Throughout this pregnancy I have been asked if I had a baby shower or planned on having one. To be honest, I get a bit nervous answering because people tend to feel strongly one way or another. A former classmate requested this post and encouraged me to just lay it out there and ruffle some feathers in the spirit of debate! So, here it goes! Baby showers: to have or not to have?
I say no thanks 🙂
As a former bride who turned down having a bridal shower, it was easy for me to also say no to having a baby shower. While I haven’t had my own, I do attend both kinds frequently and am happy to partake in getting gifts for others. I never mind spending money to celebrate a special occasion! Rather, my decision comes from a few places:
- I have never attended a shower thinking, ‘oh, I would totally want this too!’
- I hate being centre of attention. This includes birthdays lol
But these are vague. What in particular do I dislike so much about showers themselves….and more specifically, baby showers? Here is my list of reasons:
- They aren’t actually fun. I’ve done them all: activity books filled with games for the guests, prizes for not saying ‘baby’, guessing the chocolate bar poop in the diapers, watching the future mom open one gift at a time for hours on end while we watch….the list goes on. No thanks. Also, no alcohol? No music? When did showers suck the vital aspects of any basic adult celebration?
- They’re outdated. Showers were done initially because the bride was young and the community would come together to help her with the domestic basics. Considering most women build careers before getting married and having children, to ask for expensive, designer cutlery, vases and even waist trainers (I saw that on a baby registry!) seems excessive and indulgent. There should be NO expectation for others to pay for items you really can just get yourself. Do you really need a Kate Spade salt and pepper shaker? I didn’t think so. If people want to get you something, that it totally up to them and it should be truly needed rather than a fancy ‘I want’ upgrade.
- Also, why women? I find it odd we hold these gift giving events for women who will get married and have a kid as a form of congratulations in reaching these milestones. What about women who reach other important milestones like getting a great new job, finishing school, buying a house for themselves…..etc. I think I’d also be more comfortable if these events included men and celebrated ‘the couple’ and not just ‘the woman’.
So what- do nothing? No! This is not what I mean. I probably sound pretty crabby up until this point. I mean, this IS an exciting milestone and one should celebrate! If the traditional shower isn’t for you, you can always think outside the box! For instance, this is what we are doing/have done:
- Meet the Baby BBQ: Our non-shower celebration will be a bit of an open house party-meets summer BBQ sometime in July. Pretty much a sip-and-see as they call it. We plan on having a casual bbq with music, food and drinks so friends and family can drop by his parent’s house to have a beer, meet the baby and just hang out for however long they like.
- A baby shower list…for us: We definitely needed things for our little one and to help us stay organized, we made a registry to help us track what was still needed. Over the past few months we have had friends and family ask if there is something specific we still needed so we’ve offered the list to those requesting it. Ultimately we didn’t want people to feel pressured to buy us anything so we’ve kept it private for the most part.
My only rule: Show appreciation and have no expectations. Whether it’s gifts, a simple card, a freezer meal, a crocheted blanket (we received a lovely one from a family friend) or even just coming to meet the baby, show appreciation! I strongly feel that no gift should feel required to come see the baby.
Ok, rant over. Phew! Feel free to comment below- do you agree with my thoughts, or disagree? I am expecting differing opinions! Also, if you’re a guy, what’s your take?