Baby showers and less crunchy friends? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 05-28-2008, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am wondering if any of you are/have been in a similar situation and how you handled it.

I am expecting my first baby in September, and plan to co-sleep, BF, EC/CD etc. I was raised in a family that did "no-presents" birthday parties and I generally try to avoid excessive consumption, use very little plastic (for both the health and environmental reasons, buy clothes second-hand and so on.

The difficulty that I face is that my friends from our church are likely to want to throw a shower for me (hasn't come up yet, but is something that our congregation typically does), and I am not sure how minimize getting lots of gifts that I don't want and/or won't use. I will do a registry, but I live in an area with VERY limited shopping options, so the registry would probably only be online (there are truly zero options for registering locally for natural/organic stuff) and I think at least some of the women may not use or even look at an online registry.

My mom (who is out of state, and doesn't understand the church culture) says "just don't have the shower, or have a no presents shower." However, my husband and I have been members of this congregation for 5 years (since just after we got married) and our friends are very excited that we are having a baby, and would likely be hurt/disappointed if I refused to have a shower. (And, it is quite possible that even if I didn't have a shower, many of them would give gifts when the baby is born anyway).

So, any ideas for how to handle this in a way that would allow these wonderful women to express their love for me and excitement about the baby (in the way that they are accustomed to), without ending up with a bunch of stuff that I won't use?
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#2 of 24 Old 05-28-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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Maybe you can ask for a bring a meal shower ???
I am assuming you will cloth diaper - if not you could do a diaper shower.
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#3 of 24 Old 05-28-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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Figure out who is throwing the shower. Then, explain your position. Ask for a shower where everyone brings several frozen meals. Or ask that donations be made instead to an orphanage, or back to the church itself?
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#4 of 24 Old 05-28-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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You can request no gifts, but I doubt it will work. Showers are all about gifts and people tend to be generous with new moms-to-be.

My best advice if you don't want gifts but do want to minimize hurt feelings / alienating people is to register for a bunch of stuff with the plan of returning most of it for a gift card.

Even with cd, co-sleeping, BF, etc you are likely to have no problem at all using the whole entire gift card amount on the baby. Trust me.

Just make sure you register somewhere with a decent return policy (in other words, not Target).
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#5 of 24 Old 05-28-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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I plan to ask people who want to gift to do so after the birth, most probably won't do it then.

The frozen meals is a great idea. You could also accept the gifts and then find someone in need to give them to. Some might think this is a no-no, but, whatever.

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#6 of 24 Old 05-28-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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Do you plan to do cord blood banking? You can ask people to make donations toward that. I think some even have "registries".

Casey, wife to Danny, mom to Olive : and Darcy : .
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#7 of 24 Old 05-28-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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You could ask for a book themed shower, people bringing copies of their favorite childhood books. It still counts as a lot of "stuff" -- however, I don't think you can live in a home with too many books....
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#8 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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I absolutely love the idea of a book shower
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#9 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Maisea View Post
You could ask for a book themed shower, people bringing copies of their favorite childhood books. It still counts as a lot of "stuff" -- however, I don't think you can live in a home with too many books....
My former boss did this for her last child. It was really cool because there were so many really great books!
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#10 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 08:14 AM
 
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Register for clothing of different sizes or let it be known you love hand made items. If your church is like mine lots of ladies knit and crochet. I love baby quilts, hats bootes etc made by someone. You could also have them go to gether and get you something bigger like a carseat.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#11 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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I agree with all the suggestions about the themes to help focus the shower.

Also, talk with the person planning it and just let her know that you're needs are already met in several areas (bedding/bottles/etc.). Most people want to get you things you can use, so this can hep cut down on items you probably don't need.

MIL has been asking about lots of things like bassinet and what not and we just keep telling her we've already got that take care of. She thinks we've already got the items and we know we wouldn't use it anyways.

Karen happily partnered mother of 3 beautiful girls (teen/toddler/newborn).
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#12 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 11:50 AM
 
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I sympathize!

My husband comes from a huge family that LOVES baby and bridal showers, and tends to make circuses out of them. Apparently, ny shower has already been planned and booked for September. People love to give cases of disposable diapers from the warehouse store, and we plan to CD. They also love to give you a "wardrobe" or 3-4 complimentary outfits and bulky plastic toys that require eight D cells.

Luckily, they do shop online, so we plan to register carefully, tell people that we want nothing that runs on batteries, ask for handmade gifts and hand-me-downs, and to expressly tell people that we don't need X, Y, and Z because we "already have them."

I love the book shower idea, and the meals idea. Also, you could maybe ask for family-friendly recipies, activity ideas, and craft instructions...sort of a new mom resource book. If any of the ladies like to scrapbook, you could end up with something really spectacular.

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#13 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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Book showers are awesome. My colleagues had one for us. They brought books their kids loved and it was really special.

Can you register somewhere? I registered at a cloth diaper site and it was really a great way to introduce "crunchy" stuff to people who didn't know about it. My cousins pitched in a bought us an Ergo and were really impressed by it. People were also really surprised by how far cloth diapers have come. I know a lot of people don't love registries, but it was helpful for us. My MIL did make a public fuss about where the baby was going to sleep at my shower.

We also took back a lot of gifts that we didn't think we would use. I know it's bad, but better than having a bunch of stuff you'll never use.
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#14 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 12:32 PM
 
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For my shower my sister put it right on the invite that I wanted books- tacky- probably but it worked- we got tons of beautiful books that we love! If you get sposies- keep a bag or box of each size for just in case and donate the rest to a shelter- they are so appreciative of them. I have heard of people requesting second hand gifts- we got some of them and they are really fantastic- we didn't request them- just totally lucked out! I don't think that anyone woud have looked at an online only registry for us anyway.

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#15 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maisea View Post
You could ask for a book themed shower, people bringing copies of their favorite childhood books. It still counts as a lot of "stuff" -- however, I don't think you can live in a home with too many books....
I was going to suggest this, too - it's my favorite kind of shower!

Oh - and Amazon has a decent selection of HABA toys, cloth dipes and other more crunch things than BRU and some of the other places. So it may work out to do a quick registry there...

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

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#16 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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I've just resigned myself to the fact that people will buy what they want to buy, and have made peace with it. After all, when my cousin had her shower last fall I didn't even look at her registry and bought some crunchy stuff at a local store around here instead. Is that any different? I sure shopped with an agenda of what *I* thought she should have.

I registered at BRU and included as many of their organic items as possible to give folks a hint, and will take whatever comes as it comes. This is why god invented return policies, store credits, and tax write-offs for donations to food pantries and shelters.

It's kind of a nice dilemma to have, actually! I am so fortunate.

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#17 of 24 Old 05-29-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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It's kind of a nice dilemma to have, actually! I am so fortunate.
Indeed, it could be much worse. I know I forget sometimes how lucky we are!

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#18 of 24 Old 05-30-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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If you could figure out who's 'planning' on hosting the shower, I'd talk to her. Explain that you'd rather have a no-plastic/book-and-clothes-only/etc kind of shower. Or even make a list of things your family believes is acceptable and pass it on. Maybe ask her to add in the invitations (if you have them) that you'd like to limit plastic, etc etc.

We did that and while some people completely ignored it, most were very respectful. We got a lot of books, clothing, and health stuff. They also focused on things that could be reused, like a baby bath that could be used for multiple kids/given away/etc. It was really nice.

Good luck! Your chuch sounds like fun. I wish ours was as tight-knit.
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#19 of 24 Old 05-30-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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After all, when my cousin had her shower last fall I didn't even look at her registry and bought some crunchy stuff at a local store around here instead. Is that any different? I sure shopped with an agenda of what *I* thought she should have.
Wonderful point. When I don't get something I like or will use, I smile, thank the person gifting me very graciously, and return/give it away/ sell the item.

Otherwise, a themed shower such as a book shower sounds great.

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#20 of 24 Old 05-30-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Belia View Post
I've just resigned myself to the fact that people will buy what they want to buy, and have made peace with it. After all, when my cousin had her shower last fall I didn't even look at her registry and bought some crunchy stuff at a local store around here instead. Is that any different? I sure shopped with an agenda of what *I* thought she should have.

I registered at BRU and included as many of their organic items as possible to give folks a hint, and will take whatever comes as it comes. This is why god invented return policies, store credits, and tax write-offs for donations to food pantries and shelters.

It's kind of a nice dilemma to have, actually! I am so fortunate.
i think i hear ya! a themed party is a great idea. and by all means go for that if it sounds like something you want to do.....(i hope to) but, i do feel that part of gift giving is that people should be able to participate in the gift giving the way they feel it in their hearts. after all giving is a blessing to the giver too. just embrace your fortune......and be thankful, God knows that you are trying to live a conscious way of life, you may be very pleasantly surprised.

peace
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#21 of 24 Old 05-30-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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My former boss did this for her last child. It was really cool because there were so many really great books!
I know someone who did this too! Most of the people signed the inside cover of the books with a black marker, writing a special message to the baby and mom, it was amazing.

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#22 of 24 Old 05-30-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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Could you maybe suggest a themed shower? Tell the people planning it that you already have most stuff you need (even if that's not entirely true) but say you really want children's books. Or register for cloth dipes and have a dipe shower?

ETA - I guess I should really read thru responses before I post, looks like I wasn't the first to suggest this idea... but it IS a good one!
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#23 of 24 Old 05-30-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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I can understand your dilemma I was facing the same thing with dd. We made it known that we wanted children's books, people where more than happy to buy books. It was great, we had a huge stash for dd w/o spending $. I would just be honest with the person arranging the shower, and if there are things you don't want, pass them on to a crisis pregnancy center or something we did that too.

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#24 of 24 Old 05-30-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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I absolutely love the idea of a book shower
I had something similar when I was pregnant with ds1. I ended up having 4 showers and felt that I would like to celebrate with them but didn't need much more. I loved it and ds got lots of great books.
I also think the food shower is a great idea.

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