Author Topic: Third (but also first) baby shower  (Read 12718 times)

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bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #105 on: March 21, 2013, 11:23:47 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.

I do agree that the crux of the issue is some feel so much obligation surrounding it.  But, I don't think that's a function of the party itself, more than those that throw it.  And I don't see how that changes between the first child and subsequent children.  Personally, I never feel an obligation to go to anything.  As a matter of fact, I don't enjoy showers in their traditional format (silly games), so I normally don't go.  I usually do send a gift, but as stated earlier, it's something I'd do regardless of what order the baby was born into the family and whether or not there was a shower. 

Maybe those that are so adamant that showers in general are rude, have just had bad experiences with friends/family in the past.  I'm lucky enough to never have experienced a gimme pig to the state that some on this board write about, so I don't naturally assume that of those that send me an invitation to go to a party.  For me, it's a party, so yeah!  And I guess being so lucky that I have good, kind friends and family is one reason why I've never thought to be put off by showers or even heard of these rules before comint to this board. 

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #106 on: March 21, 2013, 11:24:26 AM »
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.   

 

 

If this is really the case, then I am very, very glad I am not part of your circle. I don't think I could deal with the negativity, the rigidity, the constant judgmental nature of everything, and the apparent habit of always, always, always assuming the worst about everybody and their motives.

As for myself- I never had a baby shower (and I don't particularly care because I don't believe myself entitled to one. If someone had offered to host one for me, I would have been touched and thankful, but I'm not upset that nobody did because, as I said, I'm not entitled to one and didn't expect it). I did receive many wonderful and generous gifts from family friends during each of my pregnancies, but I never expected or believed myself entitled to anything. I simply considered myself blessed to have caring and loving people in my life, and was grateful and touched by every gift we received. It never even occurred to me to "expect" visits or cards during my hospital stays (actually, when my daughter's godmother showed up to visit me in the hospital after her birth, it took me entirely by surprise- it hadn't even occurred to me that someone would want to come all the way out to sit with a tired mom and sleeping baby in a sterile hospital room). I did invite family and friends to my children's baptisms, but I certainly did not expect gifts or money. I invited people because they were individuals I cared about and I wanted them there to share in an important event in my family's life. I think each time some people did give gifts and some people didn't, but I couldn't tell you who was who, and I don't think anybody gave money (it was mostly small gifts, like a children's bible or a small picture frame or something). As for the first birthday- for each of my kids, the "party" consisted of grandparents and godparents, and I don't think anybody gave "big ticket" items- we certainly didn't get beds, car seats, or large (or small, for that matter) amounts of cash, and I would have been shocked (if extremely touched and grateful) if we had because why on earth would I expect other people to buy my kid a bed? My kids mostly got books, toys, and a few new outfits, and I can't wrap my mind around expecting even those small things, let alone a new car seat.
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baglady

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #107 on: March 21, 2013, 11:40:30 AM »
I think this comes down to a weakness in the language. We have no word for a "wish the MTB well before the birth" gathering other than "shower" (except that dreadful new coinage "sprinkle," which is basically "shower lite"). Which is about showering (or sprinkling) someone with gifts.

I see nothing wrong with having a pre-birth celebration of every new baby -- first, fifth or 15th. (Welcome/meet the baby parties after the birth aren't always feasible.) Of course people will want to give gifts, but they shouldn't be required. Unfortunately, call that pre-birth celebration the S word and everyone feels pressured to buy a gift.

We need another word for such a gathering that has nothing to do with precipitation.
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bah12

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #108 on: March 21, 2013, 11:54:48 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?

1.  My baby shower was co-ed.  While cupcakes were present, we did not sit around eating them and playing silly games.  There were no games.  We had a bbq, there was beer (which everyone, including the women, drank).  The only person who didn't have beer was me. 

2.  Again, I have to disagree about the men adopting thing.  At least with your statistic.  Male couples and single men adopt children.  They use surrogates.  And I venture to say that it's a bit more common than you think. 

But, I also don't think that the man/woman thing should really apply to this discussion.  The question of when showers are appropriate or rude doesn't depend on gender. 

alis

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #109 on: March 21, 2013, 12:15:33 PM »
I'm not saying gay men don't adopt (at least where you live, they don't here, but that's a legal issue and I'm not in the US), I'm just saying I don't think it is common enough to use it as an example of baby showers being 'archaic'.

I guess this is just too much of a cultural difference for me then. Baby showers here are for women and they are cupcakes and silly games (fun games, I enjoy them, but they aren't co-ed or backyard 'parties'). That is it's own reservation, and that's the meet-the-baby afterwards.

I am still genuinely curious if any MEN would feel upset about being excluded from a baby shower???

VltGrantham

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #110 on: March 21, 2013, 12:17:35 PM »
Quote
We need another word for such a gathering that has nothing to do with precipitation.

Agreed.

Quote
And I guess being so lucky that I have good, kind friends and family is one reason why I've never thought to be put off by showers or even heard of these rules before comint to this board.

It could also have something to do with your age.  I have no idea how old you are (and wouldn't presume to ask) but my "education" on showers, when they're given, and who by, came from my Mother who is in her late 60's.

I have noticed as I've gotten older that many of the etiquette rules I grew up with have laxed considerably--some for the better, some not.

Girly

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #111 on: March 21, 2013, 12:42:11 PM »
I had two baby showers. Both were a total surprise to me. One consisted of my family in Ohio, and the other consisted of my husband's family in Pennsylvania. I apologize for any grievous etiquette rules I broke by 'having' two showers.

Really though... some times you can't live your life with such strict standards. There always has to be some flexible wiggle room or you will drive yourself nuts.

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #112 on: March 21, 2013, 12:52:02 PM »
I had two baby showers. Both were a total surprise to me. One consisted of my family in Ohio, and the other consisted of my husband's family in Pennsylvania. I apologize for any grievous etiquette rules I broke by 'having' two showers.

Really though... some times you can't live your life with such strict standards. There always has to be some flexible wiggle room or you will drive yourself nuts.

I haven't seen where it has been stated in this thread that multiple showers with different people attending shouldn't be held for the first baby a couple has.  I think it is pretty common and accepted practice for there to be multiple showers for the first time parents.

Aeris

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #113 on: March 21, 2013, 01:25:13 PM »
I'm not saying gay men don't adopt (at least where you live, they don't here, but that's a legal issue and I'm not in the US), I'm just saying I don't think it is common enough to use it as an example of baby showers being 'archaic'.

I think you miss the point. I don't believe gay men adopting was being used to show that baby showers themselves were by definition 'archaic', but rather that the notion that baby showers are only ever for women, no men allowed, NEVAR!!! - is archaic. Which it is. And also to point out that if we only celebrate motherhood and refuse to ever celebrate fatherhood, we can create bizarre and unfair results in certain cases - and that means something is wrong with the rule.



I am still genuinely curious if any MEN would feel upset about being excluded from a baby shower???

There are some men on Ehell, but not all that many. Therefore, you may or may not get an answer to your question from men. Which also means that you can't use the lack of male response to support the idea that men don't care.

I know a number of men who would be rather irritated to be excluded from a shower for their first child. I also know some who would not care. I also know a number of women who have no interest in a baby shower. Then there are a number that like them.

It's not something you can really make gender rules about anymore. There may be tendencies in certain circles, or regions, but that doesn't mean you can make blanket statements based on gender.

rose red

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #114 on: March 21, 2013, 01:41:17 PM »
One of the best baby showers I attended was co-ed.  Food and mingling.  No silly games.  Although naturally there was talk about babies, there were also other topics of conversation.  The only baby activity was opening gifts and a baby themed cake.  There was joy and beaming smiles on the faces of both.

At work, we throw little showers for new dads and they are so happy.

hobish

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #115 on: March 21, 2013, 01:48:52 PM »
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.
(Although i still think most men would not want a baby shower, and you aren't going to change my mind on that. It is my opinion and i am allowed to have it.)

I also had not considered that my thinking someone's manners were "atrocious" would somehow dim their excitement for their own child; but i gotta say i love it. I wish it were really true. If i had that kind of mind power I'd be like a one woman Death Star  ;D

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LeveeWoman

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #116 on: March 21, 2013, 01:52:29 PM »
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.
(Although i still think most men would not want a baby shower, and you aren't going to change my mind on that. It is my opinion and i am allowed to have it.)

I also had not considered that my thinking someone's manners were "atrocious" would somehow dim their excitement for their own child; but i gotta say i love it. I wish it were really true. If i had that kind of mind power I'd be like a one woman Death Star  ;D

Would you say the same about a woman who's married to a man who had children from a previous relationship?


hobish

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #117 on: March 21, 2013, 01:57:57 PM »
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.
(Although i still think most men would not want a baby shower, and you aren't going to change my mind on that. It is my opinion and i am allowed to have it.)

I also had not considered that my thinking someone's manners were "atrocious" would somehow dim their excitement for their own child; but i gotta say i love it. I wish it were really true. If i had that kind of mind power I'd be like a one woman Death Star  ;D

Would you say the same about a woman who's married to a man who had children from a previous relationship?

I really don't know. It's not anything i ever considered before this thread, just something tat occured to me this morning while i was thinking about blowing things up with my power of opinion.
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LeveeWoman

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #118 on: March 21, 2013, 02:03:04 PM »
I guess i am just not seeing how the dad in the OP is a first time father because of the new baby. Did he not marry a woman with 2 children? Don't blended families genrally try to...well...blend? If this is his first kid is it more special than his kids by marriage? Do they just not count, or count less? It's not something i ever considered before this thread.
(Although i still think most men would not want a baby shower, and you aren't going to change my mind on that. It is my opinion and i am allowed to have it.)

I also had not considered that my thinking someone's manners were "atrocious" would somehow dim their excitement for their own child; but i gotta say i love it. I wish it were really true. If i had that kind of mind power I'd be like a one woman Death Star  ;D

Would you say the same about a woman who's married to a man who had children from a previous relationship?

I really don't know. It's not anything i ever considered before this thread, just something tat occured to me this morning while i was thinking about blowing things up with my power of opinion.

That'd be a fun power to have.

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thedudeabides

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #119 on: March 21, 2013, 02:03:38 PM »
I'm not saying gay men don't adopt (at least where you live, they don't here, but that's a legal issue and I'm not in the US), I'm just saying I don't think it is common enough to use it as an example of baby showers being 'archaic'.

I guess this is just too much of a cultural difference for me then. Baby showers here are for women and they are cupcakes and silly games (fun games, I enjoy them, but they aren't co-ed or backyard 'parties'). That is it's own reservation, and that's the meet-the-baby afterwards.

I am still genuinely curious if any MEN would feel upset about being excluded from a baby shower???

I answered this once already, but since it seems like I'm the only guy participating, I'll repeat myself: Depending on how it were handled, yes, I would.  If something happened and my girlfriend got pregnant, I'd want to be included in some of the celebration because we'd be entering parenthood together.