Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Fragglerocker on February 22, 2013, 03:00:56 PM

Title: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Fragglerocker on February 22, 2013, 03:00:56 PM
I'm sure this has been discussed before, and I see it all the time on another baby-related site, but here is my situation and question:

I'm a soon to be second time mom.  I have a girl and am having a girl.  Based on this, I had no desire for a second *anything*, not a shower, not a sprinkle, nothing.  I figure, if my closest friends and family would like to get me something or something special for the baby, they will do so, without a party.  That's what I figured was the right thing to do, and that's what *feels* right to me.

DH is a teacher at a small school.  Two other teachers (female) are expecting around when I am.  One is having her 1st, one, her 3rd.  The staff threw a combined "shower/sprinkle" and included both female teachers AND DH, and we were generously given items for our new baby (due soon.) 

DH then asked if my sister was going to throw me a shower or sprinkle.  (Note:  he always likes to pick on my sister--long story short, she married a man who makes a lot of money and he is very jealous of them, because he doesn't make much money, and feels like they should be more generous towards us; I feel like their money is their money and if money mattered THAT much to DH he shouldn't have become a teacher since that's not the way to make a big pile of cash.  But I digress). 

I told him no, and that because this is our second child--and our second daughter and DD is only 2--there is no reason for another shower.  That showers welcome a woman to motherhood and I've already gotten my welcome.  (I had a nice shower for my first, thrown by my BFF and my sis.)  I also reminded him that (1) we didn't do anything for my sis when she had child #2 (girls all around there too; I threw her first (only) shower) and (2) my BFF asked if I wanted a sprinkle and I declined.

He seemed upset that I wasn't getting another shower, even given the circumstances I  just listed.  I reminded him that the only times I've been to "repeat" showers were when there was some sort of unusual circumstance--for example, a friend's husband decided that cheating on her and divorcing her was a great idea while she was pregnant.  A sprinkle was thrown for her more to show her our support than anything else.  She was having a 2nd boy and if she'd had a sprinkle otherwise, I would've skipped it. 

Another common circumstance I see is when it's a different gender OR a different parent from the previous child (or both).  I don't know what the etiquette is on this, but I've gone to these.

I think he was upset primarily because I recently attended--and for one, co-hosted--two baby showers for first time moms in our social circle at church.  I think he didn't like seeing me do so much for others and not see me get anything in return.   (The one I hosted with some friends was a ridiculously large gathering--I had no say over the guest list and would not have offered to help had I known, but that's another story).  I see where he's coming from, but as far as I'm concerned, the fact that DH got a sprinkle himself was more than I'd anticipated and I feel grateful for what we were unexpectedly given.

So, ehellions, what IS the right time--if ever--to have a 2nd shower (or sprinkle)?  Is my DH off in left field, or am I?
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: mmswm on February 22, 2013, 03:06:10 PM
I think your logic is pretty much on track. A second party would be acceptable if there are unique situations surrounding the birth of a child.  I can also see a huge age gap between the baby and the next youngest sibling as being okay.

A while back my circle of friends threw a shower for friends of mine who adopted a 7 year old when their biological child was still a toddler.  They had all kinds of baby stuff, but not very much "big kid" stuff.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 03:10:35 PM
Your husband is apparently jealous of everyone. I'm kind of curious as to what aspects of his character made you marry him because he sounds petty and unpleasant in your post.

As far as his argument, did you know any of those first time moms back when your 2 you was born? Do you happen to recall if they gave you a gift back then?  Does he realize they might stil give a gift without the term "shower" attached?  WHat has he given to any childless people who gave you gifts when DD was born?  If there was anybody whi is childless who gave a gift when dd was born doesn't he think you took unfairly?  Or if a single gave a wedding/wedding shower gift is he worried that you "owe" them?

I would go over what you might owe other people to shut down that nonsense.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: MorgnsGrl on February 22, 2013, 03:13:12 PM
I think you're being very sensible, and I think your DH is unreasonable. It's nice that he wants nice things (parties, not necessarily presents) for you, and that he wants your friends/family to show you their love, but you don't need a 2nd shower.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: alice on February 22, 2013, 03:14:30 PM
Our first child is a boy.  13 years later, we found out we were having a girl.  I wasn't thinking about anyone throwing me a shower, but my sister-in-law did.  It was a huge family and friends party.  About 100 people.  As far as I know, everyone they invited, came.  And the reason she threw it was because there were so many years between the kids, and they were a different gender.  Plus, others had been asking about throwing a shower.

It was a very fun party, and my sister-in-law made sure things were provided for the big brother.  We all wore the hats with bows and my son held the umbrella for some of the pictures.

I never asked for a second shower, and would not have been bothered if one had not been given.  I think it was wonderful that so many of our friends and family were happy to participate.  We have the most wonderful friends and family.

I sent my thank yous out very promptly!!
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: m2kbug on February 22, 2013, 03:20:57 PM
I think a second shower acceptable if there is a huge gap between babies and you no longer have anymore baby stuff.

I think a "shower" for an older child's adoption sounds great too, especially to help welcome the new child into the family and meet the friends.

In your case, you are correct, you shouldn't have a second shower.

Different gender is often a reason to have a second shower, though opinions on this differ, since the couple probably has what they need outside gender specific clothes and toys. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 03:23:47 PM
I can't see gender as a reason - boys and girls still sleep in beds the same, sit in highcahirs and carseats the same, etc.  Yes some clothes might not translate but those clothes might have gotten dirty anyway.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: GratefulMaria on February 22, 2013, 03:25:08 PM
We have two sons only three years apart, but I was pregnant with our second when DH was out of work.  Some friends in a mom's group did a surprise sprinkle for me at the tail end of one of our meetings, with some very practical and heart-warming gifts.  These were more along the lines of consumables and extremely-usefuls such as meals, onesies, cloth diapers, a couple of small tokens for DS1.  The support meant so very much.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Fragglerocker on February 22, 2013, 03:25:44 PM
Your husband is apparently jealous of everyone. I'm kind of curious as to what aspects of his character made you marry him because he sounds petty and unpleasant in your post.

As far as his argument, did you know any of those first time moms back when your 2 you was born? Do you happen to recall if they gave you a gift back then?  Does he realize they might stil give a gift without the term "shower" attached?  WHat has he given to any childless people who gave you gifts when DD was born?  If there was anybody whi is childless who gave a gift when dd was born doesn't he think you took unfairly?  Or if a single gave a wedding/wedding shower gift is he worried that you "owe" them?

I would go over what you might owe other people to shut down that nonsense.

Eh, he's not jealous of everyone, but money is a sensitive topic because, like I said, he chose a "calling" that doesn't pay well.   And with my sister, specifically, he knows that when I do things for her, I put more effort into them than my sister does when she does anything for me.   Part of that, though, is I have friends who will pitch in, and she really doesn't, so, for example, I threw her shower for my niece by myself, with a little help from my mom.  Wasn't large because there weren't many people she wanted there.  For me, my BFF took the lead and my sister wasn't exactly cooperative but did end up bringing some food.  DH was aware of that and I think he resents that type of thing from her, especially because he knows she "could" do more if she wanted to. 

As for the showers I attended recently, one mom to be was invited to my shower for DD#1, the other was not, as I didn't know her that well back then.  (I'm not the type who just invites everyone under the sun.)  I don't expect either of them to give me any sort of gifts at this point, either. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: bah12 on February 22, 2013, 03:27:27 PM
Many people will say...and I suppose the technical answer is...that second showers are never acceptable for any reason.  And while I get this, I personally don't have a problem with them when...1. Those hosting the shower genuinely want to do so without pressure from the mom.  2. The mom is ok having the gathering and 3. People aren't made to feel like they have to attend (so for instance, I think a group of friends could decide to throw a shower and then have something intimate with just them).

In your situation, you clearly do not desire a shower, so throwing one for you is not appropriate.  And I understand your feelings completely.  While I don't get offended if people have showers for any reason, I don't personally like them, or enjoy attending them (though I do for family and close friends, regardless of what # child they happen to be on).  I didn't have a wedding shower for that reason and only consented to the baby shower because I told my friends I'd let them throw me one when I refused to let them give me a wedding shower.  Who knew that 13 years later, they'd remember that and hold me to that promise. 

As for your DH.  Is this really an issue of the shower or is it something else?  If he feels that your sister and BIL have to "shower" you with gifts because they can afford to and is upset because you are giving to others and not getting anything concrete in return, is the problem that he feels overwhelmed by the cost of another baby and was hoping for some help?  Maybe you can talk to him about why you having a shower is so important to him and reassure him that the baby will have what it needs without you guys breaking the bank (if that's the issue).
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Winterlight on February 22, 2013, 03:31:45 PM
I think DH needs to take a step back here and calm down. There is no obligation to throw any kind of party for anyone, for one thing. And his attitude toward your sister probably shows.

I personally feel that barring unusual circumstances (house fire, financial need, it's been ten years and they've given away all the baby stuff) throwing showers for subsequent babies is a no-no.

I also loathe the term sprinkle because it sounds like what the baby will be doing. Or else it's raining indoors!

Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 03:36:40 PM
Point out to him that one gave you the gift and attended the shower two years ago - you just now got around to evening the score.  As far as the other, things will probably even out eventually.  There are probably people who attended your wedding and have been to showers who have no kids of their own so using your husband's funky logic, you owe them.  If he really wants to go down that road your first worry should be taking care of the people you owe, not who owes you.  Of course, d not think that you should approach life that way and I kind of suspect he doesn't want to either, if it means taking care of everyone you "owe".

There are a lot of teachers on this board.  I am one of them.  There are people who make more than us and people who make les.  Some work in great schools and districts and some don't.  Some feel like we have job security and some of us don't.  Your sis cna't control the aspects of DH's employment and his resentment shouldn't fall on her.  If teaching makes him that deeply unhappy and influences how he sees his [ersonal relationships and interactions then he might want to consider a career change.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Mikayla on February 22, 2013, 03:37:27 PM
I just typed a long, boring post, then bah12 cross-posted, and I swiped the whole thing.  I agree with every word of that.

Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Fragglerocker on February 22, 2013, 03:42:33 PM
Many people will say...and I suppose the technical answer is...that second showers are never acceptable for any reason.  And while I get this, I personally don't have a problem with them when...1. Those hosting the shower genuinely want to do so without pressure from the mom.  2. The mom is ok having the gathering and 3. People aren't made to feel like they have to attend (so for instance, I think a group of friends could decide to throw a shower and then have something intimate with just them).

In your situation, you clearly do not desire a shower, so throwing one for you is not appropriate.  And I understand your feelings completely.  While I don't get offended if people have showers for any reason, I don't personally like them, or enjoy attending them (though I do for family and close friends, regardless of what # child they happen to be on).  I didn't have a wedding shower for that reason and only consented to the baby shower because I told my friends I'd let them throw me one when I refused to let them give me a wedding shower.  Who knew that 13 years later, they'd remember that and hold me to that promise. 

As for your DH.  Is this really an issue of the shower or is it something else?  If he feels that your sister and BIL have to "shower" you with gifts because they can afford to and is upset because you are giving to others and not getting anything concrete in return, is the problem that he feels overwhelmed by the cost of another baby and was hoping for some help?  Maybe you can talk to him about why you having a shower is so important to him and reassure him that the baby will have what it needs without you guys breaking the bank (if that's the issue).

Like I said, we already got a "sprinkle" from his coworkers and were fairly well set with this one, too, so I don't think it's about getting anything else for this child.  We're in good shape in that regard; money doesn't grow on trees around here, but our children will be just fine and getting all they need (and plenty they don't!)   

I think it is way more about him knowing that I go out of my way to help others, and I haven't really seen much in return.  Which isn't why I do it.  But he sees me putting forth time and effort to help others, and that's just part of how I was raised.  I think he sees that there are a lot of people around who never lift a finger, and gets frustrated when it seems, from his perspective, that I do more than my fair share.  I don't think I do, but I do know that in many circles, (church is a big one,) there are some people who will participate and help out, and there are others who never do.  Just because others don't step forward doesn't mean that I shouldn't.  Does that make sense?
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: bah12 on February 22, 2013, 03:50:35 PM
Many people will say...and I suppose the technical answer is...that second showers are never acceptable for any reason.  And while I get this, I personally don't have a problem with them when...1. Those hosting the shower genuinely want to do so without pressure from the mom.  2. The mom is ok having the gathering and 3. People aren't made to feel like they have to attend (so for instance, I think a group of friends could decide to throw a shower and then have something intimate with just them).

In your situation, you clearly do not desire a shower, so throwing one for you is not appropriate.  And I understand your feelings completely.  While I don't get offended if people have showers for any reason, I don't personally like them, or enjoy attending them (though I do for family and close friends, regardless of what # child they happen to be on).  I didn't have a wedding shower for that reason and only consented to the baby shower because I told my friends I'd let them throw me one when I refused to let them give me a wedding shower.  Who knew that 13 years later, they'd remember that and hold me to that promise. 

As for your DH.  Is this really an issue of the shower or is it something else?  If he feels that your sister and BIL have to "shower" you with gifts because they can afford to and is upset because you are giving to others and not getting anything concrete in return, is the problem that he feels overwhelmed by the cost of another baby and was hoping for some help?  Maybe you can talk to him about why you having a shower is so important to him and reassure him that the baby will have what it needs without you guys breaking the bank (if that's the issue).

Like I said, we already got a "sprinkle" from his coworkers and were fairly well set with this one, too, so I don't think it's about getting anything else for this child.  We're in good shape in that regard; money doesn't grow on trees around here, but our children will be just fine and getting all they need (and plenty they don't!)   

I think it is way more about him knowing that I go out of my way to help others, and I haven't really seen much in return.  Which isn't why I do it.  But he sees me putting forth time and effort to help others, and that's just part of how I was raised.  I think he sees that there are a lot of people around who never lift a finger, and gets frustrated when it seems, from his perspective, that I do more than my fair share.  I don't think I do, but I do know that in many circles, (church is a big one,) there are some people who will participate and help out, and there are others who never do.  Just because others don't step forward doesn't mean that I shouldn't.  Does that make sense?

Then this is a much bigger issue than a 2nd baby shower.  Your DH seems to be focusing way too much on getting concrete things in return for what you do.   How much does he participate in helping and giving to others when they need it?  Just because his chosen career field isn't making him a millionaire doesn't mean that everyone around him who makes more owes him something (i.e. your BIL) or that you have to get immediate payback when you do a nice thing for a friend.  Does he make sure that you guys 'payback' those that gave you gifts in the past?
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Deetee on February 22, 2013, 03:53:48 PM
I find showers a bit odd in general.

I completely avoided one for my first child and didn't miss it all. (But do you know what is fun? 2 months of presents in the mail. It was so nice of everyone and spread the fun of getting stuff. There was a while where there seemed to be a package every day that I would leave until my husband came home from work)

Anyhow, I love the idea of celebrating the arrival of a baby, but I think people I know just don't "do" showers. So a party for a baby is great. If it's called a shower that's great. If someone needs stuff, I'd be happy to give some more practical things (shower or no shower). As long as someone has an event that I am free to attend or decline and they have tasty food and drink, I am happy to bring along a onesie. Or I'm happy to drop by later with some muffins and the same onsie and have a quick visit.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 22, 2013, 04:09:27 PM
It sounds like you and DH are at that age where everyone around you is starting their families.  Instead of looking back at the shower you had thrown for you when you had your first DD and understanding that is what you are now doing for family/friends, he is looking at all the showers and thinking it is again your turn.  Just keep explaining to him that you do not want a shower and you are set for new DD. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Eden on February 22, 2013, 04:16:52 PM
Your husband is apparently jealous of everyone. I'm kind of curious as to what aspects of his character made you marry him because he sounds petty and unpleasant in your post.

Whoa! Harsh!

OP your logic is exactly right. I understand his coworkers including the 2nd time parents in the shower. It was unnecessary but maybe they felt awkward acknowledging the one and not the others. But in general I think you're right on the money.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: cass2591 on February 22, 2013, 04:26:26 PM
Your husband is apparently jealous of everyone. I'm kind of curious as to what aspects of his character made you marry him because he sounds petty and unpleasant in your post.


Sharnita, not only was that uncalled for, it's also none of your business.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 22, 2013, 04:47:06 PM
Many people will say...and I suppose the technical answer is...that second showers are never acceptable for any reason.  And while I get this, I personally don't have a problem with them when...1. Those hosting the shower genuinely want to do so without pressure from the mom.  2. The mom is ok having the gathering and 3. People aren't made to feel like they have to attend (so for instance, I think a group of friends could decide to throw a shower and then have something intimate with just them).

In your situation, you clearly do not desire a shower, so throwing one for you is not appropriate.  And I understand your feelings completely.  While I don't get offended if people have showers for any reason, I don't personally like them, or enjoy attending them (though I do for family and close friends, regardless of what # child they happen to be on).  I didn't have a wedding shower for that reason and only consented to the baby shower because I told my friends I'd let them throw me one when I refused to let them give me a wedding shower.  Who knew that 13 years later, they'd remember that and hold me to that promise. 

As for your DH.  Is this really an issue of the shower or is it something else?  If he feels that your sister and BIL have to "shower" you with gifts because they can afford to and is upset because you are giving to others and not getting anything concrete in return, is the problem that he feels overwhelmed by the cost of another baby and was hoping for some help?  Maybe you can talk to him about why you having a shower is so important to him and reassure him that the baby will have what it needs without you guys breaking the bank (if that's the issue).

Like I said, we already got a "sprinkle" from his coworkers and were fairly well set with this one, too, so I don't think it's about getting anything else for this child.  We're in good shape in that regard; money doesn't grow on trees around here, but our children will be just fine and getting all they need (and plenty they don't!)   

I think it is way more about him knowing that I go out of my way to help others, and I haven't really seen much in return.  Which isn't why I do it.  But he sees me putting forth time and effort to help others, and that's just part of how I was raised.  I think he sees that there are a lot of people around who never lift a finger, and gets frustrated when it seems, from his perspective, that I do more than my fair share.  I don't think I do, but I do know that in many circles, (church is a big one,) there are some people who will participate and help out, and there are others who never do.  Just because others don't step forward doesn't mean that I shouldn't.  Does that make sense?

Even if you weren't in good shape for this one, a second shower isn't appropriate. As you are aware, your child, your responsibility.

It sounds like your DH is frustrated that he feels that you are short changed by your friends & sister... that you give/do more than they do. You need to make him understand that you don't go to the extent of doing for others out of a since of obligation but because you enjoy it. And if you are doing it out of a since of obligation then you need to re-evaluate why you feel obligated.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Aquamarine on February 22, 2013, 04:57:07 PM
For me unless someone has lost all their possessions I don't see a second shower ever as really acceptable.  A shower is supposed to be a welcome to motherhood event, once that has happened I see subsequent showers as unnecessary.  There seems to be a lot of gift grabbing in this area, much more so than just a few decades ago.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: *inviteseller on February 22, 2013, 06:35:05 PM
I had a shower for second DD ( note to anyone planning a baby shower...don't yell surprise at an 8 1/2 mo pregnant  woman!).  If I had known, I would have said no, but it was my coworkers, my sister and one friend held at work.  Only my sister knew me when my first DD was born 11 years previously, and the gifts were all thoughtful & practical things...hand knit blankets, bottles, cute bibs and some adorable outfits.  As for the big stuff, DD's father and I had made sure we provided that because it was our responsibility.  My sister and her DH are financially better off than myself, but I never assumed that my child bearing decisions should become any of her responsibility or anyone elses.  I feel sorry for you DH because instead of being happy to welcome his new baby to his life, he is busy looking at what others haven't given.  Instead of asking "where is our stuff?", he should be thinking "look at what blessings I have". 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Marbles on February 22, 2013, 06:44:16 PM
My husband thinks this way, to an extent. It's not so much jealousy as counting favors and keeping reciprocity at the forefront of his mind. It's an interesting point of difference in us. I just like doing things for folks - helping out as I can - and, as long as they show appreciation, I really don't think about how much they do for me. DH is much more mindful of the reciprocity of relationships. It has taken me some time to get used to looking at things that way, but I have found that it helps my friendships to see when my friends may be feeling an imbalance because of the help that I've given and to back off on the doing favors until they've had a chance to reciprocate a bit.

DH and I are pretty self-sufficient (we do stuff for ourselves, too ;) ), so there aren't as many opportunities for our friends to help us out. We bank up favors faster than we use them. This doesn't bug me; it's not why I help people out. But I know that it can be stressful for the folks on the other side of that debt, so it's something to keep in mind.

People who never reciprocate (or do, but with a... let's call it... less than neutral attitude) really shouldn't be getting many favors. It's an unbalanced relationship. It's a recipe for resentment.

OP, I don't think this is so much about a second shower for your DH as it is being sure that others are showing you the appreciation that you deserve for having gone the extra mile for them. It's nice that your DH is looking out for you in that way. I think that you can reassure him that you don't want them to reciprocate by throwing you a shower. Reciprocity is about giving the help that is needed, not the exact same help back. (If you help a buddy build a deck, does he have to wait for you to build a deck before he can return the favor or could he help you pour a new driveway?)

Some favors go longer before being repaid or are repaid in vastly different ways. It sounds like your DH may have a different scale than you do for how or how long it should take for a favor to be repaid/balance be restored in a relationship. It's worth a discussion, if only so that he doesn't take to resenting your friends for not reciprocating.

When I'm doing favors for friends these days, the primary parenting duties for our kids fall on my DH. What he does is very much a part of me being able to do these favors. If that's the case in your family as well, you might consider that your DH has a stake in seeing the favors you are giving being repaid.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: snowdragon on February 22, 2013, 09:28:02 PM
   There is never a time when 2nd showers are ok.  As you stated they are to welcome a woman into motherhood and aren't supposed to be the way to outfit a kid. 

   I hate getting invited to second, third or more kids and I feel it reflects on the parents ( unless it was *truly* a surprise shower).  And to me gender or even a large gap between kids is not sufficient cause for another shower for anyone.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Mr Wigglybones on February 22, 2013, 09:52:10 PM
I think your husband is being ridiculous and selfish. No one owes anyone a shower, not even a first time one, and he can't expect one just because he's jealous of your sister's money. He should also stop picking on the sister just because he has a jealously and entitlement streak.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: kareng57 on February 22, 2013, 10:25:12 PM
   There is never a time when 2nd showers are ok.  As you stated they are to welcome a woman into motherhood and aren't supposed to be the way to outfit a kid. 

   I hate getting invited to second, third or more kids and I feel it reflects on the parents ( unless it was *truly* a surprise shower).  And to me gender or even a large gap between kids is not sufficient cause for another shower for anyone.


True, I have a raised-eyebrow response to the common assertion that a second shower is okay because the baby is a different sex than the first.  It's also true that I come from an era when ultrasound-sex-determination was more of an educated guess than anything else, but still....

The second baby will still have the same needs.  The requirements of a crib, stroller, baby bathtub, receiving blankets etc. will not change simply because the second baby is of a different sex.

Now - this has been a common misinterpretation on this board IMO.  Many people think that this means that no one should give gifts for a second or subsequent baby, and that's not true at all.  Lots of people will give gifts such as cute outfits, toys etc. for a second, fourth or fifth baby.  The thing is - traditionally, shower gifts were more for the mother.  The intent was to provide inexpensive but needed baby-care items such as diapers (cloth, a couple of generations ago), receiving blankets, sleepers, washcloths/towels - that sort of stuff.  If the second baby follows within a few years, the assumption is that Mom already has these things.

So I too will agree that second/subsequent showers are inappropriate unless there are extreme circumstances.  That does not prohibit anyone from giving a gift for any new baby.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: camlan on February 23, 2013, 10:11:57 AM
This whole issue is such a minefield, really.

IMO, a second shower is only appropriate under unusual circumstances. For example, I attended one for a friend who had three kids already, but who was 7 months pregnant when their house burnt down. They lost nearly everything.

So a bunch of friends got together and held a shower so they'd have some stuff for the new baby. And a party, because they all needed a bit of cheering up at that point.

But I don't criticize, say, a workplace where every expectant parent gets a work shower, no matter how many kids they already have. That's just the management trying to keep things equal and fair. And I've known some 2nd or 3rd time moms refuse the shower, but accept a small party, with cake, just before they go on leave.

My dad was in the military. Every time my mom was pregnant, the other military wives threw her a shower. She didn't want them, didn't ask for them and they were usually a surprise. But I think those showers were due to the fact that military wives are often far from home and without family and close friends to be a support system. Those showers were a bonding thing--showing the mom-to-be that she did have people she could call on in an emergency.

And if someone's closest relatives and friends, say 10 or fewer people, were to have her over for tea one afternoon and everyone just happened to bring a little baby outfit with them, I'd be fine with that.

It's the "every baby should be celebrated" idea that bugs me. Sure, celebrated the birth of the 2nd child, and the 3rd. Just don't celebrate them with a shower. I really think some people feel the only appropriate celebration for a baby is a shower. But really, you could have any kind of party you want, before or after the birth, to celebrate the new baby.

And I really don't like the showers held because the new baby is not the same gender as the first baby. Babies don't care what color their car seat is, or if there are ducks or trains on their onesies. Only the parents care. And if the parents care that much, then with the first baby they register for gender-neutral items, or they buy new gender-appropriate things for the second baby. They should not expect other people to buy things because they don't like the color or style of what they have.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: JeseC on February 23, 2013, 11:34:32 AM
This whole issue is such a minefield, really.

IMO, a second shower is only appropriate under unusual circumstances. For example, I attended one for a friend who had three kids already, but who was 7 months pregnant when their house burnt down. They lost nearly everything.

So a bunch of friends got together and held a shower so they'd have some stuff for the new baby. And a party, because they all needed a bit of cheering up at that point.

But I don't criticize, say, a workplace where every expectant parent gets a work shower, no matter how many kids they already have. That's just the management trying to keep things equal and fair. And I've known some 2nd or 3rd time moms refuse the shower, but accept a small party, with cake, just before they go on leave.

My dad was in the military. Every time my mom was pregnant, the other military wives threw her a shower. She didn't want them, didn't ask for them and they were usually a surprise. But I think those showers were due to the fact that military wives are often far from home and without family and close friends to be a support system. Those showers were a bonding thing--showing the mom-to-be that she did have people she could call on in an emergency.

And if someone's closest relatives and friends, say 10 or fewer people, were to have her over for tea one afternoon and everyone just happened to bring a little baby outfit with them, I'd be fine with that.

It's the "every baby should be celebrated" idea that bugs me. Sure, celebrated the birth of the 2nd child, and the 3rd. Just don't celebrate them with a shower. I really think some people feel the only appropriate celebration for a baby is a shower. But really, you could have any kind of party you want, before or after the birth, to celebrate the new baby.

And I really don't like the showers held because the new baby is not the same gender as the first baby. Babies don't care what color their car seat is, or if there are ducks or trains on their onesies. Only the parents care. And if the parents care that much, then with the first baby they register for gender-neutral items, or they buy new gender-appropriate things for the second baby. They should not expect other people to buy things because they don't like the color or style of what they have.

I might also add in times where there's suddenly more babies than they were expecting.  We had a couple that had one baby, then decided to try for #2.  Surprise, #2 turned out to be #2, 3, and 4.  We threw a nice baby shower to help out with supplying baby stuff for all three kids, since their hand-me-downs obviously weren't going to be enough anymore!
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: MommyPenguin on February 23, 2013, 11:46:39 AM
I think second showers can be okay sometimes, mostly if they're by a group that chooses to throw showers for every baby or for their first baby since a member of that group (because that way it's not one person pressuring others to invite, it's a group decision by everyone involved).  I can also see showers in unusual circumstances, like when the house burned down or like when the husband divorced the woman during her pregnancy.  While I don't think a shower is necessary in the case of a family having a child so long after the previous child that baby equipment is gone, I don't think it's necessarily a faux pas if the family or a group of friends together *want* to do it.

However, two kids two years apart, even if they are different sexes, is not usually a reason.  And I think that your DH needs to consider that these women at church (I think you said) are having *first time* children, and that you got a shower when that was true of you.  As for your doing a lot of things for other people, that's your choice (not that you are complaining).  You don't *have* to go to that effort, and it doesn't require people to go to a lot of effort, either.  If all that effort is required by everybody for everybody, it would be exhausting and stressful and no longer feel good, the way it does when we *choose* to go to a lot of effort because we enjoy it or want to show our love.

I'm on my 4th girl, so I've mostly been able to hand the same clothes down from kid to kid to kid.  I'm getting tired of them!  But that still doesn't mean that I expect new clothes or equipment for each kid.  :)  I did get a few new things this time, because when we moved after kid #3, we got rid of the swing and bouncer, so I had the fun of getting new ones from the consignment store.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Twik on February 23, 2013, 11:49:51 AM
A second shower is acceptable if it is organized by people other than the immediate family of the parent, and all the participants are happy to take part. This latter bit normally means that they are very close to the parent.

Organizing one yourself, or inviting people who would likely only provide a present because they feel obligated by the invitation, should be avoided.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Fragglerocker on February 23, 2013, 12:51:55 PM
My husband thinks this way, to an extent. It's not so much jealousy as counting favors and keeping reciprocity at the forefront of his mind. It's an interesting point of difference in us. I just like doing things for folks - helping out as I can - and, as long as they show appreciation, I really don't think about how much they do for me. DH is much more mindful of the reciprocity of relationships. It has taken me some time to get used to looking at things that way, but I have found that it helps my friendships to see when my friends may be feeling an imbalance because of the help that I've given and to back off on the doing favors until they've had a chance to reciprocate a bit.

DH and I are pretty self-sufficient (we do stuff for ourselves, too ;) ), so there aren't as many opportunities for our friends to help us out. We bank up favors faster than we use them. This doesn't bug me; it's not why I help people out. But I know that it can be stressful for the folks on the other side of that debt, so it's something to keep in mind.

People who never reciprocate (or do, but with a... let's call it... less than neutral attitude) really shouldn't be getting many favors. It's an unbalanced relationship. It's a recipe for resentment.

OP, I don't think this is so much about a second shower for your DH as it is being sure that others are showing you the appreciation that you deserve for having gone the extra mile for them. It's nice that your DH is looking out for you in that way. I think that you can reassure him that you don't want them to reciprocate by throwing you a shower. Reciprocity is about giving the help that is needed, not the exact same help back. (If you help a buddy build a deck, does he have to wait for you to build a deck before he can return the favor or could he help you pour a new driveway?)

Some favors go longer before being repaid or are repaid in vastly different ways. It sounds like your DH may have a different scale than you do for how or how long it should take for a favor to be repaid/balance be restored in a relationship. It's worth a discussion, if only so that he doesn't take to resenting your friends for not reciprocating.

When I'm doing favors for friends these days, the primary parenting duties for our kids fall on my DH. What he does is very much a part of me being able to do these favors. If that's the case in your family as well, you might consider that your DH has a stake in seeing the favors you are giving being repaid.

I think it's really the point you  hit in bold, honestly.  He doesn't get the extra childcare duties (he's not around much when I'm doing my thing, other than actually attending the showers, which he'd have done regardless of whether I was helping throw one of them) so that's not really the issue.  I do think it's about him feeling like I go out of my way for my friends & my community--through baby showers & a lot of other things--and he doesn't see things done for me in return.  It is true that at the times I could have really  used support, I didn't get any, but I wasn't as connected to other moms at that point, KWIM?  I'm sure that if the same circumstances would have arisen now, there would be people pitching in to help.  He just knows that help hasn't been there for me when I've needed it. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: AustenFan on February 23, 2013, 03:12:38 PM
I know I'm in the distinct minority here, but I have no problem with second showers.

To me they are not about outfitting a baby or welcoming someone to motherhood, they are about celebrating a new life and expressing my happiness for the parents. Luckily that seems to be the view of my social circle, so second and third showers are the norm. I could always give my gift in private, but baby showers are fun, as is shopping for ridiculously adorable baby clothes while secure in the knowledge that I'll never again have to change a dirty diaper.

I also enjoy pot luck showers (I know, many of you just audibly gasped!) because I so rarely get the chance to break out my fancy cupcake icing skills. My sons class mates just don't seem to appreciate them the same way a sangria'd up gaggle of women do.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Marbles on February 23, 2013, 05:24:39 PM
[massive snippage]
OP, I don't think this is so much about a second shower for your DH as it is being sure that others are showing you the appreciation that you deserve for having gone the extra mile for them.

I think it's really the point you hit in bold, honestly.  He doesn't get the extra childcare duties (he's not around much when I'm doing my thing, other than actually attending the showers, which he'd have done regardless of whether I was helping throw one of them) so that's not really the issue.  I do think it's about him feeling like I go out of my way for my friends & my community--through baby showers & a lot of other things--and he doesn't see things done for me in return.  It is true that at the times I could have really  used support, I didn't get any, but I wasn't as connected to other moms at that point, KWIM?  I'm sure that if the same circumstances would have arisen now, there would be people pitching in to help.  He just knows that help hasn't been there for me when I've needed it.

It sounds like you have a new way to discuss it with him, then. If you haven't gotten support in the past  >:( then I can see how your DH might be more interested in sticking up for you now.  :D It's really great that he is looking out for you that way.

What do you want? Do you want to "bank" these favors for now, secure that these new friends will come through later? Do you want help in throwing a Meet-the-Baby party*?

* I knew I didn't want another shower with Kid2, but decided to throw a Meet-the-Baby open house three weeks after the due date. BFF (now baby's godmother) told me she'd take care of everything and she did: she had cleaning ladies come through the day before  :-* , showed up with food and decorations the day of the party, and just let me relax with our guests. A few people brought gifts, which we set aside for after the party. It was a great afternoon!
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Fragglerocker on February 23, 2013, 10:02:01 PM
[massive snippage]
OP, I don't think this is so much about a second shower for your DH as it is being sure that others are showing you the appreciation that you deserve for having gone the extra mile for them.

I think it's really the point you hit in bold, honestly.  He doesn't get the extra childcare duties (he's not around much when I'm doing my thing, other than actually attending the showers, which he'd have done regardless of whether I was helping throw one of them) so that's not really the issue.  I do think it's about him feeling like I go out of my way for my friends & my community--through baby showers & a lot of other things--and he doesn't see things done for me in return.  It is true that at the times I could have really  used support, I didn't get any, but I wasn't as connected to other moms at that point, KWIM?  I'm sure that if the same circumstances would have arisen now, there would be people pitching in to help.  He just knows that help hasn't been there for me when I've needed it.

It sounds like you have a new way to discuss it with him, then. If you haven't gotten support in the past  >:( then I can see how your DH might be more interested in sticking up for you now.  :D It's really great that he is looking out for you that way.

What do you want? Do you want to "bank" these favors for now, secure that these new friends will come through later? Do you want help in throwing a Meet-the-Baby party*?

* I knew I didn't want another shower with Kid2, but decided to throw a Meet-the-Baby open house three weeks after the due date. BFF (now baby's godmother) told me she'd take care of everything and she did: she had cleaning ladies come through the day before  :-* , showed up with food and decorations the day of the party, and just let me relax with our guests. A few people brought gifts, which we set aside for after the party. It was a great afternoon!

I honestly didn't/don't want another shower/sprinkle etc. for this child, but I would say it would be nice to have those ladies whose showers I went to (esp. the one I helped throw) in some way acknowledge this child (card, bring a meal when I'm recovering, etc.) but I know that the more practical help that would be nice (like the meal) probably won't happen because their due dates are so close to mine that they won't be in a position to help out when I could use it.  That's just how things happen sometimes, so I understand this, too.  But like I said--there are now more "moms" in my circle than before and I'm sure there will be a lot of people stepping up to help out in those loving & thoughtful ways (visit for an hour and let me take a shower, etc.) that I would have loved to have when I had my first daughter, so I will definitely be sure to make sure DH knows about all the people who do come forward to be supportive.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 24, 2013, 10:45:17 PM
For the OP--a  terminology change that might help your DH see your work on the showers at church in a different light:

Maybe in some sphere (church especially), your generosity isn't a *favor*.

Maybe there it's a *ministry*--helping those other people is how you serve God. And so of course you don't expect payback in ANY way from them; you've received your "blessing" already from your Lord.

That might help him be ale to accept the fact that those people aren't returning anything to you.

And Marbles makes a very good point about the damage that an imbalance in favors can do, and that you may need to back off a bit in some places.

Maybe your DH is a bit of a "canary in the coal mine"--his heightened sensitivity might help you avoid the trouble that is just beginning on the horizon.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: bopper on February 25, 2013, 08:57:13 AM
To me showers are a method that our society uses to help moms/dads get stuff for a baby. Often the moms/dads are younger and there is alot of stuff you have to get at once. So friends/family help with that.
But those friends/family presumably had showers with their baby, so it is a way of helping to spread out the cost of these items over time. You get helped, you help later with someone else. 

So there shouldn't really be a need for a second shower with this method. You have all the items you need after the first. Maybe you need to get some more clothes, but that can be affordable.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Lynn2000 on February 25, 2013, 01:23:44 PM
Some great posts in this thread. I just posted in the Grandparent Shower thread about a baby shower that my friend Amy wants to throw for her cousin's wife, who is having her FOURTH child (first one with this husband). I won't rehash it but all the reasons Amy wants to throw one are things that would make me cringe if it were the pregnant woman saying them--been so long since the last baby (older kids are teens), can't afford to buy stuff themselves, family members would be giving gifts for the baby anyway, etc.. But Amy really, genuinely wants to host it, and if the GOH is okay with it, and Amy only invites people who are 100% okay with it, it's not like I'm going to call them rude. To me the last condition is the toughest to fulfill, though, if she's planning to invite all relevant family members just because they're family members, and not the subset who have actually expressed spontaneous interest in doing this themselves.

Personally I think no one is owed a shower, even a first one. First baby showers have become the norm in a lot of places, so okay. I really don't think anyone is owed one for a 2+ baby. I could see certain extreme circumstances that would make me more likely to participate in a 2+ baby shower, along the lines of "house burned down, lost everything." But then surely people would be getting together to give other things, for all members of the family; no need to call it a "baby shower." I like the idea of a party to welcome an adopted child to the family, but again, that doesn't really have to be called a "baby shower," or a "shower" of any kind, or any term that suggests gifts should be given.

Anything like different gender, long time since the last baby, unexpected multiple babies--no, IMO. That's not to say I wouldn't give baby #2+ a gift, I'm sure I would, I just don't like being asked for one (invited to a baby shower). And if a small group of people who know they are all 100% into the idea of throwing a 2+ shower, get together to do it--that's fine, I'm not going to condemn them, because everyone there is known to be 100% okay with it.

OP, I think your logic for not having a second shower is sound; and I agree with others, and yourself, that this is not so much about showers but about your DH feeling resentful about people not reciprocating the favors you've done for them. Maybe you guys need to talk about your expectations more in this area, and set some parameters--not score-keeping, but if you doing stuff for others has a ripple effect on him, maybe you both need to evaluate what you do and who you do it for. Maybe it would work for you guys to have some kind of time limit each week for doing favors, or discuss each opportunity more as it comes up instead of just assuming you should do it (if you are). It sounds like you have a healthy, charitable attitude, but that doesn't mean his attitude is wrong, just different; maybe he just needs more reassurance that you know your limits and really enjoy helping others, that that is kind of the "payback," and you would be sad if you couldn't do it.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Virg on February 28, 2013, 08:54:17 AM
I once heard (I don't completely recall where but it might have been my grandmother), "The only reason to have a second shower is if you didn't get clean during the first one."  With exceptions for extraordinary circumstances like a fire or death in the family, I tend to agree that it's impolite to hold a shower for an established family, because it has a gift-grabby feel and there are ways to avoid it, such as a meet the baby party or just getting together.  That said, there are times when one is allowed to do things that are generally rude, with the acceptance and permission of others involved.  So, holding a second shower with a group of invitees who don't mind second showers could be an acceptable break with etiquette, but that break requires everyone involved with organizing the event to make doubly sure that everyone involved is okay with the idea, to avoid things like inviting someone who would be uncomfortable with it, or organizing an event for a less than willing mother-to-be.  Even with those precautions, there is risk, so I'd tend to skip it in favor of one of the other options.

Virg
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: lollylegs on March 02, 2013, 02:27:40 AM
DH then asked if my sister was going to throw me a shower or sprinkle.  (Note:  he always likes to pick on my sister--long story short, she married a man who makes a lot of money and he is very jealous of them, because he doesn't make much money, and feels like they should be more generous towards us; I feel like their money is their money and if money mattered THAT much to DH he shouldn't have become a teacher since that's not the way to make a big pile of cash.  But I digress). 

Honestly, this is the part that disturbs me most about the post. Perhaps you've left our some important back story - I certainly hope so, because picking on someone solely because they don't share their money with you is so wrong.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Fragglerocker on March 05, 2013, 03:04:05 PM
DH then asked if my sister was going to throw me a shower or sprinkle.  (Note:  he always likes to pick on my sister--long story short, she married a man who makes a lot of money and he is very jealous of them, because he doesn't make much money, and feels like they should be more generous towards us; I feel like their money is their money and if money mattered THAT much to DH he shouldn't have become a teacher since that's not the way to make a big pile of cash.  But I digress). 

Honestly, this is the part that disturbs me most about the post. Perhaps you've left our some important back story - I certainly hope so, because picking on someone solely because they don't share their money with you is so wrong.

Well, it's not so much more backstory as perhaps more specifics.  For instance, my DH & I have birthdays close together.  My sis & her DH do not.  We buy separate presents for them for each of their birthdays, as they're six months apart.  I either ask what they would like or listen to what they voluntarily state they would like, and buy them each a present (within our budget but still generous).  My sister doesn't ask what we want for our birthdays, gives us one joint gift card--and recently, it's been for less than the amount of what I spent on a single one of their gifts.  My DH thinks they're being cheap as he knows they could afford more and as a result he's instructed that I accordingly buy them smaller gifts (or skip buying them gifts entirely).   I don't generally do "tit for tat" gifting; I buy for the purpose of giving the giver what he or she would like.  But I see where he's coming from--this is just one example.  He got upset a few months back because my sister and I have always traded off maternity clothes, snowball style (she had first kid, gave me her clothes, I gave them back plus the ones I got myself and had been given from others, then she gave me back what she had).  A lot were missing, which isn't that big a deal, but I ended up needing to buy more to fill out my wardrobe.  About a week later, my sis finds two more bags of clothes that she hadn't bothered looking for before (even though I told her a few pairs of my pants were AWOL), and my husband was upset because at that point I couldn't return my newly purchased clothes (already washed & tags removed) and he thought my sister was being selfish for not spending the time to look for them sooner when I expressed some were missing, because it cost us money to buy clothes that I ended up not really needing after all.  So it's kind of his attitude towards my sister in general that he feels she isn't very considerate or generous--not just directly dealing with money but with things that sometimes have a financial consequence (like the missing clothes). 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 05, 2013, 04:00:33 PM
Well, it's not so much more backstory as perhaps more specifics.  For instance, my DH & I have birthdays close together.  My sis & her DH do not.  We buy separate presents for them for each of their birthdays, as they're six months apart.  I either ask what they would like or listen to what they voluntarily state they would like, and buy them each a present (within our budget but still generous).  My sister doesn't ask what we want for our birthdays, gives us one joint gift card--and recently, it's been for less than the amount of what I spent on a single one of their gifts.  My DH thinks they're being cheap as he knows they could afford more and as a result he's instructed that I accordingly buy them smaller gifts (or skip buying them gifts entirely).   I don't generally do "tit for tat" gifting; I buy for the purpose of giving the giver what he or she would like.  But I see where he's coming from--this is just one example.   

Given this example, I do see where your DH is coming from, too. I don't like to do "scorekeeping" on gift-giving either, but I do take note of what people spend when they give me gifts, and adjust my own spending based on that--not out of spite or to punish them for being "cheap," but because I assume they are sending me a message with the gift, even if not consciously.

For example, a friend and I who were very close started to drift apart over time. At first we were giving each other $50 for birthdays and then again at Christmas. As we drifted apart I started getting smaller gifts from her--no, I didn't know the exact price, but the feel from them was more like $25. So I adjusted down to $25 for each holiday. I figured it was in some sense a reflection of how close she felt to me, which was not as close as we had been before, and I felt the same way. Now it's down to one $25 that combines birthday and Christmas, because we almost never talk or see each other--besides the time when we exchange gifts, we talk maybe once a year. I could really knock it down further but I still feel a bit sentimental about her, and her gifts to me haven't decreased further that I've noticed.

So if you give your sister $50, and later you give your BIL $50, and your sister only gives you AND your DH $25 combined, I can definitely see why your DH would get mad about that. I mean, you're spending 4x the amount of money on their gifts than they're spending on yours combined, and more effort, too, because you're picking out individual presents while she is just getting you two one joint gift--and it's a gift card. Honestly, I personally like gift cards, and they can be awesome presents if they're to someplace you really love and would never spend money at yourself, but--again, it's a lot less effort than two individual "thing" gifts.

Now I wouldn't call your sister "cheap" and suggest that she ought to spend more on you; but I would suggest that she's sending a clear message about how important she considers birthday gifts to be between adults, and that she seems to be saying she'd be perfectly happy if you spent less money and effort for her. Maybe she'd even be happier, because sometimes being generous with people regularly makes them feel stressed and obligated. This is totally speculative of course because I don't know your sister. :) But if giving her and her DH each $50 gifts ever becomes financially or emotionally stressful for you (sounds like it's already stressful for your DH), I think she's already "said" that she'd be fine if you cut back a little.

I can see why your DH is frustrated if this and the clothes thing are a pattern with her. I think he's going at it the wrong way, saying that SHE should change her behavior; but maybe it would help if you and DH changed your own behaviors. Not with an attitude of resentment and punishment, but thinking more like--this is what Sis is telling us will make her happy, and we like her to be happy, and it will make us happier too. Totally IMO of course, and based on little evidence. :)
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Fragglerocker on March 05, 2013, 10:54:39 PM
I can see why your DH is frustrated if this and the clothes thing are a pattern with her. I think he's going at it the wrong way, saying that SHE should change her behavior; but maybe it would help if you and DH changed your own behaviors. Not with an attitude of resentment and punishment, but thinking more like--this is what Sis is telling us will make her happy, and we like her to be happy, and it will make us happier too. Totally IMO of course, and based on little evidence. :)

And I think you're right and he's got a point, and I did try to scale back on the most recent set of gifting (her daughter's bday recently).  I think he just thinks that, with regards to the shower, it was an opportunity for her to do something special for me, and she never offered.  Me having to tell him about the etiquette of second showers was, to him, beside the point.  Oh well--it's our last (planned) child so this particular situation won't come up again (at least for me as potential GOH.)
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Calistoga on March 06, 2013, 10:04:54 AM
Around here, there's usually a shower for every baby. The first is the biggest, and the subsequent ones are usually "Diaper And Wipe Showers" where people bring very small gifts, such as diapers, newer bottles, and cutesy outfits. The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 06, 2013, 10:22:04 AM
I can see why your DH is frustrated if this and the clothes thing are a pattern with her. I think he's going at it the wrong way, saying that SHE should change her behavior; but maybe it would help if you and DH changed your own behaviors. Not with an attitude of resentment and punishment, but thinking more like--this is what Sis is telling us will make her happy, and we like her to be happy, and it will make us happier too. Totally IMO of course, and based on little evidence. :)

And I think you're right and he's got a point, and I did try to scale back on the most recent set of gifting (her daughter's bday recently).  I think he just thinks that, with regards to the shower, it was an opportunity for her to do something special for me, and she never offered.  Me having to tell him about the etiquette of second showers was, to him, beside the point.  Oh well--it's our last (planned) child so this particular situation won't come up again (at least for me as potential GOH.)

Oh, I understand, and I do think it's sweet that he's concerned about the imbalance there. Sometimes people just try to go about the right thing the wrong way, and it just makes them more frustrated, trying to get other people to change. As we often see on this forum, unfortunately.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: TurtleDove on March 06, 2013, 10:31:53 AM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: snowdragon on March 06, 2013, 10:57:51 AM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

You could just run in different circles.  In certain circles - yes it is THE way to out fit a kid.   And I am not just  talking poverty stricken parents,,,,,there are people who think every baby needs new stuff and this is the way to get it.  I have a cousin like this - she just had her 5th kid and wants everyone in the family to throw her a shower, and will be frightfully insulted when folks decline the invite to the shower she throws herself.  She was like this for all her kids.  I the first there were only about 28 months apart and she had showers for each one ( along with #4 who was a little later) and wanted things like cribs and car seats bought brand new for each kid FOR her.  She was very upset when no one bought her a new crib for #2 and she had to buy it herself.  Her facebook status the evening of her 2nd shower was about how she was hurt and insulted  because "no one  bought her the things this child will need, they expect me to do this by myself".  Third shower was much the same - 4th she was even asking for diaper wipe warmers. 
    She the worst example of this I can think of but I've gotten several over the past few years where the attendees were expected to outfit the kid so the parents don't have to. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 06, 2013, 11:40:20 AM
While I hope I wouldn't stay friends with a total gimme pig either, sometimes they are relatives so there's family pressure to contribute. Also, my friend Amy has this attitude that people ought to provide other people with new baby stuff, at least the first time around and maybe more often--she wants to receive it from people, and she also wants to give it to people. So at least she's willing to give back, but she'll say stuff like, "They/we can't afford to pay for everything on their/our own." That to her seems a perfectly good reason, for herself and others. I disagree...

ETA: I mean I think of it more as a celebration where people give gifts because it's fun and they want to, but I think there shouldn't be an obligation to give gifts for any reason. It's just that "shouldn't be" is very different from reality sometimes, IME. And some other people are fine with the gifts being obligatory.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Mammavan3 on March 06, 2013, 03:50:50 PM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

I have to disagree. The very point of a shower is to give gifts; whether the parents can afford the gifts or not is immaterial.

There are many different ways to celebrate a birth, such as a meet-the-baby party, and I thought the wedding reception was the celebration of the wedding.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: TurtleDove on March 06, 2013, 04:00:38 PM
I have to disagree. The very point of a shower is to give gifts; whether the parents can afford the gifts or not is immaterial.

There are many different ways to celebrate a birth, such as a meet-the-baby party, and I thought the wedding reception was the celebration of the wedding.

I am not certain how you can disagree with my experience. At any rate, please be assured that my experience is real.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: bah12 on March 06, 2013, 05:56:00 PM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

You could just run in different circles.  In certain circles - yes it is THE way to out fit a kid.   And I am not just  talking poverty stricken parents,,,,,there are people who think every baby needs new stuff and this is the way to get it.  I have a cousin like this - she just had her 5th kid and wants everyone in the family to throw her a shower, and will be frightfully insulted when folks decline the invite to the shower she throws herself.  She was like this for all her kids.  I the first there were only about 28 months apart and she had showers for each one ( along with #4 who was a little later) and wanted things like cribs and car seats bought brand new for each kid FOR her.  She was very upset when no one bought her a new crib for #2 and she had to buy it herself.  Her facebook status the evening of her 2nd shower was about how she was hurt and insulted  because "no one  bought her the things this child will need, they expect me to do this by myself".  Third shower was much the same - 4th she was even asking for diaper wipe warmers. 
    She the worst example of this I can think of but I've gotten several over the past few years where the attendees were expected to outfit the kid so the parents don't have to.

I think, though, that in any situation you're going to find people that use the event to either take advantage of others or get things for free.  Does the fact that there are people who expect elaborate birthday parties every year and expensive gifts make anyone throwing a birthday party (even every year) rude?

I'm sure there are plenty of moms to be out there who think that everyone needs to "shower" each of their babies with brand new stuff and expect showers so they can get necessities without having to fund it themselves.  But there's also plenty of mom's to be out there, along with her friends and family, that just enjoy celebrating the occasion. 

Like I said I don't have a hangup about second showers but I think it's the word that throws people off.  If it were called a celebratory party and people brought gifts because they wanted to, it may not be as big of an issue.

For the original question, when are second showers ok?  I say it's when friends and family want to do it on their own accord (not because of expectations or demands) and the Mom to be is agreeable to it. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: snowdragon on March 06, 2013, 06:10:50 PM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

You could just run in different circles.  In certain circles - yes it is THE way to out fit a kid.   And I am not just  talking poverty stricken parents,,,,,there are people who think every baby needs new stuff and this is the way to get it.  I have a cousin like this - she just had her 5th kid and wants everyone in the family to throw her a shower, and will be frightfully insulted when folks decline the invite to the shower she throws herself.  She was like this for all her kids.  I the first there were only about 28 months apart and she had showers for each one ( along with #4 who was a little later) and wanted things like cribs and car seats bought brand new for each kid FOR her.  She was very upset when no one bought her a new crib for #2 and she had to buy it herself.  Her facebook status the evening of her 2nd shower was about how she was hurt and insulted  because "no one  bought her the things this child will need, they expect me to do this by myself".  Third shower was much the same - 4th she was even asking for diaper wipe warmers. 
    She the worst example of this I can think of but I've gotten several over the past few years where the attendees were expected to outfit the kid so the parents don't have to.

I think, though, that in any situation you're going to find people that use the event to either take advantage of others or get things for free.  Does the fact that there are people who expect elaborate birthday parties every year and expensive gifts make anyone throwing a birthday party (even every year) rude?

I'm sure there are plenty of moms to be out there who think that everyone needs to "shower" each of their babies with brand new stuff and expect showers so they can get necessities without having to fund it themselves.  But there's also plenty of mom's to be out there, along with her friends and family, that just enjoy celebrating the occasion. 

Like I said I don't have a hangup about second showers but I think it's the word that throws people off.  If it were called a celebratory party and people brought gifts because they wanted to, it may not be as big of an issue.

For the original question, when are second showers ok?  I say it's when friends and family want to do it on their own accord (not because of expectations or demands) and the Mom to be is agreeable to it.


 And I still say never,  if the friends and family want a shower the mom should be refusing and steering towards something where gifts are not the focus.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: turnip on March 06, 2013, 06:12:41 PM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

I'm with you TurtleDove!

I like my friends and relatives.   This sometimes seems to put me in a minority position on this forum ;-)  If you are having a baby, I'm getting you something.   If you are getting married, I'm getting you something.   If you invite me to a party - I'm coming!   IMHO, modern life is isolating enough without coming up with more reasons to turn down chances to socialize with friends.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: hobish on March 06, 2013, 06:13:00 PM
Even after how long on this board, and this thread popping up for four pages, i saw it and thought, "I dunno, i might be out playing with horses or shoveling dog poo or something ... sometimes a second shower is really neccessary..."  ::)

Except for in extreme circumstances, i am anti-second shower. I think in the last few years people have made up their own definition of a shower to mean that every kid needs a shower because every baby deserves to be welcomed (as if they know ???) ... i don't get it, i don't care, and i don't go. That's a lie. I was sort of guilted into co-hosting a second shower for a friend and to this day i wish i had stood up and said No, No, Nuh-uh, No. I feel like the tacky is all over me in a bad way (not in a good way like cheap plasic parrot earrings).


Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 06, 2013, 07:13:18 PM
I'm with you TurtleDove!

I like my friends and relatives.   This sometimes seems to put me in a minority position on this forum ;-)  If you are having a baby, I'm getting you something.   If you are getting married, I'm getting you something.   If you invite me to a party - I'm coming!   IMHO, modern life is isolating enough without coming up with more reasons to turn down chances to socialize with friends.

Honestly, I agree with you. (Well, actually I don't like parties much, but anyway...) I even get gifts for friends and relatives when they just announce they're pregnant! For someone I'm close to, it could easily be 1) pregnancy announcement gift, 2) shower gift, 3) actual baby is born gift, 4) going to visit the baby for the first time gift... I like giving gifts.

The part where it gets sticky for me is being asked for a gift. I think people have to be careful about that. And inviting people to a "shower" is asking them for a gift, IMO, because a "shower" is a gift-giving occasion. It's just a word, yes, but to me that word means "bring a gift," and other words--like bridal luncheon or meet-the-baby party--don't necessarily mean "bring a gift."

I could understand if some people don't feel that's an important distinction. My friend Amy, for example, in discussing reasons for giving her cousin's wife a shower for her fourth child, said, "Everyone would be getting them a baby gift anyway." It's true, I'm sure every single person she's planning to invite to the shower (mainly relatives) would have given the couple a baby gift anyway... spontaneously and with no prompting from anyone, in their own time and without much opportunity for the gifts from different people to be compared and judged. Now, they're being prompted, there's a deadline, and the gift will be announced, described, and set alongside everyone else's gift, so most people will probably spend more than they'd originally planned so they don't look cheap.

If this way of thinking seems really weird to you, good! :) I hope that means you've had only good experiences at these things. This is just the way I've experienced things, and I think they can be awkward sometimes. To me the difference between asking someone for a gift, and them getting you a gift of their own accord, is pretty big, and I think the former has to be used carefully--first baby only, for example. Otherwise things can start to get a rude feeling to them. Totally IMO, of course.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: fountainof on March 06, 2013, 07:13:52 PM
I would be okay with a second shower for close friends/family where the relationship is pretty even overall , the event was more like a party rather than a traditional shower and the event was kept small and not some hundred people event.  However, if I knew someone was just an attention/gift seeker I wouldn't go and would think it tacky.

In my circle showers just provide modest gifts no one except the grandparents buy things like strollers or cribs, it is just clothes, diapers, blankets, etc.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Tabby Uprising on March 06, 2013, 07:34:24 PM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

I'm with you TurtleDove!

I like my friends and relatives.   This sometimes seems to put me in a minority position on this forum ;-)  If you are having a baby, I'm getting you something.   If you are getting married, I'm getting you something.   If you invite me to a party - I'm coming!   IMHO, modern life is isolating enough without coming up with more reasons to turn down chances to socialize with friends.

This is exactly how I am too!  I relish any opportunity in life for a celebration!  And I'm sure part of my mentality is shaped by the fact I've never been in a situation I'd describe as a "gift grab".  I don't have any friends or family who I'd ever see in that light.  Yet  ;D    My thoughts might be different if I suddenly got caught up in a greedy circle of friends or family, but I certainly hope that never happens. 

If someone told me they were owed a shower and demanded I throw one for them and give them a gift, I would think they were crazy.  They can't force me to comply. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: TurtleDove on March 06, 2013, 09:00:47 PM

I like my friends and relatives.   This sometimes seems to put me in a minority position on this forum ;-)  If you are having a baby, I'm getting you something.   If you are getting married, I'm getting you something.   If you invite me to a party - I'm coming!   IMHO, modern life is isolating enough without coming up with more reasons to turn down chances to socialize with friends.

This perfectly states my perspective on this, especially the bolded!  I think that is why I have such a difficult time understanding the negative judgmental perspective from posters.   
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: AngelBarchild on March 06, 2013, 09:23:56 PM

I like my friends and relatives.   This sometimes seems to put me in a minority position on this forum ;-)  If you are having a baby, I'm getting you something.   If you are getting married, I'm getting you something.   If you invite me to a party - I'm coming!   IMHO, modern life is isolating enough without coming up with more reasons to turn down chances to socialize with friends.

This perfectly states my perspective on this, especially the bolded!  I think that is why I have such a difficult time understanding the negative judgmental perspective from posters.

I'm with you guys. I love parties and giving gifts, and have never in my life ever seen anyone be gift grabbie.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: kareng57 on March 06, 2013, 09:30:15 PM
I'm with you TurtleDove!

I like my friends and relatives.   This sometimes seems to put me in a minority position on this forum ;-)  If you are having a baby, I'm getting you something.   If you are getting married, I'm getting you something.   If you invite me to a party - I'm coming!   IMHO, modern life is isolating enough without coming up with more reasons to turn down chances to socialize with friends.

Honestly, I agree with you. (Well, actually I don't like parties much, but anyway...) I even get gifts for friends and relatives when they just announce they're pregnant! For someone I'm close to, it could easily be 1) pregnancy announcement gift, 2) shower gift, 3) actual baby is born gift, 4) going to visit the baby for the first time gift... I like giving gifts.

The part where it gets sticky for me is being asked for a gift. I think people have to be careful about that. And inviting people to a "shower" is asking them for a gift, IMO, because a "shower" is a gift-giving occasion. It's just a word, yes, but to me that word means "bring a gift," and other words--like bridal luncheon or meet-the-baby party--don't necessarily mean "bring a gift."

I could understand if some people don't feel that's an important distinction. My friend Amy, for example, in discussing reasons for giving her cousin's wife a shower for her fourth child, said, "Everyone would be getting them a baby gift anyway." It's true, I'm sure every single person she's planning to invite to the shower (mainly relatives) would have given the couple a baby gift anyway... spontaneously and with no prompting from anyone, in their own time and without much opportunity for the gifts from different people to be compared and judged. Now, they're being prompted, there's a deadline, and the gift will be announced, described, and set alongside everyone else's gift, so most people will probably spend more than they'd originally planned so they don't look cheap.

If this way of thinking seems really weird to you, good! :) I hope that means you've had only good experiences at these things. This is just the way I've experienced things, and I think they can be awkward sometimes. To me the difference between asking someone for a gift, and them getting you a gift of their own accord, is pretty big, and I think the former has to be used carefully--first baby only, for example. Otherwise things can start to get a rude feeling to them. Totally IMO, of course.


I agree that this is where it gets kind of tricky.  Quite possibly, the majority of guests who are invited to a second-or-subsequent-baby shower would have given a gift, no matter what.

But even today, we keep up the polite fiction that a marrying HC needs help to outfit their new household - even though most might have been living independently, whether together or apart, for years and already have the household-basics.  People give showers anyway.

For second babies - if the parents want to give a baby-welcome party that's fine.  It's when the word "shower" is used that could be the problem.  "Showers" are gift-giving occasions, and anyone who couldn't give a gift (or chose not to) probably would just not attend.  Welcome-baby parties are a bit different - probably most guests would bring a gift anyway, but the focus is on meeting the new baby.  There's a subtle difference.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Calistoga on March 07, 2013, 08:34:14 AM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

Ours isn't so much about giving people stuff they can't afford. First time parents have actual uses for things like strollers and car seats etc, so any time the shower is for the first baby, people are more conscious of those things. The second time around it's usually more of a clothes and diapers thing. I don't know of any time when a pregnant lady in my immediate circle of family/friends wasn't given a shower, no matter how many kids she had before then. The gifts changed, but people still wanted to gather, eat cake, and celebrate babies.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Calistoga on March 07, 2013, 08:36:05 AM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

You could just run in different circles.  In certain circles - yes it is THE way to out fit a kid.   And I am not just  talking poverty stricken parents,,,,,there are people who think every baby needs new stuff and this is the way to get it.  I have a cousin like this - she just had her 5th kid and wants everyone in the family to throw her a shower, and will be frightfully insulted when folks decline the invite to the shower she throws herself.  She was like this for all her kids.  I the first there were only about 28 months apart and she had showers for each one ( along with #4 who was a little later) and wanted things like cribs and car seats bought brand new for each kid FOR her.  She was very upset when no one bought her a new crib for #2 and she had to buy it herself.  Her facebook status the evening of her 2nd shower was about how she was hurt and insulted  because "no one  bought her the things this child will need, they expect me to do this by myself".  Third shower was much the same - 4th she was even asking for diaper wipe warmers. 
    She the worst example of this I can think of but I've gotten several over the past few years where the attendees were expected to outfit the kid so the parents don't have to.

Maybe it's just me, but the concept of throwing yourself a shower really, really bugs me.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: violinp on March 07, 2013, 09:05:56 AM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

You could just run in different circles.  In certain circles - yes it is THE way to out fit a kid.   And I am not just  talking poverty stricken parents,,,,,there are people who think every baby needs new stuff and this is the way to get it.  I have a cousin like this - she just had her 5th kid and wants everyone in the family to throw her a shower, and will be frightfully insulted when folks decline the invite to the shower she throws herself.  She was like this for all her kids.  I the first there were only about 28 months apart and she had showers for each one ( along with #4 who was a little later) and wanted things like cribs and car seats bought brand new for each kid FOR her.  She was very upset when no one bought her a new crib for #2 and she had to buy it herself.  Her facebook status the evening of her 2nd shower was about how she was hurt and insulted  because "no one  bought her the things this child will need, they expect me to do this by myself".  Third shower was much the same - 4th she was even asking for diaper wipe warmers. 
    She the worst example of this I can think of but I've gotten several over the past few years where the attendees were expected to outfit the kid so the parents don't have to.

Maybe it's just me, but the concept of throwing yourself a shower really, really bugs me.

It bothers me, too. You're really not supposed to host a party where you get gifts, because it smacks of greed. Of course, that's probably not the intent of some, but that's the message that being sent, regardless.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Mammavan3 on March 07, 2013, 09:35:01 AM
I have to disagree. The very point of a shower is to give gifts; whether the parents can afford the gifts or not is immaterial.

There are many different ways to celebrate a birth, such as a meet-the-baby party, and I thought the wedding reception was the celebration of the wedding.

I am not certain how you can disagree with my experience. At any rate, please be assured that my experience is real.

A. The purpose of a shower is to give gifts. When you are invited to a shower, you are being ASKED to shower the honoree with gifts.

B. Whether the parents/newlyweds can afford the gifts is immaterial.

C. While more time may be spent on eating, socializing, or games, that does not mean that the purpose - or focus - of the gathering is not to give gifts. 

If the purpose of a wedding shower is to celebrate a marriage, why are not the reception, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids luncheon, bachelorette party, sufficient celebration. What, exactly, does add to the celebration that these other festivities do not?
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: bah12 on March 07, 2013, 01:13:17 PM
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

In my experience, baby showers are not to provide the parents to be with items they cannot afford on their own.  Every shower I have ever been to (wedding or baby or otherwise) has been like this.  People go because they want to celebrate the event, and generally gifts are given but that has never been the focus in my experience.  To me, if I were judging someone for having a "gift grab" I probably would not be friends with them and it just wouldn't affect me because either I would not be invited or I would RSVP no.  I think that is why I struggle to understand the intensely negative and judgmental attitudes when it comes to "showers."  It might be a matter of wording, but I really don't get it.  I had a bridal shower and a baby shower and I certainly wasn't given anything I couldn't afford to buy myself - that wasn't the point of the event.  The point was to celebrate that I was getting married and having a baby, respectively.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been to a shower where the point was to give gifts to the guest of honor because she needed the help.

You could just run in different circles.  In certain circles - yes it is THE way to out fit a kid.   And I am not just  talking poverty stricken parents,,,,,there are people who think every baby needs new stuff and this is the way to get it.  I have a cousin like this - she just had her 5th kid and wants everyone in the family to throw her a shower, and will be frightfully insulted when folks decline the invite to the shower she throws herself.  She was like this for all her kids.  I the first there were only about 28 months apart and she had showers for each one ( along with #4 who was a little later) and wanted things like cribs and car seats bought brand new for each kid FOR her.  She was very upset when no one bought her a new crib for #2 and she had to buy it herself.  Her facebook status the evening of her 2nd shower was about how she was hurt and insulted  because "no one  bought her the things this child will need, they expect me to do this by myself".  Third shower was much the same - 4th she was even asking for diaper wipe warmers. 
    She the worst example of this I can think of but I've gotten several over the past few years where the attendees were expected to outfit the kid so the parents don't have to.

I think, though, that in any situation you're going to find people that use the event to either take advantage of others or get things for free.  Does the fact that there are people who expect elaborate birthday parties every year and expensive gifts make anyone throwing a birthday party (even every year) rude?

I'm sure there are plenty of moms to be out there who think that everyone needs to "shower" each of their babies with brand new stuff and expect showers so they can get necessities without having to fund it themselves.  But there's also plenty of mom's to be out there, along with her friends and family, that just enjoy celebrating the occasion. 

Like I said I don't have a hangup about second showers but I think it's the word that throws people off.  If it were called a celebratory party and people brought gifts because they wanted to, it may not be as big of an issue.

For the original question, when are second showers ok?  I say it's when friends and family want to do it on their own accord (not because of expectations or demands) and the Mom to be is agreeable to it.


 And I still say never,  if the friends and family want a shower the mom should be refusing and steering towards something where gifts are not the focus.

I think it's fine for you to have that opinion.  It definitely isn't mine.  When is it ok to accept gifts for your child?  If you don't do it at a gathering, then are you ok with somone just coming over and giving a gift and not getting the friendship, cake and food in return?  If the mom didn't insist on it, and the friends/family getting together didn't pressure others to join them, then who really cared how/when the gifts are given and what the name their gathering?

Again, I think that expectation is rude.  And I think that pressure is rude.  But, if there were a group of friends who wanted to throw a shower for another pregant friend, and they did so within their intimate group, I certainly wouldn't call the MTB rude because she let her friends do something they desired and didn't refuse all gifts.  I just don't live my life that stringently and don't expect others to either.  Ther's gift-grabby and not and I think the differences are not all that subtle.  It's pretty easy for me to discern and I don't participate in events that are the former. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: LadyR on March 08, 2013, 12:56:40 PM
I have made it clear I don' want a second shower (also with two less than two years apart of the same gender and with the same father, I definitely don't see the point). I had a friend who sort of hinted that she wanted a shower for her second baby and I just ignored the hints and ot her people must have as well as she didn't have a shower (I would have gone, I just wasn't throwing it). She also seemed a little put out that she didn't get much stuff for baby #2.

We're having a meet the baby BBQ when this little guy comes. Not for gifts (gifts ae totally not expected) but for ease of organizing visits to meet the new baby.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: TurtleDove on March 08, 2013, 01:03:54 PM
A. The purpose of a shower is to give gifts. When you are invited to a shower, you are being ASKED to shower the honoree with gifts.

B. Whether the parents/newlyweds can afford the gifts is immaterial.

C. While more time may be spent on eating, socializing, or games, that does not mean that the purpose - or focus - of the gathering is not to give gifts. 

If the purpose of a wedding shower is to celebrate a marriage, why are not the reception, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids luncheon, bachelorette party, sufficient celebration. What, exactly, does add to the celebration that these other festivities do not?

A.  I have stated that in my experience the focus of showers is NOT on the gifts.  Yes, gifts are given.  If anyone did not want to give a gift they presumably wouldn't. 

B.  Some posters mentioned whether recipients "needed" the gifts so I addressed that. 

C.  Please trust me when I express what my experience is.  The purpose of events I have attended is to celebrate the event. 

For me, I didn't have any of the other festivities you mentioned. But again, in my experience, showers are just another way of celebrating an event.  Sure, gifts are given.  They would be in my circle whether the event were labeled a "shower" or not.   Oftentimes the main purpose is to bring together people who previously did not know each other but will likely cross paths as a result of the event being celebrated.  For example, the bride's family members and friends and the groom's family members and friends, or the mother's family and friends and the father's family and friends.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Tabby Uprising on March 08, 2013, 01:11:29 PM
A. The purpose of a shower is to give gifts. When you are invited to a shower, you are being ASKED to shower the honoree with gifts.

B. Whether the parents/newlyweds can afford the gifts is immaterial.

C. While more time may be spent on eating, socializing, or games, that does not mean that the purpose - or focus - of the gathering is not to give gifts. 

If the purpose of a wedding shower is to celebrate a marriage, why are not the reception, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaids luncheon, bachelorette party, sufficient celebration. What, exactly, does add to the celebration that these other festivities do not?

A.  I have stated that in my experience the focus of showers is NOT on the gifts.  Yes, gifts are given.  If anyone did not want to give a gift they presumably wouldn't. 

B.  Some posters mentioned whether recipients "needed" the gifts so I addressed that. 

C.  Please trust me when I express what my experience is.  The purpose of events I have attended is to celebrate the event. 

For me, I didn't have any of the other festivities you mentioned. But again, in my experience, showers are just another way of celebrating an event.  Sure, gifts are given.  They would be in my circle whether the event were labeled a "shower" or not.

I hear that!  In my circle, we call them showers because we honestly aren't putting much thought into the word itself.  It's more "Woo-Hoo!!!! You're having a baby and you're happy and I'm happy and I love you so let's celebrate! Wooooo!"  ;D And it's always just been a warm, positive celebratory event, with cake no less!  I understand that's not the universal experience, but it has been my experience (so far) and it certainly has shaped my perceptive on showers in general. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: bah12 on March 08, 2013, 02:24:47 PM
I have made it clear I don' want a second shower (also with two less than two years apart of the same gender and with the same father, I definitely don't see the point). I had a friend who sort of hinted that she wanted a shower for her second baby and I just ignored the hints and ot her people must have as well as she didn't have a shower (I would have gone, I just wasn't throwing it). She also seemed a little put out that she didn't get much stuff for baby #2.

We're having a meet the baby BBQ when this little guy comes. Not for gifts (gifts ae totally not expected) but for ease of organizing visits to meet the new baby.

In your particular case, you not wanting a shower and the expectation of your DH that you deserve one, makes it inappropriate.  I was answering the question of your post title of when is it appropriate.  If you weren't against having one and a group of your friends really wanted to get together with you and give you a second shower, then I think it would have been ok regardless of any other "special" considerations that may make people feel that one deserves an exception to the "no second baby shower" rule.
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay? UPDATE
Post by: Fragglerocker on March 18, 2013, 09:44:22 PM
OP here.

So, the irony is, two of my church friends ambushed me last Sunday and told me they're throwing me a shower.  I told them I'd already turned down showers and why, and they said that's fine, so instead we're doing a Girls' Night Out in my honor, and the theme is "baby."  I laughed and relented, since I (as a personal policy  ;) ) do not turn down a GNO when offered. 

Fortunately it's nothing formal and it'll be just a few girls (all moms except my BFF who originally offered the shower, since it'd be crazy to go out for GNO with the motive of "I'm having a baby soon" and not include her when she originally wanted to do a shower for me) and none of them (except said BFF) were at my original shower.  So I think I'm clear of a space in eHell, and my hubby thought it was awesome that they wanted to go out.  (And apparently they'd been planning for at least a month but hadn't gotten around to telling me about it.)

Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: Marbles on March 18, 2013, 11:38:18 PM
That sounds like a great celebration. Enjoy!
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: VorFemme on March 19, 2013, 08:20:32 AM
I could see a shower for the SECOND baby of the same mother under a few circumstances (if she didn't have a shower for the first baby, then a first shower for the second baby is up to the "local rules" - might be okay, might not):

#1 - this time around it is a multiple birth (twins, triplets, etc.) - just because you had a baby previously doesn't mean that you have the equipment duplicated enough times for a multiple birth.  But it isn't required - it's still up to your friends or family members to throw this for you and NO HINTING allowed - although dramatically announcing how many babies are coming is probably going to be okay, twins, triplets, and the like are surrounded by a bit of drama, naturally!

#2 - everything was lost in a natural disaster (fire or flood comes to mind, so there is nothing in the parents' possession to welcome the new little one home to.  Especially if they are still dislocated from their home...it could be a reminder that "life goes on" and "life will get back to a new normal, even if not to the old normal").

#3 - it is the first baby of the OTHER parent and both parents are GOH, not just the mother. 
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay? UPDATE
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 19, 2013, 10:10:07 AM
OP here.

So, the irony is, two of my church friends ambushed me last Sunday and told me they're throwing me a shower.  I told them I'd already turned down showers and why, and they said that's fine, so instead we're doing a Girls' Night Out in my honor, and the theme is "baby."  I laughed and relented, since I (as a personal policy  ;) ) do not turn down a GNO when offered. 

Fortunately it's nothing formal and it'll be just a few girls (all moms except my BFF who originally offered the shower, since it'd be crazy to go out for GNO with the motive of "I'm having a baby soon" and not include her when she originally wanted to do a shower for me) and none of them (except said BFF) were at my original shower.  So I think I'm clear of a space in eHell, and my hubby thought it was awesome that they wanted to go out.  (And apparently they'd been planning for at least a month but hadn't gotten around to telling me about it.)

Great idea! Good for them. Sometimes I think people think "celebrate baby" and the only idea they know about is "shower," so it must be a shower. But there are lots of alternatives that might actually be more fun for the mom, and don't have such strong overtones of "bring me a gift." Sounds like you have great friends!
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: alis on March 21, 2013, 11:57:00 AM
I have two boys - born 2010 and 2012. Same size born, same gender, we kept everything to re-use, I think it would have been tacky to have a 2nd shower. We got a few gifts from very close family (grand parents) but congratulations/cards/well wishes from everyone else for #2 (whereas #1 came with gifts). I would not have expected any more than that!
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: jaxsue on March 21, 2013, 12:22:59 PM
My boys were born in '88 and 91', so a lot of time has passed. I have several nieces who've had babies in the past few years. Showers for every baby seems to be the trend, no matter the spacing of the babies or the gender. When I had my boys, it was rare to have 2nd baby showers. Not unknown, but not typical.

The worst gimme-pig baby shower situation I've known of happened about 25 yrs ago. A shower was held for a young MTB. There were about 20 people at the shower. Seems she wasn't happy with the turnout and requested that the host plan another shower for her! So the host did that, mailing invitations to those of us who'd attended the first shower only a couple of weeks before. I declined.  :o
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: alis on March 21, 2013, 01:32:27 PM
My boys were born in '88 and 91', so a lot of time has passed. I have several nieces who've had babies in the past few years. Showers for every baby seems to be the trend, no matter the spacing of the babies or the gender. When I had my boys, it was rare to have 2nd baby showers. Not unknown, but not typical.

The worst gimme-pig baby shower situation I've known of happened about 25 yrs ago. A shower was held for a young MTB. There were about 20 people at the shower. Seems she wasn't happy with the turnout and requested that the host plan another shower for her! So the host did that, mailing invitations to those of us who'd attended the first shower only a couple of weeks before. I declined.  :o

Oh dear. 25 years? She might be a grandmother soon enough, I wonder if she will impose that attitude on the next round of baby showers!
Title: Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
Post by: jaxsue on March 21, 2013, 07:55:55 PM
My boys were born in '88 and 91', so a lot of time has passed. I have several nieces who've had babies in the past few years. Showers for every baby seems to be the trend, no matter the spacing of the babies or the gender. When I had my boys, it was rare to have 2nd baby showers. Not unknown, but not typical.

The worst gimme-pig baby shower situation I've known of happened about 25 yrs ago. A shower was held for a young MTB. There were about 20 people at the shower. Seems she wasn't happy with the turnout and requested that the host plan another shower for her! So the host did that, mailing invitations to those of us who'd attended the first shower only a couple of weeks before. I declined.  :o

Oh dear. 25 years? She might be a grandmother soon enough, I wonder if she will impose that attitude on the next round of baby showers!

I didn't think about that.  :) Let's hope she's learned!