Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: missmarie on March 18, 2013, 04:58:03 AM

Title: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: missmarie on March 18, 2013, 04:58:03 AM
My brother and his fiancee R & C are expecting a baby in May. It will be his first child but her third. I received a Facebook invitation from my mother (whole other double faux pas!) to a shower in their honor in April.  I expressed some dismay when I next saw my mother about the fact that a baby shower for a third seems a mite tacky. I didn't bother with the Facebook invite or family thrown shower as those hints would go right over her head. I've already declined throwing a shower when my sister offered for obvious reasons.  C's other children are both under five. This whole thing makes me reeaallly uncomfortable and I wonder: if I attend am I condoning my mum's bad manners? To be fair she is planning on inviting family only. And I love my brother and his fiancee.  It just smacks of a gift grab to me. Any suggestions?  I am of course planning on buying their baby a gift! I had just planned on giving it to them at the hospital or something.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bonyk on March 18, 2013, 05:08:12 AM
A family shower, thrown by family, is fine IMO.  Considering that this is your Brother's first child, I understand your mother's excitement.  I don't really see any evidence of a gift grab, just an excited grandmother-to-be.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Sharnita on March 18, 2013, 06:10:51 AM
I think that since it is for your family and since it is your brother's first, your mom is OK.  Also, this is her third child but are you certain that both of the previous kids got a shower?  Is it possible #2 didn't?  Would that make you any more comfortable with the process?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Oh Joy on March 18, 2013, 07:23:16 AM
It's his first, and the event is for his side of,the family.  I'm not too dismayed.  Could you focus on it being your brother's first?  Give a new dad survival book, or clothes saying 'handsome like daddy', or some item you know he wants or needs?

Best wishes to the growing family.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Roe on March 18, 2013, 07:55:27 AM
This is your brother's first baby.  Be excited for them.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: YummyMummy66 on March 18, 2013, 08:13:49 AM
I will admit I don't ge the whole "why does it matter who throws a shower" bit being tacky.    Times have changed. 

I have three children.  First child, I had three showers given for me.  One by my parents, one by his parents and one by co-workers.  Sex unknonw.  Second child, sex was a girl.  My parents threw me a shower and my co-workers also threw me a shower.  Third child, second marriage, sex also a girl.  My mom again threw me a shower. 

Did I expect or request any of my showers?  No.  Did I appreciate each and every one of them?  You betcha.

Originally, I believe showers were meant to help start a young couple with needed items.

Today, I think it is more of celebrating the birth of a new child.   No matter that we may have things from our previous child, why wouldn't we celebrate the life of an additional child?  Of course, we do not always need the big items any longer, but one can always use diapers, bibs, spit up clothes, onesies, etc.  Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, that darn spit up never completely comes out of those clothes.

I now have a grandchild of my own.  She is five.  She will probably be the only one for a while due to ages and circumstances of my three children, but no matter what, I intend to celebrate each and every one I might have in the future also. 

If those I might invite to a shower choose not to come, that is fine.  That is their choice for whatever reason.  I am not going to judge anyone over their morals or beliefs. 

As to your situation, this is your brother's first child.  This is your mother's first grandchild from her son.  She is estactic.  I don't see evidence of a gift grab either.  You don't have to get anything big or outrageous.  Diapers and onesies are a perfect gift for any newborn babe.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: VltGrantham on March 18, 2013, 08:29:59 AM
I think what's going on is fine.  It's his first child.  Your Mom may be committing a slight faux pas by throwing the shower herself--but as others have suggested, that is simply the excitement of a grandchild, etc.

However, I will add--PLEASE don't bring anything to the hospital that they will then have to cart home.  When you're coming home, it's burden enough trying to gather all your stuff together, get your own act going, and deal with a brand-new infant.  Deliver it to their home or shortly before the birth (if that doesn't go against custom in your family).  And please wait to be invited.  Not everyone wants company at the hospital.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 18, 2013, 09:09:22 AM
This is your brother's first baby.  Be excited for them.

This.  If it is more important to the OP to ensure that everyone knows that she has the etiquette rules memorized, then by all means protest and make it known the family members are uncouth and poorly mannered and boycott the shower.  I don't think that is that the OP hopes to accomplish, however, so yes, be excited for the brother and his family. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: missmarie on March 18, 2013, 09:43:35 AM
OP here! To clarify a few things: my sister and I are planning a "Meet the Baby" bbq after my niece or nephew's birth. We fully expect people to wish to bring gifts but absolutely no mention is going to be made of this on the invitations. We will make ourselves aware of what the baby needs so we might tell people who ask. We are RIDICULOUSLY excited about this baby! I have three children, all over five and my sister hasn't got any so it's the first baby entering our family since my daughter. I can't wait to be an Auntie! But I was raised (by my step mother and gramma) to believe that a shower for any but your first is absolutely atrocious. Call it anything else and you're fine, but showers are for new mums only. 
@vltgrantham: I don't know why that didn't occur to me! I had forgotten the pain in the neck caused by stuff brought to the hospital!  I definitely won't bring anything but snacks for the nurses with me!
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: peaches on March 18, 2013, 10:00:50 AM
Missmarie, I'm with you on this one. I believe showers and gift registries are for first babies.

I think your plans for a casual, get-acquainted-with-baby bbq (no gifts required) is a better idea in this situation.

Still, this shower is already planned and is going to take place.

I wouldn't want to embarrass my brother by objecting to the arrangements, or by not showing up. It is what it is, and as you've said, there is a lot to celebrate and be excited about. I would attend with a gift, and that would be my baby gift (rather than taking one to the hospital or saving it for later).

Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Tabby Uprising on March 18, 2013, 10:09:32 AM
OP here! To clarify a few things: my sister and I are planning a "Meet the Baby" bbq after my niece or nephew's birth. We fully expect people to wish to bring gifts but absolutely no mention is going to be made of this on the invitations. We will make ourselves aware of what the baby needs so we might tell people who ask. We are RIDICULOUSLY excited about this baby! I have three children, all over five and my sister hasn't got any so it's the first baby entering our family since my daughter. I can't wait to be an Auntie! But I was raised (by my step mother and gramma) to believe that a shower for any but your first is absolutely atrocious. Call it anything else and you're fine, but showers are for new mums only. 
@vltgrantham: I don't know why that didn't occur to me! I had forgotten the pain in the neck caused by stuff brought to the hospital!  I definitely won't bring anything but snacks for the nurses with me!

Do you really find your mothers actions of throwing a baby shower for her son's first baby are on par with an atrocity?  That's a strong judgment and you're entitled to it, but if you truly feel your family is doing this purely for gifts then you should not attend.  I'd hate to think that amongst the family guests at this joyous shower there would be a loved one sitting there thinking it was just a "gift grab". 

And if it is your brother's first baby, then isn't it consistent with your shower principle to start with? 


Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 18, 2013, 10:16:31 AM
Do you really find your mothers actions of throwing a baby shower for her son's first baby are on par with an atrocity?  That's a strong judgment and you're entitled to it, but if you truly feel your family is doing this purely for gifts then you should not attend.  I'd hate to think that amongst the family guests at this joyous shower there would be a loved one sitting there thinking it was just a "gift grab". 

And if it is your brother's first baby, then isn't it consistent with your shower principle to start with?

POD.  I feel like if people (not directed at the OP) are inclined to react to a shower invitationg by being judgmental of their friends or family and painting them as greedy gift grabbers, they shouldn't pretend to be friends or excited for the family member.  I really don't get it.  I don't agree with everything my friends and family do - I can't imagine anyone does - but I certainly wouldn't be friends with someone who is a blatant gimme pig.  The resolution of any problem would be that either I wouldn't be invited or I simply wouldn't go if it offended me so much.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Zilla on March 18, 2013, 10:20:15 AM
I am pretty stern when it comes to second/third showers etc.  But this is HIS first shower and being thrown by HIS family.  I don't see it as a gift grab but a way for him to enjoy to the fullest having his first child.  And not to mention your mom's first grandchild from her son.  I wouldn't try and ruin it for them by expressing your dismay.  Simply decline if it bothers you that much.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: LadyR on March 18, 2013, 10:24:06 AM
It is a first baby, for your brother. I see it the same as a second time bride having a BWW the second time if its her groom's first wedding, as long as its not the same people who were invited to showers last time, why should it be a problem? Its still a new experience for him and his family and that's what I see here. Your mother wants to throw a shower for her grandchild and I see nothing wrong with that--I'm also from area where its normal for the mother to throw a shower, so I think your mom is ok there too.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 18, 2013, 10:36:03 AM
I've always been more of the "why be so crazy judgemental over second/third showers" type anyway.  I think it's pretty obvious when parties are gift grabs, regardless of the type, what they're called, or what baby it happens to be.  And subesequent showers thrown by people that want to do something nice for the mother, aren't automatically gift grabs just because the mother happens to already have a child.

This is your brother's first child and it's his family that's throwing the family centered shower.  I don't see this as a big deal at all. 

Now, if this really is atrocious to you, then don't go.  I think it would be rude to accept an invitiaton to a party that you don't condone...especially if you're going to judge your mother for throwing it and your SIL for allowing it.  You'd be better off coming up with an excuse not to be there and I think that unless you can make this shower seem right in your eyes, that's what you should do. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: VltGrantham on March 18, 2013, 11:03:50 AM
Maybe I'm crazy, judgmental, or atrocious (possibly all three)--but I think baby showers for more than your first child are over the top.  This is a different situation because it's the husband's first child, but not so much.  I believe in sprinkles for a child of different gender or babies born far apart, generally as a happy surprise, rather than a planned event.

That said, I do attend many of these events--for family only and only for the sake of keeping the peace.  I'm sure not everyone has in-laws like mine (at least I pray you don't) but I do believe the majority of these events to be gift grabs or a way of soliciting gifts instead of simply supplying the needed items yourself.  I've kept my feelings to myself, but after receiving a fourth shower invitation in as many years for the same sister-in-law, I do think it's ridiculous and entitled.

I don't understand, nor will I ever, why showers are necessary, especially multiple showers for the same couple.  A baby does not need a shower to be celebrated, loved, cared for, or welcomed to the world.  Most people are aware that a birth is a gift-giving occasion and will proceed accordingly.  Why parties are needed for each birth, as if that birth is not special, unique, or sanctified unless a party is given, no matter by whom or the number of showers preceding/accompanying it, is beyond me.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Zilla on March 18, 2013, 11:23:20 AM
Maybe I'm crazy, judgmental, or atrocious (possibly all three)--but I think baby showers for more than your first child are over the top.  This is a different situation because it's the husband's first child, but not so much.  I believe in sprinkles for a child of different gender....

Off topic, I despise the term sprinkle.  It reminds me going to the bathroom. Lol
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: VltGrantham on March 18, 2013, 11:39:36 AM
Quote
It reminds me going to the bathroom. Lol

LOL! ;D
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: hobish on March 18, 2013, 11:49:24 AM
Maybe I'm crazy, judgmental, or atrocious (possibly all three)--but I think baby showers for more than your first child are over the top.  This is a different situation because it's the husband's first child, but not so much.  I believe in sprinkles for a child of different gender or babies born far apart, generally as a happy surprise, rather than a planned event.

That said, I do attend many of these events--for family only and only for the sake of keeping the peace.  I'm sure not everyone has in-laws like mine (at least I pray you don't) but I do believe the majority of these events to be gift grabs or a way of soliciting gifts instead of simply supplying the needed items yourself.  I've kept my feelings to myself, but after receiving a fourth shower invitation in as many years for the same sister-in-law, I do think it's ridiculous and entitled.

I don't understand, nor will I ever, why showers are necessary, especially multiple showers for the same couple.  A baby does not need a shower to be celebrated, loved, cared for, or welcomed to the world.  Most people are aware that a birth is a gift-giving occasion and will proceed accordingly.  Why parties are needed for each birth, as if that birth is not special, unique, or sanctified unless a party is given, no matter by whom or the number of showers preceding/accompanying it, is beyond me.

Well, if you're crazy, judgmental, or atrocious, then i am a monster :) I don't even like sprinkles. Baby showers are not for supplying the couple with items they need. They're for welcoming a woman to motherhood. Whether the kid is a different gender or several years behind its siblings should not be a matter, because stocking baby supplies is not supposed to be the point. I wonder if that is where people get the idea of grandparent showers, and pet showers to supply people with things they need. "A baby does not need a shower to be celebrated, loved, cared for, or welcomed to the world." You aren't kidding. Many people seem to think that "every baby deserves to be celebrated" automatically means a shower has to be held for every one, or they're somehow lesser.

This is your brother's first baby.  Be excited for them.

...? The OP makes no indication she isn't excited for her brother. Since when does not wanting to go to a shower for a baby mean you aren't excited? (and how many dudes do you know who want a baby shower?)

Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on March 18, 2013, 12:02:26 PM
I send gifts for most babies born, but I do not do showers for any but the first.  The original purpose of a shower was to welcome women into motherhood.

 I do not attend these for any reason, but that is more because it usually involves taking time off work. So my cut off for showers was always the mother's first.

 I don't think that showers were meant to outfit the child, so the parents don't have to - and there are plenty of opportunities to fete a child in the moths after their birth that a lack of a shower does not mean second and more kids aren't "welcomed' or "celebrated".
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on March 18, 2013, 12:13:46 PM
I've always been more of the "why be so crazy judgemental over second/third showers" type anyway.  I think it's pretty obvious when parties are gift grabs, regardless of the type, what they're called, or what baby it happens to be.  And subesequent showers thrown by people that want to do something nice for the mother, aren't automatically gift grabs just because the mother happens to already have a child.

This is your brother's first child and it's his family that's throwing the family centered shower.  I don't see this as a big deal at all. 

Now, if this really is atrocious to you, then don't go.  I think it would be rude to accept an invitiaton to a party that you don't condone...especially if you're going to judge your mother for throwing it and your SIL for allowing it.  You'd be better off coming up with an excuse not to be there and I think that unless you can make this shower seem right in your eyes, that's what you should do.

I agree with bah12.   This doesn't smack of a gift-grab to me. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 18, 2013, 12:14:37 PM
hobish, I think the fallacy is that everyone believes showers to be gift grabs or events designed to provide things for the guest of honor.  In my circle, this simply is not the case.  The point is to celebrate the new child (or whichever life event), not necessarily even to welcome the mother to motherhood.  I am not saying that we all have second showers - it is rare in my circle - but it has never ocurred to me to be judgmental of my friends or family and paint them as awful uncouth gimme pigs simply because of the wording used for what everyone invited knows is a celebration of whatever life event it is. Frankly, I would distance myself from someone who focused on "can you believe the poor manners of so and so? her mother is throwing her a baby shower!  how uncouth!" instead of simply being excited that there is a new child (or whatever life event).
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: thedudeabides on March 18, 2013, 12:37:52 PM
Maybe I'm crazy, judgmental, or atrocious (possibly all three)--but I think baby showers for more than your first child are over the top.  This is a different situation because it's the husband's first child, but not so much.  I believe in sprinkles for a child of different gender or babies born far apart, generally as a happy surprise, rather than a planned event.

That said, I do attend many of these events--for family only and only for the sake of keeping the peace.  I'm sure not everyone has in-laws like mine (at least I pray you don't) but I do believe the majority of these events to be gift grabs or a way of soliciting gifts instead of simply supplying the needed items yourself.  I've kept my feelings to myself, but after receiving a fourth shower invitation in as many years for the same sister-in-law, I do think it's ridiculous and entitled.

I don't understand, nor will I ever, why showers are necessary, especially multiple showers for the same couple.  A baby does not need a shower to be celebrated, loved, cared for, or welcomed to the world.  Most people are aware that a birth is a gift-giving occasion and will proceed accordingly.  Why parties are needed for each birth, as if that birth is not special, unique, or sanctified unless a party is given, no matter by whom or the number of showers preceding/accompanying it, is beyond me.

Well, if you're crazy, judgmental, or atrocious, then i am a monster :) I don't even like sprinkles. Baby showers are not for supplying the couple with items they need. They're for welcoming a woman to motherhood. Whether the kid is a different gender or several years behind its siblings should not be a matter, because stocking baby supplies is not supposed to be the point. I wonder if that is where people get the idea of grandparent showers, and pet showers to supply people with things they need. "A baby does not need a shower to be celebrated, loved, cared for, or welcomed to the world." You aren't kidding. Many people seem to think that "every baby deserves to be celebrated" automatically means a shower has to be held for every one, or they're somehow lesser.

This is your brother's first baby.  Be excited for them.

...? The OP makes no indication she isn't excited for her brother. Since when does not wanting to go to a shower for a baby mean you aren't excited? (and how many dudes do you know who want a baby shower?)

I would. New parenthood isn't something only mothers experience.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Tabby Uprising on March 18, 2013, 01:24:54 PM
Quote
(and how many dudes do you know who want a baby shower?)

My DH (aka Most Awesome Dad in the Universe  ;D). Why is that weird?  Dads are just as much of the baby making process as moms so why shouldn't they be part of the celebration?  I know I wasn't born with a rattle shaped baby-shower-loving gene just because I'm a woman.  I don't know how other people throw baby showers, but in my circle they usually include couples and there are no ladies-only rituals taking place.  They're just parties like any other parties but celebrated because of a baby's forthcoming arrival. 

We did receive gifts for the baby, but my DH opened them.  I'm happy being just on the edge of the spotlight!
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Eeep! on March 18, 2013, 01:59:07 PM
hobish, I think the fallacy is that everyone believes showers to be gift grabs or events designed to provide things for the guest of honor.  In my circle, this simply is not the case.  The point is to celebrate the new child (or whichever life event), not necessarily even to welcome the mother to motherhood.  I am not saying that we all have second showers - it is rare in my circle - but it has never ocurred to me to be judgmental of my friends or family and paint them as awful uncouth gimme pigs simply because of the wording used for what everyone invited knows is a celebration of whatever life event it is. Frankly, I would distance myself from someone who focused on "can you believe the poor manners of so and so? her mother is throwing her a baby shower!  how uncouth!" instead of simply being excited that there is a new child (or whatever life event).

You know, I think I fall on this side of things far more than the other. Sometimes it feels like this whole emphasis on "no second showers" etc., is more so that we can pat ourselves on the back and say "well, we know the proper etiquette".  Surely, for your own friends, you should have the ability to make a somewhat correct guess as to their motivations for a shower?  Someone who is gift-grabby is going to be like that, not just for subsequent showers, but also likely for their first one.  Most people I know who aren't gift-grabby, inherently don't expect the same level of gifts for a subsequent shower as they do for the first one. (As an aside - the term sprinkle always makes me think of peeing too! LOL. Glad I'm not the only one!)  But maybe I just don't tend to be friends with people who would primarily see a shower as a way to stock up on loot. (Not to say I haven't seen people get plenty of stuff, of course!) but, like TurtleDove, more of a way to celebrate the baby, regardless of the origins of the practice.   I'm afraid I'm not being terribly articulate today, but I think it is a kindness to not ascribe nefarious motives to people who you otherwise love and respect.

And in the specific instance, where it IS the father's first baby I think, let him have his shower!  We had a co-ed shower for our first son and I know my huband really enjoyed it.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: SamiHami on March 18, 2013, 02:08:45 PM
I also think the fact that it won't be the same group of people that were invited to her previous shower(s) makes a difference. I wouldn't be thrilled to be invited to repeated baby showers for the same person, but since the father's family likely did not attend showers for her other children, it's not as big a deal.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: hobish on March 18, 2013, 02:17:45 PM
hobish, I think the fallacy is that everyone believes showers to be gift grabs or events designed to provide things for the guest of honor.  In my circle, this simply is not the case.  The point is to celebrate the new child (or whichever life event), not necessarily even to welcome the mother to motherhood.  I am not saying that we all have second showers - it is rare in my circle - but it has never ocurred to me to be judgmental of my friends or family and paint them as awful uncouth gimme pigs simply because of the wording used for what everyone invited knows is a celebration of whatever life event it is. Frankly, I would distance myself from someone who focused on "can you believe the poor manners of so and so? her mother is throwing her a baby shower!  how uncouth!" instead of simply being excited that there is a new child (or whatever life event).

Well, it's not like i go around yelling it from the mountaintops or anything. As with most things, tough, that works both ways - i have distance myself from friends who do this to the point of taking advantage, like the friend whose mother (really she) is planning her shower for their 4th kid. I will not be going, neither will my mom or sister. And again - where does the idea come from that a body can't think someone has atrocious manners in throwing multiole showers, etc. AND be excited for the new kid? They aren't mutually exclusive. No shower =/= no excitement, kid isn't special, etc. etc. etc.


I personally don't know any guys who would want a baby shower. Even the stay at home dads have laughed at me for having to attend them when i would rather be smoking cigars and beer tasting with the guys. I'm sure there are a few, but i am also sure it is a small cross-section.

Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 18, 2013, 02:29:20 PM
I think it is a kindness to not ascribe nefarious motives to people who you otherwise love and respect.

This states what I have been mostly unsuccessfully trying to for months!  I am not friends with people for whom my first (or even fourth or ninth) inclination would be to think poorly of them.  I am also not friends with greedy gimme pigs.  My family members are not greedy gimme pigs either, at least not the ones I am close enough with to be invited to a shower or other event.  I think I struggle to understand why various posters would be friends with people for whom this is not true. And if they are not friends, the solution is easy - RSVP no!
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: FauxFoodist on March 18, 2013, 02:30:16 PM
I will admit I don't ge the whole "why does it matter who throws a shower" bit being tacky.    Times have changed. 

Pod.  My SIL might have a baby shower, and this would be her 2nd child, BIL's first.  Whether this were a first child (for both) baby shower or not, my feeling would still be the same -- I don't like attending these things.  However, as far as feeling she should/shouldn't have one, I don't care.  It would be my choice to attend or not, bring a gift or not.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 18, 2013, 02:39:25 PM
hobish, I think the fallacy is that everyone believes showers to be gift grabs or events designed to provide things for the guest of honor.  In my circle, this simply is not the case.  The point is to celebrate the new child (or whichever life event), not necessarily even to welcome the mother to motherhood.  I am not saying that we all have second showers - it is rare in my circle - but it has never ocurred to me to be judgmental of my friends or family and paint them as awful uncouth gimme pigs simply because of the wording used for what everyone invited knows is a celebration of whatever life event it is. Frankly, I would distance myself from someone who focused on "can you believe the poor manners of so and so? her mother is throwing her a baby shower!  how uncouth!" instead of simply being excited that there is a new child (or whatever life event).

Well, it's not like i go around yelling it from the mountaintops or anything. As with most things, tough, that works both ways - i have distance myself from friends who do this to the point of taking advantage, like the friend whose mother (really she) is planning her shower for their 4th kid. I will not be going, neither will my mom or sister. And again - where does the idea come from that a body can't think someone has atrocious manners in throwing multiole showers, etc. AND be excited for the new kid? They aren't mutually exclusive. No shower =/= no excitement, kid isn't special, etc. etc. etc.


I personally don't know any guys who would want a baby shower. Even the stay at home dads have laughed at me for having to attend them when i would rather be smoking cigars and beer tasting with the guys. I'm sure there are a few, but i am also sure it is a small cross-section.

My DH attended our baby shower and I've been invited to several co-ed baby showers.  I don't know why you are so certain that all but a small cross-section of men suscribe to the stereotypes of cigar smoking and beer tasting.  Sure, my DH enjoys both those things, but so do I.  And I know plenty of men and women who would enjoy both drinking a beer and attending a baby shower.  Why can we not like both?

As for the rest...it's not that anyone is saying that you (general) cannot both think a baby shower is uncouth and be excited for the baby, but more that taking the time out to focus on whether or not a shower is gift-grabby and rude kind of takes away from the general happiness of the whole situation.  It's negative energy that just doesn't need to be expended.  Like I said, gift-grabby actions are pretty obvious to me and I've seen them for first babies just as much as second.  Those people that are expectant and take advantage of their friends didn't need to have a second shower for me to notice, because chances are they were that way the first time around too.  And likely I didn't stay friends with them enough to even think about the second or third shower.

I'm not into showers in general (personal preference) but rudeness wise, they just aren't that big of a deal to me when they are thrown by a group of people who genuinely want to do something nice.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 18, 2013, 02:49:17 PM
Add me to the list of "men totally do baby showers" people.  I would say a good half of the showers I have attended in the past decade involved both men and women. It's a celebration, and both men and women celebrate.  It has very little to do with gifts.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 18, 2013, 03:11:35 PM
Missmarie, I'm with you on this one. I believe showers and gift registries are for first babies.

I think your plans for a casual, get-acquainted-with-baby bbq (no gifts required) is a better idea in this situation.

Still, this shower is already planned and is going to take place.

I wouldn't want to embarrass my brother by objecting to the arrangements, or by not showing up. It is what it is, and as you've said, there is a lot to celebrate and be excited about. I would attend with a gift, and that would be my baby gift (rather than taking one to the hospital or saving it for later).

I think this is where I fall. I've mentioned recently that a friend plans to throw her cousin and his wife a baby shower--it's his first child, but her fourth, with her older children being teenagers. It really bothers me to listen to my friend's reasons for wanting to throw the shower--like that the parents "can't afford" to buy baby things all on their own. I have no idea if that's true or not, but I think it's an insulting thing to say about someone--I don't think it speaks well of them. Also, I don't like the idea that I'm somehow obligated to support someone else's baby. And my friend openly admits that both parents are socially anxious and that while they might use "dad's first" as an excuse for the shower, in reality Dad would rather skip it.

But I think ultimately her intentions are good, wanting to celebrate the baby and the fact that her cousin is having his first child. In her mind it seems to be a way to include the wife and her older kids in the family, rather than excluding them. Personally I think they could have gone the "meet the baby" route (presents not obligated) rather than the "shower" route (presents obligated) but honestly I'm just an observer on that event.

Since the deed seems to be done in the OP's case, I wouldn't bother objecting, as it will probably just cause hard feelings. I think I would also try to attend, more for the sake of family harmony and thinking of it more as a general celebration of family. I would probably take a gift, maybe something smaller than I normally would, and not get them anything else later (like at the baby's birth or whenever you were planning to). Not with a punitive or judgmental attitude, just thinking, "Okay, this is what they want and how they want it, so I will support that, and not feel like I have to do anything extra."

My friend also said, "Everyone was going to get them a gift anyway. So they can just bring the gifts to the shower." Someone in another thread talked about the "push vs. pull" of gifts--being invited to a "shower" means being asked for a gift, and I don't necessarily like that, even if I was planning to get them a gift on my own. Some people don't feel that distinction is important, though, and that's fine. It might be because I personally find gifts very powerful (love languages and all that) so being outright asked for them seems a bit bold to me, and should only be done carefully, under certain circumstances.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: hobish on March 18, 2013, 03:35:19 PM
hobish, I think the fallacy is that everyone believes showers to be gift grabs or events designed to provide things for the guest of honor.  In my circle, this simply is not the case.  The point is to celebrate the new child (or whichever life event), not necessarily even to welcome the mother to motherhood.  I am not saying that we all have second showers - it is rare in my circle - but it has never ocurred to me to be judgmental of my friends or family and paint them as awful uncouth gimme pigs simply because of the wording used for what everyone invited knows is a celebration of whatever life event it is. Frankly, I would distance myself from someone who focused on "can you believe the poor manners of so and so? her mother is throwing her a baby shower!  how uncouth!" instead of simply being excited that there is a new child (or whatever life event).

Well, it's not like i go around yelling it from the mountaintops or anything. As with most things, tough, that works both ways - i have distance myself from friends who do this to the point of taking advantage, like the friend whose mother (really she) is planning her shower for their 4th kid. I will not be going, neither will my mom or sister. And again - where does the idea come from that a body can't think someone has atrocious manners in throwing multiole showers, etc. AND be excited for the new kid? They aren't mutually exclusive. No shower =/= no excitement, kid isn't special, etc. etc. etc.


I personally don't know any guys who would want a baby shower. Even the stay at home dads have laughed at me for having to attend them when i would rather be smoking cigars and beer tasting with the guys. I'm sure there are a few, but i am also sure it is a small cross-section.

My DH attended our baby shower and I've been invited to several co-ed baby showers. I don't know why you are so certain that all but a small cross-section of men suscribe to the stereotypes of cigar smoking and beer tasting.  Sure, my DH enjoys both those things, but so do I.  And I know plenty of men and women who would enjoy both drinking a beer and attending a baby shower.  Why can we not like both?
As for the rest...it's not that anyone is saying that you (general) cannot both think a baby shower is uncouth and be excited for the baby, but more that taking the time out to focus on whether or not a shower is gift-grabby and rude kind of takes away from the general happiness of the whole situation.  It's negative energy that just doesn't need to be expended.  Like I said, gift-grabby actions are pretty obvious to me and I've seen them for first babies just as much as second.  Those people that are expectant and take advantage of their friends didn't need to have a second shower for me to notice, because chances are they were that way the first time around too.  And likely I didn't stay friends with them enough to even think about the second or third shower.

I'm not into showers in general (personal preference) but rudeness wise, they just aren't that big of a deal to me when they are thrown by a group of people who genuinely want to do something nice.

Well, for one thing, because i didn't. Disagree if you like; but please do so without putting words in my mouth. I personally do not know any men who like baby showers. I personally have been teased by them for having the social obligation of going - while they were doing beer and cigar tours. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Mikayla on March 18, 2013, 03:39:53 PM
And again - where does the idea come from that a body can't think someone has atrocious manners in throwing multiole showers, etc. AND be excited for the new kid? They aren't mutually exclusive. No shower =/= no excitement, kid isn't special, etc. etc. etc.


This is exactly where I land.  For this specific situation, it's not the worst thing in the world, particularly since it's his first child and it's a family shower. 

But overall, this mindset that everything requires a gift to be celebrated properly has some slippery slope components I just don't like.  A couple PPs mentioned a mom throwing a 3rd or 4th baby shower for her daughter.  To me, this is slippery slope. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 18, 2013, 03:42:25 PM
But overall, this mindset that everything requires a gift to be celebrated properly has some slippery slope components I just don't like. 

For me, it has nothing to do with gifts at all.  It's about the celebration, the gathering, the fellowship.  Gifts are generally given, but in no way is that the focus in my experience.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Mikayla on March 18, 2013, 04:04:02 PM
But overall, this mindset that everything requires a gift to be celebrated properly has some slippery slope components I just don't like. 

For me, it has nothing to do with gifts at all.  It's about the celebration, the gathering, the fellowship.  Gifts are generally given, but in no way is that the focus in my experience.

Well, sure, but the issue isn't whether gifts are the focus.  It's whether they're mandatory.  For both bridal and baby showers, the purpose of the event is to "shower the GOH" with gifts.  IMO, this means it would be rude to show up without one. 

People might spend 30 minutes opening the gifts and 3 hours socializing and having fun, so they aren't the focus in that sense.  But that doesn't change the gift-giving nature of the event.  It also doesn't change the fact that if gifts aren't mandatory, people probably should call it something besides a shower. 

Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 18, 2013, 04:08:55 PM
Well, sure, but the issue isn't whether gifts are the focus.  It's whether they're mandatory.  For both bridal and baby showers, the purpose of the event is to "shower the GOH" with gifts.  IMO, this means it would be rude to show up without one. 

People might spend 30 minutes opening the gifts and 3 hours socializing and having fun, so they aren't the focus in that sense.  But that doesn't change the gift-giving nature of the event.  It also doesn't change the fact that if gifts aren't mandatory, people probably should call it something besides a shower.

For me, if I did not want to give someone a gift, I either 1) would probably not be invited to the shower or 2) would have no problem RSVPing no.  I cannot imagine getting upset or thinking my friends or family were gift grabbing because the title given to the party is "shower."  I don't see a "shower" as mandatory anything.  If you don't want to give a gift, don't.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: kckgirl on March 18, 2013, 05:25:35 PM
I didn't bother with the Facebook invite or family thrown shower as those hints would go right over her head. ... To be fair she is planning on inviting family only.

There is no faux pas in throwing a family only shower for a family member. Why would you need to hint anything about that?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Surianne on March 18, 2013, 05:27:11 PM
Add me to the list of "men totally do baby showers" people.  I would say a good half of the showers I have attended in the past decade involved both men and women. It's a celebration, and both men and women celebrate.  It has very little to do with gifts.

Same here, most of the baby showers I've been to in the past few years have had the father there, too, and he seemed very excited to be there (much more so than at his wedding, in several cases!).  So the fact that this is the dad's first baby makes it a first baby shower to my mind.  I don't see anything wrong with it.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 18, 2013, 05:47:01 PM
hobish, I think the fallacy is that everyone believes showers to be gift grabs or events designed to provide things for the guest of honor.  In my circle, this simply is not the case.  The point is to celebrate the new child (or whichever life event), not necessarily even to welcome the mother to motherhood.  I am not saying that we all have second showers - it is rare in my circle - but it has never ocurred to me to be judgmental of my friends or family and paint them as awful uncouth gimme pigs simply because of the wording used for what everyone invited knows is a celebration of whatever life event it is. Frankly, I would distance myself from someone who focused on "can you believe the poor manners of so and so? her mother is throwing her a baby shower!  how uncouth!" instead of simply being excited that there is a new child (or whatever life event).

Well, it's not like i go around yelling it from the mountaintops or anything. As with most things, tough, that works both ways - i have distance myself from friends who do this to the point of taking advantage, like the friend whose mother (really she) is planning her shower for their 4th kid. I will not be going, neither will my mom or sister. And again - where does the idea come from that a body can't think someone has atrocious manners in throwing multiole showers, etc. AND be excited for the new kid? They aren't mutually exclusive. No shower =/= no excitement, kid isn't special, etc. etc. etc.


I personally don't know any guys who would want a baby shower. Even the stay at home dads have laughed at me for having to attend them when i would rather be smoking cigars and beer tasting with the guys. I'm sure there are a few, but i am also sure it is a small cross-section.

My DH attended our baby shower and I've been invited to several co-ed baby showers. I don't know why you are so certain that all but a small cross-section of men suscribe to the stereotypes of cigar smoking and beer tasting.  Sure, my DH enjoys both those things, but so do I.  And I know plenty of men and women who would enjoy both drinking a beer and attending a baby shower.  Why can we not like both?
As for the rest...it's not that anyone is saying that you (general) cannot both think a baby shower is uncouth and be excited for the baby, but more that taking the time out to focus on whether or not a shower is gift-grabby and rude kind of takes away from the general happiness of the whole situation.  It's negative energy that just doesn't need to be expended.  Like I said, gift-grabby actions are pretty obvious to me and I've seen them for first babies just as much as second.  Those people that are expectant and take advantage of their friends didn't need to have a second shower for me to notice, because chances are they were that way the first time around too.  And likely I didn't stay friends with them enough to even think about the second or third shower.

I'm not into showers in general (personal preference) but rudeness wise, they just aren't that big of a deal to me when they are thrown by a group of people who genuinely want to do something nice.

Well, for one thing, because i didn't. Disagree if you like; but please do so without putting words in my mouth. I personally do not know any men who like baby showers. I personally have been teased by them for having the social obligation of going - while they were doing beer and cigar tours.

I am referring mostly to the fact that you are sure that any exceptions are a small cross section.  That's not putting words in your mouth, it is what you said.  There are many things that I don't have personal experience with, but I don't go as far as stating certainty that my personal experience is majority...especially when it comes to stereotypes and the fact that society, in general, is questioning those stereotypes.  FWIW, I would tease you about having to go to a baby shower too...because I personally don't enjoy them (at least the typical woman only, weird games ones).

But really, whether or not men (or women) enjoy baby showers is irrelevent IMO.  Specifically for the situation in the OP, we have a brother who is having his first child and his mother who desires to throw a family only baby shower in honor of that.  I think that deciding it's rude just because the mom happens to have two other children from a previous relationship when nothing else that suggests that either mom or grandma are being expectant, gift grabby, or in any other way innappropriate is false.  It's judging for the sake of passing judgement.   Like I said, if the OP thinks it's atrocious (which is her right), she needs to decline.  But her personal distaste for this party shouldn't cloud anyone else's enjoyment of it, nor do I think it makes the others rude for going through with it.   
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: sammycat on March 18, 2013, 09:33:13 PM
I've always been more of the "why be so crazy judgemental over second/third showers" type anyway. I think it's pretty obvious when parties are gift grabs, regardless of the type, what they're called, or what baby it happens to be.  And subesequent showers thrown by people that want to do something nice for the mother, aren't automatically gift grabs just because the mother happens to already have a child.

This is your brother's first child and it's his family that's throwing the family centered shower.  I don't see this as a big deal at all. 

Now, if this really is atrocious to you, then don't go.  I think it would be rude to accept an invitiaton to a party that you don't condone...especially if you're going to judge your mother for throwing it and your SIL for allowing it.  You'd be better off coming up with an excuse not to be there and I think that unless you can make this shower seem right in your eyes, that's what you should do.

hobish, I think the fallacy is that everyone believes showers to be gift grabs or events designed to provide things for the guest of honor.  In my circle, this simply is not the case. The point is to celebrate the new child (or whichever life event), not necessarily even to welcome the mother to motherhood.  I am not saying that we all have second showers - it is rare in my circle - but it has never ocurred to me to be judgmental of my friends or family and paint them as awful uncouth gimme pigs simply because of the wording used for what everyone invited knows is a celebration of whatever life event it is. Frankly, I would distance myself from someone who focused on "can you believe the poor manners of so and so? her mother is throwing her a baby shower!  how uncouth!" instead of simply being excited that there is a new child (or whatever life event).

For me, it has nothing to do with gifts at all.  It's about the celebration, the gathering, the fellowship.  Gifts are generally given, but in no way is that the focus in my experience.

POD to all these posts.  Where I'm from, baby showers are thrown to celebrate the impending arrival, not the 'woman's transition to motherhood'.

To add to TurtleDove's comment that I bolded: Instead of the 'traditional' baby presents, when I was pregnant with DS2, a group of my friends arranged a Creative Memories scrapbooking baby shower for me, where everyone completed a page for an album that all I had to do was add the photos too (later). They also chipped in towards an album. (I was heavily into scrapbooking at the time). That was a wonderful evening that I'll never forget.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Calistoga on March 18, 2013, 09:51:38 PM
POD to the entire "When is a second shower" appropriate thread. Different strokes. I think a shower for every baby is no big deal- people gift accordingly for each child and any family member or close friend is fine to throw one so long as the parents don't mind.  Unless the mother to be is demanding the shower or throwing it herself, it's not a gift grab.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Need to Change on March 19, 2013, 02:44:25 AM
CONFESSION:  Prior to E-Hell, I'd never-ever-ever heard about the "first only" shower rule.  I've gladly participated in, or actively helped to throw, showers for multiple children and weddings.

I POD with others who say it's up to each friend-and-family circle, with the consent of the mom- or bride-to-be.

I've never known a mom or bride to throw one for themselves.  Frankly, I think that's tacky.  Although ... even there, I might go along with it if the expectant mom/couple is in severe straits.  Bad stuff can happen, during even the best-planned pregnancy.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 19, 2013, 10:11:58 AM
Well, sure, but the issue isn't whether gifts are the focus.  It's whether they're mandatory.  For both bridal and baby showers, the purpose of the event is to "shower the GOH" with gifts.  IMO, this means it would be rude to show up without one. 

People might spend 30 minutes opening the gifts and 3 hours socializing and having fun, so they aren't the focus in that sense.  But that doesn't change the gift-giving nature of the event.  It also doesn't change the fact that if gifts aren't mandatory, people probably should call it something besides a shower.

For me, if I did not want to give someone a gift, I either 1) would probably not be invited to the shower or 2) would have no problem RSVPing no.  I cannot imagine getting upset or thinking my friends or family were gift grabbing because the title given to the party is "shower."  I don't see a "shower" as mandatory anything.  If you don't want to give a gift, don't.

I absolutely love the idea of having some type of celebration for the birth of every child. However, I do believe a "SHOWER" is "first child only" event.

If the invitation is for a shower, then to attend I must bring a gift. I can't choose to come attend the celebration with freinds and family without bringing a gift.  If the central theme of the celebration isn't a gift, then why call it a shower?  Why not just a party to celebrate the families new additon?

Having all socializing stop for everyone to watch 30 minutes of gift giving really does make the gifts a center point of the event.  It's like being a banquet. The keynote speaker may only talk for 30 minutes of the 2 hour banquet, but it is still the center event because everyone stops what they are doing to pay attention. 

In the case of this OP, I believe a family only shower is completely fine and have no issues with it. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: hobish on March 19, 2013, 10:54:49 AM
hobish, I think the fallacy is that everyone believes showers to be gift grabs or events designed to provide things for the guest of honor.  In my circle, this simply is not the case.  The point is to celebrate the new child (or whichever life event), not necessarily even to welcome the mother to motherhood.  I am not saying that we all have second showers - it is rare in my circle - but it has never ocurred to me to be judgmental of my friends or family and paint them as awful uncouth gimme pigs simply because of the wording used for what everyone invited knows is a celebration of whatever life event it is. Frankly, I would distance myself from someone who focused on "can you believe the poor manners of so and so? her mother is throwing her a baby shower!  how uncouth!" instead of simply being excited that there is a new child (or whatever life event).

Well, it's not like i go around yelling it from the mountaintops or anything. As with most things, tough, that works both ways - i have distance myself from friends who do this to the point of taking advantage, like the friend whose mother (really she) is planning her shower for their 4th kid. I will not be going, neither will my mom or sister. And again - where does the idea come from that a body can't think someone has atrocious manners in throwing multiole showers, etc. AND be excited for the new kid? They aren't mutually exclusive. No shower =/= no excitement, kid isn't special, etc. etc. etc.


I personally don't know any guys who would want a baby shower. Even the stay at home dads have laughed at me for having to attend them when i would rather be smoking cigars and beer tasting with the guys. I'm sure there are a few, but i am also sure it is a small cross-section.

My DH attended our baby shower and I've been invited to several co-ed baby showers. I don't know why you are so certain that all but a small cross-section of men suscribe to the stereotypes of cigar smoking and beer tasting.  Sure, my DH enjoys both those things, but so do I.  And I know plenty of men and women who would enjoy both drinking a beer and attending a baby shower.  Why can we not like both?
As for the rest...it's not that anyone is saying that you (general) cannot both think a baby shower is uncouth and be excited for the baby, but more that taking the time out to focus on whether or not a shower is gift-grabby and rude kind of takes away from the general happiness of the whole situation.  It's negative energy that just doesn't need to be expended.  Like I said, gift-grabby actions are pretty obvious to me and I've seen them for first babies just as much as second.  Those people that are expectant and take advantage of their friends didn't need to have a second shower for me to notice, because chances are they were that way the first time around too.  And likely I didn't stay friends with them enough to even think about the second or third shower.

I'm not into showers in general (personal preference) but rudeness wise, they just aren't that big of a deal to me when they are thrown by a group of people who genuinely want to do something nice.

Well, for one thing, because i didn't. Disagree if you like; but please do so without putting words in my mouth. I personally do not know any men who like baby showers. I personally have been teased by them for having the social obligation of going - while they were doing beer and cigar tours.

I am referring mostly to the fact that you are sure that any exceptions are a small cross section.  That's not putting words in your mouth, it is what you said.  There are many things that I don't have personal experience with, but I don't go as far as stating certainty that my personal experience is majority...especially when it comes to stereotypes and the fact that society, in general, is questioning those stereotypes.  FWIW, I would tease you about having to go to a baby shower too...because I personally don't enjoy them (at least the typical woman only, weird games ones).

But really, whether or not men (or women) enjoy baby showers is irrelevent IMO.  Specifically for the situation in the OP, we have a brother who is having his first child and his mother who desires to throw a family only baby shower in honor of that.  I think that deciding it's rude just because the mom happens to have two other children from a previous relationship when nothing else that suggests that either mom or grandma are being expectant, gift grabby, or in any other way innappropriate is false.  It's judging for the sake of passing judgement.   Like I said, if the OP thinks it's atrocious (which is her right), she needs to decline.  But her personal distaste for this party shouldn't cloud anyone else's enjoyment of it, nor do I think it makes the others rude for going through with it.   

I'm not sure why you are so worked up about whether or not i think men want to go to baby showers, or whether second showers are rude. If my thinking that so diminsihes someone's excitement - which i still don't get - they have bigger issues than appy to this board. It is, however, an etiquette board, and etiquettely speaking, showers for second children are not appropriate.

I think the OP should do whatever she thinks is right. If she holds to the true etiquette that a shower, which is being held for the woman per the OP, is not right, she doesn't have to go. It's not as if she plans on berating her mom or SIL for it, and the absence of a person who doesn't want to be there is not likely to detract anything from the celebration.

Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 19, 2013, 11:11:35 AM
I'm not sure why you are so worked up about whether or not i think men want to go to baby showers, or whether second showers are rude. If my thinking that so diminsihes someone's excitement - which i still don't get - they have bigger issues than appy to this board. It is, however, an etiquette board, and etiquettely speaking, showers for second children are not appropriate.

I think the OP should do whatever she thinks is right. If she holds to the true etiquette that a shower, which is being held for the woman per the OP, is not right, she doesn't have to go. It's not as if she plans on berating her mom or SIL for it, and the absence of a person who doesn't want to be there is not likely to detract anything from the celebration.

First, "worked up" is a pretty strong statement.  I don't get "worked up" about a lot...this being one of them.  But we are discussing the etiquette of second baby showers, so I feel it's appropriate to comment on why they are also something I don't see the point in getting all worked up about.  And I think that the argument that men don't want to go to showers is not only a false assumption, but doesn't really add to the discussion about whether or not showers are rude or inappropriate to begin with.  So, I also think it's just as appropriate for me to comment on that as it was ok for you to throw it out there to begin with.

Also, the OP doesn't have to go to the shower regardless of how she feels about showers in general.  No one is aruing that she has to go.  There's just a lot of us out there that think that it should take a little more than some generic "rule" about no showers for subsequent babies to call someone's actions and behavior gift grabby and atrocious. 

Aside:  I'm also one that has never heard of this rule before e-hell.  I don't doubt it exists, but it never occurred to me to even care so much about showers before this board.  I never saw them as mandatory before and I don't see them as mandatory now (not even for first weddings/babies).  I just don't automatically lump those that desire to throw showers for family friends regardless of what baby they happen to be on as atrocious, gift grabby, rude behavior.  Yes, it can be, but it's not limited to subsequent showers.  That behavior is usually pretty evident the first time around too (and I don't think it being the first baby excuses it). 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Mikayla on March 19, 2013, 11:36:00 AM
Well, sure, but the issue isn't whether gifts are the focus.  It's whether they're mandatory.  For both bridal and baby showers, the purpose of the event is to "shower the GOH" with gifts.  IMO, this means it would be rude to show up without one. 

People might spend 30 minutes opening the gifts and 3 hours socializing and having fun, so they aren't the focus in that sense.  But that doesn't change the gift-giving nature of the event.  It also doesn't change the fact that if gifts aren't mandatory, people probably should call it something besides a shower.

For me, if I did not want to give someone a gift, I either 1) would probably not be invited to the shower or 2) would have no problem RSVPing no.  I cannot imagine getting upset or thinking my friends or family were gift grabbing because the title given to the party is "shower." I don't see a "shower" as mandatory anything.  If you don't want to give a gift, don't.

On the bolded, just to clarify, I've never used the term gift grab, and in this particular situation, I even said I didn't see a big problem.

But my understanding of the etiquette involved is very clearcut, meaning I've never seen an indication that it's ok to attend a shower without a gift.  I suppose there could be regional or cultural overriding of this, but when I attend baby or bridal showers, I don't consider my gift optional. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: VltGrantham on March 19, 2013, 12:13:11 PM
Quote
If the invitation is for a shower, then to attend I must bring a gift. I can't choose to come attend the celebration with freinds and family without bringing a gift.  If the central theme of the celebration isn't a gift, then why call it a shower?  Why not just a party to celebrate the families new additon?

This is what I'd like to know.

I think it's kinda amusing that one is a self-congratulatory etiquette freak if one observes the fact that showers are to help in the transition from one state to another and that a repeat is, in fact, a faux-pas.  Or that traditionally they are not given by a parent or hosted by the guest of honor herself/himself/them.  This IS an etiquette board, correct?  Why should this rule no longer apply?

Why does it have to be billed as a shower?  Will the 2nd, 4th, 9th baby not be as special if a shower is not thrown for the happy couple or expectant mother?  Is it impossible to celebrate with only a congratulatory lunch or an afternoon tea?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 19, 2013, 12:26:12 PM
Quote
If the invitation is for a shower, then to attend I must bring a gift. I can't choose to come attend the celebration with freinds and family without bringing a gift.  If the central theme of the celebration isn't a gift, then why call it a shower?  Why not just a party to celebrate the families new additon?

This is what I'd like to know.

I think it's kinda amusing that one is a self-congratulatory etiquette freak if one observes the fact that showers are to help in the transition from one state to another and that a repeat is, in fact, a faux-pas.  Or that traditionally they are not given by a parent or hosted by the guest of honor herself/himself/them.  This IS an etiquette board, correct?  Why should this rule no longer apply?

Why does it have to be billed as a shower?  Will the 2nd, 4th, 9th baby not be as special if a shower is not thrown for the happy couple or expectant mother?  Is it impossible to celebrate with only a congratulatory lunch or an afternoon tea?

The don't call it a shower.  What's the big deal?  I've seen argument that anything other than a "meet the baby" party is inappropriate.  Yet, if a group of people want to get together with the mom to be, have some cake, talk about the baby, and a few decide to give gifts to the baby/parents while they are there, than that's suddenly ok?  Fine, don't call it a shower and move on. 

I really don't see these etiquette rules and me knowing what they are as a reason to pat myself on the back and tout that I'm somehow etiquettely superior to the rest of society.  Etiquette is just as much about how we react to others as it is our own actions.  If someone is throwing a party that for whatever reason you (general) think is uncouth, then don't go.  But, honestly, I think that passing judgement without any hard evidence (outside of an etiquette rule) is more rude than any 'faux pas' about second showers is.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: turnip on March 19, 2013, 12:26:55 PM
Quote
If the invitation is for a shower, then to attend I must bring a gift. I can't choose to come attend the celebration with freinds and family without bringing a gift.  If the central theme of the celebration isn't a gift, then why call it a shower?  Why not just a party to celebrate the families new additon?

This is what I'd like to know.

I think it's kinda amusing that one is a self-congratulatory etiquette freak if one observes the fact that showers are to help in the transition from one state to another and that a repeat is, in fact, a faux-pas.  Or that traditionally they are not given by a parent or hosted by the guest of honor herself/himself/them.  This IS an etiquette board, correct?  Why should this rule no longer apply?

Why does it have to be billed as a shower?  Will the 2nd, 4th, 9th baby not be as special if a shower is not thrown for the happy couple or expectant mother?  Is it impossible to celebrate with only a congratulatory lunch or an afternoon tea?

I'm going to turn the question around.   This is an etiquette board and I believes that means whether or not a rule is still valid is well within the scope of discussion.   Why _shouldn't_ there be a shower for 2nd, 3rd, 9th babies?   If the guests don't care ( and we have evidence that there are guests who don't care, and who often don't even know that there is a problem ) than what is the purpose of this rule?   Perhaps it is time to retire it, allow that one can throw a shower for any soon-to-be-born child, and just let the people who disapprove decline politely.

I just don't know what this rule is solving for anymore.   Not that many people care, and those that do care can say "Sorry, I won't be able to make it."   Social norms change, etiquette changes, maybe it's time to move on.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Eeep! on March 19, 2013, 12:46:55 PM
Quote
If the invitation is for a shower, then to attend I must bring a gift. I can't choose to come attend the celebration with freinds and family without bringing a gift.  If the central theme of the celebration isn't a gift, then why call it a shower?  Why not just a party to celebrate the families new additon?

This is what I'd like to know.

I think it's kinda amusing that one is a self-congratulatory etiquette freak if one observes the fact that showers are to help in the transition from one state to another and that a repeat is, in fact, a faux-pas.  Or that traditionally they are not given by a parent or hosted by the guest of honor herself/himself/them.  This IS an etiquette board, correct?  Why should this rule no longer apply?

Why does it have to be billed as a shower?  Will the 2nd, 4th, 9th baby not be as special if a shower is not thrown for the happy couple or expectant mother?  Is it impossible to celebrate with only a congratulatory lunch or an afternoon tea?


I do get what you are saying. And I personally am not arguing that, traditionally, that is exactly what a shower is for. Even though I do think more and more the general population is getting a bit hazy on the rules. ;)  I think it would be interesting to see how much of society does views a shower as "welcoming a woman into motherhood" versus "doing fun stuff to get ready for/celebrate a new baby".  I honestly have no idea (although clearly any co-ed showers are, at the very least, extending the welcome to fatherhood) but it seems to me that the more society swings towards the latter, the more the traditional reasons why one shouldn't have subsequent showers become less important.

However, I like the term you use - faux-pas.  That just means that someone makes an etiquette oopsy.  However, what the OP said was that the throwing of a second shower was atrocious.  There is a great deal of space between a faux-pas and an atrocity.  At least in my book, someone making a faux-pas is not worth more than a "oops" or possibly a "yikes!". Not excessive handwringing and bemoaning the fall of western civilization. (Just being hyperbolic there! :))
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 19, 2013, 02:02:51 PM
Interesting turn in the discussion. If people want to have a party to celebrate subsequent babies, and even call it a shower, maybe that will eventually become totally okay, and guests won't automatically associate a shower with a gift-giving occasion. It can be, "We're having a shower for Susie's third baby," and Susie doesn't have a prominent registry, and guests just bring a box of wipes or a package of diapers or even just a card. (I think at least one PP said this was how showers for subsequent babies were already done in her circle.)

I wouldn't disapprove of such a thing. I happen to not care for parties much in general so I don't know that I'd attend, but I would see it as basically on the same level as someone's first backyard BBQ of the season--some people just like to socialize, any reason will do, and it's fun to celebrate a new (upcoming) baby.

Unfortunately, in my personal experience, this hasn't come to pass yet. I see showers for subsequent babies where the host or GOH are expecting gifts from everyone on a "first shower ever" level, or maybe just a touch lower, with a full registry made available. I haven't actually been invited to one yet, as they aren't happening to anyone I really know, but more friends of friends.

Maybe one thing to do is attend these showers with the former attitude in mind, that you're there to cheerfully celebrate the new baby, and bring just a small gift. (Like when my friend Amy got married, she had two bridal showers, and I was invited to both. The first one I bought her a nice gift. The second one, I wrote a nice message in a card for her. Another friend who was invited to both fretted about having to get yet another gift for the second shower, and ended up anxious and resentful.) Maybe that will catch on with people.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: thedudeabides on March 19, 2013, 09:35:11 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 19, 2013, 09:45:01 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

APPLAUSE!!!!
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: VltGrantham on March 20, 2013, 08:31:20 AM
Quote
It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

I think that's pretty much what most posters HAVE been saying.  Since it is the father's first child, I see nothing wrong with it--though I have to admit I know very few men that want to attend showers.  However, from evidence on this board, it's obvious that there are men who would like to be included and do enjoy them.

However, after the first shower for that couple, it's time to retire those parties and celebrate in other ways.

Quote
But, honestly, I think that passing judgement without any hard evidence (outside of an etiquette rule) is more rude than any 'faux pas' about second showers is.

That's quite an assumption to make.  How can you be sure that anyone is "passing judgement" without hard evidence?  Showers by their very nature are supposed to be small, intimate, gatherings of close family and friends.  One would believe that if they were close enough to be invited, they are also "in the know" and possession of all the facts.

Quote
However, what the OP said was that the throwing of a second shower was atrocious.  There is a great deal of space between a faux-pas and an atrocity.  At least in my book, someone making a faux-pas is not worth more than a "oops" or possibly a "yikes!". Not excessive handwringing and bemoaning the fall of western civilization. (Just being hyperbolic there! )

Good point.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 20, 2013, 08:49:22 AM
MIL threw a shower for our third.  Mostly because she was just so happy that this child she'd be able to see more of in his infancy since we lived in California until the eldest was almost 3 and the middle child was 18 months.  That and my mother hosted the shower for my oldest so my MIL wanted to have a chance to do it, and because Piratebabe is so much younger than the other two, and a surprise, so we had gotten rid of the crib and stroller we had.

DH and I bought all the big stuff like crib, car seat and stroller ourselves and I didn't register anywhere.  But I did mention the theme I was going for with nursery decor so I got a lot of cloth diapers, clothes, washcloths, and such with that theme (nautical)

And I think because it is the father's first baby, it's not tacky at all, especially if he's excited about it.

 
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

APPLAUSE!!!!

I agree too. I think the males being excluded is a rather old thing, like keeping dads out of the delivery room.  Both the shower my mother threw for my oldest and the shower my MIL threw for the youngest had males involved.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 20, 2013, 08:54:14 AM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

Wow, that is a pretty big leap.  There is no indication in the OP that the father of the child was even invited to the shower or planned to attend.

Your post implies that any baby shower should now be co-ed and if not, the host/hostesses are trying to reduce the father's role in the new babies life.  That's like saying that having a bridal shower for the bride only is trying to reduce the grooms role in the marriage. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 20, 2013, 01:58:25 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

Wow, that is a pretty big leap.  There is no indication in the OP that the father of the child was even invited to the shower or planned to attend.

Your post implies that any baby shower should now be co-ed and if not, the host/hostesses are trying to reduce the father's role in the new babies life.  That's like saying that having a bridal shower for the bride only is trying to reduce the grooms role in the marriage.

While there may be no indication that the father was invited, is there an indication that he is not?  Afterall, it's his mother that's hosting and his family that is invited.
 
Quote
But, honestly, I think that passing judgement without any hard evidence (outside of an etiquette rule) is more rude than any 'faux pas' about second showers is.

That's quite an assumption to make.  How can you be sure that anyone is "passing judgement" without hard evidence?  Showers by their very nature are supposed to be small, intimate, gatherings of close family and friends.  One would believe that if they were close enough to be invited, they are also "in the know" and possession of all the facts.


Well, for one, there are a lot of posts in this thread alone (let alone the OP) that says the very fact that the mother to be already has two children (with the assumption she's had a shower before for at least one of those), that the party is rude, gift grabby, and even atrocious.  Yet, there is nothing else that has been presented that indicates that either the mom or the grandmother are in this for the presents.  To the contrary, the OP has stated that this is her brother's first child, her family is over the moon excited because it's been some time since a child has been born into the family, and that only family has been invited.  (In other words, they aren't reaching across the nation asking everyone to bring gifts).  There has been no mention of the gifts they are asking for (if they even are), etc.  Not to mention, the OP stated that she was already planning to and wants to buy the baby a gift, so the whole problem is that she's been offered a hosted event.  That's it.  So, there's no actual evidence outside of the fact that the grandmother wants to host a shower to indicate that they are in any way rude, gimme-pigs.  So, I guess if I had to make a leap into the "judgement without evidence", it wasn't very far.   
ETA:  The OP has stated that the reason she thinks this is wrong is because her Stepmother taught her it's atrocious...not because of anything that the her mother or SIL/BIL have done. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on March 20, 2013, 03:34:18 PM
When do extended family members get off the hook for funding the reproductive choices of parents?  Even if it's bring diapers or wipes, when do we get to stop with the "help the parents" routine?  After the first, no one should be expected to gift the parent because they made the choice to have another kid. The first time is presumably because they are young and don't have all the things that a kid might need in the first year of life....after the first, they have been give a lot of that stuff so should not need it. Or should be able to provide for their kids.
  The purpose of a "shower" is to shower the mom with gifts to help with baby....how many times is a family now obligated to do that? 
  Some folks are saying there is no evidence that this is not just a giftgrab....but there is no evidence to the contrary either, and we have no evidence that all of the invitees are happy to be invited  or to bring a gift for this event.  That lack of evidence goes both ways. You can be excited about a birth and not want to be asked for gift.
  Honestly even if it is only family, someone besides the Mother of the New Parents should be giving the shower, IMHO.  And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 20, 2013, 03:48:51 PM
And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.

I won't reiterate my views completely since already explained upthread, but it seems to me that if my reaction to being invited to a shower is to feel put out or offended, I am not likely close with the person and would have no trouble RSVPing no and not sending a gift.  It wouldn't be a realtionship I would care about maintaining.  If it were a relationship I cared about maintaining, I would not likely react by feeling put out or offended because I would like the person and be excited for the celebration.  I don't understand why it would be the huge issue that it seems to be for many posters. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: turnip on March 20, 2013, 03:51:06 PM
When do extended family members get off the hook for funding the reproductive choices of parents?  Even if it's bring diapers or wipes, when do we get to stop with the "help the parents" routine?  After the first, no one should be expected to gift the parent because they made the choice to have another kid. The first time is presumably because they are young and don't have all the things that a kid might need in the first year of life....after the first, they have been give a lot of that stuff so should not need it. Or should be able to provide for their kids.
  The purpose of a "shower" is to shower the mom with gifts to help with baby....how many times is a family now obligated to do that? 
  Some folks are saying there is no evidence that this is not just a giftgrab....but there is no evidence to the contrary either, and we have no evidence that all of the invitees are happy to be invited  or to bring a gift for this event.  That lack of evidence goes both ways. You can be excited about a birth and not want to be asked for gift.
  Honestly even if it is only family, someone besides the Mother of the New Parents should be giving the shower, IMHO.  And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.


I'm so baffled by this post.  I think you and I must just have had completely different experiences when it comes to these things.

Quote
When do extended family members get off the hook for funding the reproductive choices of parents?

Always.  Immediately.  No one, absolutely no one, is on the hook for anything.

Quote
Even if it's bring diapers or wipes, when do we get to stop with the "help the parents" routine? 

As soon as you want to.

Quote
...no one should be expected to gift the parent...

Yes!

Quote
The purpose of a "shower" is to shower the mom with gifts to help with baby....how many times is a family now obligated to do that? 

Zero.


Quote
And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.

I don't believe people should have to have mind reading powers to throw a party.   Any and everyone who doesn't want to go, who doesn't want to give a gift, who doesn't want anything to do with it, can politely and completely decline.    I don't know why this a terrible outcome.




Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 20, 2013, 04:00:05 PM
When do extended family members get off the hook for funding the reproductive choices of parents?  Even if it's bring diapers or wipes, when do we get to stop with the "help the parents" routine?  After the first, no one should be expected to gift the parent because they made the choice to have another kid. The first time is presumably because they are young and don't have all the things that a kid might need in the first year of life....after the first, they have been give a lot of that stuff so should not need it. Or should be able to provide for their kids.
  The purpose of a "shower" is to shower the mom with gifts to help with baby....how many times is a family now obligated to do that? 
  Some folks are saying there is no evidence that this is not just a giftgrab....but there is no evidence to the contrary either, and we have no evidence that all of the invitees are happy to be invited  or to bring a gift for this event.  That lack of evidence goes both ways. You can be excited about a birth and not want to be asked for gift.
  Honestly even if it is only family, someone besides the Mother of the New Parents should be giving the shower, IMHO.  And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.


I'm so baffled by this post.  I think you and I must just have had completely different experiences when it comes to these things.

Quote
When do extended family members get off the hook for funding the reproductive choices of parents?

Always.  Immediately.  No one, absolutely no one, is on the hook for anything.

Quote
Even if it's bring diapers or wipes, when do we get to stop with the "help the parents" routine? 

As soon as you want to.

Quote
...no one should be expected to gift the parent...

Yes!

Quote
The purpose of a "shower" is to shower the mom with gifts to help with baby....how many times is a family now obligated to do that? 

Zero.


Quote
And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.

I don't believe people should have to have mind reading powers to throw a party.   Any and everyone who doesn't want to go, who doesn't want to give a gift, who doesn't want anything to do with it, can politely and completely decline.    I don't know why this a terrible outcome.

This.

And I wonder how many people that get so bent out of a shape that they were invited to a shower would be upset when they are excluded?  What if everyone in the OP's family was invited to this shower, except the OP?  What if her mother said "Honey, I understand that this isn't something that you approve of and find tacky, so we aren't burdening you with having to make the decision to attend."  Would that be better?  Of course not.  Those that don't like showers (except in a very narrow band of circumstances), expect that no one be allowed to use that term (or even have the party to begin with) without being labeled as rude.  And that, I just can't wrap my head around.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 20, 2013, 04:00:19 PM
POD to turnip and bah12.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 20, 2013, 04:02:42 PM
When do extended family members get off the hook for funding the reproductive choices of parents?  Even if it's bring diapers or wipes, when do we get to stop with the "help the parents" routine?  After the first, no one should be expected to gift the parent because they made the choice to have another kid. The first time is presumably because they are young and don't have all the things that a kid might need in the first year of life....after the first, they have been give a lot of that stuff so should not need it. Or should be able to provide for their kids.
  The purpose of a "shower" is to shower the mom with gifts to help with baby....how many times is a family now obligated to do that? 
  Some folks are saying there is no evidence that this is not just a giftgrab....but there is no evidence to the contrary either, and we have no evidence that all of the invitees are happy to be invited  or to bring a gift for this event.  That lack of evidence goes both ways. You can be excited about a birth and not want to be asked for gift.
  Honestly even if it is only family, someone besides the Mother of the New Parents should be giving the shower, IMHO.  And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.

So, it is better to assume the worse of people then? 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: peaches on March 20, 2013, 04:03:53 PM
When our daughter was expecting for the first time, we were so excited - it's hard to describe how over the moon I was.

It never occurred to me that I should give a shower for my daughter. In my view (and experience), that isn't done. The relationship is too close; it is like immediate family trolling for gifts for their own. I wouldn't give a wedding shower for my daughter or DIL-to-be for the same reason.

The fact that OP's situation involves a family-only shower is supposed to make this alright. It doesn't for me. Family could cast a very wide net, if the family is large. And the pressure to attend could be strong.

In our family, we celebrate babies with gifts, cards, visits to the newborn. Those seem the most appropriate ways to me. 

I would go to the shower described by OP, and happily, because this is family and it's an exciting time for the parents-to-be. You can support people, even if you wouldn't have handled the situation exactly the same way.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 20, 2013, 04:27:02 PM
I think the fundamental problem is, that those who think subsequent showers are rude, do so because they feel that there is an underlying expectation that they have to bring a gift.  And that by the very fact that they were invited to the party is a summons to bring a present.  It's all about the gift...even though, if that were the case, they are receiving hospitality in exchange for that gift.

I am one that thinks of bringing gifts to showers.  But, I also think of bringing gifts to birthday parties, christenings, graduation parties, housewarming parties, etc.  I often think of bringing hostess gifts to dinner parties, or weekend getaways that is being hosted by someone else.  I don't bring gifts to these events, though, because I feel obligated to.  I don't assume that the reason that hospitality is offered is because the host/hostess wants something in exchange.  That's certainly not my goal when I host parties.  I bring gifts because I want to.  I don't feel etiquettely required to.  I don't feel judged if I don't (and if I am, I don't see it as my problem).  It's a choice I make.  I have some amount of love/affection for those I give gifts to, so that's what I do.  If I'm invited to a party and don't feel close enough to the person to bring a gift, or don't feel that a gift is warranted, then I don't bring a gift and/or don't attend the party.  It's not some huge moral dilemma everytime I receive an invitation to a party.  It's a simple "this one, yes.  That one, no." and I'm done. 

I gift every single baby that is born into my family and to close friends.  Every one.  It doesn't matter to me how many kids have been previously born into that family, what the income level is, or whether or not I'm first invited to a party.  And by the baby's nature, most gifts really are something that parents would use to help take care of the baby.  It's not that I'm supplementing them by giving them things they should get themselves...it's a gift.  Why would I get something that isn't useful or needed?  That goes for every gift.  And I feel no more obligated to gift the second and third baby as I did the first.  There's no sense of obligation in it anywhere.

As for being invited to a shower...if I liked the traditional shower format (which I don't actually enjoy), I think that being offered some cake and social stimulation is a good thing.  The gift is already a given.  So the party is just a bonus. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Eeep! on March 20, 2013, 04:29:39 PM
And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.

I won't reiterate my views completely since already explained upthread, but it seems to me that if my reaction to being invited to a shower is to feel put out or offended, I am not likely close with the person and would have no trouble RSVPing no and not sending a gift.  It wouldn't be a realtionship I would care about maintaining.  If it were a relationship I cared about maintaining, I would not likely react by feeling put out or offended because I would like the person and be excited for the celebration.  I don't understand why it would be the huge issue that it seems to be for many posters.

I agree.  And when I buy diapers or wipes or whatever for one of my friends or family I am in no way thinking I am "funding their reproductive choices". I am doing a little something to help them out.  Not because I feel like it is some sort of duty, but because I want to because they are someone I care for. When I buy someone a present - whether it is practical in nature (e.g. diapers) or totally fun (e.g. some ridiculous little dress that their baby will probably never wear but it was too cute to pass up) it's because it is a way that I show that I am thinking about them.  But I'm beginning to think that maybe I just have had really good luck with friends and family....

Edited because (1) I do know the difference between where and wear, and (2) I totally agree with Bah12! Gift giving is something I love to do.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Roe on March 20, 2013, 04:31:28 PM
POD to turnip and bah12.

Another HUGE pod to Turnip and Bah12. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: rose red on March 20, 2013, 05:12:45 PM
I don't have a problem with a shower for the first child of a new family (I'm including the older children because this is the first sibling of their new situation too).  I agree if someone is offended, then simply decline.

I also wonder if those who are offended would feel the same if it was turned around?  If this was the father's 3rd child and the mother's 1st? 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on March 20, 2013, 06:18:12 PM
I also wonder if those who are offended would feel the same if it was turned around?  If this was the father's 3rd child and the mother's 1st? 

Showers are supposed to be to welcome women into motherhood.  so if it was mom's first she would not have been "welcomed" - presumably the dad's wife would have been showered at some point ( possibly multiple times)
And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.

I won't reiterate my views completely since already explained upthread, but it seems to me that if my reaction to being invited to a shower is to feel put out or offended, I am not likely close with the person and would have no trouble RSVPing no and not sending a gift.  It wouldn't be a realtionship I would care about maintaining.  If it were a relationship I cared about maintaining, I would not likely react by feeling put out or offended because I would like the person and be excited for the celebration.  I don't understand why it would be the huge issue that it seems to be for many posters. 


  The same can be said of those who want a shower for every birth.  I don't understand why the concept of one per person per transition is such a big deal.  Traditional etiquette says one shower per person for babies and one for weddings...not multiple.  What's the huge issue with sticking with that?

   In my circle people expect gifts for babies for the following occassions
1) shower - and no one better be so crass as to show up to a shower with out a gift, or they be laughed at behind their back for the rest of their lives. a single pack of wipes, like someone suggested....would be little better.

2) hospital  visit - gift cards are ok for this

3) baptism - money is expected for this - and usually the amount expected is $50 to $100 +

4) first birthday - and many people think these should be big ticket things that the kid is lacking, new car seat, toddler bed, or money so the parents can pick out what they want the kid to have.

  So by the time a kid is a year old there have been several "celebrations of the new life. " and usually the same folks giving.   

 

 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Eeep! on March 20, 2013, 06:34:15 PM
I also wonder if those who are offended would feel the same if it was turned around?  If this was the father's 3rd child and the mother's 1st? 

Showers are supposed to be to welcome women into motherhood.  so if it was mom's first she would not have been "welcomed" - presumably the dad's wife would have been showered at some point ( possibly multiple times)
And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.

I won't reiterate my views completely since already explained upthread, but it seems to me that if my reaction to being invited to a shower is to feel put out or offended, I am not likely close with the person and would have no trouble RSVPing no and not sending a gift.  It wouldn't be a realtionship I would care about maintaining.  If it were a relationship I cared about maintaining, I would not likely react by feeling put out or offended because I would like the person and be excited for the celebration.  I don't understand why it would be the huge issue that it seems to be for many posters. 


  The same can be said of those who want a shower for every birth.  I don't understand why the concept of one per person per transition is such a big deal.  Traditional etiquette says one shower per person for babies and one for weddings...not multiple.  What's the huge issue with sticking with that?

   In my circle people expect gifts for babies for the following occassions
1) shower - and no one better be so crass as to show up to a shower with out a gift, or they be laughed at behind their back for the rest of their lives. a single pack of wipes, like someone suggested....would be little better.

2) hospital  visit - gift cards are ok for this

3) baptism - money is expected for this - and usually the amount expected is $50 to $100 +

4) first birthday - and many people think these should be big ticket things that the kid is lacking, new car seat, toddler bed, or money so the parents can pick out what they want the kid to have.

  So by the time a kid is a year old there have been several "celebrations of the new life. " and usually the same folks giving.   

 

 

Wow! I guess this does explain a lot of our differences in opinion as I can safely say that NONE of the above is something I have run into with my friends and family.  Guess I am more blessed than I knew!
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Shea on March 20, 2013, 07:17:08 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are saying that the second shower is inappropriate because showers are for welcoming a woman into motherhood, and the OP's SIL is already a mother. But the OP's brother isn't yet a father, so why shouldn't he get a celebration to welcome him into fatherhood (and celebrate the birth of a new baby)?

I think that unless the OP has some indication that this is just a gift-grab, rather than a genuine expression of love and excitement at the impending birth of a new member of the family, she should just let it go.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on March 20, 2013, 07:28:44 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are saying that the second shower is inappropriate because showers are for welcoming a woman into motherhood, and the OP's SIL is already a mother. But the OP's brother isn't yet a father, so why shouldn't he get a celebration to welcome him into fatherhood (and celebrate the birth of a new baby)?

I think that unless the OP has some indication that this is just a gift-grab, rather than a genuine expression of love and excitement at the impending birth of a new member of the family, she should just let it go.


Why should he....showers have always been to celebrate the woman's transition into motherhood. Given by women to celebrate another women's joining the ranks of motherhood. If men want a celebration of fatherhood...why can't tehy come up with their own stuff?  Honestly - the whole "but dads don't get anything " sounds like a 3 year old whining "where's my present?" when they see someone else get something.
     
   
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Shea on March 20, 2013, 08:03:39 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are saying that the second shower is inappropriate because showers are for welcoming a woman into motherhood, and the OP's SIL is already a mother. But the OP's brother isn't yet a father, so why shouldn't he get a celebration to welcome him into fatherhood (and celebrate the birth of a new baby)?

I think that unless the OP has some indication that this is just a gift-grab, rather than a genuine expression of love and excitement at the impending birth of a new member of the family, she should just let it go.


Why should he....showers have always been to celebrate the woman's transition into motherhood. Given by women to celebrate another women's joining the ranks of motherhood. If men want a celebration of fatherhood...why can't tehy come up with their own stuff?  Honestly - the whole "but dads don't get anything " sounds like a 3 year old whining "where's my present?" when they see someone else get something.

Because it's his child too? Maybe it's not 100% etiquettely correct, but I guess I just don't see what's so wrong about the family celebrating the dad's first baby. It seems to me that people are getting so caught up in the "but Miss Manners says anything but a first shower is wrong!" that they're unwilling to see that it may not be a one size fits all kind of thing. I think that this is the sort of situation where it's better to ignore the strict letter of the etiquette law and just be happy and celebrate the baby's impending arrival. Unless, as I said, there is clear reason to believe that this is solely a gift grab, but I don't get that impression from what the OP has said.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Sharnita on March 20, 2013, 08:09:03 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are saying that the second shower is inappropriate because showers are for welcoming a woman into motherhood, and the OP's SIL is already a mother. But the OP's brother isn't yet a father, so why shouldn't he get a celebration to welcome him into fatherhood (and celebrate the birth of a new baby)?

I think that unless the OP has some indication that this is just a gift-grab, rather than a genuine expression of love and excitement at the impending birth of a new member of the family, she should just let it go.


Why should he....showers have always been to celebrate the woman's transition into motherhood. Given by women to celebrate another women's joining the ranks of motherhood. If men want a celebration of fatherhood...why can't tehy come up with their own stuff?  Honestly - the whole "but dads don't get anything " sounds like a 3 year old whining "where's my present?" when they see someone else get something.
     
 

Voting was always for men - until it wasn't.  We learn, we grow, we change.  Do we really think cigars and drinking is more mature than a party that centers around the transition into parenthood? 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on March 20, 2013, 08:09:27 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are saying that the second shower is inappropriate because showers are for welcoming a woman into motherhood, and the OP's SIL is already a mother. But the OP's brother isn't yet a father, so why shouldn't he get a celebration to welcome him into fatherhood (and celebrate the birth of a new baby)?

I think that unless the OP has some indication that this is just a gift-grab, rather than a genuine expression of love and excitement at the impending birth of a new member of the family, she should just let it go.


Why should he....showers have always been to celebrate the woman's transition into motherhood. Given by women to celebrate another women's joining the ranks of motherhood. If men want a celebration of fatherhood...why can't tehy come up with their own stuff?  Honestly - the whole "but dads don't get anything " sounds like a 3 year old whining "where's my present?" when they see someone else get something.

Because it's his child too? Maybe it's not 100% etiquettely correct, but I guess I just don't see what's so wrong about the family celebrating the dad's first baby. It seems to me that people are getting so caught up in the "but Miss Manners says anything but a first shower is wrong!" that they're unwilling to see that it may not be a one size fits all kind of thing. I think that this is the sort of situation where it's better to ignore the strict letter of the etiquette law and just be happy and celebrate the baby's impending arrival. Unless, as I said, there is clear reason to believe that this is solely a gift grab, but I don't get that impression from what the OP has said.

And there are many ways to celebrate a birth that don't carry the requirement of a gift. Just because you have a kid does not mean you deserve gifts.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on March 20, 2013, 08:11:38 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are saying that the second shower is inappropriate because showers are for welcoming a woman into motherhood, and the OP's SIL is already a mother. But the OP's brother isn't yet a father, so why shouldn't he get a celebration to welcome him into fatherhood (and celebrate the birth of a new baby)?

I think that unless the OP has some indication that this is just a gift-grab, rather than a genuine expression of love and excitement at the impending birth of a new member of the family, she should just let it go.


Why should he....showers have always been to celebrate the woman's transition into motherhood. Given by women to celebrate another women's joining the ranks of motherhood. If men want a celebration of fatherhood...why can't tehy come up with their own stuff?  Honestly - the whole "but dads don't get anything " sounds like a 3 year old whining "where's my present?" when they see someone else get something.
     
 

Voting was always for men - until it wasn't.  We learn, we grow, we change.  Do we really think cigars and drinking is more mature than a party that centers around the transition into parenthood?

 That drinking and smoking event does not carry with it the expectation and obligation of gifts.   If getting stuff is the only way a birth can be celebrated, well, that's pretty immature in my mind.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Roe on March 20, 2013, 08:14:59 PM

Wow! I guess this does explain a lot of our differences in opinion as I can safely say that NONE of the above is something I have run into with my friends and family.  Guess I am more blessed than I knew!

Me too!  I've never come across the attitudes that SnowDragon has. Thank God!  I suppose that explains why I don't see the big deal.  But I have to assume that Snowdragon's experience isn't the norm.  I hope so anyway.  :D 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: rose red on March 20, 2013, 08:30:32 PM

Wow! I guess this does explain a lot of our differences in opinion as I can safely say that NONE of the above is something I have run into with my friends and family.  Guess I am more blessed than I knew!

Me too!  I've never come across the attitudes that SnowDragon has. Thank God!  I suppose that explains why I don't see the big deal.  But I have to assume that Snowdragon's experience isn't the norm.  I hope so anyway.  :D

It's not the norm with people in my life.  There's etiquette and then there's rigidness.  Situations should be case by case, not one rule fits all.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Sharnita on March 20, 2013, 08:40:21 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are saying that the second shower is inappropriate because showers are for welcoming a woman into motherhood, and the OP's SIL is already a mother. But the OP's brother isn't yet a father, so why shouldn't he get a celebration to welcome him into fatherhood (and celebrate the birth of a new baby)?

I think that unless the OP has some indication that this is just a gift-grab, rather than a genuine expression of love and excitement at the impending birth of a new member of the family, she should just let it go.


Why should he....showers have always been to celebrate the woman's transition into motherhood. Given by women to celebrate another women's joining the ranks of motherhood. If men want a celebration of fatherhood...why can't tehy come up with their own stuff?  Honestly - the whole "but dads don't get anything " sounds like a 3 year old whining "where's my present?" when they see someone else get something.
     
 

Voting was always for men - until it wasn't.  We learn, we grow, we change.  Do we really think cigars and drinking is more mature than a party that centers around the transition into parenthood?

 That drinking and smoking event does not carry with it the expectation and obligation of gifts.   If getting stuff is the only way a birth can be celebrated, well, that's pretty immature in my mind.

So why not take a stand against showers for anyone ever?  I don't get the idea that men never get gifts while women do (at least the first baby). 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: stargazer on March 20, 2013, 08:43:49 PM

Wow! I guess this does explain a lot of our differences in opinion as I can safely say that NONE of the above is something I have run into with my friends and family.  Guess I am more blessed than I knew!

Me too!  I've never come across the attitudes that SnowDragon has. Thank God!  I suppose that explains why I don't see the big deal.  But I have to assume that Snowdragon's experience isn't the norm.  I hope so anyway.  :D

It's not the norm with people in my life.  There's etiquette and then there's rigidness.  Situations should be case by case, not one rule fits all.

Not the norm with people I know either.  I wouldn't want to be around people that rigid.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on March 20, 2013, 08:48:03 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are saying that the second shower is inappropriate because showers are for welcoming a woman into motherhood, and the OP's SIL is already a mother. But the OP's brother isn't yet a father, so why shouldn't he get a celebration to welcome him into fatherhood (and celebrate the birth of a new baby)?

I think that unless the OP has some indication that this is just a gift-grab, rather than a genuine expression of love and excitement at the impending birth of a new member of the family, she should just let it go.


Why should he....showers have always been to celebrate the woman's transition into motherhood. Given by women to celebrate another women's joining the ranks of motherhood. If men want a celebration of fatherhood...why can't tehy come up with their own stuff?  Honestly - the whole "but dads don't get anything " sounds like a 3 year old whining "where's my present?" when they see someone else get something.
     
 

Voting was always for men - until it wasn't.  We learn, we grow, we change.  Do we really think cigars and drinking is more mature than a party that centers around the transition into parenthood?

 That drinking and smoking event does not carry with it the expectation and obligation of gifts.   If getting stuff is the only way a birth can be celebrated, well, that's pretty immature in my mind.

So why not take a stand against showers for anyone ever?  I don't get the idea that men never get gifts while women do (at least the first baby).

Tradition that is a rite of passage, connection with women that have done this for generations.  Men - not so much. Men have their own traditions.  Women have theirs.  I don't think much of the excuse that men need to be gifted because their wives are have having kids. When men can give birth *AND* the shower is all male  I'll revisit the idea of a shower for the father's transition - until then- showers for the first child a woman has, ONLY. 
  Anything more and my opinion of the person changes.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Aeris on March 20, 2013, 09:04:47 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

That's exactly what I was thinking. People are saying that the second shower is inappropriate because showers are for welcoming a woman into motherhood, and the OP's SIL is already a mother. But the OP's brother isn't yet a father, so why shouldn't he get a celebration to welcome him into fatherhood (and celebrate the birth of a new baby)?

I think that unless the OP has some indication that this is just a gift-grab, rather than a genuine expression of love and excitement at the impending birth of a new member of the family, she should just let it go.


Why should he....showers have always been to celebrate the woman's transition into motherhood. Given by women to celebrate another women's joining the ranks of motherhood. If men want a celebration of fatherhood...why can't tehy come up with their own stuff?  Honestly - the whole "but dads don't get anything " sounds like a 3 year old whining "where's my present?" when they see someone else get something.
     
 

Voting was always for men - until it wasn't.  We learn, we grow, we change.  Do we really think cigars and drinking is more mature than a party that centers around the transition into parenthood?

 That drinking and smoking event does not carry with it the expectation and obligation of gifts.   If getting stuff is the only way a birth can be celebrated, well, that's pretty immature in my mind.

So why not take a stand against showers for anyone ever?  I don't get the idea that men never get gifts while women do (at least the first baby).

Tradition that is a rite of passage, connection with women that have done this for generations.  Men - not so much. Men have their own traditions.  Women have theirs.  I don't think much of the excuse that men need to be gifted because their wives are have having kids. When men can give birth *AND* the shower is all male  I'll revisit the idea of a shower for the father's transition - until then- showers for the first child a woman has, ONLY. 
  Anything more and my opinion of the person changes.

So, women are never allowed to do 'traditionally male' things, and men are never allowed to do 'traditionally female' things? Very interesting, if antiquated and anti-feminist, viewpoint you have there.

I suppose it's just absolutely unforgivable for women to have bachelorette parties as well, isn't it? After all, traditionally it was just a bachelor party for men.

And couple's co-ed wedding showers are right out - no men should have to be recruited to fund that. That's not how it was traditionally.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Sharnita on March 20, 2013, 09:09:06 PM
And that is the flipside of the phrase many people find maddening "thier dad is babysitting".   If a dad isn't entitled to be treated as a parent in the manner a mom is, it is no wonder they (and sosciety) frequently fail to see themselves that way.

(And does that mean women who can't give birth and are adopting don't qualify for a shower?)
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on March 20, 2013, 09:15:06 PM
And that is the flipside of the phrase many people find maddening "thier dad is babysitting".   If a dad isn't entitled to be treated as a parent in the manner a mom is, it is no wonder they (and sosciety) frequently fail to see themselves that way.

(And does that mean women who can't give birth and are adopting don't qualify for a shower?)


Oh, please.  If getting gifts is what makes a dad be a parent, it's a pretty poor person he is.  Frankly I see all of these scenario's as just an excuse to get more stuff out of friends and family.

And no I don't think bachelorette  parties are appropriate. 

And no it doesn't mean women who adopt can't have showers, some woman gave birth to that kid, so as long as it's one per woman per transition there are no issues.
 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Sharnita on March 20, 2013, 09:18:07 PM
And that is the flipside of the phrase many people find maddening "thier dad is babysitting".   If a dad isn't entitled to be treated as a parent in the manner a mom is, it is no wonder they (and sosciety) frequently fail to see themselves that way.

(And does that mean women who can't give birth and are adopting don't qualify for a shower?)


Oh, please.  If getting gifts is what makes a dad be a parent, it's a pretty poor person he is.  Frankly I see all of these scenario's as just an excuse to get more stuff out of friends and family.

And no I don't think bachelorette  parties are appropriate. 

And no it doesn't mean women who adopt can't have showers, some woman gave birth to that kid, so as long as it's one per woman per transition there are no issues.

Who said getting gifts makes a dad a parent.  You are then one who seems to deem the dad a lesser paren than the mom, though.  ANd sisnce you count his inability to give birth as a significant aspect of that, it seems important to you.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Aeris on March 20, 2013, 09:19:16 PM
And that is the flipside of the phrase many people find maddening "thier dad is babysitting".   If a dad isn't entitled to be treated as a parent in the manner a mom is, it is no wonder they (and sosciety) frequently fail to see themselves that way.

(And does that mean women who can't give birth and are adopting don't qualify for a shower?)


Oh, please.  If getting gifts is what makes a dad be a parent, it's a pretty poor person he is.  Frankly I see all of these scenario's as just an excuse to get more stuff out of friends and family.

And no I don't think bachelorette  parties are appropriate. 

And no it doesn't mean women who adopt can't have showers, some woman gave birth to that kid, so as long as it's one per woman per transition there are no issues.

Ah ha, but what if a woman gives birth to TWO siblings, born a few years apart. Both of these siblings are adopted by different, unrelated women (as their first child each). BOTH of those women are given showers for their new adopted child. But that means it's two showers being given when only one woman gave birth!

Of course that is ridiculous. Because what is being celebrated is not the physical birth, but rather 'the transition to parenthood'. Which fathers experience as well as mothers.

And I just have to clarify - Are you saying that bachelorette parties are totally inappropriate, but bachelor parties are totally fine? Because I find that view absolutely fascinating. However do you justify it?

ETA: And what about joint bachelor/bachelorettes? Is that ok because she's just tagging along on the 'proper' event of a bachelor party? Or still atrocious because how dare a woman be celebrated in that manner? And what about co-ed wedding showers?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 20, 2013, 09:28:53 PM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

Wow, that is a pretty big leap.  There is no indication in the OP that the father of the child was even invited to the shower or planned to attend.

Your post implies that any baby shower should now be co-ed and if not, the host/hostesses are trying to reduce the father's role in the new babies life.  That's like saying that having a bridal shower for the bride only is trying to reduce the grooms role in the marriage.

While there may be no indication that the father was invited, is there an indication that he is not?  Afterall, it's his mother that's hosting and his family that is invited.
 
snip

The main point of my post was that  the dubeabides implied that any shower without the future fathers attendence excludes him from the babies life, not to debate whether the father was invited or not.

But to your point, I'm hosting baby shower for my nephew's wife. It will mostly be for the father's family. He chose to not have a co-ed shower therefore the shower's guest of honor is the mother. So the idea that within the OP that the father is not attending even though being hosted by his family is not unheard of.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: sammycat on March 20, 2013, 10:18:36 PM
In my circle people expect gifts for babies for the following occassions
1) shower - and no one better be so crass as to show up to a shower with out a gift, or they be laughed at behind their back for the rest of their lives. a single pack of wipes, like someone suggested....would be little better.

2) hospital  visit - gift cards are ok for this

3) baptism - money is expected for this - and usually the amount expected is $50 to $100 +

4) first birthday - and many people think these should be big ticket things that the kid is lacking, new car seat, toddler bed, or money so the parents can pick out what they want the kid to have.

Wow.  Thank heavens I don't mix in those circles.  Those expectations are ridiculous.

I'd be mortified if anyone spent beyond $15 on a present for anyone in my family, nor would I spend beyond $20 on someone else. (Exception: my mother or nieces, and that's because I/we want to, not because I'm/we're expected to). I very rarely give cash or gift cards, and if anyone is expecting me to give them $100 cash for a baptism or a new bed for their toddler, then they're going to very disappointed.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: thedudeabides on March 20, 2013, 10:29:53 PM
Actually, my biggest issue is with attitudes like snowdragon's, which pretty rigidly only celebrate parenthood for mothers.

I have no problem with men who don't want to attend showers.  I don't have a problem with women-only showers.  I just think that if we're moving as a society toward expecting fathers  to be fathers, then they deserve the opportunity to choose whether they'd like to be celebrated as new parents and not dismissed out of hand as not wanting to be part of a shower just because they're guys or because none of the guys in one person's social circle are interested in doing so.  Not all women are interested in showers of any kind; men are no different.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: cross_patch on March 20, 2013, 11:03:57 PM
Actually, my biggest issue is with attitudes like snowdragon's, which pretty rigidly only celebrate parenthood for mothers.

I have no problem with men who don't want to attend showers.  I don't have a problem with women-only showers.  I just think that if we're moving as a society toward expecting fathers  to be fathers, then they deserve the opportunity to choose whether they'd like to be celebrated as new parents and not dismissed out of hand as not wanting to be part of a shower just because they're guys or because none of the guys in one person's social circle are interested in doing so.  Not all women are interested in showers of any kind; men are no different.

This post is awesome. I am also curious about your stance on bachelorette parties, snowdragon.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: turnip on March 21, 2013, 02:50:28 AM
I'm now very curious what would happen in showdragon's circle should two men adopt a child.   Tough luck if they were hoping for a $50 gift, I suppose.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: alis on March 21, 2013, 06:44:23 AM
I admit, I would find it odd too. I also come from the "showers are for the mother" camp (although I have been to co-ed ones and see no issue). But I would never think to host a baby shower for a man (it just doesn't cross the mind). Where I live, the men have their own tradition (which is celebrating with alcohol immediately after the birth). I didn't realize co-ed baby showers were common elsewhere.

Does the brother want a baby shower? Would he care? Or is he being used as an excuse for a shower...? ;) I think with baby showers, when in doubt, just have the shower. It's all in good fun and generally an inexpensive gathering. I would expect grandmother to foot the bill though if she insists you host.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: VltGrantham on March 21, 2013, 08:31:18 AM
Quote
Well, for one, there are a lot of posts in this thread alone (let alone the OP) that says the very fact that the mother to be already has two children (with the assumption she's had a shower before for at least one of those), that the party is rude, gift grabby, and even atrocious

Why does it matter if the MTB had a shower before or not?  A shower is to transition someone from one status to another.  The MTB is not “owed” a shower if she didn’t have one before.

Quote
To the contrary, the OP has stated that this is her brother's first child, her family is over the moon excited because it's been some time since a child has been born into the family, and that only family has been invited.

Which is about the only thing that makes this particular shower acceptable—which I and other posters have stated as being an acceptable exception to the normal rule, but—and maybe I’m missing something—in previous posts, you seem to indicate that second/third showers, no matter their circumstances, are fine as well and that anyone that objects to them is rude for being self-congratulatory etiquette expert.

Quote
What if her mother said "Honey, I understand that this isn't something that you approve of and find tacky, so we aren't burdening you with having to make the decision to attend."

Wouldn’t it be better if people simply weren’t put in that position in the first place because everybody recognizes that after the birth of the couple’s first child, having showers for subsequent children is no longer acceptable?  Personally, I’d be thrilled if DH’s family would stop including me in shower invitations for multiple children.  It’s not that I don’t love my nieces and nephews, nor would I not want to give them gifts, it’s the simple fact that repeat showers without extenuating circumstances does appear gift-grabby and rude.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to celebrate with them, but is another “shower” really necessary?

Quote
If a dad isn't entitled to be treated as a parent in the manner a mom is, it is no wonder they (and sosciety) frequently fail to see themselves that way.

Since when does how society treats you determine how you decide your self-worth or role in life?  Are you really trying to make the argument that fathers who do not get showers aren't capable of conducting themselves accordingly?  The bottom line is the process is not equal except in contribution of genetic material.  Fathers and mothers, biological and non-biological, determine their own roles and responsibilities and see themselves in the role that they choose to take in their children's lives.  Nobody should ever rely on equality in society, rather than personal conviction and responsibility.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Calistoga on March 21, 2013, 08:44:50 AM
I never thought the point of the shower was to give the individual parents gifts, but rather to provide gifts for the baby...and I never saw them as a "Welcome to Motherhood" opportunity. Around here people don't do the cutesy games for the most part, they just eat cake and give gifts. Showers are thrown for most births, with the gifts getting smaller and smaller for each new baby- usually a second or third child is showered with diapers and some cute clothes.

I don't think it's fair to apply an across the board shower-no-shower rule for babies any more than it is for brides. There's an obvious difference between a shower for a second baby born 12 years after the first vs a third baby of the same gender born 24 months to the day after the first, just like there's a difference between a shower for a bride who's remarrying after 20 years and one who's on her 4th trip through the Chapel of Quick in Vegas.

Ultimately I don't think it's even possible or prudent to say that a second, third, fourth shower is inappropriate or tacky. The circumstances dictate if someone is or is not being rude. Unless the shower is a blatant shake down, it's not rude to me. I will never be bothered to hear that someone is being thrown a shower even though they already have 12 kids. I will be bothered to hear that

-Someone is throwing their own shower. This is always tacky to me.
-Someone is pressuring/demanding/hinting that they want someone else to throw them a shower. Also tacky and irritating.
-Someone is ignoring the wishes of the couple in terms of a shower. If mom and dad say no thanks, then don't insist on a shower. If you want to celebrate with them, find another way to do it.

But I don't think the number matters. I'd be bothered to hear about any of these things happening for a first shower as well as a second or third.  The behavior of the people throwing and receiving the shower, and the circumstances, matter MUCH more than the number.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Roe on March 21, 2013, 09:08:09 AM
My personal rule is if I want to go, I go.  If I don't want to go, for whatever reason, I decline.  I certainly don't make judgements on the hosts or the GOH 'cause as we've seen here, showers aren't always viewed with such negativity.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Winterlight on March 21, 2013, 09:10:52 AM
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

Agreed. It's his first kid, his family wants to have the shower, so why not?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Two Ravens on March 21, 2013, 09:21:04 AM
And that is the flipside of the phrase many people find maddening "thier dad is babysitting".   If a dad isn't entitled to be treated as a parent in the manner a mom is, it is no wonder they (and sosciety) frequently fail to see themselves that way.

(And does that mean women who can't give birth and are adopting don't qualify for a shower?)


Oh, please.  If getting gifts is what makes a dad be a parent, it's a pretty poor person he is.  Frankly I see all of these scenario's as just an excuse to get more stuff out of friends and family.

And no I don't think bachelorette  parties are appropriate. 

And no it doesn't mean women who adopt can't have showers, some woman gave birth to that kid, so as long as it's one per woman per transition there are no issues.

What if its two men who are in a relationship and adopting a child. No shower for them?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 21, 2013, 09:30:52 AM
Frankly I see all of these scenario's as just an excuse to get more stuff out of friends and family.

I am so glad that my experience is so different from yours, snowdragon.  I have never attended a shower where the focus was on getting stuff out of friends and family.  It's difficult for me to wrap my mind around why anyone would attend a gathering for someone they neither like nor respect because they believe them to be gimme pigs.  I certainly wouldn't.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Tabby Uprising on March 21, 2013, 09:33:06 AM
Having the mindset that I am happy to attend or host a loved one's 1st/2nd/3rd baby shower (party, gathering, celebration, hootenanny) does not mean I believe anyone is owed a baby shower. It means I love them, a baby is exciting news regardless of its birth order, and I love parties especially where there will be cake. 

Sure, nobody really needs a party or celebration or gifts to mark any occasion in their life, but that doesn't mean those of us who want to celebrate them are doing so for nefarious gift-grabbing reasons. 

Life is made up of an endless stream of shopping, working, commuting, running errands, repairing furniture torn up by cats, paying bills, forgetting the milk, filling up the car with gas, etc.  It's just nice to add some parties to the mix.  Babies are a great reason to celebrate, though if you want an "I went to the grocery store for the 30th time this year!!" party, I'm down with that too.  I'll bring the cake.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 21, 2013, 09:44:27 AM
And that is the flipside of the phrase many people find maddening "thier dad is babysitting".   If a dad isn't entitled to be treated as a parent in the manner a mom is, it is no wonder they (and sosciety) frequently fail to see themselves that way.

(And does that mean women who can't give birth and are adopting don't qualify for a shower?)


Oh, please.  If getting gifts is what makes a dad be a parent, it's a pretty poor person he is.  Frankly I see all of these scenario's as just an excuse to get more stuff out of friends and family.

And no I don't think bachelorette  parties are appropriate. 

And no it doesn't mean women who adopt can't have showers, some woman gave birth to that kid, so as long as it's one per woman per transition there are no issues.

I find your general attitude about showers to be pretty archaic.  While I can accept that some people are pretty rigid in their thinking of what a shower actually is and when it's appropriate, even though many others disagree, I'm honestly a little shocked that anyone has the attitude that society can never accept that men would like and should be given the same right of passage as women. 
I don't agree that all a shower is, is a right of passage to welcome a person into parenthood.  I see it more as a celebration of a new life.  And even if it is a celebration into transition, I see any child entering a family as a transition for everyone already in that family.  That being said, I can accept that some people feel it's a one time thing.  What I can't accept is that it always has to be gender specific.  Men don't transition into parenthood?  They don't deserve to celebrate that too?  It makes no sense.  Not only from a social aspect, but also from an etiquette aspect. 

Not to mention that it would seem pretty hard to enjoy anything if everything was viewed as a gift-grab vs. a reason to celebrate, have fun, and enjoy the company of others all while expressing caring and love for the one you are celebrating.  I have no problem giving gifts to others, because that kindness is usually returned at some point.  Through friendships, subsequent parties, and fulfilling relationships.  I don't feel obligated to give gifts and I don't do it unless I want to. 

Also, VltGrantham, you are correct.  I do think second and third showers are ok.  More specifically, I really don't care if someone wants to host a shower for a man or woman having their second or third or fifteenth child.  I don't think the number of children or the word "shower" is what makes something rude.  I think it's the attitude behind it (which is usually present even with the first child).  And if a group of people have a desire to do something nice for a friend/family member, the friend/family member is open to the gesture, and no one is forced to attend, made to feel guilty about it, then I don't take the time out of my life to get all bent out of shape about it.  And if someone seriously stresses out because they receive a shower invitation, then that's their problem.  Like someone said, I should not have to be a mind reader to throw a party. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Allyson on March 21, 2013, 09:58:53 AM
My biggest 'shower' issue is the pressure for women to attend, whether they want to or not, *plus* the obligation of a gift. It's not true in all circles, but many people say they wouldn't even think of attending a shower without a gift with a slight tone towards 'and if someone did, they should decline'...while at the same time saying it's a 'celebration of baby'. I think the confusion surrounding the 'point' of the shower is frustrating to some people.

I also agree men being shut out is a negative thing. In part because it's paired with women feeling like they 'have' to go. But men don't. And yes, there's always the statement 'well, it's a choice to go, you can decline', but usually said with a tone of 'but it'll affect the friendship'. While a *guy* can easily opt out of a shower and not be accused of not supporting his friend, even a non-baby-loving woman still is expected on some level to go. And probably give a gift.

But, this has nothing really to do with how many babies the parents involved have.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: alis on March 21, 2013, 10:14:27 AM
Genuine question to any men here, but would you actually be upset by a women's only shower?? Men generally don't attend baby showers where I am from. Going out and having a few drinks at a bar together would be their version of celebrating. Sitting around and eating cupcakes while playing silly baby toilet roll games is my husband's idea of a waste of his weekend. I get the whole "gender equality" (although I think the idea that two men adopting a baby is so rare and out there, I'm not sure why it really matters when 99.9999% of baby showers involve a mother), but I really don't know any men who would actually care or feel "left out". To me, it's like feeling left out of a bachelor party - I thought it was a given?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Calistoga on March 21, 2013, 10:16:40 AM
Well. I'd be annoyed if I was told my husband wasn't allowed to come to my baby shower. But I doubt he would have been annoyed if I said he couldn't come because it's girls only.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Two Ravens on March 21, 2013, 10:22:19 AM
Genuine question to any men here, but would you actually be upset by a women's only shower?? Men generally don't attend baby showers where I am from. Going out and having a few drinks at a bar together would be their version of celebrating. Sitting around and eating cupcakes while playing silly baby toilet roll games is my husband's idea of a waste of his weekend. I get the whole "gender equality" (although I think the idea that two men adopting a baby is so rare and out there, I'm not sure why it really matters when 99.9999% of baby showers involve a mother), but I really don't know any men who would actually care or feel "left out". To me, it's like feeling left out of a bachelor party - I thought it was a given?

Not every shower is "sitting around and eating cupcakes while playing silly baby toilet roll games." I have been to showers that were pretty much like cocktail parties. No games, just great food and wine and great conversation. There was a cake and blue and pink streamers, but that was it.

I have also heard of showers where there was a contest about chugging beer through a baby bottle.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 21, 2013, 10:23:47 AM
My biggest 'shower' issue is the pressure for women to attend, whether they want to or not, *plus* the obligation of a gift. It's not true in all circles, but many people say they wouldn't even think of attending a shower without a gift with a slight tone towards 'and if someone did, they should decline'...while at the same time saying it's a 'celebration of baby'. I think the confusion surrounding the 'point' of the shower is frustrating to some people.

I also agree men being shut out is a negative thing. In part because it's paired with women feeling like they 'have' to go. But men don't. And yes, there's always the statement 'well, it's a choice to go, you can decline', but usually said with a tone of 'but it'll affect the friendship'. While a *guy* can easily opt out of a shower and not be accused of not supporting his friend, even a non-baby-loving woman still is expected on some level to go. And probably give a gift.

But, this has nothing really to do with how many babies the parents involved have.

I do agree that the crux of the issue is some feel so much obligation surrounding it.  But, I don't think that's a function of the party itself, more than those that throw it.  And I don't see how that changes between the first child and subsequent children.  Personally, I never feel an obligation to go to anything.  As a matter of fact, I don't enjoy showers in their traditional format (silly games), so I normally don't go.  I usually do send a gift, but as stated earlier, it's something I'd do regardless of what order the baby was born into the family and whether or not there was a shower. 

Maybe those that are so adamant that showers in general are rude, have just had bad experiences with friends/family in the past.  I'm lucky enough to never have experienced a gimme pig to the state that some on this board write about, so I don't naturally assume that of those that send me an invitation to go to a party.  For me, it's a party, so yeah!  And I guess being so lucky that I have good, kind friends and family is one reason why I've never thought to be put off by showers or even heard of these rules before comint to this board. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TheBardess on March 21, 2013, 10:24:26 AM
I also wonder if those who are offended would feel the same if it was turned around?  If this was the father's 3rd child and the mother's 1st? 

Showers are supposed to be to welcome women into motherhood.  so if it was mom's first she would not have been "welcomed" - presumably the dad's wife would have been showered at some point ( possibly multiple times)
And they should be absolutely sure that the folks they are inviting are open to it and won't be feeling put on or offended.

I won't reiterate my views completely since already explained upthread, but it seems to me that if my reaction to being invited to a shower is to feel put out or offended, I am not likely close with the person and would have no trouble RSVPing no and not sending a gift.  It wouldn't be a realtionship I would care about maintaining.  If it were a relationship I cared about maintaining, I would not likely react by feeling put out or offended because I would like the person and be excited for the celebration.  I don't understand why it would be the huge issue that it seems to be for many posters. 


  The same can be said of those who want a shower for every birth.  I don't understand why the concept of one per person per transition is such a big deal.  Traditional etiquette says one shower per person for babies and one for weddings...not multiple.  What's the huge issue with sticking with that?

   In my circle people expect gifts for babies for the following occassions
1) shower - and no one better be so crass as to show up to a shower with out a gift, or they be laughed at behind their back for the rest of their lives. a single pack of wipes, like someone suggested....would be little better.

2) hospital  visit - gift cards are ok for this

3) baptism - money is expected for this - and usually the amount expected is $50 to $100 +

4) first birthday - and many people think these should be big ticket things that the kid is lacking, new car seat, toddler bed, or money so the parents can pick out what they want the kid to have.


  So by the time a kid is a year old there have been several "celebrations of the new life. " and usually the same folks giving.   

 

 

If this is really the case, then I am very, very glad I am not part of your circle. I don't think I could deal with the negativity, the rigidity, the constant judgmental nature of everything, and the apparent habit of always, always, always assuming the worst about everybody and their motives.

As for myself- I never had a baby shower (and I don't particularly care because I don't believe myself entitled to one. If someone had offered to host one for me, I would have been touched and thankful, but I'm not upset that nobody did because, as I said, I'm not entitled to one and didn't expect it). I did receive many wonderful and generous gifts from family friends during each of my pregnancies, but I never expected or believed myself entitled to anything. I simply considered myself blessed to have caring and loving people in my life, and was grateful and touched by every gift we received. It never even occurred to me to "expect" visits or cards during my hospital stays (actually, when my daughter's godmother showed up to visit me in the hospital after her birth, it took me entirely by surprise- it hadn't even occurred to me that someone would want to come all the way out to sit with a tired mom and sleeping baby in a sterile hospital room). I did invite family and friends to my children's baptisms, but I certainly did not expect gifts or money. I invited people because they were individuals I cared about and I wanted them there to share in an important event in my family's life. I think each time some people did give gifts and some people didn't, but I couldn't tell you who was who, and I don't think anybody gave money (it was mostly small gifts, like a children's bible or a small picture frame or something). As for the first birthday- for each of my kids, the "party" consisted of grandparents and godparents, and I don't think anybody gave "big ticket" items- we certainly didn't get beds, car seats, or large (or small, for that matter) amounts of cash, and I would have been shocked (if extremely touched and grateful) if we had because why on earth would I expect other people to buy my kid a bed? My kids mostly got books, toys, and a few new outfits, and I can't wrap my mind around expecting even those small things, let alone a new car seat.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: baglady on March 21, 2013, 10:40:30 AM
I think this comes down to a weakness in the language. We have no word for a "wish the MTB well before the birth" gathering other than "shower" (except that dreadful new coinage "sprinkle," which is basically "shower lite"). Which is about showering (or sprinkling) someone with gifts.

I see nothing wrong with having a pre-birth celebration of every new baby -- first, fifth or 15th. (Welcome/meet the baby parties after the birth aren't always feasible.) Of course people will want to give gifts, but they shouldn't be required. Unfortunately, call that pre-birth celebration the S word and everyone feels pressured to buy a gift.

We need another word for such a gathering that has nothing to do with precipitation.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 21, 2013, 10:54:48 AM
Genuine question to any men here, but would you actually be upset by a women's only shower?? Men generally don't attend baby showers where I am from. Going out and having a few drinks at a bar together would be their version of celebrating. Sitting around and eating cupcakes while playing silly baby toilet roll games is my husband's idea of a waste of his weekend. I get the whole "gender equality" (although I think the idea that two men adopting a baby is so rare and out there, I'm not sure why it really matters when 99.9999% of baby showers involve a mother), but I really don't know any men who would actually care or feel "left out". To me, it's like feeling left out of a bachelor party - I thought it was a given?

1.  My baby shower was co-ed.  While cupcakes were present, we did not sit around eating them and playing silly games.  There were no games.  We had a bbq, there was beer (which everyone, including the women, drank).  The only person who didn't have beer was me. 

2.  Again, I have to disagree about the men adopting thing.  At least with your statistic.  Male couples and single men adopt children.  They use surrogates.  And I venture to say that it's a bit more common than you think. 

But, I also don't think that the man/woman thing should really apply to this discussion.  The question of when showers are appropriate or rude doesn't depend on gender. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: alis on March 21, 2013, 11:15:33 AM
I'm not saying gay men don't adopt (at least where you live, they don't here, but that's a legal issue and I'm not in the US), I'm just saying I don't think it is common enough to use it as an example of baby showers being 'archaic'.

I guess this is just too much of a cultural difference for me then. Baby showers here are for women and they are cupcakes and silly games (fun games, I enjoy them, but they aren't co-ed or backyard 'parties'). That is it's own reservation, and that's the meet-the-baby afterwards.

I am still genuinely curious if any MEN would feel upset about being excluded from a baby shower???
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: VltGrantham on March 21, 2013, 11:17:35 AM
Quote
We need another word for such a gathering that has nothing to do with precipitation.

Agreed.

Quote
And I guess being so lucky that I have good, kind friends and family is one reason why I've never thought to be put off by showers or even heard of these rules before comint to this board.

It could also have something to do with your age.  I have no idea how old you are (and wouldn't presume to ask) but my "education" on showers, when they're given, and who by, came from my Mother who is in her late 60's.

I have noticed as I've gotten older that many of the etiquette rules I grew up with have laxed considerably--some for the better, some not.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Girly on March 21, 2013, 11:42:11 AM
I had two baby showers. Both were a total surprise to me. One consisted of my family in Ohio, and the other consisted of my husband's family in Pennsylvania. I apologize for any grievous etiquette rules I broke by 'having' two showers.

Really though... some times you can't live your life with such strict standards. There always has to be some flexible wiggle room or you will drive yourself nuts.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 21, 2013, 11:52:02 AM
I had two baby showers. Both were a total surprise to me. One consisted of my family in Ohio, and the other consisted of my husband's family in Pennsylvania. I apologize for any grievous etiquette rules I broke by 'having' two showers.

Really though... some times you can't live your life with such strict standards. There always has to be some flexible wiggle room or you will drive yourself nuts.

I haven't seen where it has been stated in this thread that multiple showers with different people attending shouldn't be held for the first baby a couple has.  I think it is pretty common and accepted practice for there to be multiple showers for the first time parents.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Aeris on March 21, 2013, 12:25:13 PM
I'm not saying gay men don't adopt (at least where you live, they don't here, but that's a legal issue and I'm not in the US), I'm just saying I don't think it is common enough to use it as an example of baby showers being 'archaic'.

I think you miss the point. I don't believe gay men adopting was being used to show that baby showers themselves were by definition 'archaic', but rather that the notion that baby showers are only ever for women, no men allowed, NEVAR!!! - is archaic. Which it is. And also to point out that if we only celebrate motherhood and refuse to ever celebrate fatherhood, we can create bizarre and unfair results in certain cases - and that means something is wrong with the rule.



I am still genuinely curious if any MEN would feel upset about being excluded from a baby shower???

There are some men on Ehell, but not all that many. Therefore, you may or may not get an answer to your question from men. Which also means that you can't use the lack of male response to support the idea that men don't care.

I know a number of men who would be rather irritated to be excluded from a shower for their first child. I also know some who would not care. I also know a number of women who have no interest in a baby shower. Then there are a number that like them.

It's not something you can really make gender rules about anymore. There may be tendencies in certain circles, or regions, but that doesn't mean you can make blanket statements based on gender.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: rose red on March 21, 2013, 12:41:17 PM
One of the best baby showers I attended was co-ed.  Food and mingling.  No silly games.  Although naturally there was talk about babies, there were also other topics of conversation.  The only baby activity was opening gifts and a baby themed cake.  There was joy and beaming smiles on the faces of both.

At work, we throw little showers for new dads and they are so happy.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: hobish on March 21, 2013, 12:48:52 PM
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.
(Although i still think most men would not want a baby shower, and you aren't going to change my mind on that. It is my opinion and i am allowed to have it.)

I also had not considered that my thinking someone's manners were "atrocious" would somehow dim their excitement for their own child; but i gotta say i love it. I wish it were really true. If i had that kind of mind power I'd be like a one woman Death Star  ;D

Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: LeveeWoman on March 21, 2013, 12:52:29 PM
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.
(Although i still think most men would not want a baby shower, and you aren't going to change my mind on that. It is my opinion and i am allowed to have it.)

I also had not considered that my thinking someone's manners were "atrocious" would somehow dim their excitement for their own child; but i gotta say i love it. I wish it were really true. If i had that kind of mind power I'd be like a one woman Death Star  ;D

Would you say the same about a woman who's married to a man who had children from a previous relationship?

Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: hobish on March 21, 2013, 12:57:57 PM
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.
(Although i still think most men would not want a baby shower, and you aren't going to change my mind on that. It is my opinion and i am allowed to have it.)

I also had not considered that my thinking someone's manners were "atrocious" would somehow dim their excitement for their own child; but i gotta say i love it. I wish it were really true. If i had that kind of mind power I'd be like a one woman Death Star  ;D

Would you say the same about a woman who's married to a man who had children from a previous relationship?

I really don't know. It's not anything i ever considered before this thread, just something tat occured to me this morning while i was thinking about blowing things up with my power of opinion.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: LeveeWoman on March 21, 2013, 01:03:04 PM
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.
(Although i still think most men would not want a baby shower, and you aren't going to change my mind on that. It is my opinion and i am allowed to have it.)

I also had not considered that my thinking someone's manners were "atrocious" would somehow dim their excitement for their own child; but i gotta say i love it. I wish it were really true. If i had that kind of mind power I'd be like a one woman Death Star  ;D

Would you say the same about a woman who's married to a man who had children from a previous relationship?

I really don't know. It's not anything i ever considered before this thread, just something tat occured to me this morning while i was thinking about blowing things up with my power of opinion.

That'd be a fun power to have.

Oookay. Hijack's over.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: thedudeabides on March 21, 2013, 01:03:38 PM
I'm not saying gay men don't adopt (at least where you live, they don't here, but that's a legal issue and I'm not in the US), I'm just saying I don't think it is common enough to use it as an example of baby showers being 'archaic'.

I guess this is just too much of a cultural difference for me then. Baby showers here are for women and they are cupcakes and silly games (fun games, I enjoy them, but they aren't co-ed or backyard 'parties'). That is it's own reservation, and that's the meet-the-baby afterwards.

I am still genuinely curious if any MEN would feel upset about being excluded from a baby shower???

I answered this once already, but since it seems like I'm the only guy participating, I'll repeat myself: Depending on how it were handled, yes, I would.  If something happened and my girlfriend got pregnant, I'd want to be included in some of the celebration because we'd be entering parenthood together.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: LadyR on March 21, 2013, 01:12:27 PM

Wow! I guess this does explain a lot of our differences in opinion as I can safely say that NONE of the above is something I have run into with my friends and family.  Guess I am more blessed than I knew!

Me too!  I've never come across the attitudes that SnowDragon has. Thank God!  I suppose that explains why I don't see the big deal.  But I have to assume that Snowdragon's experience isn't the norm.  I hope so anyway.  :D

Me either. I discouraged presents for my son's 1st birthday and I was grateful for the ones brought, which were all in a reasonable price range of $10-$20. It doesn't take much to make a baby happy. My friends have all had similar attitudes.

I bring shower gifts because I want to. I like showers and I like celebrating and I would buy a gift without a shower. I consider the first baby the oppertunity to buy a big present (for example, I'm buying a close friend a baby carrier) and I'd only do that once. For the first baby I still bring a present when I go to visit. For the second, I just buy the smaller present and so on. I don't love showers for second babies (and wouldn't have one myself) and If I do go to one, I split my intended gift (usually clothes and diapers) in half, bringing one to the shower and one to the house.

Money is expected for baptism/first communion/confirmation, but its just immediate family. I have six nieces and nephews, we're about to half our last first communion. We've always given cash, but what we can afford (usually $50). I don't know if all families are like this, but this is how DH's opperates.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: alis on March 21, 2013, 01:29:54 PM
I am still genuinely curious if any MEN would feel upset about being excluded from a baby shower???

There are some men on Ehell, but not all that many. Therefore, you may or may not get an answer to your question from men. Which also means that you can't use the lack of male response to support the idea that men don't care.
[/quote]

That's fine, I was genuinely curious, not trying to prove a point that all men don't care. The men I know would not care, but as thedudeabides says, some would. Where I am, men do not attend them - ever. It is just not done. It would be like a woman going to a man's bachelor party (... without being the entertainment). So, I was genuinely surprised to hear that people would find it rude that men were not allowed.

To be honest, I just attend all shower invitations with a smile and a baby gift, end of, even if I don't agree or find it tacky. To me, the more grevious error would be causing stress for a late-term pregnant woman. So I go with a smile or send a card if I can't.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 21, 2013, 01:47:09 PM
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.

Wow. (said positively) I had never, ever considered it that way before.

And then the reverse, a woman who's never given birth marries a man with young children, who are being raised in their household, and now she's pregnant. Has she already made the transition into motherhood? It seems dismissive of the stepchildren to say that she hasn't, if they all live together and she's helping to raise them from a young age.

I'm not sure whether that changes my opinion on the matter at hand, but I appreciate the new perspective.

About men attending showers: Many of the baby showers I've attended have had some men present. Sometimes it's just the dad and the two grandpas; other times it's more truly co-ed, with both male and female friends of the parents-to-be and their SOs. (I've also attended several that have been all-female.) The latest truly co-ed one had some silly games but most were purposefully "gender neutral" and some were organized by the dad-to-be to appeal to his male friends. (Melting candy bars in diapers and then identifying them, while gross to me, was quite popular with adults and children of both genders.) I think it depends on the preference of the host and the parents-to-be. My friend Amy had two showers for her baby--one was more traditional, featuring a lot of older relatives, mostly women with few men; the other was more for her and her DH's friends and was completely co-ed.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Tabby Uprising on March 21, 2013, 02:02:38 PM
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.
(Although i still think most men would not want a baby shower, and you aren't going to change my mind on that. It is my opinion and i am allowed to have it.)

I also had not considered that my thinking someone's manners were "atrocious" would somehow dim their excitement for their own child; but i gotta say i love it. I wish it were really true. If i had that kind of mind power I'd be like a one woman Death Star  ;D

Yeah, it can absolutely be different.  And that in no way makes them unable to well, blend as a blended family and it doesn't make his step-children count less and no, it doesn't mean he doesn't love the other kids.  He can find this experience special without it being at the expense of the rest of his family.

Sure, they are a blended family.  Was he there for their births?  Did he do childbirth classes, Lamaze classes, hospital tours, research and shop for car seats, high chairs, cribs and onesies?  Was he there to give them their first baths in the hospital or call up the in-laws and say, "It's time, we're at the hospital!"?  Did he fumble through changing their first diapers and perfect his "football hold" with them?  Did he hear their first words, see them crawl for the first time or take their first steps? 

If he did, then maybe this isn't as special to him.  But if this is special to him, I don't think that makes it any kind of threat to the blended-ness of his family.  It's a rite of passage he hasn't experienced yet.  That can be special - absolutely. 

eta - Wait, did someone say your opinion would dim their enjoyment of a shower? 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Sharnita on March 21, 2013, 02:15:33 PM
As a stepparent your parental roll might be limited. The kids might have a fatjer/mpther who is active, who they see often, who they call mom or dad. You might not be the one making parenting decisions - no matter how  much you care. Everu situation is different  so I have no idea if the man in the OP would see himself asan extablished dad or not.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Eeep! on March 21, 2013, 03:19:55 PM
Life is made up of an endless stream of shopping, working, commuting, running errands, repairing furniture torn up by cats, paying bills, forgetting the milk, filling up the car with gas, etc.  It's just nice to add some parties to the mix.  Babies are a great reason to celebrate, though if you want an "I went to the grocery store for the 30th time this year!!" party, I'm down with that too.  I'll bring the cake.

Just had to say I love this. Me too!  ;D
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 21, 2013, 03:36:07 PM
Co-Ed Showers: I was discussing this topic with my niece last night. My oldest is 18. We had a co-ed baby shower as did most of our friends for their first child. I assumed that since we had our's so many years ago that they were even more common now, however was talking to my niece and she said amongst her friend's there's been a shift back to "ladies" baby shower. Are other's seeing that trend?

Historical Reason for 1 shower per woman: We also wondered if the original societal guideline of a shower for the first baby was started because women used to have so many more children and often much closer together in age. The first time I went to a shower for a woman's second child was a friend who's oldest was 16 and by a previous marriage. Her second was a totally unplanned family addition. She was mid 40's and her husband was early 50's. I'm sure none of the 12 or so women invited to that shower ever thought twice about it being a "second" shower.  1 shower every 16 years seems reasonable.

On the opposite spectrum, I had a neighbor who had 5 kids within a 8 year time frame. For me, attending 5 showers over a 8 year period would have gotten a little old.  But if the new proprosed guideline is "let's celebrate every pregnancy as you did the first", that's what would have happened. Because if you had showers for pregnancies 1-3, you sure can't stop at 4 & 5.



 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TootsNYC on March 21, 2013, 03:46:35 PM
I think that since it is for your family and since it is your brother's first, your mom is OK.  Also, this is her third child but are you certain that both of the previous kids got a shower?  Is it possible #2 didn't?  Would that make you any more comfortable with the process?

Kids don't get the showers.

The moms get the showers.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Aeris on March 21, 2013, 03:47:47 PM
I think that since it is for your family and since it is your brother's first, your mom is OK.  Also, this is her third child but are you certain that both of the previous kids got a shower?  Is it possible #2 didn't?  Would that make you any more comfortable with the process?

Kids don't get the showers.

The moms get the showers.

And/or possibly dads, as we've been discussing for a few pages now.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Sharnita on March 21, 2013, 04:35:12 PM
Yes, I was responding to the idea that because his wife has two previous children he woyld be an established father - or the question about a woman marrying a man with kids and then becoming pregnant for the first time.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 21, 2013, 04:43:49 PM
Historical Reason for 1 shower per woman: We also wondered if the original societal guideline of a shower for the first baby was started because women used to have so many more children and often much closer together in age. The first time I went to a shower for a woman's second child was a friend who's oldest was 16 and by a previous marriage. Her second was a totally unplanned family addition. She was mid 40's and her husband was early 50's. I'm sure none of the 12 or so women invited to that shower ever thought twice about it being a "second" shower.  1 shower every 16 years seems reasonable.

I think learning about the history of certain etiquette rules/traditions is interesting, and sometimes helps them to make more sense or to adapt them to modern societal changes. Like trying to decide what one's Facebook wall is equivalent to in "the real world," to answer the question, "Can you put whatever you want on your own wall, or should you abide by certain public standards of politeness?"

For example with baby showers, I often hear that they were originally about giving decent-sized gifts and parenting advice to a new mom-to-be from the older, experienced (female) generation, because a first-time mom was often young, married to an equally young man, who had probably not been married that long and didn't have a lot of money of their own. Although celebratory there was a distinctly pragmatic aspect to it as well. Also baby "stuff" didn't change as much "back then" so moms of the previous generations could still recommend perfectly good specific items. And it was expected that mainly the woman would be taking care of the child, so her husband really didn't need to be there to hear all the advice or see demos of the equipment.

In my personal experience, which is definitely not universal, almost all of this is no longer applicable. The couples I know expect to be equal in their parenting duties, are often late 20ish-early 30ish, have been married/seriously together for several years, and have well-established jobs and savings. They also have access to many more resources about child-rearing and what types of products to buy that will fit their particular situation and the latest doctor/safety/etc. guidelines--although certainly some advice about child-rearing from previous generations will never go out of date, I doubt my mom or grandma would have any valuable insight on what type of car seat I ought to buy, for example, and if asked choose one to buy for me with no guidance (from me), would be totally flummoxed.

Which leaves the baby shower as a generally celebratory event, which is great; but it has this holdover of giving gifts, often substantial gifts, which often now come from a list the parents-to-be have put together themselves. I'm sure there were ungracious gimme-pigs "back then," too, but it just seems like now there's a bit more temptation to be that way, because a lot of other aspects of the party are no longer relevant, so gift-receiving has moved in to fill the vacuum. Just my personal thoughts based on things I've observed/heard of at baby showers.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Fragglerocker on March 21, 2013, 07:58:25 PM
I haven't responded on this thread previously but followed it as I started a thread about 2nd showers not that long ago, and it's interesting to see how much this one has now turned to the "dad's role" and whether that role is in any way impacted by his (in/ex)clusion in the shower.

I've attended only 3 baby showers where the father was even present.  Two were actually for the same person--and the first was more or less this same (OP's situation).  My best (male) friend from law school married a woman with a 10 year old son.  I assume she had a baby shower for that baby ten years ago but I couldn't be sure.  Either way, her family threw another shower for their first baby together (a girl) and he was present (as was his family but they did not host).  Two years later, they had a second shower (also thrown by the mom's sister) for their son.  Honestly, I thought at least the second shower was out of line with proper etiquette (not because men were included but because it was their second kid) but figured since it was a different gender, that's why they did it.  Either way, if he wasn't one of my best friends in the whole wide world, I would have declined.  Instead, I got to go to a party with a ton of great food, cake, and I delivered a gift I would have given them anyway. 

The other baby shower with a male present was again, one where I was friends with the dad rather than the mom. (Friend from church growing up.)  He and a few male relatives (grandpas and I think one uncle only) hid out the entire time in another part of the house and only came down for the gifts, skipping the games and girlie socialization.  My friend was told he was to help open gifts and it was pretty amusing watching him try to figure out what a lot of the items were for (which tells me he may not have been paying attention when they registered).  Watching him blush when getting breastfeeding items?  Priceless.

For my shower (with DD#1) no men were included and my DH had NO desire to be there.  At the time, he was a school teacher and new at a school, and nothing was done for him to welcome him to fatherhood, but many parents of his students & many colleagues gave him gifts on an individual basis. 

This time around (as I updated in the other thread) I refused a shower (repeatedly) and got roped into a very fun Girls' Night Out instead.  The hostesses took me out to a restaurant we all enjoy and I was consulted only on the guestlist and I kept it very small (7 of us total) and all are mom friends of mine (except my BFF), and none (except BFF) were at my shower for DD#1.   The flip to that ironically is that this time DH has had a shower at his school for this child thrown by his colleagues--but that's mostly because there's something in the water there and besides DD#2 due in April there are two other teachers (female) having their 1st and 3rd babies, respectively, so they threw a group shower (sounds naughty!) and included each of them in the celebration.   On top of that, the parents of his class this year want to throw a small shower for him also.  I think a lot of that is that there are several 'repeat' parents (who had older kids in his class in years past and have a younger child in the class now) and they are looking for any excuse to celebrate him because he is pretty darn awesome.

If you asked him, he would NOT want to go to a shower (didn't come to mine and only came to the 2nd one of the "co-ed" showers I discussed above because he knew there would be carne asada and beer!) but would not want to offend either his colleagues or his students' parents by refusing their offers. (It's a small private school and a huge part of his job is making the parents happy.) 
 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Winterlight on March 21, 2013, 08:10:21 PM
Having the mindset that I am happy to attend or host a loved one's 1st/2nd/3rd baby shower (party, gathering, celebration, hootenanny) does not mean I believe anyone is owed a baby shower. It means I love them, a baby is exciting news regardless of its birth order, and I love parties especially where there will be cake. 

Sure, nobody really needs a party or celebration or gifts to mark any occasion in their life, but that doesn't mean those of us who want to celebrate them are doing so for nefarious gift-grabbing reasons. 

Life is made up of an endless stream of shopping, working, commuting, running errands, repairing furniture torn up by cats, paying bills, forgetting the milk, filling up the car with gas, etc.  It's just nice to add some parties to the mix.  Babies are a great reason to celebrate, though if you want an "I went to the grocery store for the 30th time this year!!" party, I'm down with that too.  I'll bring the cake.

I think that's a good way to put it. No one is owed a party, but if your family want to put it on, then bring on the punch and cake!
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: LadyR on March 21, 2013, 10:48:45 PM
My husband had no interest in attending either of my baby showers.

He attended the bridal shower his mother and sister threw for me, because he had to. His mother informed him he was expected to attend and the guests all knew him, not me. He did not attend the shower for my side (and wasn't expected too).

When the baby shower that my bff threw for me was in the early planning stages, a co-ed shower was proposed as I have a mixed gender social group, DH and his bff quickly shot the idea down. Instead, the guys went to the beach and did their own thing while we ladies were at the shower and we then met them there. He stayed long enough to greet everyone as they arrived and he helped me with the TY notes (and later he dutifully looked at all the gifts), but he had no interest in sticking around for the main event.

And my husband is a very involved, hands-on Dad. He helped register for the items, he's been involved every step of the way, but he considers showers women's territory and he was very happy to do something else. Most of my male friends feel the same way.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: kareng57 on March 21, 2013, 11:04:55 PM
Historical Reason for 1 shower per woman: We also wondered if the original societal guideline of a shower for the first baby was started because women used to have so many more children and often much closer together in age. The first time I went to a shower for a woman's second child was a friend who's oldest was 16 and by a previous marriage. Her second was a totally unplanned family addition. She was mid 40's and her husband was early 50's. I'm sure none of the 12 or so women invited to that shower ever thought twice about it being a "second" shower.  1 shower every 16 years seems reasonable.

I think learning about the history of certain etiquette rules/traditions is interesting, and sometimes helps them to make more sense or to adapt them to modern societal changes. Like trying to decide what one's Facebook wall is equivalent to in "the real world," to answer the question, "Can you put whatever you want on your own wall, or should you abide by certain public standards of politeness?"

For example with baby showers, I often hear that they were originally about giving decent-sized gifts and parenting advice to a new mom-to-be from the older, experienced (female) generation, because a first-time mom was often young, married to an equally young man, who had probably not been married that long and didn't have a lot of money of their own. Although celebratory there was a distinctly pragmatic aspect to it as well. Also baby "stuff" didn't change as much "back then" so moms of the previous generations could still recommend perfectly good specific items. And it was expected that mainly the woman would be taking care of the child, so her husband really didn't need to be there to hear all the advice or see demos of the equipment.

In my personal experience, which is definitely not universal, almost all of this is no longer applicable. The couples I know expect to be equal in their parenting duties, are often late 20ish-early 30ish, have been married/seriously together for several years, and have well-established jobs and savings. They also have access to many more resources about child-rearing and what types of products to buy that will fit their particular situation and the latest doctor/safety/etc. guidelines--although certainly some advice about child-rearing from previous generations will never go out of date, I doubt my mom or grandma would have any valuable insight on what type of car seat I ought to buy, for example, and if asked choose one to buy for me with no guidance (from me), would be totally flummoxed.

Which leaves the baby shower as a generally celebratory event, which is great; but it has this holdover of giving gifts, often substantial gifts, which often now come from a list the parents-to-be have put together themselves. I'm sure there were ungracious gimme-pigs "back then," too, but it just seems like now there's a bit more temptation to be that way, because a lot of other aspects of the party are no longer relevant, so gift-receiving has moved in to fill the vacuum. Just my personal thoughts based on things I've observed/heard of at baby showers.


Different experiences obviously - but IME during the 1960s (when I wasn't old enough to be invited to showers myself, but was present at a few of them) - either wedding or bridal showers were all about inexpensive items.  Bridal showers - the gifts were things like kitchen utensils or bathroom accessories - things that would cost maybe $ 25 these days.  Baby showers - receiving blankets, baby towel-sets, baby undershirts etc.

Or, on further reading of your post, maybe that's exactly what you're saying :) - that things have evolved a lot.  Yes, originally "showers" meant a transition - from single woman to wife, or from wife to mother.  The gifts were inexpensive items that the woman would need in her new role.  And that's why I'm not crazy about wedding showers in this day and age, when, very often, the bride has been living independently from her parents for some time.  Yes, of course she quite often desires new cutlery, glasses and place-settings, but isn't that what wedding gifts are for?

And that's why I think showers are kind of okay for a first-time mom, although I'd argue that any parents who need help for even very basic baby-care items should have thought about whether they could afford a baby in the first place.......but, for subsequent babies, the term "baby shower" should not be used.  Of course, many people will give a gift for the second, third, or fifth baby no matter what.  That's great.  But using the term "shower" for a party definitely implies that gifts are expected, simply because it's the time-honoured definition of a gift-shower.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: turnip on March 22, 2013, 12:00:39 PM
Re: Dads.  We have a group of friends we've known for 20+ years.  We get together at each others houses and barbeque for birthdays, holidays, football games, etc.  My shower was just an extension of that - same couples, same barbeque, presents and yummy cake at the end.   We could have left the guys out, I suppose, but they would have wondered what they had done to upset us!
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Mikayla on March 22, 2013, 02:03:20 PM
I think this comes down to a weakness in the language. We have no word for a "wish the MTB well before the birth" gathering other than "shower" (except that dreadful new coinage "sprinkle," which is basically "shower lite"). Which is about showering (or sprinkling) someone with gifts.

I see nothing wrong with having a pre-birth celebration of every new baby -- first, fifth or 15th. (Welcome/meet the baby parties after the birth aren't always feasible.) Of course people will want to give gifts, but they shouldn't be required. Unfortunately, call that pre-birth celebration the S word and everyone feels pressured to buy a gift.

We need another word for such a gathering that has nothing to do with precipitation.

To the nth.  Reading through this, I realize that the term "shower" doesn't mean the same thing to all people, which I never realized, because I thought the rule was pretty clearcut - bring a gift.  In fact, I've always liked the idea that showers = mandatory gift, because it's so simple.  I've been to 4 engagement parties, where the rules are much less defined, and 3 of them got awkward when some brought gifts and some didn't. 

In fact, that raises a question.  For people who don't think showers mean a mandatory gift, and they're mainly social, do you think the same of bridal showers?  Can a person have a bridal shower for every wedding?   

Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on March 22, 2013, 02:09:19 PM
Can a person have a bridal shower for every wedding?

Here's my take.  A person can have a shower whenever for whatever reason so long as the people throwing it want to throw it and the people coming want to come.  To me it is that simple.  If someone wants to nitpick about the etiquette, then just don't go to the shower and think poorly of the manners of the GOH and the people who threw the shower.  For me, this is not the route I would choose because even if I am right, I don't find it to be in accordance with the way I live my life and show up for the people in my life.  I genuinely like and respect the people I choose to have in my life so it simply would never occur to me to be anything other than thrilled to support them at a celebration, even if it is labeled a shower.   I also do not give gifts I don't want to give. 

All that said, I think it is fairly common for second time brides marrying first time grooms to have the groom's sisters or friends or relatives really want a shower. It's a really nice way to get to know people before the wedding.  I cannot imagine refusing to attend a shower for someone who is about to become married to someone I care about simply becuase "she already got her shower - look at her awful manners!"

And again, without exception, every shower I have attended has been a celebration.  Not a gift grab.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on March 22, 2013, 02:32:17 PM
I think this comes down to a weakness in the language. We have no word for a "wish the MTB well before the birth" gathering other than "shower" (except that dreadful new coinage "sprinkle," which is basically "shower lite"). Which is about showering (or sprinkling) someone with gifts.

I see nothing wrong with having a pre-birth celebration of every new baby -- first, fifth or 15th. (Welcome/meet the baby parties after the birth aren't always feasible.) Of course people will want to give gifts, but they shouldn't be required. Unfortunately, call that pre-birth celebration the S word and everyone feels pressured to buy a gift.

We need another word for such a gathering that has nothing to do with precipitation.

To the nth.  Reading through this, I realize that the term "shower" doesn't mean the same thing to all people, which I never realized, because I thought the rule was pretty clearcut - bring a gift.  In fact, I've always liked the idea that showers = mandatory gift, because it's so simple.  I've been to 4 engagement parties, where the rules are much less defined, and 3 of them got awkward when some brought gifts and some didn't. 

In fact, that raises a question.  For people who don't think showers mean a mandatory gift, and they're mainly social, do you think the same of bridal showers?  Can a person have a bridal shower for every wedding?

Like TurtleDove, I think people can have a party whenever they want for whatever reason they want.  There are rude ways to throw parties, but the parties in and of themselves are not inherently rude (at least not the general ones we are discussing here).  I'm actually attending a wedding shower this weekend for a second time bride (and also a second time groom).  I have no problems with this.  Just as I had no problem with not having a wedding shower at all when I got married to DH (my first). 
It's no different (to me) than when people have birthday parties every year (not just milestones) or even when some have half-birthday's (which I admit I've never brought a gift to).  Celebrations are celebrations.  Gift giving or not.  Gimme pigs are gimme pigs just as much in the first shower as they are in subsequent ones (and pretty much are gimme pigs in general, not just at parties...I choose not to be friends with people like this). 

I have not had the horrible experiences that some here talk about.  I'm lucky that way.  My friends and family are all great people who I enjoy being around and celebrating life events with (all life events...even non-events).  Any gifts that I give are returned to me through their friendship and companionship and even with tangible gifts that they give me when I'm the one being celebrated. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on March 22, 2013, 02:35:07 PM
I think this comes down to a weakness in the language. We have no word for a "wish the MTB well before the birth" gathering other than "shower" (except that dreadful new coinage "sprinkle," which is basically "shower lite"). Which is about showering (or sprinkling) someone with gifts.

I see nothing wrong with having a pre-birth celebration of every new baby -- first, fifth or 15th. (Welcome/meet the baby parties after the birth aren't always feasible.) Of course people will want to give gifts, but they shouldn't be required. Unfortunately, call that pre-birth celebration the S word and everyone feels pressured to buy a gift.

We need another word for such a gathering that has nothing to do with precipitation.

To the nth.  Reading through this, I realize that the term "shower" doesn't mean the same thing to all people, which I never realized, because I thought the rule was pretty clearcut - bring a gift.  In fact, I've always liked the idea that showers = mandatory gift, because it's so simple.  I've been to 4 engagement parties, where the rules are much less defined, and 3 of them got awkward when some brought gifts and some didn't. 

In fact, that raises a question.  For people who don't think showers mean a mandatory gift, and they're mainly social, do you think the same of bridal showers?  Can a person have a bridal shower for every wedding?


    As per the bolded.  In traditional etiquette, no  - they can't and be thought polite.   In my circle, it would not be well attended and folks would think badly of you.  I simply can not imagine turning up at any shower without a gift.  There are ways to celebrate any mile stone with out doing via a party that even in the dictionary is  defined as "a party given by friends who bring gifts often of a particular kind" ( Webster). 
 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: turnip on March 22, 2013, 02:42:56 PM
Can a person have a bridal shower for every wedding?

Here's my take.  A person can have a shower whenever for whatever reason so long as the people throwing it want to throw it and the people coming want to come.  To me it is that simple.  If someone wants to nitpick about the etiquette, then just don't go to the shower and think poorly of the manners of the GOH and the people who threw the shower.  For me, this is not the route I would choose because even if I am right, I don't find it to be in accordance with the way I live my life and show up for the people in my life.  I genuinely like and respect the people I choose to have in my life so it simply would never occur to me to be anything other than thrilled to support them at a celebration, even if it is labeled a shower.   I also do not give gifts I don't want to give. 

All that said, I think it is fairly common for second time brides marrying first time grooms to have the groom's sisters or friends or relatives really want a shower. It's a really nice way to get to know people before the wedding. I cannot imagine refusing to attend a shower for someone who is about to become married to someone I care about simply becuase "she already got her shower - look at her awful manners!"

And again, without exception, every shower I have attended has been a celebration.  Not a gift grab.

My goodness yes. I suppose someone could have turned up their nose at my friend's shower because she left her abusive husband and then met a wonderful, caring guy, but I wouldn't think much of their reasoning.   
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Fragglerocker on March 22, 2013, 06:52:35 PM
Can a person have a bridal shower for every wedding?

Here's my take.  A person can have a shower whenever for whatever reason so long as the people throwing it want to throw it and the people coming want to come.  To me it is that simple.  If someone wants to nitpick about the etiquette, then just don't go to the shower and think poorly of the manners of the GOH and the people who threw the shower.  For me, this is not the route I would choose because even if I am right, I don't find it to be in accordance with the way I live my life and show up for the people in my life.  I genuinely like and respect the people I choose to have in my life so it simply would never occur to me to be anything other than thrilled to support them at a celebration, even if it is labeled a shower.   I also do not give gifts I don't want to give. 

All that said, I think it is fairly common for second time brides marrying first time grooms to have the groom's sisters or friends or relatives really want a shower. It's a really nice way to get to know people before the wedding. I cannot imagine refusing to attend a shower for someone who is about to become married to someone I care about simply becuase "she already got her shower - look at her awful manners!"

And again, without exception, every shower I have attended has been a celebration.  Not a gift grab.

My goodness yes. I suppose someone could have turned up their nose at my friend's shower because she left her abusive husband and then met a wonderful, caring guy, but I wouldn't think much of their reasoning.

I had a 2nd shower for my second wedding.  First husband cheated on me and left me while I was on a business trip.  Married a wonderful man years later, and except for my mother, sister, and two friends, all guests were "new" to showering me, and it was hosted by a friend who I didn't know when I got married the first time and who was ecstatic about being a bridesmaid and insisted on a throwing a shower. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: missmarie on April 01, 2013, 11:49:47 PM
Ok, I've been on vacation and haven't had a chance to read through the whole thread but here's an update for anyone interested: It apparently isn't entirely family only, a few friends are now included on the Facebook invite list. They are registered and only two items are under $40 and one of these is baby wipes.  I was informed by my mother that I should buy the stroller they want (at $250). I feel at this point that I can't not attend in the interest of family peace but I will probably not be purchasing the stroller.  My brother is not attending. He will be there at the beginning and end but it is being planned as a female-oriented event. Also, I apologize for my hyperbole in using the word 'atrocity'. That really seems tomhave bothered a few people and I didn't intend to do that.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Roe on April 02, 2013, 06:49:40 AM
For the record, I have a few friends that are closer to me than blood relatives so a family only event would include them.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: missmarie on April 02, 2013, 09:18:09 AM
For the record, I have a few friends that are closer to me than blood relatives so a family only event would include them.
Me too!  I just had two weeks with mine!  :D And to be fair, this may be the case.  I'm mostly concerned at this point that I will disappoint my mother because in every other way she is really great.  I think the way she was brought up and her circumstances up until we all left home have left her with the idea that it's everyone's responsibility to pay for New Baby.  I want to help out but hate being made to feel like it's my duty somehow.  I raised my three with no financial support from my family because I have a good job.  I have had LOTS of moral support and my mother is always looking for excuses to have my children over because she likes to spend time with them.  I think that's what is burning me most,  I was really looking forward to being a very involved Auntie and this has kind of put a damper on that.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: TurtleDove on April 02, 2013, 09:20:29 AM
I think that's what is burning me most,  I was really looking forward to being a very involved Auntie and this has kind of put a damper on that.

This confuses me.  Can you explain what a shower has to do with being an involved aunt?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Lynn2000 on April 02, 2013, 09:26:40 AM
Ok, I've been on vacation and haven't had a chance to read through the whole thread but here's an update for anyone interested: It apparently isn't entirely family only, a few friends are now included on the Facebook invite list. They are registered and only two items are under $40 and one of these is baby wipes.  I was informed by my mother that I should buy the stroller they want (at $250). I feel at this point that I can't not attend in the interest of family peace but I will probably not be purchasing the stroller.  My brother is not attending. He will be there at the beginning and end but it is being planned as a female-oriented event. Also, I apologize for my hyperbole in using the word 'atrocity'. That really seems tomhave bothered a few people and I didn't intend to do that.

Thanks for the update. I totally agree that you don't need to spend $250 if you don't want to! Feel free to spend what you want on something not listed on their registry, like some board books or onesies. Just tuck the gift receipt in with them and call it good.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on April 02, 2013, 10:04:20 AM
For the record, I have a few friends that are closer to me than blood relatives so a family only event would include them.
Me too!  I just had two weeks with mine!  :D And to be fair, this may be the case.  I'm mostly concerned at this point that I will disappoint my mother because in every other way she is really great.  I think the way she was brought up and her circumstances up until we all left home have left her with the idea that it's everyone's responsibility to pay for New Baby.  I want to help out but hate being made to feel like it's my duty somehow.  I raised my three with no financial support from my family because I have a good job.  I have had LOTS of moral support and my mother is always looking for excuses to have my children over because she likes to spend time with them.  I think that's what is burning me most,  I was really looking forward to being a very involved Auntie and this has kind of put a damper on that.

Why?  You're fine not to want to go to the shower, not to buy the stroller, etc....but why would a party that your mother is throwing and a gift that she asked you to buy have any effect on your relationship with your new neice/nephew?  I don't get it.

Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Sharnita on April 02, 2013, 10:12:40 AM
If $40 is what you were thinking of spending then maybe a $40 gc for the store with the stroller? If somebody else gets it there are still other things they can get. If not you have helped them get a very nice stroller.

You say you haven't had any monetary help but you also indicate your mom has spent time with your kids. Does that ever include free babysitting?
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: snowdragon on April 02, 2013, 01:10:40 PM
For the record, I have a few friends that are closer to me than blood relatives so a family only event would include them.
Me too!  I just had two weeks with mine!  :D And to be fair, this may be the case.  I'm mostly concerned at this point that I will disappoint my mother because in every other way she is really great.  I think the way she was brought up and her circumstances up until we all left home have left her with the idea that it's everyone's responsibility to pay for New Baby.  I want to help out but hate being made to feel like it's my duty somehow.  I raised my three with no financial support from my family because I have a good job.  I have had LOTS of moral support and my mother is always looking for excuses to have my children over because she likes to spend time with them.  I think that's what is burning me most,  I was really looking forward to being a very involved Auntie and this has kind of put a damper on that.

Why?  You're fine not to want to go to the shower, not to buy the stroller, etc....but why would a party that your mother is throwing and a gift that she asked you to buy have any effect on your relationship with your new neice/nephew?  I don't get it.

  What I took from that is that the OP is feeling pressured to help support this child and she does not want to - if she forms a relationship with this child it will be taken as a sign that she acquiesces to this monetary support and more demands will be made.  Or she could feel that since she is already comparing what she got from mom and what the brother is getting, couple with what she is being expected to give  ( mom's idea that "her circumstances up until we all left home have left her with the idea that it's everyone's responsibility to pay for New Baby" ) and finding she's not comfortable with the differences - that is not the basis for a good relationship with anyone involved ( her brother, SIL or the new baby) - but the OP might have a different explanation.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: bah12 on April 02, 2013, 01:38:20 PM
For the record, I have a few friends that are closer to me than blood relatives so a family only event would include them.
Me too!  I just had two weeks with mine!  :D And to be fair, this may be the case.  I'm mostly concerned at this point that I will disappoint my mother because in every other way she is really great.  I think the way she was brought up and her circumstances up until we all left home have left her with the idea that it's everyone's responsibility to pay for New Baby.  I want to help out but hate being made to feel like it's my duty somehow.  I raised my three with no financial support from my family because I have a good job.  I have had LOTS of moral support and my mother is always looking for excuses to have my children over because she likes to spend time with them.  I think that's what is burning me most,  I was really looking forward to being a very involved Auntie and this has kind of put a damper on that.

Why?  You're fine not to want to go to the shower, not to buy the stroller, etc....but why would a party that your mother is throwing and a gift that she asked you to buy have any effect on your relationship with your new neice/nephew?  I don't get it.

  What I took from that is that the OP is feeling pressured to help support this child and she does not want to - if she forms a relationship with this child it will be taken as a sign that she acquiesces to this monetary support and more demands will be made.  Or she could feel that since she is already comparing what she got from mom and what the brother is getting, couple with what she is being expected to give  ( mom's idea that "her circumstances up until we all left home have left her with the idea that it's everyone's responsibility to pay for New Baby" ) and finding she's not comfortable with the differences - that is not the basis for a good relationship with anyone involved ( her brother, SIL or the new baby) - but the OP might have a different explanation.

I would be interested to get the OP's explanation, because I do think this reasoning is a bit of a stretch.  I consider myself to be a very involved Aunt to my neices and nephews (especially those that are local), but in no way to I support them financially.    I don't think that involvement, which I define as a lot of emotional support and time, is in any way tied to an expecatation of supporting them financially, nor do I think it has anything to do with weather or not a shower was thrown in their honor before they were born.

This is a baby shower.  It is being thrown by the OP's mother.  And it was the OP's mother that suggested that she buy the stroller.  I don't see either of those as being pressured to support the child...especially not by the parents of the child, which to me, matter much more than what the grandmother wants/thinks.  And since I don't equate a baby shower (or a shower of any kind) as any kind of commitment for furture financial support, I'm having a hard time drawing the line between "My mom suggested I buy a stroller off the registry" to "Dang it!  That means I can't be involved in the child's life now!"  Personally, I think this attitude is, at best, premature.  I would hope the OP wouldn't let some disapproval of her mother's actions, spill over to her SIL and cloud the relationship with her neice or nephew. 

Also, and I hestitate to say this, I'm wondering how the mother  treated the OP when she was expecting her first child.  It seems that the OP is accusing her mother of expecting everyone to step up for this child , but that she didn't receive any financial support herself.  Was this because she refused the offer (made by her mom or otherwise) or because it was never offered to begin with?  Because I can definitely see reacting to a perceived inequality.  The OP has a good job so her mom didn't gush over the shower, the SIL and brother, maybe don't, so they get more attention.  I don't know if that's the case, but it would bother me on a personal level too.  (Mainly because showers do not equal financial support nor should be tied to a family's finances).

FWIW, I registered for just about everything I needed when I was pregnant.  And it wasn't because I expected anyone to buy me anything.  But, if I bought something off my registry, I got a store discount.  It only made sense for me to include the big ticket items to get that discount.  So, just because there are big items on the registry, doesn't necessarily mean that the OP's SIL is expecting that people purchase it for her. 
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Moray on April 02, 2013, 02:20:45 PM
Frankly I see all of these scenario's as just an excuse to get more stuff out of friends and family.

I am so glad that my experience is so different from yours, snowdragon.  I have never attended a shower where the focus was on getting stuff out of friends and family.  It's difficult for me to wrap my mind around why anyone would attend a gathering for someone they neither like nor respect because they believe them to be gimme pigs.  I certainly wouldn't.

This.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: kareng57 on April 03, 2013, 05:09:03 PM
Ok, I've been on vacation and haven't had a chance to read through the whole thread but here's an update for anyone interested: It apparently isn't entirely family only, a few friends are now included on the Facebook invite list. They are registered and only two items are under $40 and one of these is baby wipes.  I was informed by my mother that I should buy the stroller they want (at $250). I feel at this point that I can't not attend in the interest of family peace but I will probably not be purchasing the stroller.  My brother is not attending. He will be there at the beginning and end but it is being planned as a female-oriented event. Also, I apologize for my hyperbole in using the word 'atrocity'. That really seems tomhave bothered a few people and I didn't intend to do that.


There's never been any rule that guests at a baby or bridal shower must buy only gifts listed on the registry.  There are plenty of universally-needed baby items in the $ 20 or so range - onesies, receiving blankets, baby washcloths, etc.

IME a $ 250 stroller is a very expensive item to have on a registry - perhaps grandparents might spend that much, but not other relatives.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: Sharnita on April 03, 2013, 05:12:33 PM
I think it is pretty common for people to go in together on a more expensive gift like a stroller.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: LadyR on April 03, 2013, 07:38:09 PM
Ok, I've been on vacation and haven't had a chance to read through the whole thread but here's an update for anyone interested: It apparently isn't entirely family only, a few friends are now included on the Facebook invite list. They are registered and only two items are under $40 and one of these is baby wipes.  I was informed by my mother that I should buy the stroller they want (at $250). I feel at this point that I can't not attend in the interest of family peace but I will probably not be purchasing the stroller.  My brother is not attending. He will be there at the beginning and end but it is being planned as a female-oriented event. Also, I apologize for my hyperbole in using the word 'atrocity'. That really seems tomhave bothered a few people and I didn't intend to do that.


There's never been any rule that guests at a baby or bridal shower must buy only gifts listed on the registry.  There are plenty of universally-needed baby items in the $ 20 or so range - onesies, receiving blankets, baby washcloths, etc.

IME a $ 250 stroller is a very expensive item to have on a registry - perhaps grandparents might spend that much, but not other relatives.

Different circles. Most of my shower gifts were in the $100-$200 range and my bff actually did buy the travel system and will be buying one for her sister. It is the norm in our circle (wedding gifts are often around $200+ and bridal shower gifts in the $100 range), which is why it is only close friends/family and why I personally don't like showers for second babies (but I still say this couple gets a pass as this is his first child and the first shower his family has gotten to throw and I'm not sure the HC are at fault and not the overly excited grandmother.)
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: peaches on April 03, 2013, 07:52:09 PM
Ok, I've been on vacation and haven't had a chance to read through the whole thread but here's an update for anyone interested: It apparently isn't entirely family only, a few friends are now included on the Facebook invite list. They are registered and only two items are under $40 and one of these is baby wipes.  I was informed by my mother that I should buy the stroller they want (at $250). I feel at this point that I can't not attend in the interest of family peace but I will probably not be purchasing the stroller.  My brother is not attending. He will be there at the beginning and end but it is being planned as a female-oriented event. Also, I apologize for my hyperbole in using the word 'atrocity'. That really seems tomhave bothered a few people and I didn't intend to do that.


There's never been any rule that guests at a baby or bridal shower must buy only gifts listed on the registry.  There are plenty of universally-needed baby items in the $ 20 or so range - onesies, receiving blankets, baby washcloths, etc.

IME a $ 250 stroller is a very expensive item to have on a registry - perhaps grandparents might spend that much, but not other relatives.

Different circles. Most of my shower gifts were in the $100-$200 range and my bff actually did buy the travel system and will be buying one for her sister. It is the norm in our circle (wedding gifts are often around $200+ and bridal shower gifts in the $100 range), which is why it is only close friends/family and why I personally don't like showers for second babies (but I still say this couple gets a pass as this is his first child and the first shower his family has gotten to throw and I'm not sure the HC are at fault and not the overly excited grandmother.)

The good news is that no one has to buy off of a registry. People of limited means can choose something unique, but inexpensive. Or they might make a personal gift, such as a baby quilt or cute bibs or something like that.

I often give children's books as a baby shower gift. In our circle of friends and family, many shower gifts are in the $25-$50 range. Larger gifts often are given by grandparents or siblings, or people might pool their resources for a $100 or so gift.

In etiquette, there isn't any minimum amount for a shower gift.
Title: Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
Post by: kareng57 on April 04, 2013, 12:24:42 AM
Ok, I've been on vacation and haven't had a chance to read through the whole thread but here's an update for anyone interested: It apparently isn't entirely family only, a few friends are now included on the Facebook invite list. They are registered and only two items are under $40 and one of these is baby wipes.  I was informed by my mother that I should buy the stroller they want (at $250). I feel at this point that I can't not attend in the interest of family peace but I will probably not be purchasing the stroller.  My brother is not attending. He will be there at the beginning and end but it is being planned as a female-oriented event. Also, I apologize for my hyperbole in using the word 'atrocity'. That really seems tomhave bothered a few people and I didn't intend to do that.


There's never been any rule that guests at a baby or bridal shower must buy only gifts listed on the registry.  There are plenty of universally-needed baby items in the $ 20 or so range - onesies, receiving blankets, baby washcloths, etc.

IME a $ 250 stroller is a very expensive item to have on a registry - perhaps grandparents might spend that much, but not other relatives.

Different circles. Most of my shower gifts were in the $100-$200 range and my bff actually did buy the travel system and will be buying one for her sister. It is the norm in our circle (wedding gifts are often around $200+ and bridal shower gifts in the $100 range), which is why it is only close friends/family and why I personally don't like showers for second babies (but I still say this couple gets a pass as this is his first child and the first shower his family has gotten to throw and I'm not sure the HC are at fault and not the overly excited grandmother.)


Okay, what can I say.  Obviously these are the norm in some circles, but I certainly don't travel in them......I simply could not afford to attend a shower where I was expected to spend that much.