Author Topic: Third (but also first) baby shower  (Read 14869 times)

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bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2013, 12:11:35 PM »
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). 

Mikayla

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2013, 12:36:00 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.

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. 

VltGrantham

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2013, 01:13:11 PM »
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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?

bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2013, 01:26:12 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.

turnip

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2013, 01:26:55 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.

Eeep!

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2013, 01:46:55 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! :))
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Lynn2000

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2013, 03:02:51 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.
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thedudeabides

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2013, 10:35:11 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?

TurtleDove

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2013, 10:45:01 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!!!!

VltGrantham

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2013, 09:31:20 AM »
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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.

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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.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #55 on: March 20, 2013, 09:49:22 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.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Hmmmmm

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #56 on: March 20, 2013, 09:54:14 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. 

bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #57 on: March 20, 2013, 02:58:25 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.
 
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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. 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 03:45:54 PM by bah12 »

snowdragon

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #58 on: March 20, 2013, 04:34:18 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #59 on: March 20, 2013, 04:48:51 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.