Author Topic: When are 2nd time showers okay?  (Read 9522 times)

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Fragglerocker

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2013, 01:51:55 PM »
My husband thinks this way, to an extent. It's not so much jealousy as counting favors and keeping reciprocity at the forefront of his mind. It's an interesting point of difference in us. I just like doing things for folks - helping out as I can - and, as long as they show appreciation, I really don't think about how much they do for me. DH is much more mindful of the reciprocity of relationships. It has taken me some time to get used to looking at things that way, but I have found that it helps my friendships to see when my friends may be feeling an imbalance because of the help that I've given and to back off on the doing favors until they've had a chance to reciprocate a bit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

AustenFan

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2013, 04:12:38 PM »
I know I'm in the distinct minority here, but I have no problem with second showers.

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

I also enjoy pot luck showers (I know, many of you just audibly gasped!) because I so rarely get the chance to break out my fancy cupcake icing skills. My sons class mates just don't seem to appreciate them the same way a sangria'd up gaggle of women do.

Marbles

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2013, 06:24:39 PM »
[massive snippage]
OP, I don't think this is so much about a second shower for your DH as it is being sure that others are showing you the appreciation that you deserve for having gone the extra mile for them.

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

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

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

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

Fragglerocker

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2013, 11:02:01 PM »
[massive snippage]
OP, I don't think this is so much about a second shower for your DH as it is being sure that others are showing you the appreciation that you deserve for having gone the extra mile for them.

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

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

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

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

I honestly didn't/don't want another shower/sprinkle etc. for this child, but I would say it would be nice to have those ladies whose showers I went to (esp. the one I helped throw) in some way acknowledge this child (card, bring a meal when I'm recovering, etc.) but I know that the more practical help that would be nice (like the meal) probably won't happen because their due dates are so close to mine that they won't be in a position to help out when I could use it.  That's just how things happen sometimes, so I understand this, too.  But like I said--there are now more "moms" in my circle than before and I'm sure there will be a lot of people stepping up to help out in those loving & thoughtful ways (visit for an hour and let me take a shower, etc.) that I would have loved to have when I had my first daughter, so I will definitely be sure to make sure DH knows about all the people who do come forward to be supportive.

TootsNYC

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2013, 11:45:17 PM »
For the OP--a  terminology change that might help your DH see your work on the showers at church in a different light:

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

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

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

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

Maybe your DH is a bit of a "canary in the coal mine"--his heightened sensitivity might help you avoid the trouble that is just beginning on the horizon.

bopper

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2013, 09:57:13 AM »
To me showers are a method that our society uses to help moms/dads get stuff for a baby. Often the moms/dads are younger and there is alot of stuff you have to get at once. So friends/family help with that.
But those friends/family presumably had showers with their baby, so it is a way of helping to spread out the cost of these items over time. You get helped, you help later with someone else. 

So there shouldn't really be a need for a second shower with this method. You have all the items you need after the first. Maybe you need to get some more clothes, but that can be affordable.

Lynn2000

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2013, 02:23:44 PM »
Some great posts in this thread. I just posted in the Grandparent Shower thread about a baby shower that my friend Amy wants to throw for her cousin's wife, who is having her FOURTH child (first one with this husband). I won't rehash it but all the reasons Amy wants to throw one are things that would make me cringe if it were the pregnant woman saying them--been so long since the last baby (older kids are teens), can't afford to buy stuff themselves, family members would be giving gifts for the baby anyway, etc.. But Amy really, genuinely wants to host it, and if the GOH is okay with it, and Amy only invites people who are 100% okay with it, it's not like I'm going to call them rude. To me the last condition is the toughest to fulfill, though, if she's planning to invite all relevant family members just because they're family members, and not the subset who have actually expressed spontaneous interest in doing this themselves.

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

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

OP, I think your logic for not having a second shower is sound; and I agree with others, and yourself, that this is not so much about showers but about your DH feeling resentful about people not reciprocating the favors you've done for them. Maybe you guys need to talk about your expectations more in this area, and set some parameters--not score-keeping, but if you doing stuff for others has a ripple effect on him, maybe you both need to evaluate what you do and who you do it for. Maybe it would work for you guys to have some kind of time limit each week for doing favors, or discuss each opportunity more as it comes up instead of just assuming you should do it (if you are). It sounds like you have a healthy, charitable attitude, but that doesn't mean his attitude is wrong, just different; maybe he just needs more reassurance that you know your limits and really enjoy helping others, that that is kind of the "payback," and you would be sad if you couldn't do it.
~Lynn2000

Virg

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2013, 09:54:17 AM »
I once heard (I don't completely recall where but it might have been my grandmother), "The only reason to have a second shower is if you didn't get clean during the first one."  With exceptions for extraordinary circumstances like a fire or death in the family, I tend to agree that it's impolite to hold a shower for an established family, because it has a gift-grabby feel and there are ways to avoid it, such as a meet the baby party or just getting together.  That said, there are times when one is allowed to do things that are generally rude, with the acceptance and permission of others involved.  So, holding a second shower with a group of invitees who don't mind second showers could be an acceptable break with etiquette, but that break requires everyone involved with organizing the event to make doubly sure that everyone involved is okay with the idea, to avoid things like inviting someone who would be uncomfortable with it, or organizing an event for a less than willing mother-to-be.  Even with those precautions, there is risk, so I'd tend to skip it in favor of one of the other options.

Virg

lollylegs

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2013, 03:27:40 AM »
DH then asked if my sister was going to throw me a shower or sprinkle.  (Note:  he always likes to pick on my sister--long story short, she married a man who makes a lot of money and he is very jealous of them, because he doesn't make much money, and feels like they should be more generous towards us; I feel like their money is their money and if money mattered THAT much to DH he shouldn't have become a teacher since that's not the way to make a big pile of cash.  But I digress). 

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

Fragglerocker

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2013, 04:04:05 PM »
DH then asked if my sister was going to throw me a shower or sprinkle.  (Note:  he always likes to pick on my sister--long story short, she married a man who makes a lot of money and he is very jealous of them, because he doesn't make much money, and feels like they should be more generous towards us; I feel like their money is their money and if money mattered THAT much to DH he shouldn't have become a teacher since that's not the way to make a big pile of cash.  But I digress). 

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

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

Lynn2000

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2013, 05:00:33 PM »
Well, it's not so much more backstory as perhaps more specifics.  For instance, my DH & I have birthdays close together.  My sis & her DH do not.  We buy separate presents for them for each of their birthdays, as they're six months apart.  I either ask what they would like or listen to what they voluntarily state they would like, and buy them each a present (within our budget but still generous).  My sister doesn't ask what we want for our birthdays, gives us one joint gift card--and recently, it's been for less than the amount of what I spent on a single one of their gifts.  My DH thinks they're being cheap as he knows they could afford more and as a result he's instructed that I accordingly buy them smaller gifts (or skip buying them gifts entirely).   I don't generally do "tit for tat" gifting; I buy for the purpose of giving the giver what he or she would like.  But I see where he's coming from--this is just one example.   

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

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

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

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

I can see why your DH is frustrated if this and the clothes thing are a pattern with her. I think he's going at it the wrong way, saying that SHE should change her behavior; but maybe it would help if you and DH changed your own behaviors. Not with an attitude of resentment and punishment, but thinking more like--this is what Sis is telling us will make her happy, and we like her to be happy, and it will make us happier too. Totally IMO of course, and based on little evidence. :)
~Lynn2000

Fragglerocker

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2013, 11:54:39 PM »
I can see why your DH is frustrated if this and the clothes thing are a pattern with her. I think he's going at it the wrong way, saying that SHE should change her behavior; but maybe it would help if you and DH changed your own behaviors. Not with an attitude of resentment and punishment, but thinking more like--this is what Sis is telling us will make her happy, and we like her to be happy, and it will make us happier too. Totally IMO of course, and based on little evidence. :)

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

Calistoga

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2013, 11:04:54 AM »
Around here, there's usually a shower for every baby. The first is the biggest, and the subsequent ones are usually "Diaper And Wipe Showers" where people bring very small gifts, such as diapers, newer bottles, and cutesy outfits. The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

Lynn2000

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2013, 11:22:04 AM »
I can see why your DH is frustrated if this and the clothes thing are a pattern with her. I think he's going at it the wrong way, saying that SHE should change her behavior; but maybe it would help if you and DH changed your own behaviors. Not with an attitude of resentment and punishment, but thinking more like--this is what Sis is telling us will make her happy, and we like her to be happy, and it will make us happier too. Totally IMO of course, and based on little evidence. :)

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

Oh, I understand, and I do think it's sweet that he's concerned about the imbalance there. Sometimes people just try to go about the right thing the wrong way, and it just makes them more frustrated, trying to get other people to change. As we often see on this forum, unfortunately.
~Lynn2000

TurtleDove

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Re: When are 2nd time showers okay?
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2013, 11:31:53 AM »
The understanding is that a first time parent needs a lot, but subsequent pregnancies have fewer needs, thus, the shower is really just a "Hey, congrats on the new kid, have some diapers" kind of thing.

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