Author Topic: Third (but also first) baby shower  (Read 14533 times)

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turnip

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2013, 04:51:06 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.

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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.

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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.

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

Yes!

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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.


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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.





bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2013, 05:00:05 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #62 on: March 20, 2013, 05:00:19 PM »
POD to turnip and bah12.

bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #63 on: March 20, 2013, 05:02:42 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? 

peaches

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #64 on: March 20, 2013, 05:03:53 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.

bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #65 on: March 20, 2013, 05:27:02 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. 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 05:28:55 PM by bah12 »

Eeep!

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #66 on: March 20, 2013, 05:29:39 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.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 05:33:19 PM by Eeep! »
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Roe

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #67 on: March 20, 2013, 05:31:28 PM »
POD to turnip and bah12.

Another HUGE pod to Turnip and Bah12. 

rose red

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #68 on: March 20, 2013, 06:12:45 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? 

snowdragon

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #69 on: March 20, 2013, 07:18:12 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.   

 

 

Eeep!

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #70 on: March 20, 2013, 07:34:15 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!
"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

Shea

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #71 on: March 20, 2013, 08:17:08 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.


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snowdragon

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #72 on: March 20, 2013, 08:28:44 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.
     
   

Shea

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #73 on: March 20, 2013, 09:03:39 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.


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Sharnita

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #74 on: March 20, 2013, 09:09:03 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.
     
 

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