Author Topic: Third (but also first) baby shower  (Read 13522 times)

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cross_patch

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #90 on: March 21, 2013, 12:03:57 AM »
Actually, my biggest issue is with attitudes like snowdragon's, which pretty rigidly only celebrate parenthood for mothers.

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

This post is awesome. I am also curious about your stance on bachelorette parties, snowdragon.

turnip

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #91 on: March 21, 2013, 03:50:28 AM »
I'm now very curious what would happen in showdragon's circle should two men adopt a child.   Tough luck if they were hoping for a $50 gift, I suppose.

alis

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #92 on: March 21, 2013, 07:44:23 AM »
I admit, I would find it odd too. I also come from the "showers are for the mother" camp (although I have been to co-ed ones and see no issue). But I would never think to host a baby shower for a man (it just doesn't cross the mind). Where I live, the men have their own tradition (which is celebrating with alcohol immediately after the birth). I didn't realize co-ed baby showers were common elsewhere.

Does the brother want a baby shower? Would he care? Or is he being used as an excuse for a shower...? ;) I think with baby showers, when in doubt, just have the shower. It's all in good fun and generally an inexpensive gathering. I would expect grandmother to foot the bill though if she insists you host.

VltGrantham

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #93 on: March 21, 2013, 09:31:18 AM »
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Well, for one, there are a lot of posts in this thread alone (let alone the OP) that says the very fact that the mother to be already has two children (with the assumption she's had a shower before for at least one of those), that the party is rude, gift grabby, and even atrocious

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

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

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

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

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

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

Since when does how society treats you determine how you decide your self-worth or role in life?  Are you really trying to make the argument that fathers who do not get showers aren't capable of conducting themselves accordingly?  The bottom line is the process is not equal except in contribution of genetic material.  Fathers and mothers, biological and non-biological, determine their own roles and responsibilities and see themselves in the role that they choose to take in their children's lives.  Nobody should ever rely on equality in society, rather than personal conviction and responsibility.

Calistoga

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #94 on: March 21, 2013, 09:44:50 AM »
I never thought the point of the shower was to give the individual parents gifts, but rather to provide gifts for the baby...and I never saw them as a "Welcome to Motherhood" opportunity. Around here people don't do the cutesy games for the most part, they just eat cake and give gifts. Showers are thrown for most births, with the gifts getting smaller and smaller for each new baby- usually a second or third child is showered with diapers and some cute clothes.

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

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

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

But I don't think the number matters. I'd be bothered to hear about any of these things happening for a first shower as well as a second or third.  The behavior of the people throwing and receiving the shower, and the circumstances, matter MUCH more than the number.

Roe

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #95 on: March 21, 2013, 10:08:09 AM »
My personal rule is if I want to go, I go.  If I don't want to go, for whatever reason, I decline.  I certainly don't make judgements on the hosts or the GOH 'cause as we've seen here, showers aren't always viewed with such negativity.

Winterlight

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #96 on: March 21, 2013, 10:10:52 AM »
I think that if we as a society want dads to be more involved parents, then we have to stop shutting them out of the celebrations as though they don't matter, which is pretty much, to me, what the OP wants to do.  It's the father's first baby; why is that not worthy of the same celebration a first-time mother gets?

Agreed. It's his first kid, his family wants to have the shower, so why not?
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Two Ravens

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #97 on: March 21, 2013, 10:21:04 AM »
And that is the flipside of the phrase many people find maddening "thier dad is babysitting".   If a dad isn't entitled to be treated as a parent in the manner a mom is, it is no wonder they (and sosciety) frequently fail to see themselves that way.

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


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

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

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

What if its two men who are in a relationship and adopting a child. No shower for them?

TurtleDove

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #98 on: March 21, 2013, 10:30:52 AM »
Frankly I see all of these scenario's as just an excuse to get more stuff out of friends and family.

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

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #99 on: March 21, 2013, 10:33:06 AM »
Having the mindset that I am happy to attend or host a loved one's 1st/2nd/3rd baby shower (party, gathering, celebration, hootenanny) does not mean I believe anyone is owed a baby shower. It means I love them, a baby is exciting news regardless of its birth order, and I love parties especially where there will be cake. 

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

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

bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #100 on: March 21, 2013, 10:44:27 AM »
And that is the flipside of the phrase many people find maddening "thier dad is babysitting".   If a dad isn't entitled to be treated as a parent in the manner a mom is, it is no wonder they (and sosciety) frequently fail to see themselves that way.

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


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

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

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

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

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

Also, VltGrantham, you are correct.  I do think second and third showers are ok.  More specifically, I really don't care if someone wants to host a shower for a man or woman having their second or third or fifteenth child.  I don't think the number of children or the word "shower" is what makes something rude.  I think it's the attitude behind it (which is usually present even with the first child).  And if a group of people have a desire to do something nice for a friend/family member, the friend/family member is open to the gesture, and no one is forced to attend, made to feel guilty about it, then I don't take the time out of my life to get all bent out of shape about it.  And if someone seriously stresses out because they receive a shower invitation, then that's their problem.  Like someone said, I should not have to be a mind reader to throw a party. 

Allyson

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #101 on: March 21, 2013, 10:58:53 AM »
My biggest 'shower' issue is the pressure for women to attend, whether they want to or not, *plus* the obligation of a gift. It's not true in all circles, but many people say they wouldn't even think of attending a shower without a gift with a slight tone towards 'and if someone did, they should decline'...while at the same time saying it's a 'celebration of baby'. I think the confusion surrounding the 'point' of the shower is frustrating to some people.

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

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

alis

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #102 on: March 21, 2013, 11:14:27 AM »
Genuine question to any men here, but would you actually be upset by a women's only shower?? Men generally don't attend baby showers where I am from. Going out and having a few drinks at a bar together would be their version of celebrating. Sitting around and eating cupcakes while playing silly baby toilet roll games is my husband's idea of a waste of his weekend. I get the whole "gender equality" (although I think the idea that two men adopting a baby is so rare and out there, I'm not sure why it really matters when 99.9999% of baby showers involve a mother), but I really don't know any men who would actually care or feel "left out". To me, it's like feeling left out of a bachelor party - I thought it was a given?

Calistoga

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #103 on: March 21, 2013, 11:16:40 AM »
Well. I'd be annoyed if I was told my husband wasn't allowed to come to my baby shower. But I doubt he would have been annoyed if I said he couldn't come because it's girls only.

Two Ravens

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #104 on: March 21, 2013, 11:22:19 AM »
Genuine question to any men here, but would you actually be upset by a women's only shower?? Men generally don't attend baby showers where I am from. Going out and having a few drinks at a bar together would be their version of celebrating. Sitting around and eating cupcakes while playing silly baby toilet roll games is my husband's idea of a waste of his weekend. I get the whole "gender equality" (although I think the idea that two men adopting a baby is so rare and out there, I'm not sure why it really matters when 99.9999% of baby showers involve a mother), but I really don't know any men who would actually care or feel "left out". To me, it's like feeling left out of a bachelor party - I thought it was a given?

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

I have also heard of showers where there was a contest about chugging beer through a baby bottle.