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Baby Shower Dilemma

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
MIL insists on "the family" throwing me a baby shower. And by the family, I mean all of her sisters in law from FIL's side of the family (he passed away when DH was young). They are all wonderful women, but I see them maybe once a year, if that. I don't feel comfortable having them throw me a shower, because I secretly wonder if its MIL feeling obligated, since she goes to all of their kids' showers, etc etc.

But really, the thing is...I don't need anything! Ok, I *need* a $300+ Peg Perego stoller but they will not get that for me. There is no babies R Us near them, not even a Target. So I couldn't even register for stuff that I might need. But I just can't think of 15-20 items in the $10-20 price range that we would need!

We have all the sleepers, gowns and rompers we will need in the 0-3 size. Since I am expecting a big baby, I really do not need more. It would be a waste. I am holding off on getting 3-6 mo stuff until we know what the baby is. I will need stuff in that size, no matter what, since ben's stuff is the wrong season. I tried to convince MIL to do an after-baby shower, so we can get clothes for the babe's next size. No go. She insists on a before-baby shower.

What else could they get? Disposable diapers? Don't need those. Don't need any gadgets or bottles or toys. I just hate the idea of all of these people (who are not financially well off, by any means) buying a bunch of...junk for the baby that will take up space and we don't need. I am way, way too practical for that!

I think Walmart is the only place around there. Do they do registries? Gah. I can't even think of 20 items that I would need from walmart.

What I plan to buy before the baby comes...

Cloth diapers
A sling
A bucket car seat
A nice stroller (see above)
A wooden high chair

That's it! All big ticket items or stuff from the internet that they will not buy.


I tried and tried to convince them otherwise. I feel so wasteful and ungrateful. I would love to see these people, if only there was a way to just ask them not to give gifts. Lets just get together and eat! :LOL
post #2 of 13
This may sound totally dorky, but given that you don't need anything (that they'll buy you) and you don't want them to waste their money on crap you won't use, maybe you could ask that it be a home-made shower. Like, if anyone is going to insist on giving you a gift, it has to be home-made. Or you could say that you are going to make a quilt for the baby, and each person should bring a 6" x 6" square of material, decorated by them. Or you could make it a photo shower, and ask everyone to bring a photo of them/their family so that your baby will know his/her extended family as well (we've been doing this, and it's kind of great). There are probably a lot of other sentimental things you could do, and it might actually make it more fun than getting a bunch of store-bought stuff you don't want or need and it might be more gratifying for the people giving the gifts, too!
post #3 of 13
You could by a copy of the "Blessingways" book and give it to the person arranging the shower. This gives ideas on mother centered showers. Or you can go online and choose a registry and have them buy stuff like that.
post #4 of 13
WM does have a registry, and it's ok. I understand where you're coming from but I think that something that happens at showers and stuff is that some people really aren't comfortable expressing themselves through handmade or homemade things, or else they've just really bought into the concept that we've been sold - that buying people things shows that you care about them. I guess the point is that some people really do like to buy people things, even when they don't have a lot of money. I always like to buy gifts for people (except my parents, who seem to DEMAND gifts at every turn) but also like to do things like cook something special or make something etc.

Anyway, I guess the point is that if you can't find a way out of the affair, you can probably find some low price point stuff at WM online that would be cool. Like maybe some board books or something like that, or lullaby cds? Just a thought.
post #5 of 13
Originally Posted by BensMom
Ok, I *need* a $300+ Peg Perego stoller but they will not get that for me. But I just can't think of 15-20 items in the $10-20 price range that we would need!
Why not? Why couldn't they pitch in and get that for you? And, why won't they buy the other stuff, either...like cloth diapers? Even Target here sells them...I am guessing Wal-Mart might? Or they could shop consignment stores?

What if you just make a list of the few things you want/need and send it to them? But don't register anywhere. They could just get the items wherever it is they shop for stuff. That way you would give them an idea of how to bless you with things you will use.

I totally feel you on not wanting to register and not needing stuff. We are not registering or having any baby showers. We explained this to my MIL and while she struggles with it, she just has to accept it! I am having a mother's blessing in Sept. though. And, we are having a meet the baby party a few months after it is born (in her town). She has had her own salon for almost 30 years so these people have known her since before my DH was born. The meet the baby thing is for them, really. But, we are just standing our ground with the whole not registering/don't give us a shower things!
post #6 of 13
Maybe they'd be willing to do a stock-your-freezer shower, if you have room for that many casseroles in your freezer.

We've got the same "problem." The church ladies are throwing us a shower even though we don't really need anything (well, we need money to pay for the birth, but I can't see a proper way of asking for that ). We'll just go along with it.

I attempted to do an online WalMart registry, but there wasn't much available online that we need. I did a Target registry online, although no one will use that one and I guess I may heave a big sigh and go to WalMart and do a registry in person, though it's a PITA and I don't really want to. I'm also trying to figure out what I am going to do with the things we receive that we don't need...I already know (even though I'm not supposed to) that our very close friends are giving us a bassinet even though my mom already got us a cradle (that they don't know about). :

Ah well, it'll all work out in the end, right???

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
These are all very traditional older ladies, so I just don't see most of them going online or doing something as progressive as a mother blessing. DH's dad was one of 17 kids and he was on the younger end. Then DH was a late in life baby, so most of his aunts are over 60-70 and his first cousins are all in their 40-50's. Very different generations. Sweet people, just pretty traditional and southern.

But the food idea might just work! I would love a freezer full of good old fashioned country cooking! I can't beleive I did not think about that. I will run it my MIL and see what she thinks. And we do have a stand alone freezer, so we can clean it out beforehand and make sure its ready to be stocked full. (I would assume the foods could make the 45 min trip home, ok?)

And of course I will be gracious as ever in person. I think its nice to get together. I just wish there wasn't the gift baggage involved!
post #8 of 13
Originally Posted by BensMom
I just hate the idea of all of these people (who are not financially well off, by any means) buying a bunch of...junk for the baby that will take up space and we don't need. I am way, way too practical for that!

I would love to see these people, if only there was a way to just ask them not to give gifts. Lets just get together and eat! :LOL
Wow, I totally hear you! My and dh's family is just like this- they feel it is rude to 'ask' for what you want by registering- they would never in a million years look at a registry and buy what's on there! They also beleive gift certificates are tacky, which is what we really need. Hence, many duplicates and items we already had/don't need/don't want and I ended up re-gifting and donating a lot of my stuff And I feel terrible about it, b/c they don't have $ at all and it's really the time together and the celebration that matters and that meant a lot to me. We, too, just need the nice stroller and carseat, but they would never pitch in together and buy it- it's just NOT DONE!

A lot of good ideas! Definitely ask for them to help stock your freezer- I'm sure as older, more traditional ladies they would like to cook for you and it's something concrete they could do to help. Hopefully people understand about the 2nd-child-don't need a lot of stuff.

I like the idea of lullabye cd's and books from Walmart (would you be able to register for generic feeding stuff like sippy cups, bowls, etc that might come in handy later or maybe you have enough of that stuff).

Also, the bring a photo idea would be really nice in addition to the food.

How about 'new mom' items?? Anything luxurious or practical that you need for yourself after the baby is born?

It'll be interesting to see how everything turns out, as several of us have baby shower issues!
post #9 of 13
I was going to suggest the casserole/freezer (or whatever you call it) shower too. That can be VERY helpful. There is also a library shower, where they get you children's books. You can never have too many! (though I guess there could still be the duplicate issue)

We did the WM registry last time because that's all that some family could get to. They do have some decent basics.

My vote is still for the food shower - it would be especially good since you say the guests have tight budgets. However, I would still be prepared for some useless baby junk! (a group of grandma-aged women - some will NOT be able to resist LOL )
post #10 of 13
We had the exact same issue with a wedding shower...I decided not to register, but made a list of things that we really felt that we wanted or needed. Unfortunately, we asked for things like camping gear and good reference books...and got lots of towels and kitchen gadgets. Our peers were pretty good at getting us things we wanted, but there was the traditional older generation that bought us the traditional gifts. You're probably going to get some of the traditional baby stuff regardless of what you really want. Some people will buy gifts that they think you will like, and others are always going to get you want they want...regardless of what you really need.

I just took a large load of wedding gifts to the salvation army. Clearing out my closets of wedding junk to make room for baby junk. It's nice to feel loved by all of these people, the optimist in me says. I don't want to sound ungrateful, because I really appreciate that all of these people want to buy nice gifts for me...it's unfortunate that our definitions of nice and useful can be so different.
post #11 of 13
The freezer stocking shower is a great idea! Friends of ours have offered to host a shower for us, and I'm even thinking we might try that ourselves! We're pretty lucky though; most of the friends in this area are also AP, so we could potentially hope to get some cloth diapers or slings. Other than that, we don't need a whole lot either, in the $10-$30 price range.
post #12 of 13
I was also going to suggest the casserole shower or I saw a cute idea on tv with a book party. Everyone brings their favorite childhood book/s as a gift & they each explain why that one was their favorite & explain a little about the book.

I dont think it would be rude to say to ask for cash gifts in the invites either. I went to a wedding shower where they strictly asked for gift certificates.
post #13 of 13
LOVE the book idea! That's wonderful! I am TOTALLY going to ask for that instead of a regular shower!

Ooo, and maybe CDs too - my generation of Canadians was all about Raffi (anyone remember Raffi?) and I'm sure wee Blobby will enjoy some Baby Beluga...
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