Author Topic: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"  (Read 6729 times)

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Calistoga

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Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« on: April 05, 2013, 10:24:20 AM »
BG- So DH and I are expected our first baby (Yay!) and we're very excited. We've also always prided on our selves on our planning and preparation abilities, so we've started our shopping and saving early. Babies are expensive, and we would hate to be caught without something important. So we've been setting aside money and picking up pieces when we can afford them- mostly lots of diapers, but we also picked up some nursing stuff and have money set aside to go and buy a combination stroller/car seat this weekend. So far the only gifts we know we'll be getting is a crib and a washer and dryer set from parents. And a cowboy outfit from one of my girlfriends for comedic purposes. /BG

Yesterday we came over to my inlaws house to pick up some mail and say hi. Talk turned to babies, and we mentioned that we were going to go to the Big City this weekend and pick up our stroller/car seat thing. My mother in law was quiet for a moment, then asked what we had already bought. We told her about the huge store of diapers and the nursing stuff. She frowned. "You know I want to throw you guys a shower right?" Yes, we know. "So why are you gonna buy all your stuff yourself? No one else will be able to get you anything". We said we just want to be prepared. She was quiet again and we ended up going home.

Then DH gets a phone call on the way home.  We're being selfish, we're being rude, we need to leave gifts for people to get us, our friends and family want to help, long drawn out thing that I missed for the most part. Basically the jist of it was that it was really rude of us to buy all of our baby stuff when we knew she wanted to throw us a shower because then there wouldn't be anything for the guests to buy "That we actually needed".

I'm completely flummoxed here...are we being rude by being too prepared? Neither of us feel comfortable relying on a shower to get all of our baby supplies, but is there an etiquette rule that says you have to leave gifts for friends and family?

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 10:27:45 AM »
You’re not being rude at all!

In fact, I applaud your foresight, and I imagine your friends and family (aside from MIL) will as well, when they get to buy you all manner of exciting, cute things, since you won’t need to register for the "basics".

Jones

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 10:37:09 AM »
Baby showers are for funsies, not necessities. A bunch of giggling and comraderie as you hold up tiny booties and coo over the preciousness of teddy bears. You are absolutely in the etiquette clear here. Technically, your MIL wanting to throw you a shower is rude, but so low on my scale that I'd give her a pass, so long as she apologised for the blowup. Her reaction to your preparedness does not sound etiquette approved.

NyaChan

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 10:39:31 AM »
If I were invited to your shower, I would be happy to see that I could buy the fun, cute things:  party outfits, onsies, toys, items for mom, etc.  I would not be looking at the registry and thinking, "Seriously, no stroller?  What kind of shower is this???"

Lynn2000

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 10:41:33 AM »
You’re not being rude at all!

In fact, I applaud your foresight, and I imagine your friends and family (aside from MIL) will as well, when they get to buy you all manner of exciting, cute things, since you won’t need to register for the "basics".

POD. I get MIL perhaps being a bit disappointed that she won't get to buy "big ticket items" that grandparents often buy--except, she still can, it's not like you've bought everything yet--but she was way over the top to call you rude and selfish.

Not to wade back into the whole baby shower morass, but this is an attitude I personally see a lot. Not the GOH necessarily feeling entitled to stuff, but other people in the GOH's life thinking they're entitled to stuff, and harassing other people (even the GOH themselves!) if they disagree. In some cases I've witnessed it's a tit-for-tat attitude--"I've given huge baby gifts to everyone I know over the years, so now that it's my daughter/DIL/niece's turn, everyone else better pony up." (And of course if daughter/DIL/niece is reluctant to play along, they get pressured, too.) It ends up leaving a bad taste in my mouth, over what should be a joyous occasion including freely-given gifts.
~Lynn2000

Seven Ate Nine

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 12:29:52 PM »
I have gotten the same attitude from a friend of mine.  DH and I are expecting our first this summer, and the nursery is pretty much done (when I get it in my head that something needs doing, I do it!).  I have been keeping an Amazon wishlist, mostly so that I don't forget stuff, but at some point it will go public as my registry.  I do know that my mom and sis are throwing a shower (that will be 90% family and 10% "family" so I think I'm in the etiquette clear).  Whenver I talk about something that we have purchased, my friend looks at me and says "You know you're going to have a shower, right?"  Well, sure I do, and I know that my family will bring gifts, because that's what we do.  But really, does the crib need to be gifted?  With so much stuff on the baby market, I don't think that anyone will have a problem finding something that fits their gifting desire, and I don't have to stress about what I will need to purchase after the shower but before the baby comes.

EllenS

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 12:35:47 PM »
Not rude.  And you now have the perfect opportunity for people to give you things for the REST of baby's life - after the newborn phase is over.

It's amazing how many thousands of tiny, newborn onesies you seem to find in the drawers, when the baby is 6-9 months old and only has one pair of pajamas.

AnnaJ

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 12:38:08 PM »
Maybe MIL is disappointed that your parent have already promised two big gifts and she feels left out?  If so, she really needs to just ask you guys what you still need and tell you what she wants to get rather than leaving it as a surprise, which seems to be where she's headed.

lilfox

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 12:46:05 PM »
My first thought was, there is really no shortage of things that can be bought for a baby, especially a first one!  Sure, you don't *need* a lot of things once you have the basics, but if you have a crib, that doesn't mean you couldn't also use a travel pack n play, or a portable changing table, or another set of bottles, or another pack of onesies/cloth diapers/crib sheets.  If you have two cars, a second carseat or carseat base is really handy.

Her attitude isn't puzzling, but it sure is unpleasant.  The best baby shower gifts I got were the most practical (and incidentally probably the cheapest), particularly because they were things I would never think to have on hand.  I'd hate to think of anyone disparaging those gifts because they didn't come with hefty price tags or a big box.

I agree with AnnaJ that it might smooth things over if you could set aside a "big" purchase your MIL could be in charge of.

SPuck

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 12:56:23 PM »
Your MIL is the one being rude here, and you should stick with your original plans and purchases. Big ticket items and anything that is permanent should be the purview of the parents for no other reason that your the one going to live with it. That top of the line stroller a friend is suggesting could be nice in theory, but practically it might be a monster that you can't do anything with. It sounds like there could be other issues going on here, but those are your MIL and there aren't any reasons that you need to explore them. Don't feel guilty, buy what you want to buy, and and be gracious with what you receive.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 01:00:43 PM by SPuck »

MommyPenguin

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 01:24:02 PM »
I agree, I think it's fine and sensible for parents to prepare ahead of time, especially for the big things that they know they want and that tend to be a bit expensive for baby shower guests.

I do think you might consider waiting until after the shower to buy baby clothes, small toys, books (aside from those that are special to you), and other smaller baby items with a big "cuteness" factor.  That way, you know that your baby got a *ton* of cute little two-piece sets and fuzzy sleepers but no onesies and you need to buy those, or tons of little toys and you don't really need any more of those but no books, so you'll want to get those.  Etc.  You might consider waiting and registering for a pack 'n' play, if you want one, as that's a "big ticket" item that is still cheap enough for people to sometimes want to go in together for it.  Same with baby swing, bouncer, Exersaucer, things like that (in the $40-100 range).  It would depend on your crowd, but sometimes family spends a bit more, so they like those mid-range items, or they might want to go in together, so having a few still available is nice.  Just because you're setting aside the money doesn't mean you need to spend it all now, you can also set some of it aside to spend after your shower.

I do regret waiting too long to buy our carseat/stroller combo, though.  We *loved* this one set, and it was discontinued.  By the time we looked at it again, it was impossible to find, and we had to settle for one that I never liked quite as much.  Still makes me a little sad, as I ended up looking at the one we got for years and years, given that we're on baby #4, and I would have preferred the cheerier look of our preferred set.

Minmom3

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 01:24:18 PM »
On the gifts theme - the cheapo stroller my coworkers bought me was the best stroller I had.  It was very cheap.  It looked cheap and fairly flimsy.  BUT.  It worked perfectly.  It was easy to push, it stayed easy to push, it steered beautifully, and it lasted through all 3 of my children and several of their cousins once it moved to the grandparents house.  The much more expensive stroller I bought because I wanted an 'upgrade' for #2?  Wasn't that great, and broke in multiple ways, had to be given back for a new one, etc, and finally broke for the last and final time when #3 was 3.  After that she walked everywhere.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 01:32:27 PM »
I have gotten the same attitude from a friend of mine.  DH and I are expecting our first this summer, and the nursery is pretty much done (when I get it in my head that something needs doing, I do it!).  I have been keeping an Amazon wishlist, mostly so that I don't forget stuff, but at some point it will go public as my registry.  I do know that my mom and sis are throwing a shower (that will be 90% family and 10% "family" so I think I'm in the etiquette clear).  Whenver I talk about something that we have purchased, my friend looks at me and says "You know you're going to have a shower, right?"  Well, sure I do, and I know that my family will bring gifts, because that's what we do.  But really, does the crib need to be gifted?  With so much stuff on the baby market, I don't think that anyone will have a problem finding something that fits their gifting desire, and I don't have to stress about what I will need to purchase after the shower but before the baby comes.

I was also told that I was rude for buying things prior to the shower for my first DD.  I have yet to figure out how rude it is to fund your own child...


LadyR

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2013, 01:40:01 PM »
I think it depends on your social group, really. I've been to showers where the gifts are all in the $20-$40 range and definitely more fun gifts and showers where the gifts were in the $100-$200 and were the necessities. My shower was at 32 weeks, because it would give DH and I time afterwards to buy anything needed, but also let our friends/family buy the things we needed, if they chose. I got some cutesie baby items, but I mostly got the practical items. My shower after he was born, which was for my mother's friends, was all cute little outfits and toys, a very different audience and set of expectations. DH and I had set aside the money to provide for these items if need be, so maybe that's what you and your DH can do? Assuming your MIL wants to throw you the shower before the baby is born and she's agreeable to 6-8 weeks before your due date, I'd set the money aside, but not buy anything else and created a registry or list for your MIL.

I've noticed on e-Hell that my circle isn't the norm though and tends to go for more expensive gifts, so you may want to ignore my advice  :)


shygirl

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Re: Another Baby Shower Thread- Or, "Don't Be Prepared!"
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2013, 02:23:19 PM »
Not rude to be prepared!

I wasn't called rude exactly, but I got the same kind of attitude from my SIL.  The problem I had was that my kid was born 10 weeks early, and spent time in the hospital before coming home.  I hadn't had a shower at the time he was born, and SIL wanted to throw one anyway.  I went ahead with it because my DH wanted to do it, but after getting nagged about the registry I almost cancelled the whole thing!  SIL wanted me to register for more things...things that I couldn't really wait to have until the shower.  Important things like a car seat, since my son ended up getting discharged from the hospital before the shower.  She wanted me to wait to get important things like that, in case people got them for us at the shower.  I was like "ummm, we're not waiting".