Author Topic: Third (but also first) baby shower  (Read 15660 times)

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LadyR

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #120 on: March 21, 2013, 02:12:27 PM »

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!

Me too!  I've never come across the attitudes that SnowDragon has. Thank God!  I suppose that explains why I don't see the big deal.  But I have to assume that Snowdragon's experience isn't the norm.  I hope so anyway.  :D

Me either. I discouraged presents for my son's 1st birthday and I was grateful for the ones brought, which were all in a reasonable price range of $10-$20. It doesn't take much to make a baby happy. My friends have all had similar attitudes.

I bring shower gifts because I want to. I like showers and I like celebrating and I would buy a gift without a shower. I consider the first baby the oppertunity to buy a big present (for example, I'm buying a close friend a baby carrier) and I'd only do that once. For the first baby I still bring a present when I go to visit. For the second, I just buy the smaller present and so on. I don't love showers for second babies (and wouldn't have one myself) and If I do go to one, I split my intended gift (usually clothes and diapers) in half, bringing one to the shower and one to the house.

Money is expected for baptism/first communion/confirmation, but its just immediate family. I have six nieces and nephews, we're about to half our last first communion. We've always given cash, but what we can afford (usually $50). I don't know if all families are like this, but this is how DH's opperates.


alis

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #121 on: March 21, 2013, 02:29:54 PM »
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.
[/quote]

That's fine, I was genuinely curious, not trying to prove a point that all men don't care. The men I know would not care, but as thedudeabides says, some would. Where I am, men do not attend them - ever. It is just not done. It would be like a woman going to a man's bachelor party (... without being the entertainment). So, I was genuinely surprised to hear that people would find it rude that men were not allowed.

To be honest, I just attend all shower invitations with a smile and a baby gift, end of, even if I don't agree or find it tacky. To me, the more grevious error would be causing stress for a late-term pregnant woman. So I go with a smile or send a card if I can't.

Lynn2000

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #122 on: March 21, 2013, 02:47:09 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.

Wow. (said positively) I had never, ever considered it that way before.

And then the reverse, a woman who's never given birth marries a man with young children, who are being raised in their household, and now she's pregnant. Has she already made the transition into motherhood? It seems dismissive of the stepchildren to say that she hasn't, if they all live together and she's helping to raise them from a young age.

I'm not sure whether that changes my opinion on the matter at hand, but I appreciate the new perspective.

About men attending showers: Many of the baby showers I've attended have had some men present. Sometimes it's just the dad and the two grandpas; other times it's more truly co-ed, with both male and female friends of the parents-to-be and their SOs. (I've also attended several that have been all-female.) The latest truly co-ed one had some silly games but most were purposefully "gender neutral" and some were organized by the dad-to-be to appeal to his male friends. (Melting candy bars in diapers and then identifying them, while gross to me, was quite popular with adults and children of both genders.) I think it depends on the preference of the host and the parents-to-be. My friend Amy had two showers for her baby--one was more traditional, featuring a lot of older relatives, mostly women with few men; the other was more for her and her DH's friends and was completely co-ed.
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Tabby Uprising

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #123 on: March 21, 2013, 03:02:38 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

Yeah, it can absolutely be different.  And that in no way makes them unable to well, blend as a blended family and it doesn't make his step-children count less and no, it doesn't mean he doesn't love the other kids.  He can find this experience special without it being at the expense of the rest of his family.

Sure, they are a blended family.  Was he there for their births?  Did he do childbirth classes, Lamaze classes, hospital tours, research and shop for car seats, high chairs, cribs and onesies?  Was he there to give them their first baths in the hospital or call up the in-laws and say, "It's time, we're at the hospital!"?  Did he fumble through changing their first diapers and perfect his "football hold" with them?  Did he hear their first words, see them crawl for the first time or take their first steps? 

If he did, then maybe this isn't as special to him.  But if this is special to him, I don't think that makes it any kind of threat to the blended-ness of his family.  It's a rite of passage he hasn't experienced yet.  That can be special - absolutely. 

eta - Wait, did someone say your opinion would dim their enjoyment of a shower? 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 03:07:20 PM by Tabby Uprising »

Sharnita

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #124 on: March 21, 2013, 03:15:33 PM »
As a stepparent your parental roll might be limited. The kids might have a fatjer/mpther who is active, who they see often, who they call mom or dad. You might not be the one making parenting decisions - no matter how  much you care. Everu situation is different  so I have no idea if the man in the OP would see himself asan extablished dad or not.

Eeep!

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #125 on: March 21, 2013, 04:19:55 PM »
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.

Just had to say I love this. Me too!  ;D
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #126 on: March 21, 2013, 04:36:07 PM »
Co-Ed Showers: I was discussing this topic with my niece last night. My oldest is 18. We had a co-ed baby shower as did most of our friends for their first child. I assumed that since we had our's so many years ago that they were even more common now, however was talking to my niece and she said amongst her friend's there's been a shift back to "ladies" baby shower. Are other's seeing that trend?

Historical Reason for 1 shower per woman: We also wondered if the original societal guideline of a shower for the first baby was started because women used to have so many more children and often much closer together in age. The first time I went to a shower for a woman's second child was a friend who's oldest was 16 and by a previous marriage. Her second was a totally unplanned family addition. She was mid 40's and her husband was early 50's. I'm sure none of the 12 or so women invited to that shower ever thought twice about it being a "second" shower.  1 shower every 16 years seems reasonable.

On the opposite spectrum, I had a neighbor who had 5 kids within a 8 year time frame. For me, attending 5 showers over a 8 year period would have gotten a little old.  But if the new proprosed guideline is "let's celebrate every pregnancy as you did the first", that's what would have happened. Because if you had showers for pregnancies 1-3, you sure can't stop at 4 & 5.



 

TootsNYC

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #127 on: March 21, 2013, 04:46:35 PM »
I think that since it is for your family and since it is your brother's first, your mom is OK.  Also, this is her third child but are you certain that both of the previous kids got a shower?  Is it possible #2 didn't?  Would that make you any more comfortable with the process?

Kids don't get the showers.

The moms get the showers.

Aeris

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #128 on: March 21, 2013, 04:47:47 PM »
I think that since it is for your family and since it is your brother's first, your mom is OK.  Also, this is her third child but are you certain that both of the previous kids got a shower?  Is it possible #2 didn't?  Would that make you any more comfortable with the process?

Kids don't get the showers.

The moms get the showers.

And/or possibly dads, as we've been discussing for a few pages now.

Sharnita

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #129 on: March 21, 2013, 05:35:12 PM »
Yes, I was responding to the idea that because his wife has two previous children he woyld be an established father - or the question about a woman marrying a man with kids and then becoming pregnant for the first time.

Lynn2000

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #130 on: March 21, 2013, 05:43:49 PM »
Historical Reason for 1 shower per woman: We also wondered if the original societal guideline of a shower for the first baby was started because women used to have so many more children and often much closer together in age. The first time I went to a shower for a woman's second child was a friend who's oldest was 16 and by a previous marriage. Her second was a totally unplanned family addition. She was mid 40's and her husband was early 50's. I'm sure none of the 12 or so women invited to that shower ever thought twice about it being a "second" shower.  1 shower every 16 years seems reasonable.

I think learning about the history of certain etiquette rules/traditions is interesting, and sometimes helps them to make more sense or to adapt them to modern societal changes. Like trying to decide what one's Facebook wall is equivalent to in "the real world," to answer the question, "Can you put whatever you want on your own wall, or should you abide by certain public standards of politeness?"

For example with baby showers, I often hear that they were originally about giving decent-sized gifts and parenting advice to a new mom-to-be from the older, experienced (female) generation, because a first-time mom was often young, married to an equally young man, who had probably not been married that long and didn't have a lot of money of their own. Although celebratory there was a distinctly pragmatic aspect to it as well. Also baby "stuff" didn't change as much "back then" so moms of the previous generations could still recommend perfectly good specific items. And it was expected that mainly the woman would be taking care of the child, so her husband really didn't need to be there to hear all the advice or see demos of the equipment.

In my personal experience, which is definitely not universal, almost all of this is no longer applicable. The couples I know expect to be equal in their parenting duties, are often late 20ish-early 30ish, have been married/seriously together for several years, and have well-established jobs and savings. They also have access to many more resources about child-rearing and what types of products to buy that will fit their particular situation and the latest doctor/safety/etc. guidelines--although certainly some advice about child-rearing from previous generations will never go out of date, I doubt my mom or grandma would have any valuable insight on what type of car seat I ought to buy, for example, and if asked choose one to buy for me with no guidance (from me), would be totally flummoxed.

Which leaves the baby shower as a generally celebratory event, which is great; but it has this holdover of giving gifts, often substantial gifts, which often now come from a list the parents-to-be have put together themselves. I'm sure there were ungracious gimme-pigs "back then," too, but it just seems like now there's a bit more temptation to be that way, because a lot of other aspects of the party are no longer relevant, so gift-receiving has moved in to fill the vacuum. Just my personal thoughts based on things I've observed/heard of at baby showers.
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Fragglerocker

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #131 on: March 21, 2013, 08:58:25 PM »
I haven't responded on this thread previously but followed it as I started a thread about 2nd showers not that long ago, and it's interesting to see how much this one has now turned to the "dad's role" and whether that role is in any way impacted by his (in/ex)clusion in the shower.

I've attended only 3 baby showers where the father was even present.  Two were actually for the same person--and the first was more or less this same (OP's situation).  My best (male) friend from law school married a woman with a 10 year old son.  I assume she had a baby shower for that baby ten years ago but I couldn't be sure.  Either way, her family threw another shower for their first baby together (a girl) and he was present (as was his family but they did not host).  Two years later, they had a second shower (also thrown by the mom's sister) for their son.  Honestly, I thought at least the second shower was out of line with proper etiquette (not because men were included but because it was their second kid) but figured since it was a different gender, that's why they did it.  Either way, if he wasn't one of my best friends in the whole wide world, I would have declined.  Instead, I got to go to a party with a ton of great food, cake, and I delivered a gift I would have given them anyway. 

The other baby shower with a male present was again, one where I was friends with the dad rather than the mom. (Friend from church growing up.)  He and a few male relatives (grandpas and I think one uncle only) hid out the entire time in another part of the house and only came down for the gifts, skipping the games and girlie socialization.  My friend was told he was to help open gifts and it was pretty amusing watching him try to figure out what a lot of the items were for (which tells me he may not have been paying attention when they registered).  Watching him blush when getting breastfeeding items?  Priceless.

For my shower (with DD#1) no men were included and my DH had NO desire to be there.  At the time, he was a school teacher and new at a school, and nothing was done for him to welcome him to fatherhood, but many parents of his students & many colleagues gave him gifts on an individual basis. 

This time around (as I updated in the other thread) I refused a shower (repeatedly) and got roped into a very fun Girls' Night Out instead.  The hostesses took me out to a restaurant we all enjoy and I was consulted only on the guestlist and I kept it very small (7 of us total) and all are mom friends of mine (except my BFF), and none (except BFF) were at my shower for DD#1.   The flip to that ironically is that this time DH has had a shower at his school for this child thrown by his colleagues--but that's mostly because there's something in the water there and besides DD#2 due in April there are two other teachers (female) having their 1st and 3rd babies, respectively, so they threw a group shower (sounds naughty!) and included each of them in the celebration.   On top of that, the parents of his class this year want to throw a small shower for him also.  I think a lot of that is that there are several 'repeat' parents (who had older kids in his class in years past and have a younger child in the class now) and they are looking for any excuse to celebrate him because he is pretty darn awesome.

If you asked him, he would NOT want to go to a shower (didn't come to mine and only came to the 2nd one of the "co-ed" showers I discussed above because he knew there would be carne asada and beer!) but would not want to offend either his colleagues or his students' parents by refusing their offers. (It's a small private school and a huge part of his job is making the parents happy.) 
 

Winterlight

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #132 on: March 21, 2013, 09:10:21 PM »
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.

I think that's a good way to put it. No one is owed a party, but if your family want to put it on, then bring on the punch and cake!
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LadyR

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #133 on: March 21, 2013, 11:48:45 PM »
My husband had no interest in attending either of my baby showers.

He attended the bridal shower his mother and sister threw for me, because he had to. His mother informed him he was expected to attend and the guests all knew him, not me. He did not attend the shower for my side (and wasn't expected too).

When the baby shower that my bff threw for me was in the early planning stages, a co-ed shower was proposed as I have a mixed gender social group, DH and his bff quickly shot the idea down. Instead, the guys went to the beach and did their own thing while we ladies were at the shower and we then met them there. He stayed long enough to greet everyone as they arrived and he helped me with the TY notes (and later he dutifully looked at all the gifts), but he had no interest in sticking around for the main event.

And my husband is a very involved, hands-on Dad. He helped register for the items, he's been involved every step of the way, but he considers showers women's territory and he was very happy to do something else. Most of my male friends feel the same way.


kareng57

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Re: Third (but also first) baby shower
« Reply #134 on: March 22, 2013, 12:04:55 AM »
Historical Reason for 1 shower per woman: We also wondered if the original societal guideline of a shower for the first baby was started because women used to have so many more children and often much closer together in age. The first time I went to a shower for a woman's second child was a friend who's oldest was 16 and by a previous marriage. Her second was a totally unplanned family addition. She was mid 40's and her husband was early 50's. I'm sure none of the 12 or so women invited to that shower ever thought twice about it being a "second" shower.  1 shower every 16 years seems reasonable.

I think learning about the history of certain etiquette rules/traditions is interesting, and sometimes helps them to make more sense or to adapt them to modern societal changes. Like trying to decide what one's Facebook wall is equivalent to in "the real world," to answer the question, "Can you put whatever you want on your own wall, or should you abide by certain public standards of politeness?"

For example with baby showers, I often hear that they were originally about giving decent-sized gifts and parenting advice to a new mom-to-be from the older, experienced (female) generation, because a first-time mom was often young, married to an equally young man, who had probably not been married that long and didn't have a lot of money of their own. Although celebratory there was a distinctly pragmatic aspect to it as well. Also baby "stuff" didn't change as much "back then" so moms of the previous generations could still recommend perfectly good specific items. And it was expected that mainly the woman would be taking care of the child, so her husband really didn't need to be there to hear all the advice or see demos of the equipment.

In my personal experience, which is definitely not universal, almost all of this is no longer applicable. The couples I know expect to be equal in their parenting duties, are often late 20ish-early 30ish, have been married/seriously together for several years, and have well-established jobs and savings. They also have access to many more resources about child-rearing and what types of products to buy that will fit their particular situation and the latest doctor/safety/etc. guidelines--although certainly some advice about child-rearing from previous generations will never go out of date, I doubt my mom or grandma would have any valuable insight on what type of car seat I ought to buy, for example, and if asked choose one to buy for me with no guidance (from me), would be totally flummoxed.

Which leaves the baby shower as a generally celebratory event, which is great; but it has this holdover of giving gifts, often substantial gifts, which often now come from a list the parents-to-be have put together themselves. I'm sure there were ungracious gimme-pigs "back then," too, but it just seems like now there's a bit more temptation to be that way, because a lot of other aspects of the party are no longer relevant, so gift-receiving has moved in to fill the vacuum. Just my personal thoughts based on things I've observed/heard of at baby showers.


Different experiences obviously - but IME during the 1960s (when I wasn't old enough to be invited to showers myself, but was present at a few of them) - either wedding or bridal showers were all about inexpensive items.  Bridal showers - the gifts were things like kitchen utensils or bathroom accessories - things that would cost maybe $ 25 these days.  Baby showers - receiving blankets, baby towel-sets, baby undershirts etc.

Or, on further reading of your post, maybe that's exactly what you're saying :) - that things have evolved a lot.  Yes, originally "showers" meant a transition - from single woman to wife, or from wife to mother.  The gifts were inexpensive items that the woman would need in her new role.  And that's why I'm not crazy about wedding showers in this day and age, when, very often, the bride has been living independently from her parents for some time.  Yes, of course she quite often desires new cutlery, glasses and place-settings, but isn't that what wedding gifts are for?

And that's why I think showers are kind of okay for a first-time mom, although I'd argue that any parents who need help for even very basic baby-care items should have thought about whether they could afford a baby in the first place.......but, for subsequent babies, the term "baby shower" should not be used.  Of course, many people will give a gift for the second, third, or fifth baby no matter what.  That's great.  But using the term "shower" for a party definitely implies that gifts are expected, simply because it's the time-honoured definition of a gift-shower.