Second baby shower??

minniemomMay 18, 2008

Hello Ladies,

I have a situation and I need some season'd oponions here. LOL. my cousin who I am close to has a 20 month old son and is due with her second child in 7 weeks. She had a huge baby shower where she received top of the line everything for her 1st child. I got a call from her best friend about a month ago asking if I wanted to help thow her a second baby shower. I explained tactfully that I couldn't be involved in throwing the shower because 1st off, I don't agree with her having a second shower, but if she wanted to do it, that's fine. - her 1st son is not even two, she has everything she could possible need and more - all top of the line items and I don't want to ask the rest of the family to buy her addt'l gifts, because I know that nobody is in the financial position at this time. I explained that of course I would be buying the baby a gift when she is born, but I believe that a shower is an event to give you a head start - now if there was a large time frame between children or if her baby gear was outdated or worn, or multiples were expected, ok then. But that's not it. You know, if she wanted to have a small get together after the baby was born to help celebrate her birth and meet her, fine - but a full out second shower - I just don't agree with it.

Yesterday, I got the invite in the mail to attend this shower. Guess what? It falls on a date that I have already responded to take my children to a party. My husband isn't home, so he can't do the party and that means that if I changed my plans to attend the shower, I would have take my kids with me and I don't think children belong at a shower.

So, I guess I am asking if it seems like I am boycotting the shower by not attending. My cousin knows about it and knows the situation with how I feel. Or am I being a hippocrit (sp) for even thinking about attending. I really don't want to have to dissapoint my kids in changing their plans either. But I also don't want to insult my cousin and have her think that I don't care about her having her baby.

What do ya think?

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I don't see how this is any different from any other social accepted an invitation to a engagement so you have to decline the second invitation. If you were going on a playdate I think that could be changed but if you are going to a child's party, you should go.

Why not make something for the party and drop off a card with an IOU for a meal to be delivered after the baby is born or to babysit ( that's what I really wanted when the second one was born). I would call cousin and let her know personally (sounds like she already knows about the party).

Personally I've been to many second, and third, and fourth showers and they have all been fun and nice for people who may not have known the mother the first time around or couldn't make it the first time. Usually there are less gifts and more diapers and wipes and frozen meals- it's really about celebrating together and including everyone in the excitement but I can see how some people might use it as an opportunity to get more stuff.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 3:41PM
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Generally I would think that whatever party you responded to first, you should go to, but in the case of a child's party versus a baby shower (or say a wedding), I may take a exception.

There are so many kids parties nowadays that they really do seem to be more along the lines of play dates. I guess it depends on what type of kid's party it is. How old are your kids; how many do you have, could you just drop them at their party, is there anyone else that could take/watch them, etc....?

I totally agree with you about not wanting to host a shower in this particular case. But, generally, I would still treat this as it were any other shower invitation. What would you do if this were her first shower? Just go with that; I would think they would understand if you already have plans, but some people, at least in my circle wouldn't consider a kid's party as a real excuse to bow out. So, don't use it as such unless you normally would.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Well, if this were any other kids party, I would just tell them that I couldn't make it. But it happens to be very good friends of ours. And as far as treating this as her first shower, there is no way I can match that. I probably spent over $300.00. (Not to mention that I threw her the bridal shower with her MIL and that was about $1800.

I do like the idea of sending a dish with an IOU or something, but she is almost 2 hrs away. Maybe I can send a giftcard instead?

I guess I am wierd. I have never been to a second shower before. Most if not all of my friends have multiple children and there is not one that I know of that had a second shower. Not that I have a problem with them - but in certain cases I guess.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 7:53PM
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According to ettiquette, there is one shower per mother. The second pregnancy doesn't get a shower, because the mother has already had one. Showers for babies other than the first tend to look like a "gift-grab," that the mother (or the person throwing the shower), just wants more gifts.

There have only been two times that I was comfortable attending a baby shower for a baby that was not the mother's first. One was for a mom who had lost her house and everything in it to a fire. She had nothing for the new baby, as her other child was 8. The second one was for a mom whose baby died at 2 months old. She did not have another child for several years and didn't have anything for a baby, as she had donated all of her original baby things, as she couldn't stand to see them.

It is perfectly okay to have a party to celebrate a pregnancy. It just shouldn't be a shower and gifts shouldn't be part of the equation.

Minniemom, since you have a prior engagement, it is perfectly okay to decline this shower invitation. Since this is your cousin, you might want to call her and explain why--you have a prior engagement and can't make her shower. You do not need to explain that it is a party for your kids. Etiquette is clear here--you should not accept an invitation and then turn around and send your regrets just because a better invitation came along.

You can send a shower gift or not, as you choose. Sending a gift when the baby is born is perfectly okay.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:09PM
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Usually my friends that have second showers do have excuses (lame or not). My one friend's kids are spaced 15 years apart. Another friend's husband had a vasetomy so they didn't have anything saved thinking they were done. I find nowadays people seem to have multiply showers if there is a different sex involved. Is your cousin's new baby expected to be a girl? I would bet they want to get all the girl bedding, accessories, toys, dresses, etc. Not that I find it right, but I see that happeneing a lot.

Sorry, but I probably would never send a dish to a party that is being hosted by others unless you run your food by the hosts in advanced. That can be a whole nother can of worms.

If there is no one that can take your kids to the party instead of you, then don't feel bad about not going to the shower. Personally, I would still send a gift (generally I don't think it would be needed) but in this case, I'd send a gift just to make sure no one thinks you may be intentionally slighting the shower. I normally have a set amount I do for showers, but if you splurged on the first one, and don't feel the desire to do so again, then just send whatever you want. I think a gift card would be fine.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 12:10AM
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See, those circumstances of having a second shower is totally understandable.
I do, I feel like it's just a "gimme gifts" kind of thing. And yes, she has a son and the second baby is a girl. And no, she is not throwing herself the shower, but she is fully aware of it and welcoming of it. (who wouldn't welcome presents? LOL) But personally, I am on the one shower per mother thing unless of extenuating circumstances.

And to be totally honest, I am tired of shelling out money to my cousin's affairs. She had an engagement party, bridal shower, wedding, baby shower and new baby all in under two years. And now another shower a year and
a half later? Come on? I can't afford it! LOL

I am going to call tomorrow with my regret. I did already rsvp to the other party first and at this rate, I would rather be there anyway.

Thanks ladies!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 2:11AM
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I explained tactfully that I couldn't be involved in throwing the shower because 1st off, I don't agree with her having a second shower...

Ok, I think this is where you made your mistake. I think maybe you'd be in a much better position now if you'd politely declined hosting the shower without going into the details of why. Especially after hosting two other showers for her, you don't really need to explain anything. You could have said something like, "I'm sorry, I won't be able to participate as hostess this time", and left it at that.

Had you done it that way, you might not be agonizing now about whether they think you are boycotting. I realize that can't be remedied now, but I'm just saying it for the future or for others. IMHO you are never obligated to host a party for someone and you always have the right to decline if asked, without giving any excuse or reason. By the same token, I don't think it's best form to express disapproval of someone else's actions unless they somehow affect you.

But moving on from there, I agree that once you accept one invitation, you shouldn't cancel that acceptance for another invitation that arrived later. I've been in the position of having people do that to me, recant their acceptance because something else came up. To me that's the same as saying, I'll come to your event, unless something better comes up.

I agree with the idea of just calling your cousin and personally declining, telling her you had a previous engagement and that you're sorry you have to miss her shower. No explanation of what that engagement is should be necessary. Personally I'd go ahead and send a gift because, well, let's face it, if you didn't have the previous engagement, regardless of your feelings about 2nd showers, you would have gone, right?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 12:50PM
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I do not attend showers for second babies.

You need to go to the child's party since you had commited to that first.

Send a baby gift after the baby has arrived. It's fine.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 4:24PM
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I too think that some other type of party is preferable to a gift shower after the first baby, unless there are special circumstances like a long gap. But I wouldn't boycott a shower for a second baby just because I wouldn't give one.

In the OP's case, I agree that her feelings about multiple showers are irrelevant -- she just has already made a commitment for that day. Only she knows if the prior commitment is really not the kind of thing that "counts," if you know what I mean: it's one thing if it's a party to which she was invited as well as her kids, another if it's a children's birthday party to which her kids were invited, and someone else could take them.

But even if she doesn't have a prior engagement, there's no law that anyone MUST attend everything to which they invited anyway. So she could just send her regrets and a gift. Why not? After all, this is her cousin, so I presume she'd be sending some kind of baby gift anyway. If she sends a gift to the shower, then she needn't bother after the baby is born.

The only problem here -- and lowspark nailed it -- is that she earlier made a point of airing her feelings about repeat showers, perhaps including all that stuff about how "high end" the gifts were last time, etc. The concern is that her absence therefore might be construed as a judgmental comment, at least to the person or people she said it to, even if they didn't repeat it to the mom-to-be or others.

"I don't think it's best form to express disapproval of someone else's actions unless they somehow affect you," said lowspark. I think she's correct, and I think this story shows how it's not just bad form, it's asking for trouble. It's tempting, but it's a mistake.

And it goes to show you that it SEEMS like a good idea to give reasons for your choices, but it often backfires, as it may have done here, no matter what she does about this invitation.

So take lowspark's excellent advice: if you decline this invitation, DON'T go into your reasons, just politely say that you are disappointed, but you already made another commitment for that time.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 5:49PM
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Gosh, I wish I consulted you all before making that initial phone call. Yes, I am one to give explainations for all of my choices - which I am learning the hard way not to do.

So, I'll send a gift. And if they think that I didn't attend only because I am boycotting, then so be it. I know I have prior plans and that's about it.

Thanks ladies!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:53PM
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I never heard the thing of "never a second baby shower"....every baby needs gifts..
I think the problem comes with thinking a baby shower is to provide things like high chair, crib, diaper genie, stroller etc etc.
Those things are for the parents to buy....a shower is for Onsies and sleepers and cute little shoes and sox and bonnets and teddy bears....
And as for spending $1800 on a bridal shower?? $1800???? Did you hire a band? Have Moet et Chandon? Live lobster?
Or did you have 500 people?
And $300 on a baby shower gift?? What on earth did you buy.
I am soo sorry to see that in some circles a baby showere seems to have become a "see how much you can spend" sort of party and the intent seems to be to give the new parents everything they might think of for the new baby....That makes it a "gift grab" rather than a social event where everyone brings a little something, shares some food and gets to see the new baby or the hugely pregnant mom.
If you don't want to.....dont'!
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 7:40PM
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No band or live lobster. Just about 50 people at $25.00 a head at a local restaraunt (sp), decorations and of course, a gift. I was the MOH. All for a modest $1800 shower on Long Island. You don't dare have a 'home shower' on LI anymore - "what would people think?" LOL (One of the reason's we aren't there anymore).
And the baby shower, was really just because I just kept buying things over her pregnancy that it probably added up to that or a little more.
I agree, all too much!
But I had it then and didn't mind doing it. Not the case anymore - (which is another story).

I spoke to my cousin and she is perfectly fine with me not going. We decided that maybe I will go out there the day after to visit and we can have some private time together since I really don't get to see her anymore since we moved.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 12:09PM
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I agree with the OP opinion on 2nd baby showers. Especially so shortly after the 1st was born. No need to have a full blown shower. Sending a gift after the child is born is perfectly acceptable and fine. As for not attending the shower, you do have a prior party to attend. Doesn't matter if it is for a child or an adult. You accepted the 1st invitation, so go to it. Doesn't matter what the others attending the baby shower think. Go and have fun with your own children! NancyLouise

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 12:24PM
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Well thank you NancyLouise!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 2:20PM
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After I read all the comments and suggestions, I realized that none gave you an advice what to do now. I don't know if the event already passed, but let me give you my opinion what you should do. Since you have plans for your kids' party, you should go there. For your cousin's baby shower, you can still apologize that you cannot participate in this event, because you have your kids' party at the same day. Send her a nice, yet not expensive, birthday gift when she gives birth. If the event already passed, I think this would be a proper respond for future events like this.
Be well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Baby's Beauty

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:40AM
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