Baby Showers: Do you ask someone to host, or does someone offer? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When DD was born, my friends put on a baby shower for me, and my family had a seperate one b/c we lived in different states.  I asked my friend to do it b/c she'd been hinting that she wanted to.  My grandmother pestered my aunt into having the family one, and I could tell b/c my aunt was kind of snotty to me like it was my fault she ended up w/ shower duties.  We visited DH's family when I was PG w/ DD, but they didn't have time to organize one b/c our visit was short notice.

 

We now live about an hour or so from ALL of DH's family.  Mine is all 2k miles away.  :(

 

This time, one of the ladies at church has already offered to throw a shower for me, (I accepted), but I'm thinking that this would probably involve just the church, as DH's family is an hour away, and it would make more sense to have us drive an hour or so, than for 30+ ppl to drive up here.

 

So my dilemma is what to do for the "family shower" or the "IL Shower" is more like it as my family will not be able to make it, obviously.  Do I wait for someone to step up and offer, or do I ask someone?  I was actually crying about this today...if no one offers, my feelings will be very hurt, (also dredging up some painful MIL memories, she spread a ton of lies about me w/in the family, and it's taken me a couple of years of "just being me" to prove they were lies and for the IL's to accept me).   ETA:  No one offering would be like proving to me that they don't like me after all and are just being nice to my face.  So I wonder if I should ask as a pre-emptive way of not being hurt...make sense? 

 


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#2 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 09:27 AM
 
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I'm not sure, I've only ever had one "baby shower" (with my second) and it was only 4 people invited. It was really only a few of my moms friends coming over for lunch anyway so we made the effort to get cake and decorations because she "wanted them to feel welcome". I've never had one where my friends or family set it up, or were even invited for that matter. It's sort of sad to think I'm on my last baby and will never experience that. Now everyone says I shouldn't have one because I already have children (even though we're starting over).

 

I guess in my mind, someone is supposed to step up and offer; but in reality I'm not sure how often, if ever, that it happens. I think if you really want one, and think people will attend, you could just ask someone that you think would be willing...it's what I'd do if I didn't feel like it's too late.


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#3 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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Please try not to take offense if no one in your family offers to throw you a shower. It's VERY normal not to be thrown a shower after your first child.

 

I see that it has been a while since your last baby was born and sometimes a second shower is thrown but you really can't expect it. I am guessing that your church community wants to throw you a shower because you are new there and they are happy to do something special for you.

 

I had one baby shower for my first pregnancy. My sisters threw it. No one on DH's side offered to throw a shower and that was okay with me.


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#4 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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DDCC.  A shower for the first baby is standard.  I would never in a million years *ask* someone to throw me a shower.  That is like asking someone to buy you a giant time consuming gift, and personally I think it is really inappropriate.  If someone wants to throw a shower, they will offer.  I've been offered a shower for my second baby and declined, but that is a personal choice if someone offers.  I would not be offended if nobody had offered a second shower.  Especially in older generations, a second shower is considered tactless regardless of who is throwing it.  A blessingway or other non-gift celebration of the new life is one thing, but an all out extravaganza with a bunch of gifts seems over the top for baby number two. Just my opinion and what I've observed in my circle of friends when certain other friends had big second showers...everyone was pretty snotty about it behind their backs unless there were special circumstances or it was strictly a blessingway. 

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#5 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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If you really want a shower for the second baby then I think that is totally your call. Especially since your babies are further apart, people will understand your need to start over with getting baby stuff. However, instead of asking someone maybe you should mention your desire for a baby shower and see how people react. If they seem excited for the idea, then go with it. You can always host it yourself and ask a friend or family member to help out instead of taking all the responsibility on themselves.

 

This is my second and I am planning on having a shower. I never got one with DS since I starting having problems really early and was put on bedrest at 22wks. This time, I am planning a gender reveal party for the shower. Everyone will guess what the baby is and we will let them know by cutting into the cake. If someone is willing to throw it for me or help me out that would be great but I'm not expecting it.


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#6 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Both of my SIL's had showers for each of their kids, and the IL's all attended.  So it wouldn't be abnormal to have one per child.  Plus, we DO need everything, we are starting completely from scratch.  We gave everything away years ago.  Everyone knows that, and we've had offers of items/clothes already, which we've accepted b/c we need them. 

 

Maybe I'm not explaining this very well, I certainly didn't mean to come off as a gift-grabbing "look at me and give me stuff" kind of person!  That is so not me.  That's why I'm asking what the protocol is b/c I don't want to come off that way to family, or burden someone else with this.

 

My feelings would be hurt b/c there is bad blood between me and MIL, and although she is not involved in anyone's life here anymore, she did her absolute best to make ppl hate me.  It worked for a long time, too.  I've finally become accepted into the family, and what would bother me about it is that it would be confirming that they don't really "like" me, but that they tolerate me and are nice to me to my face.  I have no one here but them for "family," they go to SIL's events/showers, so why not mine, ykwim?  (SIL is married into the family same as I am, but her mom and family are here, too and I think they planned her showers.  They know I have no one for family here.)

 

I guess I will talk to the woman who is planning the church shower and see if we can include family, too.  We are a small church and I think she was probably planning on food, etc for 10 people or so.  I hate to ask her to prepare for another 30 people!

 

But then, if they don't show, that would hurt my feelings, PLUS I'd feel horrible for my friend planning for more ppl and they don't show.


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#7 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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Well, you could always help in putting it together. just because someone else is "hosting" it doesn't mean you can't do some of the prep to take the work off them. And as for them not showing after the work is done, have her send them invites with RSVP and then you won't prepare for those that aren't coming.

 

I think the idea of a gender reveal is sweet, although not an option for us without an ultrasound. Is anyone else doing anything unique for a baby shower? I also think the idea of a meet and greet is great in concept, but I think I'd be too nervous of all those people (some potentially sick) gathering around my very vulnerable newborn (I'm a bit of a germ-aphobe, but mostly when I'm dealing with bigger groups...or newborns). DD who is 7 asked if she could have a party for the baby before it's born, sort of to celebrate becoming a big sister. Since we call the baby bumblebee she wants to do everything in yellow and black. She wants to invite her friends around here and their parents, and then a few close family/friends. I'm hesitant because I think people will assume that is inappropriate too since it's sort of like a baby shower, which I "shouldn't" be having. Sometimes I think these etiquette things are much more stressful than makes sense...I mean really all the rules to try to follow. You can throw yourself a birthday party, but not a shower for your baby to be...you can have a second wedding shower although someone else should throw it, but not a second baby shower no matter who throws it. Geesh, who creates these rules and what is the logical reasoning behind them *sigh*.


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#8 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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Quote:

Sometimes I think these etiquette things are much more stressful than makes sense...I mean really all the rules to try to follow. You can throw yourself a birthday party, but not a shower for your baby to be...you can have a second wedding shower although someone else should throw it, but not a second baby shower no matter who throws it. Geesh, who creates these rules and what is the logical reasoning behind them *sigh*.


It's fairly straightforward - a shower by definition is a party where you are showered with gifts. If you throw it yourself, you are asking for gifts for yourself, which is an etiquette no no. A birthday shower or wedding, on the other hand, though it may involve gifts, is not explicitly about getting stuff.

 

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#9 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't mind doing the work involved at all, I'd do all of it, but I'm not comfortable hosting it myself b/c as Choli said, it would be like I'm saying, "Hey, look at me and give me stuff!"

 

Yes, we need stuff.  I look at these as more of a get-together for everyone to celebrate the new life as well.  Being that we had such a difficult time w/ fertility, it would also be even more special, in a way.


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#10 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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could you maybe have your DH slyly mention something to your SIL or someone else in the family who may understand your need for a shower since you are basically starting with nothing?  you said that your SIL had showers for each child, so i think she would be the one to go to about it and would probably be the most understanding.  maybe suggest the fact that all your family is so far away and that the two of you would like to feel connected to family in a celebratory way during this time.  maybe that would work and someone from his family would be willing to throw it for you.


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#11 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thomatuttle View Post

could you maybe have your DH slyly mention something to your SIL or someone else in the family who may understand your need for a shower since you are basically starting with nothing?  you said that your SIL had showers for each child, so i think she would be the one to go to about it and would probably be the most understanding.  maybe suggest the fact that all your family is so far away and that the two of you would like to feel connected to family in a celebratory way during this time.  maybe that would work and someone from his family would be willing to throw it for you.


That sounds like the best solution!

 

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#12 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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Except a wedding shower is exactly about gifts (most I've been to, people eat, put their gifts on a table, and leave), and people throw them for themselves all the time (it's only second wedding showers I've seen people saying it's a no-no to throw yourself). And in my mind most people don't throw baby showers with the primary focus being gifts. They want to play games, enjoy friends and food, and all around celebrate the wonderful event taking place in their lives, but are told they aren't allowed. And the whole reason I never had a baby shower with any of my children is because I have only two close family members, and we don't get along very well. It seems a shame someone isn't allowed to celebrate their impending birth because they don't have a family member willing to throw it. I've never done a registry, and gifts are not the focus, yet it's a no-no to celebrate...really sad. I just hope that those that want one, like Christy, are able to find someone willing :(


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#13 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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Choli, just wanted to mention that I don't wholy disagree with the whole gift thing, and am not trying to be argumentative...I guess just feeling very emotional and lamenting the fact that women should ever have to feel sad and like their baby is unacknowledged because rules and uncaring family members say it should be so :(


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#14 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zuzusplace View Post

Except a wedding shower is exactly about gifts (most I've been to, people eat, put their gifts on a table, and leave), and people throw them for themselves all the time (it's only second wedding showers I've seen people saying it's a no-no to throw yourself). And in my mind most people don't throw baby showers with the primary focus being gifts. They want to play games, enjoy friends and food, and all around celebrate the wonderful event taking place in their lives, but are told they aren't allowed. And the whole reason I never had a baby shower with any of my children is because I have only two close family members, and we don't get along very well. It seems a shame someone isn't allowed to celebrate their impending birth because they don't have a family member willing to throw it. I've never done a registry, and gifts are not the focus, yet it's a no-no to celebrate...really sad. I just hope that those that want one, like Christy, are able to find someone willing :(


I've never heard of anyone thorwing their own wedding shower - around here the Maid of Honor gets stuck with that job.orngtongue.gif

 

There's nothing wrong with having a party to welcome the new arrival. Invite some friends over for lunch and fun, just don't call it a Shower.
 

 

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#15 of 19 Old 11-02-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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i like asking dh to drop a few hints, and if that doesn't work, then I'd do a celebration and (I would) include something like "we request only the gift of your presence"  on the invite if you were to throw it yourself.  those who know you and the fact that you're starting would likely be considerate enough to bring a small gift...

 

good luck!!!


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#16 of 19 Old 11-03-2011, 08:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by zuzusplace View Post

Choli, just wanted to mention that I don't wholy disagree with the whole gift thing, and am not trying to be argumentative...I guess just feeling very emotional and lamenting the fact that women should ever have to feel sad and like their baby is unacknowledged because rules and uncaring family members say it should be so :(

Can't babies be celebrated without a "shower"ing of gifts?  For me, that is where my objection to second showers come in.  Blessingways, get-togethers, etc. are fine.  There is a real sense of entitlement around second showers.  I think the purpose of a shower is to help a person prepare for the baby with "stuff" more than a celebration. 
 

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I've never heard of anyone thorwing their own wedding shower - around here the Maid of Honor gets stuck with that job.orngtongue.gif

 

There's nothing wrong with having a party to welcome the new arrival. Invite some friends over for lunch and fun, just don't call it a Shower.
 

 

No kidding.  I have never ever ever heard of anyone throwing their own wedding shower.  Maid of Honor, friends, family, yes.  The bride herself? No way. 

 

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#17 of 19 Old 11-03-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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I would ask the lady from church about adding the extra ppl and perhaps dishing out some of the $ for the food and such. Tell her that you would love to help with whatever decorations she has planned and that you can do that the day before the shower. Let her know that you LOVE that she offered and that this shower means a lot to you, so you want to be involved. Most church families understand that you have your own blood families and are more than happy to meet them. I highly doubt that she would be offended if you asked about more people coming, especially if you offer to help out.

 

SIL having showers for EVERY child, that's excessive. My cousin just had her second baby, seven years after her first. They were in the same boat as you are with starting over. Her shower was a hit and no one thought it was tacky. Regardless of your MIL being a headache in the past, make sure you invite those in the family who seem to like you and are close to your DH. If your MIL doesn't want to support you, I am sure there are others in the family who will. 

 

Also, an hour drive really isn't that much of a drive. I wouldn't worry about them driving to you. If they want to see the baby after he or she is born, won't they be coming to you anyway? This is a celebration! Driving an hour to celebrate shouldn't be too big of a deal. 

 

Go with this shower and enjoy it! 


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#18 of 19 Old 11-03-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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I worry about this, too—no one offered to throw us a wedding shower, and I still feel a little bit like maybe we aren’t accepted (because we’re gay—even though that has never come up and everyone who would have been at a shower showed up to the wedding). In reality, I think that although I have a lot of family all of them are clueless about this kind of thing, so it probably just didn’t occur to them to do it. One of my good friends threw her own wedding shower, which seemed tacky to me at first, but it actually worked out perfectly—her family and friends wanted to come to a shower and didn’t care who sent out the invitations, and the event itself was lots of fun. I had to ask someone to throw us a bachelorette party because I really wanted one and would have been heartbroken to have NO events with my in-town friends (since we got married halfway across the country) to celebrate.

Now we’re looking at a baby shower and I don’t know if I should quietly ask a friend to organize it, hope that my mother can figure it out (though that might fall under the ‘tacky’ heading, too, since she’s asking for gifts for a member of her own family) or just sit back and worry that no one will want to, since my best friend (and obvious host candidate) just moved very far away. It’s less about the stuff (though that would be nice, and lord knows, I’ve bought enough baby presents over the years that I won’t feel guilty getting any back) and more about feeling like we’re supported and loved and that people are looking forward to meeting our baby.

Christy, I think in your case either offering to supplement the shower already being thrown would work, or having your DH talk to one of his more friendly, party-planning type relatives and asking if she’d be willing to be in charge, since you know that someone will want to throw one for you (of course) and wanted to be able to help so planning isn’t too much of a burden. Maybe that would look more like trying to be helpful than trying to throw yourself a party? And I bet they really do like you. It’s hard sometimes to come in under bad circumstances. But if they aren’t talking to your MIL anymore and still want to see you, clearly they’ve realized who was lying back in the day, right?

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#19 of 19 Old 11-03-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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Absolutely babies can be celebrated without gifts, I'd never expect a gift for anyone because I'm having a baby...I don't even expect gifts for them on holidays...I'm their mom, it's my job to provide what they need to the extent possible, but I've gotten negative feedback from people IRL and online regarding any party that focused on the baby...many mention the blessingway, but I don't want to be the center, I want my little one and the pregnancy itself to be the center. I guess a get together would be fine, but I've never seen invites for a "baby is coming soon, so come over for a luncheon" Party. Guess it's just a no-win situation and I shouldn't bother. And as far as wedding showers, I was a wedding planner and more than once worked for someone who was throwing their own...maybe things are just different around here. I certainly didn't mean to start a big fight though, just feeling sympathetic toward Christy in her struggle to have her baby acknowledged by family :(


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