Baby shower question......

incognitomomMarch 23, 2011

I am trying to decide if we should or shouldn't have a baby shower for our baby. This is our first child together and my only child is 13. My youngest stepchild is 9. DH never had baby showers with any of his kids because him and his ex lived out of state at the time his first two were born.

My family and friends say that a baby shower in our situation is acceptable even though this is not my first baby. My best friend and sister want to throw me one. But a few people (not related to me) have said the idea is tacky.

We have no baby stuff at all so a shower would be so helpful, but I don't want to be tacky.

What do you think? Did any of you in stepfamily situations have a baby shower for your first child with your husband if you had other kids already?

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who cares if it is a first child or a 7th.... have a baby shower!! Every mom I know had a shower thrown for her for every kid she had. I never remotely thought that it was tacky... thought never occured or was rumbled about.... And to top it off being even more special you are having your first with this husband and I would bet your girls would just love to help your family members plan the shower.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 4:30PM
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Well, I guess you can consider me tacky then, because I see nothing at all improper about you having a baby shower. You've not had a baby shower in years, you're expecting your 1st child with your DH and there's a baby on the way...nothing tacky about that at all. Guess you could leave the nay-nays off the invitation list, but why let them spoil a joyous time of preparation and happy time in your life?

Go for it. The Sd's I bet will think it's great if say maybe they could be honorary co-hostesses. It will be a great way to get the kids excited and get to be a part of the planning for you and your family's new baby. Perhaps there will be some part the son and ss can help with (setting up, entertaining Dad, and then getting some leftover party food for their efforts).

I'd think of it no diffferent than when you and DH got married and invited friends to weddings, receptions, showers whatever. You deserve some fun, it's an exciting long awaited happening in your life. Enjoy yourself.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 4:55PM
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Omgosh your girlfriends must be jealous. My BFF has been married for 15 yrs has an 8 yr old son and is having baby boy #2 in April and we just threw her the most amazing baby shower of 65 people. Family, friends, children and co-workers attended. It was amazing and so much fun. She had NO baby stuff since her oldest hasnt been a baby in so long. Everything would be outdated and old.. So se basically received everything she would need! People were amazingly generous and the outcome shocked her because she too thought a shower was unnecessary for a second child and that people wouldn't want to come.

Each child is a blessing and deserves the celebration of a shower!!

I (like most women here) am on my second marriage, wore white to my second, in a huge church, with tons of people, had a bridal shower AND a bachelorette party AND on my second pregnancy had TWO showers thrown for me. If you had a two year old, I think that might be different but even then, why is it tacky to celebrate and 'shower' a new mom to be??

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 8:43PM
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ditto myfam... I thought the point of a shower was to celebrate the mom to be and the amazing child to come... it is oh so helpful when you have nothing and if you do have things for a baby ...your friends know that and get practical things like diapers... and I dont care how prepared you are you always need something else

I honestly can't believe anyone would suggest it is tacky... What silly girls !!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:45PM
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I was looking this up online because I was curious about what the overall opinion was; apparently some people are adamantly against baby showers for any but firstborn babies. Some are fine with showers for any "firsts" - first baby, first boy, first girl, first baby to new husband.... And some are of the "showers for all babies" theory.

I can understand the feelings of the people who are not in favor of showers for all babies, to be honest. There are many people living on fairly tight budgets, and when, in something like a three year period, a fairly young woman or an elderly widow feels socially obligated to buy a bridal shower present, a wedding present, possibly bridesmaids' gown and pay for bachelorette party, a baby shower present.... and then another baby shower present, all for the same person, it can start to feel like a bit of a burden and/or imposition, especially if the recipient is better off financially than the present-giver. OK, so you can buy a $20 present (maybe, if you can find something) but for many people $20 is their total "fun money" for that week, or they are scrimping to come up with that much in the first place.

One of the things I saw online was a woman who'd had a girl 18 months before, and was due with her second - and wanted to have a baby shower so she could have blue things in case it was a boy this time. Really?! Because that's where, when I was single, childless and struggling to pay for school, I'd have been a bit annoyed. Having "blue" things is in no way a necessity - and many of the people I know were deluged with hand me down clothes from other parents. C'mon! As a single person I was already subsidizing your kids schooling, paying a higher tax rate, covering for you at work when your kids are sick or there is a snow day - and now you want their clothes to be covered by me as well!? (And obviously, for a single childless person, none of this is ever reciprocated. I still feel that if someone is single and childless at age thirty they should get to have a shower just because... they've been buying gifts for everyone else for years - single people need towels and sheets too! :-)

But, incognitomom, your case is very different than that of someone who has had a shower for their five, three and two year olds, and is now ready for their fourth shower in five years. Even if you had anything left from when 13 yo was a baby, safety features on cribs, car seats, etc. have no doubt changed greatly in that time.

I think, bottom line, "tacky" is when people are put into a position of feeling obliged or socially pressured to do something, or buy something, that they were not really expecting or planning on. If your friends and family want to throw a shower, it's not tacky - it's something that they want to do for you.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:21AM
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I don't think it's tacky at all. To me, a baby shower is about celebrating the pregnancy and welcoming the baby to come. If I had 5 kids in 5 years, I might start saying, "no gifts, please" but I'd still have the shower as a celebration. And in your case, it seems totally appropriate to have the shower and be grateful for the gifts.

(And congratulations on the pregnancy!)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 4:42PM
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Congratulations on your pregnancy, great news.

I don't think babyshowers are tacky (although we do not do them) but holding showers in order to get gifts or necessities for the baby is somewhat tacky.

I attended babyshowers for people I barely knew and have never even met their kids after they were born, yet most certainly I bought nice gifts. Me and couple of my colleagues are currently invited to a former colleague's babyshower. We were never close to her at all and find it strange she invited us. We suspect the motives...

I and ex bought our own baby stuff, and we were dirt poor.

If the goal is to have fun and celebrate pregnancy, sure i would have a babyshower. If the goal is to get baby stuff then i suggest you refrain.

Maybe examine your motives honestly and go from there.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 7:55PM
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I have to disagree with you PO1 (which isn't normal I usually agree with you) I don't know anyone that sets out thinking WhO will buy me the biggest gift. I only invited people to my shower that I was close to and would be a part of my child's life. And also the same for my friend with the huge shower. She happens to have a very large close family so most attendees were family but not anyone that would feel obligated to come was invited. I never feel obligated to go to something and buy a gift. I usually want to buy a gift and if I don't -- I just don't go.

I do agree about our economic times and not everyone can buy a gift because they only have the $20 fun money AND I hope that 30 yr old that feels as if she has always had to buy a gift for this or that and has never had a shower of any kind NEVER gets married or gets pregnant because then she might feel dumb for being such a whinner. Don't got if you don't want to -- go if your excited to buy a new baby something sweet and adorable and you cherish the friendship of that person enough that you WANT to give her something. Not HAVE to...

I think showers are intended to get the baby gifts and all the things they need, hince the baby registry at all department stores... But don't do it out of obligation because I'm certain mom to be won't want a gift out of obligation.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:22PM
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A pox on everyone.

Have the dam* shower and invite family and friends. I don't want to go to a wedding shower this weekend. But I'm going. And I'm bringing a gift. I was invited simply because I'm family.

It is what is done.

When I remarried I did not have a bridal shower. I thought that was tacky as I had already had one.

But there is no limit on babies.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 10:44PM
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Silver -- bridal showers a second time or third... Can be tacky but in my case and others I know, my friends insisted AND my DH was not married before and has no sisters so his mom really wanted me to have one. I was shy about it at first and didn't invite a lot of people. Very small I think 20 people were invited which included my mom sister grandma and my wedding party and dh's family ... So I get what you are saying but it doesn't always have to be 'tacky'. Circumstances can be different. Dh and I had nothing at all when we married and everyone wanted to get us things even though we didn't ask...

But babies are so different. I think they all should be showered. Regardless.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:35AM
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Myfampg, it was I who was referencing "always buying a gift" - and maybe if I explain further you'll understand. I was not talking about showers for close friends and family, but rather the constant onslaught that I went through in my twenties and thirties of showers for co-workers (held at work), neighbors, long-lost friends from high school. I'm talking about being invited to a shower for my boss' fiancee, whom I had barely met, and the least expensive thing on the registry was $150.

I'm talking about the sense of entitlement that some people have regarding showers. I started to lose some of my happy feelings regarding showers the first time that I happily spent all of my "fun money" for the week on a bridal shower gift, and the bride to be (who still lived with her parents, by the way, and had few bills of her own), proceeded to complain about how she'd been hoping to get more, and of all of the things that she was still "going to have to buy" for their new house - said house being a wedding present from her parents. Apparently she was under the impression that getting married entitled her to a free start in life?

I went to a shower once to hear one of the other guests, whose shower I had also been to, explain in all seriousness how she felt that everyone should get to have a five year anniversary shower because her sheets and towels were wearing thin.

I found out years later that, at least here with some of the various ethnic groups, one of the reasons that I was invited to so many showers of people I barely knew was tradition. For some people here, for bridal showers hostess invites close friends and family only, except for never-married women - where hostess invites pretty much every never-married woman the bride knows. Apparently the theory is that then when I got married, I'd "get my turn" to do the same. I've got to say that this tradition would have been great if I'd gotten married at age twenty - but tends to become a bit pricey after twenty years of being invited to showers for next-door neighbors' niece whom I'd met twice. (Yes, I did have a small shower but only family and close friends of years standing.)

So perhaps I am just jaded. I still love showers for friends or family, and I actually don't mind showers for new mothers who really need and will appreciate some help, even if I don't know the women all that well. But best believe that unfortunately there are plenty of women out there who are more than happy to receive a gift given out of "obligation".

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:42AM
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"there is no limit on babies."
Watch what you say, silver; that stuff might be catchin'!

Where I come from, every baby gets a shower & every female person over the age of about 11 goes to it;
the older ones coo & the younger ones swap baby stories & the little girls serve up punch & cake & make sure the gifts get passed around.

but in some regions, baby showers were traditional for firstborns only, & subsequent showers were thought of as extravagant or greedy.

I say "were" because I think it's all changing;
to quote silver one more time, a pox on the grouches.

Celebrate every blessing life bestows on you.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 12:43PM
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Myfam, I hear you. If people are itching to throw you a party, by all means.

In my situation, I thought it would be tacky. Imo, second weddings are tacky (in general). But again, it's a case by case basis. Basically, if you have a wedding and everyone is invited and you have a shower and bachelorette party and everyone brings a gift (x3) and then five years later you want to do it all over again....

no. poor taste.

But if one of the people was never married and didn't get the bells and whistles.... or if it's a second wedding AGES after the first one... it's different.

I also think it's poor taste to have public baby showers. Meaning, inviting the whole office and expecting attendance. If the person invited will not be asked to babysit or go on play dates or to birthday parties... they should not be invited to the shower and expected to bring a gift.

I am currently invited to my cousin's bridal shower. I don't want to go. I don't want to bring her a gift. I have given her birthday gifts over the years(yep, she has family parties every year!) and I have never received so much as a card from her. She didn't come to my wedding or send a gift. She lives in the same town, yet I never see her. But I'm obligated to go to her party. And buy a gift. And my meal. And pay for a babysitter because it's not a kid-party.

It irritates me. And she's family.

Like Sylvia said, "Celebrate every blessing life bestows on you." But don't expect everyone to be thrilled or want to finance that blessing for you.

So when inviting people, examine your motives, as someone said above. Invite only those who will be involved in baby's life. Make it intimate rather than the gift-grabs that so many put on (NOT that you are that kind of person, it's obvious that you aren't).

I am THRILLED to buy gifts for the babies of women I love. Often I will buy a gift and then every time I'm out and around a baby section I can't help but pick up a few more.

My wedding shower is in two days.... I've known about it for two months... I still have no desire to buy anything. Obligation gifts suck.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:05PM
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Well said, Silver.

I still remember the first baby shower that I was invited to on my own (non-family member). I was a teenager, it was during the winter, I knew the baby was going to be a boy, and I found the cutest little sweater and matching "pants" set. It was so absolutely adorable, bit more than I was planning to spend but I couldn't resist. The only downfall was that the smallest size they had was for six months. Oh well, says I, that'll be fine - everyone else will be bringing newborn clothes and this way baby will have a nice new outfit for when he is six months old and the newborn clothes no longer fit.

Never once did it occur to me that baby would indeed be six months old - in the dog days of summer and I had just bought a heavy winter outfit! But it actually worked out well; baby ended up being one of those enormous babies that was in 3 month clothes at birth and was wearing his new sweater outfit at a couple of weeks old. (Come to think of it, his younger sister was a big baby too. No doubt there was someone at their mom's church who was thrilled to get a bunch of never-worn newborn clothes.) LOL! Live and learn...

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:55PM
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So cute Mattie!!!! I found the most adorable winter outfit for my best friend's baby. I couldn't resist. (but I've been a mommy long enough that I carefully counted the months to make sure I got it big enough :) I've bought little girl clothes and little boy clothes in anticipation (we don't know the gender) and figure what can't be unisex I'll give to the next baby coming down the pike. I've already sent a few items.

Any suggestions on a bridal gift? I'll be darned if I'm going to her bridal registry. It pisses me off just thinking about it.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 2:13PM
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I don't think much of registry. Just my personal feeling/opinion, but I hate it to enter one online to find the receiver has selected way too many items far above what I consider 'normal' gifts casual friends should purchase. Yeah, I know, it's suppose to be about the receiver getting what she/he really desires and likes and has personally chosen for the new baby/home/whatever...but guess I'm a party pooper cause those kind of items are what I always purchased myself for myself.

I loved the hunting and seeking just that perfect item/s and sometimes those items might not even be routine department store bought items. And I never dreamed of asking someone to finance my wants.

What is with these ladies who invite every last known possible person who ever smiled or waved at them?

For baby clothing I was selective but cheap for my babies. They needed an education fund more than they might 400 dresses and $30 burp cloths. There's a great consignment shop in town that specializes in baby clothing. Most never worn and/or worn once or twice. I hit the store every couple days if not daily, LOL. Came away stocked up on baby bath towels, receiving blankets, little darling pink dresses, blah blah, and nobody but me had a clue it was not all brand new from the Mall. Even when my grandchildren came along, I got a double stroller like new for $20 (I had young toddlers at same time)...the lady had received two at her twin's baby shower and did not want to ask the purchaser where to return. Our area has a number of career moms who are in their mid 30's to early 40's having their first and only child and they cosignment shop sale their stuff regular.

Not that cosignment shops are what I suggest for shower guest, but was tossing 'shopping' hints in for OP to look for ways to get items she needs without spending a lot of money.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 2:40PM
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Why yes, Silver, actually I believe I do have an idea for a charming and quite appropriate gift for cousin's shower. I believe a nice set of stationery would be lovely. Perhaps there is even still time to have it done with her married initials? I cannot imagine a bride-to-be who would not appreciate a thoughtful gift of stationery, envelopes, a nice pen set maybe - what a thoughtful gift to a lady to make it easier for her to keep up with her correspondence - and thank you notes!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 2:46PM
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bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!! I love your sense of humor Mattie.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 4:46PM
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By the way SD posted registry for the baby (very early one) and asked for everyone to start buying, so we all sent gifts. Then she decided to have a baby shower and now everyone sends/delivers another set of gifts. LOL Well she is a family and certainly everyone would be buying stuff anyways, it just kind of sounded funny.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 4:40PM
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My sister who I speak of on here often was engaged last year. She had gotton pregnant by god only knows who and began dating another guy while pregnant. This guy decided he was going to marry her and be babby's daddy. They got engaged and began planning a wedding they could not afford. So my sister went to all close relatives and asked for her wedding presents in advance to help pay for the wedding! LOL

My dad shelled out $1000. I payed $100 towards her wedding dress. And I know others who gave $. The day before her wedding shower the guy decided he was not ready to be hubby and baby daddy anymore (baby was already here by that point and he had already listed himself as daddy on the birth certificate). My sister didn't say anything to anyone and went ahead with the shower (which was funded by her friend, me, and another of our sisters). She got all her gifts plus some that were mailed by out of town relatives.

In the next few days she made her exchanges, opened everything, cashed checks, and tossed boxes out. THEN she made her announcement that fiancee left her and wedding was off. But she never offered to give back any gifts or mail back any checks that were sent to her and already cashed!

My sister cancelled everything and got some of her deposits back for the wedding plans. But when my stepmom asked for their thousand dollars back my sister had the nerve to say that their money went for something she did not get a refund on!?! She pulled the same thing when I asked for my $100 for the dress back. I didn't even try to ask her for the money I paid for her shower.

Everyone was mad at her and she acted as if she did nothing wrong. A month later she booked herself a vacation (I am sure with all that deposit $ she got back!)We were all furious because before she made vacation plans she should have payed us all back!

WE all told her if she ever really gets married she better elope because after the way she handled this nobody would show up or buy gifts anyways!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 6:00PM
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