As a long-term reader of this site, I’ve come cross many “baby shower” related stories. This is another.
I’m in the UK and the Baby Shower has only very recently made it’s way to us from the US – I’d say within the last five years or so. Admittedly, I know very little about the whole “process” as I don’t have any children nor do a lot of my friends. My family members who have recently had children didn’t have a Baby Shower.
I am currently 27 weeks pregnant with my first (a little girl!) and I’m beyond excited about her arrival. I work full time and I’m quite organised so I budgeted carefully over the past six months or so and managed to purchase the majority of equipment/clothes/nursery furniture for her arrival (with the help of my partner). Of course there are still a few items I need to buy as well as stocking up on nappies and more general things like that – but I’m getting there! I haven’t asked for help or money from parents and I haven’t been gifted anything for the baby just yet.
Having said that, the girls in my office are constantly asking when I’m throwing my Baby Shower. As my pregnancy progresses, the asking has turned to Impatient Demanding near enough with comments such as “you must get this Baby Shower arranged” and “you need to let us know the date of your shower so we can work around it” – also it’ll be thrown into conversations “X will be good for the baby shower!”. These women are excited and impatient about a Shower I have no intention of throwing.
I have said each time the shower was mentioned that I won’t be arranging one. Each time I am met with horrified stares or confusion and so I elaborate further with my reasons – I don’t require one & I am not comfortable with the idea of one and I certainly won’t be throwing myself one. This is met with more strange looks as though I’m being rude and anti social. I suggested instead of a shower situation, we could all go out for a nice lunch before I head off on maternity leave and we can do all the “baby discussions” there! I’m not adverse to receiving gifts for my baby – in fact I’d be so touched – but I certainly don’t want it to be a requirement. The lunch idea was met with near silence pretty much. This isn’t what they had in mind.
I was wondering how I go about this situation now? I’ve already been clear about my personal opinions on the shower idea and tried to suggest an alternative that’ll still show that I’m grateful for their effort and support but I am still being hassled about throwing myself a shower. The rude part of me feels like saying “if you want the shower so much then YOU throw me one” but that seems aggressive and still goes against all my above reasons for not wanting one anyway. I feel these women are getting quite offended by my declining now. Do I .. throw MYSELF a shower anyway just to please them? 0617-18
You have co-workers who are not out for your best interests but rather theirs. They are cruel to offer gifts only under the condition that you host a party. If you want baby gifts you’ll have to work for them. Even worse is the implied exchange of baby gifts for your expenditure of time AND money to host a party for yourself. This isn’t kindness and generosity, it’s bartering of goods and services. Their free time beyond work is far more important than yours since hosting a party in your honor is obviously too onerous to even consider doing.
As has been written here on Ehell many times, you are under no obligation to cater to the demands of rude people who insist you behave in ways you are not comfortable doing.
Think of your remaining weeks at work as preparation for parenthood of very small children. Demanding, incessant whining, selfishness, confusion when confronted with “No”, tantrums, etc., are all childish behaviors every parent encounters when rearing and child training their offspring to eventually be good adults.