Greed, Showers, Baby needs etc... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Loved what was happening in the last registry thread.

This is my third and intend on having NO shower. I reluctantly had two with my first child. I really dislike being the center of attention especially with my in-laws extended friends and family who I barley knew then and only a bit more now.

I admit that I recive gifts poorly. I feel awkward expressing thanks and am practically unable to pretend to feel thankful for a baby bjorn or stinky J&J baby lotin. I also have some issues with feeling in debt to the giver (more then just feeling like a thank you card would suffice). I don't want anyone to feel required to give a gift.....but I know some people just WILL want to give something. Some people just like to give stuff to people with babies.....so if they want to give SOMETHING I have a registry online of various stuff.

It is a hard line to walk, needing some things, people offering gifts, only reciving gifts that are not useful (more stuffed animals for a infant?) Having an overall thankful attitude, when you really just want to be left alone or without all this extra junk!
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#2 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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At the risk of restarting the last thread... I just had to reply anyway, because you expressed exactly how I have been feeling. It's all so awkward. With the first, I didn't feel this way - I needed everything and anything and it was the first baby in our lives, etc... But this time, well I have always been in the "2nd babies + don't need showers" camp, and now my MIL has insisted on one with her sisters, which makes it very awkward for me to handle, plus now with a houseful of baby things, the thought of adding more makes me a bit nauseas.

As for unfamiliar faces and contrived gratitude, I am trying to remain very optimistic. I just yesterday e-mailed a friend and asked her to come and she can! I am so excited, it will hopefully make things much more easy going for me to have a familiar face in the room, and I just miss her terribley, so it'll just be good to see her again.

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#3 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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I'm lucky that my family is far away so they mail presents and that DH's family is preoccupied with his cousin, who is due two weeks before me and having her first and a girl. That's much more fun (we're on #2 and aren't finding out the gender). So I get to be the OMG-I-didn't-realize-how-pg-you-are gal at HER shower, and grandma and great-grandma will buy us a carseat and a swing and send it in the mail.

I much prefer that scenario to a shower, though whenever someone random asks what to get for baby, I always say their favorite children's book. You can never have too many of those, and I don't feel awkward getting a book from an almost total stranger.

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#4 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 12:23 PM
 
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I had a shower for number 1 (it was very small, like 6-7 people), and it was nice. Nothing for #2 (I didn't feel it was appropriate -- we had everything!). For #3, I didn't plan anything, but my BFF gave me a LOVELY shower/blessing with just a few friends (3 plus their kids). Each friend brought a frozen dinner for us (I am due pretty soon), and my BFF gave me a really pretty plant. During the party, each friend wrote a wish on a paper for me and for Baby, and then they tied the wish to the plant. It was so great! I felt so loved and so special. Usually, I am pretty uncomfortable with any kinds of gifts or attention.

It was different, though, I guess because everyone was so sincere and we enjoyed everyone's company so much. We talked a lot about birth, some of my fears, and I felt very supported. All the ladies shared their birth stories. And there were two young girls there (9 and 12), which was so nice.

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#5 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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ddc-yes! really hard balance. i was feeling so, so guilty about baby registry i put together consisting of my ideas of minimalist baby stuff (i.e. cheapest decent-quality things and eliminating unnecessary) and tons of cloth fuzzibunz and it totals $800! the dilemma is that i would love to use used baby gear but honestly don't have the money so if dh's huge number of relatives are going to buy things, it's helpful. also putting down toiletries, useful blankets etc because i wouldn't use certain kinds. so yes, it's this anxiety-producing gift giving scenario because you know people will give gifts and it just feels wasteful to receive stuff you won't use. and seriously- how much clothing do babies need?? do they a change of clothes 6 times a day?-i'm afraid of all the laundry. children's books are always wonderful gifts!

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#6 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 01:12 PM
 
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I realized after my big weird shower with DD1, and then going to a small shower for a friend not long after, that the difference (for me) is that the people at my shower were focusing on the baby, and the people at the friends shower were focusing on her. It changed the dynamic in a really interesting way, because the baby was so abstract that the focus then shifted over to the gifts, where as when the mother (and this amazing event in her life) is the focus, there is someone really there to celebrate. A baby focused shower is generally generic and has games to fill the time - a mama focused shower (where only people who truly love and support her) flows easily with good conversation, good food, and is a very personal experience.

This extends to gifts - it's easy to sincerely thank a loved friend for a gift you won't use, because you know she cares about you enough to be there and support you (even if her gift is weird). When that personal connection isn't there, a weird/useless gift is just a reminder of what isn't there. It's truly the thought that counts, but it's hard to feel that way when it doesn't feel like there was any thought given.

My small group of friends have hinted that they are planning a mama's night out, with yummy food, no kids, and good wine (which i will sip and relax, and maybe it will put me into labor ). I think the trade off (no big gifts, but i will actually have fun and feel supported) is worth it.

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#7 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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I'm actually truly glad my shower is over and done with. We're first time parents, so we had nothing. I don't feel that badly about having gotten gifts, since we really needed most of what we got, but I'm really glad that it's done and we can just figure out what else we need to buy for our girl. But because this is the first grandbaby on my husband's side, we really had no choice but to let my MIL throw us a big ol' shower, as much as I hate, hate, hate to be the center of attention. I didn't want to deprive her!

I am most definitely going to go with a blessingway next time around; I don't want another big to-do. Plus we should have all the basics already!

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#8 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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My first shower ended up being very special even though it was a generic shower. My mom threw it and she was so excited (first grandchild). All of my friends came (yes guys too). We laughed, joked, ate, talked. It was really wonderful. I got lots of things I needed and I appreciated it all. My second shower I missed. I had my daughter three days before it was planned. It was a work shower, and I had no clue my coworker was planning it. I thought it was so sweet of her but then later I found out a bunch of teachers were complaining about people who had second showers. It really hurt as I had not asked or hinted for a shower. I honestly had bought everything we needed so we got was really extra. With my third, I was the same school, and I was very vehment about not wanting another shower. My department head did it anyway, but I made a point of not asking for ANYTHING and even commented that I didn't need or want anything. But they gave me $200 worth of American express checks. I was mortified, and didn't even want to know what people were saying about me behind my back. I tried to be grateful but I kept remembering what those people had said, and I felt greedy. It sucked.

I have to admit I'd like to have something for this one. Not a big shower but something intimate just to let the baby know he/she is welcomed into the world. But I don't have the energy to plan it and it seems kind of unspecial when you're doing the planning. Like I'd rather someone wanted to celebrate this with us not me having to host it.

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#9 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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ITA, Ginger.

I'm really happy that we have a built-in celebration AFTER baby is here with the naming (we're Jewish). It's a really special time, and since baby is THERE and we're celebrating the baby naming, it's so much more meaningful when you're given gifts.

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#10 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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I am just sick of baby showers. Mine, yours, anyones. This time with #2, all of my close friends are also pregnant with #2 or more. I really hope nobody has a shower.. because then I fear it will start a baby shower domino effect. I can't afford to buy more stuff for everyone, let alone any baby stuff for this new one. I also don't have the energy.

But for anyone who is having #1, go big, I have no qualms.

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#11 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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So, I wonder how much the hatred of baby showers correlates to how often you go to baby showers?

I've only been to a few baby shower in my adult life- one I sort-of threw for a friend (she really did almost all of the work, despite me telling her not to!). The others were work showers.

So I don't mind baby showers.

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#12 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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I am just sick of baby showers. Mine, yours, anyones. This time with #2, all of my close friends are also pregnant with #2 or more. I really hope nobody has a shower.. because then I fear it will start a baby shower domino effect. I can't afford to buy more stuff for everyone, let alone any baby stuff for this new one. I also don't have the energy.

But for anyone who is having #1, go big, I have no qualms.
A friend and I are both due within a month of each other with subsequent babies, and our circle of friends is throwing us a 'big belly brunch' on Saturday to celebrate. As far as I know, no gifts, just eating and laughing and getting excited for the newbs. I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe you could do something like that with your friends?

Mama to Finn (04/05) Arlo (04/07) and Henry (04/10)
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#13 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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So, I wonder how much the hatred of baby showers correlates to how often you go to baby showers?

I've only been to a few baby shower in my adult life- one I sort-of threw for a friend (she really did almost all of the work, despite me telling her not to!). The others were work showers.

So I don't mind baby showers.
Heh it could be. I don't really hate showers. They're not my thing so I won't go unless I really know the person very well. I haven't been to many. I went to my cousin's first and second but when she kept having kids despite no job, a husband who REFUSED to work, and continually made comments about her "shower loot" I stopped. Here most of the moms I know are done or on their third, fourth, etc, one. Usually we organize a dinner thing for those moms. I'd SO love that right now. Anyway I haven't been to a shower in YEARS.

I like celebrations personally but I like them on a small intimate level. I don't have any issue with showers or even gift giving. But for me personally, it's just not something I feel comfortable with unless it's a small group of people I feel close too.

Sara: I love the Jewish naming celebration. I don't know much about it but I do a unit on Hasidic Jews in my class and I've always appreciated the beauty in the celebration of a new life. I would very much like to do something like this once the baby's here. I might do this as opposed to trying to organize something beforehand.

Mama to Umberto 12, Camille, 9, Piper 7, Rowena 2, and Jude Therese Prenatal DS diagnosis due December 23.

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#14 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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I think there may be something to the overdose of showers idea. It's the same thing as big, impersonal weddings I think. The first couple are really fun, but unless I really know/care about the couple now, going to a wedding feels predictable and like work. Maybe I'm just getting old and jaded.

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#15 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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A friend and I are both due within a month of each other with subsequent babies, and our circle of friends is throwing us a 'big belly brunch' on Saturday to celebrate. As far as I know, no gifts, just eating and laughing and getting excited for the newbs. I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe you could do something like that with your friends?
Awesome idea. I do hope we can all plan something similar.

I truly am annoyed by that baby registry thread. It's ok to vent, but I agree with those who think it is over the top to complain about getting so many clothes. There is a lot of pressure to find the perfect gift for a baby shower.

I am usually the lucky recipient of people not wanting baby stuff. I have a friend who only likes her daughter to wear organic, or designer clothing. It's weird because her and her husband struggle financially. She plans on having another baby soon, but she has already given me ( and does not want back), a bathtub (cos I borrowed someone elses last time), three different carriers, over 60 pocket diapers (she only wanted her BumGenius), a ton of beautiful blankets, and clothes.. (too bad I am having another boy).

DH and I make a pretty good income, but I accepted EVERYTHING that was given to me with my first child. A majorly used chariot (a free chariot, how awesome is that?) that we had to fix the wheels on, used playpen, used carseat (don't worry, I knew the history of it), used swing (which I subsequently loaned to 4 other babies before I just got it back now for my own baby)...

ok... so now I realize I am bragging about my re-using abilities. I just love free stuff and to give away free stuff when it comes to baby stuff. No I am not a hoarder by any means. I just hate spending money frivolously.

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#16 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:30 PM
 
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The shower my mil threw for my first baby was one of the most awkward experiences of my life. It was all her work friends--people I'd never met. My gifts included dozens of cans of formula which I ended up throwing away.

No one has mentioned a shower for me this time around, and I'm grateful. (But a little hurt, too. Is that weird?)

I haven't given this a huge amount of thought but I am leaning toward throwing an open house/meet the baby thing when she arrives. And specify no gifts!

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#17 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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By the time I was pg w/ dd, dh and I had already completed our foster parent training, so we had collected almost everything we would need for a baby second-hand. No one except my parents offered any help or asked if we needed anything. When I was nearing the end of my pg, a lot of relatives asked if I was having a shower, but no one offered to plan it. I said that as far as I knew, I was not having one b/c we already had almost everything we needed. I did have a registry b/c we did need things & I know that many people in my family like registries. We received many nice gifts from family purchased off the registry, so it worked out v well for us. My good friend threw me a small diaper shower so that I could get the rest of our cloth diapering supplies. I don't mind at all being the center of shower attention. It is really touching to see your friends and family gathering around to support you, both emotionally and financially. I have also thrown a baby shower & attended many bridal and baby showers. I like them. I think of them as "spreading the wealth". We all support each other at different times w/ love and gifts. You do it over and over for others & then one day it is done for you. I still like the other thread, though, b/c I don't like getting baby clothes as gifts, even now when dd is almost two. That is just me, my personal preference.

Dh and I like to focus a lot of our attention on Baptism parties. For us, the baptism is a HUGE deal & we went all out for dd's & will for the new baby (same menu, even). The baptism is a big "welcome baby" party & extremely important to us for religious reasons.

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#18 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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A friend and I are both due within a month of each other with subsequent babies, and our circle of friends is throwing us a 'big belly brunch' on Saturday to celebrate. As far as I know, no gifts, just eating and laughing and getting excited for the newbs. I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe you could do something like that with your friends?
I'm excited, because about four local gals on Twitter (I know ) are pregnant, so the Twitchicks are taking us out to celebrate mommyhood with lunch. I think that's such a cute idea! No gifts, just good food and good company.

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#19 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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A cute idea I've heard (and we've played around with) is a "Big sister!" party. It would be after baby is born, co-ed, just people we know and love, and focused on the bigger girls, since really, they are the ones who will need the extra attention and reassurance, not the baby. Friends/family get to meet the baby, I am reminded of how many people love us, and the girls get a party. of course this doesn't work if you need a shower before hand to fill in the gaps, but again, it's about the intention/purpose behind the party, and I am much more comfortable with a small intimate celebration than a shower.

Ivory, partner to Tom, mama to Ella (12/9/05), Alice (12/8/07), and our newest addition, Rebecca (4/1/10).
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#20 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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I wish I had never wanted a shower. I'm sure I'll enjoy it once I'm surrounded by friends and family I haven't gotten together with in ages, but leading up to my orginally supposed to be a "surprise" shower, has been an emotional nightmare for me. That shower is on Sunday.

I'm also having a work shower on Thursday.

Because we're starting over with baby #3, I'm happy to be having the parties but would've bought all the stuff on our own anyways.

Making the registries though was kinda wierd and awkward.

Our rainbow baby, Anna Beatrice was born April 11/2010 after 4 m/c. She joins 4 brothers and sisters.
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#21 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 09:14 PM
 
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A cute idea I've heard (and we've played around with) is a "Big sister!" party. It would be after baby is born, co-ed, just people we know and love, and focused on the bigger girls, since really, they are the ones who will need the extra attention and reassurance, not the baby. Friends/family get to meet the baby, I am reminded of how many people love us, and the girls get a party. of course this doesn't work if you need a shower before hand to fill in the gaps, but again, it's about the intention/purpose behind the party, and I am much more comfortable with a small intimate celebration than a shower.
I love the idea of a big sister party - I've never heard of that. How does it work?

As for showers...I'm not having any this time around. My first dd, my MIL threw a big shower with all of her friends, and it was terribly awkward for me because I didn't know anyone there, and they didn't know me. But, I didn't get a single gift that I hadn't registered for, and since I was still a student, I was extremely grateful to get a lot of the things that we needed. It was still uncomfortable, though, because I hate being the center of attention, and I don't really like getting gifts from people that I don't know.
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#22 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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I'm much more fond of the idea of a mother-blessing than a baby shower. Even with my first, I didn't have a baby shower. I appreciate that people want to show love by buying gifts, but I feel like the occasion is usually really contrived and artificial; with a mother blessing (at least the ones I've gone to) there is no expectation of a gift but if one of the participants wants to bring something for mom or baby, of course they can. If I'm going to have a gathering that is focussed on stuff, it will be an exchange or something similar, not a consumer-glut-fest.

I'm not sure yet if this baby will have anything brand-new. Probably, because MIL likes to buy things (she likes to show love through gifts; I've come to terms with it even though I'm really the opposite and it used to feel really wrong to me, like she was trying to bribe me or something).

I'm sorry, but a "big sibling" party sounds like purest torture to me. Even my laid-back method of party hosting wouldn't be pleasant with a NB, and I'm sure as heck not taking my whole family to someone else's house to suffer through a gaggle of kids/germ factories in the first couple of weeks postpartum. The big siblings get TONS of attention at my house after a baby comes. I don't really get doing gifts etc for the big siblings either, because I don't like the "consolation prize" feel of it. "You can't have very much attention, but buck up, here's a new truck!" doesn't quite work for me; DH and I much prefer actually spending time and energy on ALL of our children. The kids will LOVE having dad around 24/7 for a few weeks to do stuff with them, and then having lots of family members come visit and do things with them too. Alrighty, side-track over...

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#23 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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I've never had a baby shower. My first child was born when I was 17, and no one really wanted to celebrate him with me.

But I have loving friends now, and that makes up for it. And my package of fluffy mail got here today. So, I am happy.

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#24 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 11:45 PM
 
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I love the idea of a big sister party - I've never heard of that. How does it work?
I read the term somewhere months ago and it stuck with me, but I have no idea how other people would do it. We host potluck dinners every few weeks with friends, so i imagine we would just do it on our week to host. Maybe we'd have cupcakes for the kids, but I don't see it being a gift party - just a day to celebrate how awesome it is to be a big sister.

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#25 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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DDC:

My mom is super excited about planning my shower. She called me tonight to discuss it. I had about a dozen people to my wedding and she did pretty much nothing to plan that. So this is her thing. I'm just letting it be. I'm really not into the whole concept of making a registry for people to buy off of, but that's what I'm doing. It is my first and I do have a list of about 50 or so items, about 10 of which I have. So there are things I need. But I'm going to keep it modest and stick with practicalities that don't cost people a lot of money. My mom is planning on buying us a crib and other furniture, which is nice.

I guess I'm not making a big point here, but I just wanted to say that I understand the ambivalence.
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#26 of 33 Old 02-24-2010, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a few frustrating gift giving incidences with my last pregnancy. A few people offered to get a gift for us and the new baby but neglected to tell me what range of funds it would require. I said something like a few bibs and they said "oh more then that" and then I am racking my brains trying to determine what is more money then a couple bibs (something 20-30 $ ?) that we actually needed. So I told them I would think about it because I was heavily pregnant and out of it....... and then of course their are many different prices to the same thing. I found a moses basket at one store that was 35 I think......but a lot of them are 90 or more.... Jeez.
It is just so hard to nagivate. I wish their was an esier way!
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#27 of 33 Old 02-24-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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Luckily I'm not getting a shower this time around. But I am sick of people giving useless crap for baby showers, wedding gifts, or just in general for birthday and holiday presents. I hate clutter and already have a house full of stuff. Last year I totaled how much my donations to Goodwill and our local Habitat for Humanity Restore and the value was over $1000. The HH stuff was tile, knobs, painting supplies, stuff we bought ourselves leftover from home improvements. But Goodwill stuff included four giant trashbags bags of stuffed animals my then two-year old has received since birth, oodles of hand-knitted baby blankets we never used, wedding gifts not from our registry that I had kept in storage for five years.

It seems to me that in this modern day, people just buy, buy, buy without consideration. And it seems like such a waste. A friend had a baby shower back in January and she didn't know what she was having. Of the 20+ people there, there were only two of us who actually used her registry. She received no less than four jars of bath toys, about 30 outfits, and so much baby lotion and shampoo that a city's worth of babies could be kept clean for a month.

So here's a question. Is there a "polite" way to say on birth announcements that we don't need any gifts? I want family and friends to know when our little boy is born, but I don't want to receive any gifts at all because we need nothing.

S & J . DD 2/8/7. DS 4/25/10. Natural foods eating, sleep deprived, gardening WAH mama.
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#28 of 33 Old 02-24-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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We strive for simplicity, both because we live in a very small house, but also because it feeds my soul to have space, physical and emotional. I'm horrible about cluttering up a place and then feeling like I can't breath in it, so simplicity is a daily goal, not just an ideal for us.

You have a couple options with gifts (and if it's your first baby, you'll find with birthdays/holidays you will be overrun with gifts for baby over the next few years): you can give people guidelines/restrictions and refuse all gifts that don't fit; you can refuse all gifts across the board; or you can make your preferences known and then just smile and be gracious when people buy whatever they want to. What I've found is that people love to give gifts they like, and I love to make people happy. We don't solicit presents, but if we are given something, we are grateful and sincere, and then we can treat the gift as if it is an item we bought. If it fits into our home/feeds our souls, we keep it. If it is nice, but just doesn't have a purpose or place in our home, we hand it off to someone we think would appreciate it. If it's just so off-base that we don't even know what to do with it (ahem, formula ), we donate it to a local charity/shelter.

If you truly just don't want to deal with the stuff (which I completely get), I don't think it is tacky to include a little note, something along the lines of "We are blessed to be without want or need, but if you would like to make a donation in our son's name to your local children's charity (Shriners Hospital/Ronald McDonald House/Crisis Nursery/etc), we would be so happy to know that his birth has brought hope and healing into others lives."

Ivory, partner to Tom, mama to Ella (12/9/05), Alice (12/8/07), and our newest addition, Rebecca (4/1/10).
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#29 of 33 Old 02-24-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazer View Post
So here's a question. Is there a "polite" way to say on birth announcements that we don't need any gifts? I want family and friends to know when our little boy is born, but I don't want to receive any gifts at all because we need nothing.
How about something along the lines of "we are blessed to have everything we need for (baby), so please consider making a donation in his/her name to X charity."

Sara caffix.gif, Keith 2whistle.gif, Toby 6/08superhero.gif, Nomi 4/10blahblah.gif, Mona 1/12 hammer.gif

 

Mama of three, lover, student rabbi, spoonie, friend, musician, narcoleptic, space muffin, pretty much a dragon. Crunchy like matzoh.

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#30 of 33 Old 02-24-2010, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I so agree with you! Useful things or no things please. I think a lot of people just like to shop for shoping sakes, not that they are not putting thought in it.... I imagine someone thinking "Oh that is an adorable outfit, they will really LOVE it" But it is more then the thought that counts......stuff you don't need or use gets negitive points!
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