I am expecting my first child next month (February) and I made the decision/Choice/mistake of joining a couple of “Due date groups” on Facebook. These are groups for expecting moms only, who are due in the same month that year. Like any group of people of social networking there were a few bumps (debates of vaccinations, basic safety issues like crib bumpers etc). And while I noticed several postings before the Christmas season about baby showers there weren’t so many that it really piqued my interest.
A little backstory. My husband and are in the uniquely blessed position of having waited until we were a little older to start our family. I am 31 and he’s 41, and as such we’re financially, relationship wise, and career wise much more stable for having waited to start our family. We did this as a conscious decision. I acknowledge that puts me in a different position than many of the women I’m seeing in these groups, I feel lucky for it, but I made my sacrifices too in deciding to wait.
Now that we’re all getting with 2-6 weeks of our due dates many more women are holding showers and well…freaking out about registries. I see daily meltdowns in these groups as women bad talk family who promised them expensive baby items and then couldn’t follow through due to financial problems, friends who refuse to brave severe winter weather to attend, small gatherings not up to their expectations, family who won’t plan events and on. Especially discussed is anger over people not buying off registries, disdain for gifts received, and constant monitoring and updates of how many gifts have been purchased off their registry leading up to the event (while bemoaning how few items have been purchased).
I can’t stand showers as it is. Something about them sets my teeth on edge. I dislike being the center of attention in that manner. Throwing my best friends baby shower a few years back threw me off the entire celebration all together. I offered to throw her a shower, and we’re close like sisters. Close enough for me to make the offer to hold it in my own small home, and for her to know of my fear/discomfort with large gatherings. Imagine my shock when she gave me a 50 person guest list…for a baby shower! Add in her in in laws large group of grandchildren that I’d be expected to entertain, and this shower would be bigger than my 50 person wedding. I gritted my teeth, rented a clubhouse, and used my polite spine to put my polite foot down and insist that this was an adult event and that I would not host it if children were invited. Yes there was heartburn and a few people did not attend, but hosting in and of itself is in a way a gift to the guest of honor, and the hostess has some say in how that gift is presented.
Now I’ll have nothing to do with showers. I won’t attend them and I refused all offers and demands for one of my own. If I receive an invitation to one I will send my regrets and happily send a gift. Is it getting worse, or has Social Media just made me more aware of this flood of gimme pigs? 0110-18
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