were planning a shower but it was not to her standards and she has refused it. I cannot believe that she is this openly materialistic. I have already pointed out that etiquette-wise she is vulgar but she doesn’t care.

Because of this situation I would like to have a grandma shower for my friends and family and put a limit on the amount to be spent on a gift and request that people give only practical gifts. 1226-13

A grandma shower for you?  I can’t imagine where your daughter got her materialistic tendencies.

For heaven’s sake Grandma, buy your own stuff to equip your home for future grandbaby visits.   I’m a grandmother three times over and I would be embarrassed beyond belief if someone hosted a “grandmom shower” for me as I am quite able to provide for myself.  And it would be unthinkable of me to host a shower that “showered” myself with baby care items, as if I needed help to get started.

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Mya January 9, 2014 at 3:44 am

Are we sure this OP isn’t trolling – on the one hand she (quite rightly) condemns her daughter for her vulgar desire to have an extravagant baby shower (which shouldn’t be hosted by the MTB anyway) and demonstrates a moral spine by refusing to participate but in the very next breath states that she was planning a smaller shower (again a breach of etiquette in that family of the recipient shouldn’t be throwing showers) which the daughter declined (making this story about the rudeness and ingratitude of the daughter) THEN proceeds to ask if it’s okay to have a grandmother shower – Excuse me? This is the same woman that thinks an elaborate shower is vulgar? Yet it’s NOT vulgar to throw yourself a self-indulgent ‘Grandmother shower’ and actually TELL GUESTS HOW MUCH TO SPEND? Sorry, you are WAY out of line on this one.

By all means throw a celebratory party with your friends and family but don’t call it a shower and don’t expect gifts other than hostess gifts.

As for your daughter – she might be in the wrong about the shower but at this stage of her pregnancy don’t create stress and family rifts – she needs you more than ever. If you disagree with the shower let her get on with it but don’t have a row with her over it.

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Red Cat January 9, 2014 at 4:31 am

The sense of entitlement around events such as engagements/weddings/childbirth is truly shocking. Everything from engagement rings that *must* contain diamonds, and they had better be a certain size (usually a minimum of a carat), all the way to registries for baby’s first birthday party!

You offered to host a shower, it was ungraciously rejected, so you are relived of all further hosting obligations. I know your daughter was very rude, but if you don’t want to appear uncaring perhaps you could attend the shower that does get thrown, along with a smile, small gift and your best wishes. This shows that, although your offer was rejected, you still want to be a part of your daughter’s happiness.

I agree with Admin, you should not have a ‘Grandma shower’. First, you are directly contributing to the whole sense of *event entitlement*, secondly, you already had children and any celebrations attendant to those events. You do not need to be feted because your daughter is giving birth. It’s a bit like women who try to dominate their child’s wedding – the event is not all about them.

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Kirsten January 9, 2014 at 5:39 am

May I ask why? I mean, genuinely, why? Why would you throw a party where you ask your friends to buy you things for your grandchild?

And also, isn’t it supposed to be tacky in America for family to host a shower in the first place, because it’s basically saying ‘buy my family member this’?

A shower to rival a wedding. Someone’s mother and sister throwing her a party where they ask guests to buy her presents. Daughter deciding it’s not good enough. Mother turning present demand onto her own circle whilst demanding only practical gifts as well…

Oh, dear.

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MamaToreen January 9, 2014 at 6:25 am

Wow. I never asked for any kind of shower, and didn’t have a baby shower.

My parent’s friends threw them a “grandparent shower” (SBoy is the only grandchild). It was a surprise with a few token gifts. really just an excuse for a party

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Sarah Peart January 9, 2014 at 6:43 am

Admin – I may be wrong but maybe the OP means “I would like to have the low key shower that we planned even if the mother wants to organise her own.” and not for herself? To the OP I say that if she does not want what you offered then you are right to let the subject drop. I would resist telling her that etiquette wise she is off because I have the feeling she does not care – like the letter in Weddinghellsbells at the moment some people are persuaded that something must be okay because “Everyone is doing it!”

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Lo January 9, 2014 at 6:58 am

OP, you have two separate issues going on here.

As for the shower, it’s not your obligation to provide your daughter with one. I understand that in terms of etiquette it’s never okay for the family to host the shower at all. I personally think this can be relaxed if a shower is a family only event (this happens in my family) In your situation with your daughter rejecting your efforts the appropriate response is to shut down any talk of a shower and let her friends figure it out. If she decides to host her own then you’ve got a whole other issue on your hands but again, not your problem. Though I’m glad you called her out on her rudeness. If a mother can’t do it, who can?

Grandma shower? I can’t get behind this trend at all. Certainly Grandma’s friends might want to take her to a meal to congratulate her on the impending birth. Certainly Grandma’s friends will be excited for her. But what does Grandma need a shower for? It really comes off like another way to exploit a life event for gifts.

I agree 100% with admin. Anything you feel you need for the baby you have to purchase yourself. You’re a mom, you already know what you need. Heck when we were kids we used to play with the toys at my grandparents house in the old toy box that had belonged to their kids. The toys were my aunt and uncle’s. The children’s books were the same ones that had been sitting around since the 50′s. when Ma was born. I know that a lot of people don’t save stuff like that, but their attitude towards toys, games, and books was, if it was good enough for my kids it’s good enough for my grandkids. Bless ‘em.

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o_gal January 9, 2014 at 7:21 am

I agree with the admin – you don’t get to throw a shower for yourself, even if you are the mom-to-be. Your daughter is being a gimme-pig, but let her wallow in her own muck. If you are invited to her shower extravaganza, be gracious and attend with a small but meaningful gift, and bask in the glow of being the grandma-to-be. If you still want to host something, do a meet-the-baby party after the birth but do not even think about mentioning gifts, let alone a limit on the amount to be spent.

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toia January 9, 2014 at 7:31 am

If you simply want to celebrate to joy of having a grandchild with your friends and family then forget the gifts. Have a grandmother’s tea, everyone can wear fancy hats. Or just have punch and cake. I am going go give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that you have been excluded from your daughters shower entirely. You don’t get gifts.

Otherwise shame on you. Just go give you some perspective I look after a five month old, his father is currently in jail and will likely never be able to see him because of the charges he is facing and his mother has given up custody to his paternal grandmother. That grandmother has taken full financial responsibility for him. She begrudgingly had a baby shower at work for him. She gets mad at me when I buy baby wipes.

Be happy for the blessing of grandchildren. If I am wrong and your intention is to stock up for when you have the baby then the admin said it nicer than I would.

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Kat January 9, 2014 at 7:33 am

Bravo, Admin.

Sometimes the hypocritical apple doesn’t fall far from the gimme-tree.

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Abby January 9, 2014 at 7:46 am

Based on the title, I thought where OP was going with this was that after refusing her mother and sister’s offer of a shower, OP’s daughter was trying to hit up OP’s elderly mother to host one to her standards, and OP wanted to know how she could head that off. Wow, I was way off.

OP, I really don’t see any polite way to throw a shower for yourself, where you are the guest of honor and recipient of all gifts. In fact, I think most people would be pretty taken aback to receive such an invitation. Not only are you inviting them to give you gifts, but you are also telling them how much to spend and what specific gifts to give you.

I am wondering if perhaps what OP meant was, she would still host the shower, just without the guest of honor, and all the “practical” gifts would still be forwarded to the daughter.

Would be very interesting to hear the daughter’s take on this.

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DGS January 9, 2014 at 7:50 am

Clearly, passive aggression rules the day, and materialism abounds. If you resent your daughter for her elaborate wedding, why not have told your daughter that it was not something you could afford, contribute (if you so chose) what you can afford, and give your daughter and then-fiancé, a blessing to have a wedding within the budget they could have afforded? If the shower you were planning with another daughter (an etiquette faux pas; family members do not host showers, as seen as grubby), was not up to Her Royal Highness’ standards, then, no shower is given. Here’s a novel concept: the Mom-to-be and the Grandmom-to-be furnish the nurseries in their respective homes out of their own pockets. Behavior—>Consequences.

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MyWorldand January 9, 2014 at 8:08 am

Showers are not supposed to be given by an immediate family member!

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Powers January 9, 2014 at 8:16 am

Those are some interesting assumptions you’re making about what the “grandmom” shower is intended to be. Maybe it’s just a poorly considered name for “we’re going to have this shower anyway because it’s not fair to the baby that its mom is a materialistic gimme-pig”.

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Stacey Frith-Smith January 9, 2014 at 8:25 am

Grandma showers aren’t charming. Neither is any event where an honoree organizes, directly or otherwise, the means of receiving gifts, attention and similar honors.

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Randalf January 9, 2014 at 8:28 am

OP, if this is a joke, you didn’t phrase it well enough to be recognized as one. If it is serious, then heavens helps you.

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Jewel January 9, 2014 at 8:28 am

Besides….it’s also inappropriate for family members to host showers. It implies they’ve abdicated their familial obligation to “take care of their own” and are expecting others to do it for them. To avoid the appearance of a “gift grab”, friends of the bride/mother-to-be are the appropriate host of showers. So, 0:2 for you, Grandma.

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hakayama January 9, 2014 at 8:29 am

HOLY SMOKY TOLEDO! April first is a long way off.

This is beyond the pale! Vulgar? Smokes, NO! That is o b s c e n e … Obscene from start to finish.
Am I glad that I don’t know YOU, OP, your daughter or anyone else that carries your “gimme pig” genes. Or shares in the upbringing/environment. Or whose supposed spirit was lit by the flame of the same polluted candle.

But then, the alleged LW might just be a troll, a provocateur (provocateuse?) just visiting to raise our collective blood pressure. ;-)

OK, bring it on, charitable spirits. Tell me how crude and cruel I am… ;-) How I should develop a kinder approach. In this case? Cattle patties, I say. Subtlety would not even start to TOUCH the surface here.

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remi January 9, 2014 at 8:31 am

Are you planning on inviting your pregnant daughter to your “grandma shower”? I have a feeling that your intentions aren’t entirely pure here; I feel like you might be doing it to teach your greedy daughter what a “real” shower should look like, which I can’t see as being very helpful at all.

If you want to have your own shower that badly though, and it’s not about teaching your daughter a lesson, I suggest you go ahead and throw it with the understanding that you don’t want or need any gifts. It is purely a celebration of the new life that your daughter is bringing into the world, and the joy that it has already brought you. You don’t need any presents and your daughter is having her own shower for baby items, so don’t make any expectations of your guests other than that they show up and celebrate with you.

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Joni January 9, 2014 at 9:27 am

Surely it isn’t considered good etiquette to trash one’s own offspring for their perceived etiquette failings? I’m less concerned with daughter’s supposed materialism than with mom’s lack of family loyalty.

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DGS January 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

@Hakayama — “Cattle patties?” I love it!!! Stealing and incorporating in my vocabulary.

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Mae January 9, 2014 at 9:41 am

NO to Grandmom showers.

Do you see the irony OP? The first paragraph of your submission berates your daughter for her wedding, shower, materialistic ways and how she is being vulgar, etiquette-wise. Then in the second paragraph you spell out how you plan to be vulgar etiquette-wise: hosting a Grandmom shower for yourself, telling people how much to spend and what you wish to receive (practical gifts).

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Library Diva January 9, 2014 at 10:06 am

Why, what a wonderful idea! My only qualm is that it doesn’t go far enough. For example, I assume OP is married — what about the grandpa shower? They have different needs than grandmas, you know. Where’s your other daughter in all this — shouldn’t you be planning an auntie shower for her?

Actually, I myself want in on the fun. I’m throwing a virtual “commentors shower.” I’m registered at the Apple Store, the Microsoft Store, Best Buy, Office Max, Office Depot, and Starbucks, although gift certificates to grocery stores and snack baskets are always appreciated. After all, I don’t want to come off as picky or materialistic! Looking forward to gifts from everyone on the internet!

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Whodunit January 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

Hmmmm…. Not so sure about this one. but when I hear of these elaborate baby showers I always think of that scene in Father of the Bride 2 where the mom and daughter are thrown a double baby shower ( by the dad/grandfather?) and how elaborate it was complete with storks. After that every girl I knew felt entitled to one if these grand parties — for every baby too ( not just the first!) Hollywood!:)

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Cat January 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

I am amazed that you did not have a “Grandma Wedding” to meet your standards as well.

So who is hosting this wonderful shower? If it is your daughter having it for herself, she’s way over the top. If she has a friend who wants to do it for her, that is her friend’s choice. You, as family, would never host anything other than a “family-only” shower.

I take it you want the “Granny” shower so you will have things in your home to be used when the baby arrives for a visit. Why not just send your friends a bill and avoid all the fuss?

The apple did not fall far from the tree; in this case, it hit you on the head.

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Goldie January 9, 2014 at 10:52 am

Geez Louise. That’ll end up being TWO showers for the same baby, that the poor relatives will have to pony up the gifts for. You know, my kids got a ton of hand-me-downs from friends and family when they were born. That was the shower, I guess. Both of my sons spent a large portion of their early lives wearing pink, because that was what we’d gotten as hand-me-downs. And they turned out just fine. One is about to graduate HS with good grades and is getting acceptance letters from colleges, the other one has just graduated from college summa cum laude in 2.5 years instead of four. Apparently the lack of new, high-end baby things didn’t traumatize them as much as it should’ve.

OTOH, right after my divorce, after I’d spent all my savings on divorce and a small house for myself, my kids and my dog (who was the reason why we couldn’t rent like I’d originally wanted to), and was adjusting our spending, trying to figure out how to support a family of three on my pay and a small amount of child support, a relative of mine had a baby. I got an invite to a baby shower that was held at a restaurant two hours away. I sent my regrets and a gift off the registry. Then I got an invite for same baby’s christening, then for the same baby’s first birthday party… I’ve got to admit, these two times, I did not send anything except my regrets. Three gifts for the same infant over the period of twelve months, are you kidding? I’ve got my own kids to take care of.

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The Elf January 9, 2014 at 11:12 am

I’m going to assume that “grandma shower” means a shower she’s hosting for her daughter, not something she’s hosting for herself. But it’ll probably still result in two showers, since daughter will probably coerce someone into hosting one to her standards.

Putting aside objections to family hosting showers at all, I think this one is problematic because of limits placed on gifts. Those who inquire could be informed that small, practical gifts would be best but you really can’t control who gives what.

At this point, I think Grandma-to-be’s best bet is to back out entirely and let daughter’s friends figure out a shower.

Daughter is being incredibly rude for dictating the terms of a shower to be thrown in her honor. Very, very rude and materialistic. Going farther and insulting her own mother for this “failure” and saying she must not love her enough is just the icing on the cake. This family has *issues* and the shower argument is just the expression of them. Good luck with that.

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Easily Amused January 9, 2014 at 11:16 am

Showers are not to be thrown by the guest of honor OR their immediate family. Really, that is just basic etiquette. I, too, smell a troll!

As for “Grandma Showers”, I have only participated in one for a close co-worker that was more of a joke because we were all (including my friend) bemused at the idea of being a grandma (she was the first among us to greet this particular happy milestone). We really played up the whole “granny” thing on her cake and decorations. Most of what we gave her was silly and celebratory and let her know how happy we all were for her. A much different situation than if a friend had set up a gimme grandma shower for herself….

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Angel January 9, 2014 at 11:16 am

Before I started going on this site I had never heard of a grandma shower. It’s one of those odd trends that should never have become a “thing.” Unless the mtb or gtb is in dire financial straits, why in the world would either need a shower anyway?

Family and friends don’t owe you presents just because you made the decision to procreate, or get married, or get engaged.

If grandma wants to have a party, have a party. Just don’t call it a shower and for god’s sake don’t register for gifts. That is not only vulgar it’s just plain WRONG! And tell the daughter that if she doesn’t want the shower that you are planning for her, then she won’t get a shower at all.

Honestly both gtb and mtb sound etiquettely challenged here. Although the mtb is a little bit worse, who says no to ANY shower being planned for them–you keep your mouth shut and be grateful that people want to give you a party. If I caught wind of that I would be inclined to not buy the mtb anything!

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Buff January 9, 2014 at 11:29 am

I tend to agree with Powers that we need some clarification on where Grandma intended the gifts to wind up. Perhaps I’m to generous in assuming she intened the gifts for the baby and at the babies home regardless of the MTB’s crappy attitude.

On the family giving baby showers, I think in modern times ettiquette needs to bend a little in this area. In my family we tend to follow the “rules”, and its usually a cousin or aunt that gives the showers but sometimes thats not possible. I had two showers because I live in a different city than most all my family. The one in the city I live was hosted by a dear friend, and the one in my home town by an aunt. That said if no aunt, friend or cousin is able then I think a Grandmother-to-be or even better an Aunt-to-be is fine as a host. I have known a husband that gave his wife a shower. They lived far from home and he just wanted his wife to feel special. There was absolutely no gimme presents attitude about it. It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

On the MTB, I got nothing. Lord help how her child will turn out.

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livvy17 January 9, 2014 at 11:35 am

@Library Diva – LOL. Too funny, and too right.
@Whodunit – I remember watching that movie and being absolutely appalled by that shower – seemed like they threw it for themselves, even though they both had tons of money, and in case of the older mother – already had kids. I remember thinking it was an awful example.
@OP – even if I charitably assume you mean for the shower to be for your daughter’s benefit, not your own, 1)you shouldn’t be throwing it since you’re family, and 2)what kind of message are you sending your daughter – that even though you think she’s greedy, materialistic and cruel, that she STILL deserved more presents?

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just4kicks January 9, 2014 at 11:49 am

I would love to see THAT invitation! How would one even go about such a thing?
“WHOO HOO! I’m gonna be a Grandma! Come to such and such place at this time…And bring me gifts!”
I mean, really OP! ….And you called your daughter VULGAR?!?
Our oldest son will be graduating from high school next year, maybe I should start thinking about a “Hey! Our kid just graduated! ” party. We also just adopted a stray cat….that’s worth a few sheckles from our family and friends, too! “Load up on the catnip and friskies and swing by our house Saturday….!”
Ridiculous.

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Politrix January 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Mom, is that you?
LOL I’m not admitting to being a “Gimme-pig” (although maybe I am one, in other situations) but my mom, who I love dearly, has an unpleasant way of distorting the facts to fit her own agenda, and of desperately wanting to be The Center of Attention At All Times.
If OP is not, indeed, a troll, I can very well see how her warped view of others leads to her overall etiquette cluelessness. Observe:
“My daughter is insisting on an elaborate baby shower (to rival her wedding which was held in May).”
Daughter planned an elaborate (as in, very large and complex — note the OP did NOT say “expensive”) wedding last May — and daughter and her DH may very well have done all the work and even footed most of the bills, the OP doesn’t say. Having successfully pulled off one “elaborate” event, Daughter may have thought it possible to have an “elaborate” shower, tho’ the OP doesn’t specify what this means, exactly — maybe daughter’s a little eccentric and was envisioning something a little off the beaten path.
“I have refused to participate and she has insulted me personally and said that I don’t love her or the baby.”
OP refused to consider any of her daughter’s ideas, because it just isn’t done that way in Proper Society and it would make OP look bad in front of her friends and neighbors. Daughter, in her hormonal state, rather bluntly asks OP who is this baby shower supposed to be for, her or the OP. OP is “personally insulted” by this remark and takes it to mean her daughter doesn’t think she loves her or her baby-to-be.
“My other daughter and I were planning a shower but it was not to her standards and she has refused it. I cannot believe that she is this openly materialistic. I have already pointed out that etiquette-wise she is vulgar but she doesn’t care.”
Daughter #1 didn’t like the idea OP and Daughter #2 had for the shower, maybe because it seemed to place too much emphasis on Aunt- and Grandma-to-Be, rather than Mother- and Baby-to-be, and so she refused. OP turns this around into Daughter #1 being selfish (or “materialistic”) and “vulgar,” Daughter #1 feels otherwise.
“Because of this situation I would like to have a grandma shower for my friends and family and put a limit on the amount to be spent on a gift and request that people give only practical gifts.”
OP insists on making it All About Her anyway, and wants validation from an etiquette website.
And yes, I’m making all kinds of Interesting Assumptions here, but frankly, I enjoy reading between the lines, especially when it involves attempting to place blame on someone else. There’s always three sides to a dispute: One side, the other side, and the truth. Granted, I don’t know what the truth is in this submission, but I can try to present another side to the story ;)

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Barbarian January 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Grandma showers are given with the purpose of providing baby items for grandma to use in her home when she is caring for the grandbaby.

A terrible idea. The only time a grandma shower is appropriate is when grandparents foster or adopt their grandchildren. That would be a time when their circle of friends and family should come together to support them.

In fact, I would much rather provide a gift for this kind of occasion then for someone who can pretty much come up with their own essential baby items. I recall that one honoree had already received so many baby gifts of essential baby items from multiple showers and family that she requested toys and storybooks from yet another circle of gift givers. I did not participate.

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WMK January 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm

My grandmother instilled a superstition in my mother that you did not throw a baby shower in case, Heaven forbid, something happened with the pregnancy. This superstition has been passed down to me (I’m 40). I’m even more superstitious since I had a friend suffer a stillbirth at 38 weeks, just after a few friends and I threw her a baby shower. I’ve felt guilty ever since then.

Also, I’ve always been under the impression that one can choose to ‘shower the new mommy’ with practical things like diapers, onesies and clothing. Essentials are purchased on an as-needed basis by the parents-to-be. At least, if I were to have children, I wouldn’t expect family and friends to buy me expensive car seats, changing tables and cribs.

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Dee January 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm

There seems to be a trend where the guest of honour (bride-to-be, M-T-B, etc.) decides what sort of party she gets thrown for her. Used to be that these showers were a surprise, thus the guest of honour had absolutely no input in the proceedings. And, as such, could not manifest any greed in terms of the party or the gifts. If surprise parties are no longer in vogue then that’s fine, but it is immensely vulgar for the guest of honour to interfere at all regarding a party hosted by someone else. Either a third party non-relative decides, of their own volition, to host a shower for the honouree (MTB or Grandma) WITHOUT interference from the honouree(s) or there is no shower thrown at all. Period. And, yes, you can survive without ever having a shower. The wedding goes on regardless. The baby is born anyway. And nothing bad happens. Honestly, it amazes me how some people actually make to the altar/have a baby when they display such debilitating immaturity over insignificant matters.

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Daphne January 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm

To me this really isn’t about the correct way to throw a shower. (You’ve already broken the cardinal etiquette rule concerning showers anyway by having a family member host it.) This is about publicly fighting with your daughter by throwing yourself a competing shower. She’s a married woman now and is expecting a baby so unless she asks for your advice, your job with her is pretty much done, at least as far as her social life is concerned. If she wants to throw an over the top, vulgar shower for herself you can try to GENTLY inform her of the proper protocol–But at the end of the day the only polite thing to do is to show up at her event with a smile and a gift and at least act like you are enjoying yourself.

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Isabelle January 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I also read it as grandma wanting to host her own shower but for her daughter. But the wording wasn’t clear at all… I was giving grandma the benefit of the doubt because I really couldn’t fathom that she’d want items for herself after having said that her daughter was being greedy.

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AIP January 9, 2014 at 3:02 pm

And OP was doing relatively well until the last paragraph too!

We don’t have showers here (thankfully), but friends and family will usually give a little something.

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Sarah Jane January 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Well, since she placed a price limit on the cost of each gift she expects, that changes EVERYTHING…

Sorry. End of my sarcasm for today. Maybe.

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babaran January 9, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Grandma showers are a little common where I am – not much, but some. The ones I am aware of are not the “gimme pig” showers some here are mentioning. The tiny one that some of my friends gave me (unasked for, complete surprise) was just a nice luncheon at a restaurant, and they gave me things like a Grandmothers Precious Joys photo album (to put new babies photos in), a picture frame that said Nana’s Pride and Joy and then a book called Pray For Me, Grandma. So nothing really for the baby, just little things for me, and just their way of acknowledging something big happening in my life of which they wanted to celebrate with me. The other one I have heard of was one where the mom-to-be had moved many hours away. But all her older friends (thinking church ladies, old teachers & babysitters, her old Girl Scout troop leader, etc.) wanted to throw her a party, so they set it up at Grandma’s House. They videotaped Grandma opening everything and sent the video tape to the daughter, along with the presents. Many of the gifts, however, were for Grandma –knowing she would one day have a tiny visitor coming to spend vacations, etc. with her.

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Kayla January 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm

I think admin summed it up pretty well. IME, a “child” who acts like an entitled gimme pig has been taught this somewhere, somehow. It doesn’t just appear in a vacuum. I had one friend a while ago who was like this, but all you had to do was listen to her mom to figure out why. The rest of my friends are like me – we have moms who stamped this type of thing out quickly.

In fact, I was 6 years old when I learned the hard way to always thank a mom who hosted a sleepover. It was below zero outside when I got back, mom asked if I’d thanked her, I answered honestly that I had not, and she told me to put my coat on and go back and do so. Phoning wasn’t an option.

I’ve never forgotten a thank you since then. It’s an apple-tree thing.

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Rebecca January 9, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Showers are a tradition I would like to see die out completely. Who really enjoys attending these things? For me it’s usually, “Oh great, I have to spend money on a gift and spend an otherwise perfectly good weekend afternoon at someone’s home playing stupid games with a gaggle of women I don’t know very well and watching a bunch of baby items getting opened when I’d rather be doing something fun outside. What polite excuse can I use this time?”

I only really participate if it’s a close friend for whom I’d be happy to buy a little gift anyway to celebrate the big life change.

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Daria January 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Are we sure the OP means a “shower to bestow gifts on Grandma?”

I thought she meant that she as Grandma would host a small shower for family and close friends only — a shower for the mother to be — and request that only practical gifts rather than lavish largesse be given to the guest of honor.

Either way, I don’t think a family member should host a shower, the original notion of which — a very small tea for the mom-to-be, with token gifts like diaper pins and onesies — has been perverted beyond all recognition in the past two or three decades. Parents should provide for their own infant’s requirements — if they can’t, how can they afford to raise a child for 20 years? If the parents-to-be are nevertheless in immediate need, family should quietly and privately assist, rather than roping in others to buy the basics.

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Lo January 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm

@Rebecca,

I’m with you 100%, I’ve tried to get out of every shower I’ve been invited to (including my own wedding shower but that was not to be). Of course I always buy a gift for baby if I’m close to the mother. But showers themselves seem to be the ultimate tedious social obligation. You have some food. You play silly games. But ultimately it’s just a party where you watch someone open gifts for a long time.

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Sarah Peart January 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I have to apologise – I had never heard of a Grandma shower and so did not know the phrase was not made up, so I thought it might be just her cute way of describing her type of shower. It seems she is being somewhat of a gimme pig! Where I live it is not normal to have showers – of any kind; baby, wedding etc. You know someone is having a baby, you bring over a gift if you see something cute when you visit or just send it, mostly your friends and sisters dig out their “not being used at the moment” clothes and bring those over! They may also bring other baby stuff – bottles, bibs, diapers should they be used etc, we are maybe not so attached to things being new or matching!

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cathy January 9, 2014 at 6:22 pm

GRANDMA showers??? Never heard of this one. Is this a new trend started by stores trying to cash in even more than they already do by having baby shower registries? Ridiculous. Unnecessary. Greedy.

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Thistlebird January 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm

To give the benefit of the doubt, I’ll guess that Grandma is more interested in showing her daughter what a proper shower is like than in receiving gifts–that the practical gifts are meant to be examples of what shower gifts should be.

Still, it’s not gonna work, it’s going to look totally tacky and I doubt Daughter will take the hint. Grandma would be well advised to drop it, tell Daughter “I’m sorry you feel that way,” and move on, perhaps hosting a nice “let’s celebrate grandbaby” tea for her friends, at her own expense and with a specific “no gifts” instruction, which would be a far better example.

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JackieJormpJomp January 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm

To be fair, I don’t think this is about gifts–it’s about attention.
OP is gimme-pigging ATTENTION.

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Skaramouche January 9, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Wow, just wow. I am in agreement with the commenter who suggested that we should do away with showers altogether! Showers made sense when gifts were homemade, inexpensive or well loved hand-me-downs. In today’s world of independent women, do we really need them?

To the commenter who suggested that she didn’t want to punish the baby for the sins of the mother, that makes no sense at all. Are you suggesting that if friends and family didn’t provide a specific item, say pacifiers or bibs or what-have-you, that the mother wouldn’t provide said item herself? Really, you’re only punishing the mother who now has to buy everything herself. Extenuating circumstances aside, if she can’t afford to buy everything herself (hubby/partner included in this), she shouldn’t be having the baby and the shower or not, the baby will definitely suffer!

I don’t understand these mothers who are okay with begging to all and sundry for baby items that they are incapable of providing for their offspring. It’s one thing for a group of friends/family to get together of their own accord and give the mother-to-be some things to get her started. It’s a lovely gesture. But being “invited” to showers baffles me. It’s not as if someone called me and said: “Hey, so-and-so is getting married/having a baby.” Since we’re such good friends with her, why don’t we take her out to lunch/have a party at my house and give her something to get her started? Instead, friends of the bride/M-T-B who may or may not know, assume that since I know her, I must want to participate in a party where the focus is gifts. Sometimes I’m very happy to attend because it’s a close friend and other close friends know I want to be there and it’s essentially the first scenario I suggested with someone taking the initiative. But many other times? I don’t mind bringing something because I’m not strapped for cash but I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been invited to the shower. As the bride or MTB with some self respect, would you REALLY want a present from a person like that? As for family hosting the shower, wth? “Please come and celebrate with my daughter/cousin/sister and bring her lots of things.”

I do feel a bit bad about what occurred at my wedding. My mom and sister had a mehendi party for me. This is traditionally hosted by the bride’s side and is NOT a shower. All my Indian friends and family knew that and came empty handed to celebrate. My non-Indian ones actually brought me gifts. I was very appreciative but a bit embarrassed.

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Alie January 9, 2014 at 9:49 pm

You know, unless you work on improving your relationship with your daughter, you’re not going to need any stuff for your grandkid. No one is entitled to a certain amount of access with the grandkids, and the relationship with the parent determines a lot.

I’m an aunt, but I realize that my entire relationship with the kids (younger than 4) depends on my siblings bringing the kids, getting them ready for visits, helping the kids trust me. If I did something passive aggressive to my siblings, I can’t expect them to put out as much effort in helping my nieces and nephews get to know me.

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