Author Topic: Third (but also first) baby shower  (Read 13774 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2013, 03:49:17 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.

Lynn2000

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2013, 04:11:35 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.
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hobish

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2013, 04:35:19 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. 
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Mikayla

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2013, 04:39:53 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. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2013, 04:42:25 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.

Mikayla

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2013, 05:04:02 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. 


TurtleDove

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2013, 05:08:55 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.

kckgirl

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2013, 06:25:35 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?
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Surianne

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2013, 06:27:11 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.

bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2013, 06:47:01 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.   

sammycat

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2013, 10:33:13 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.

Calistoga

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2013, 10:51:38 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.

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2013, 03:44:25 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.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2013, 11:11:58 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. 

hobish

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2013, 11:54:49 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.

It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
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