September 2011 Moms
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Baby shower issues/questions (long)

I'm not into showers, and I'm not really excited about having one, but I feel super pressured into it, and have agreed.  It's not that I'm ungrateful (though I know I probably sound that way), it's the opposite - I feel rude or guilty about people coming to this party where the whole point is to give me gifts.  I hate how gift-grabby the whole notion of showers is, and I really just don't care for the tradition at all.  My mom and MIL are throwing it for me, but I still feel like I come across as greedy just by having it at all.  Plus, no one likes going to them.  Everyone I know agrees that showers are only fun for the person being showered - everyone else is just "sitting through it."  IMO, since everyone seems to feel that way, why do we keep the tradition going?  I feel bad making friends and family "sit through" a shower for me when I know full well that they would all rather be spending their summer Sunday afternoon anywhere else.

Anyway, I feel really pressured about it because from the day DH and I told our families that I'm pregnant, our moms immediately started chatting about shower plans - they're excited to do it, and I'm terribly grateful to them for that.  Plus a lot of my friends and family have all been asking me about when my shower is.  Not whether or not I'm having one - that seems to be assumed by everyone - just when.  So part of me feels like if I told mom and MIL that I really don't want them to do it, Id' be letting people down (which maybe goes against my notion that no one wants to go, but whatever).  People have also been asking me where I'm registered, and when I tell them I haven't registered yet because there's not a whole lot that I really need, they look at me like I'm crazy.

I've talked to my mom about how I feel and she said that it's up to me, but that she agrees with me about everything, from how people don't like going to them to how a lot of people want me to have one.  She even said she thinks she's not going to invite her two groups of girlfriends because she feels like I just had a wedding shower 4 years ago, and they all gave me lovely gifts for that, so she feels guilty asking them to come to a baby shower now.  This just reinforces the impression of greediness that I already have.

Finally - I've received so many hand-me-downs from friends and family already that I don't think I'm going to be registering for many big things, and it may actually be sort of difficult for me to fill a registry to the point where 40 shower guests would be shopping from it.  Again, I'm thrilled that people have been so generous, and I'm certainly not complaining about this, part of me just sort of feels like I don't really NEED a shower, you know?  (Not that anyone really needs a shower - it's everyone's responsibility to provide for their own child, blah, blah, blah - but you know what I mean?  There's not even a ton of stuff for people to buy for me).  And I hate wasteful spending and excessive things, if that makes sense.  I hate excess and waste, and with how generous people have been with us already, I hate to ask people to come to a shower and spend money on gifts that we don't absolutely need, I guess.

I don't know, so I feel very conflicted about the whole thing, I guess.  I'm so, so grateful and feel so blessed to have so many friends and family who really seem like they want to help us out with everything and celebrate with us, but at the same time, I sort of feel guilty about it all.  I'm going to talk to my mom again and see if they can at least leave my registry off the invitations, and maybe put "no gifts, please" on there and call it something other than a shower.  I don't know - I still feel like people will feel obligated to bring gifts, and just giving it another name really doesn't change it, you know?  And then is it weird to have some kind of a celebration pre-baby that is not a shower?  In that case shouldn't it be after LO is born?

All of that to say - if I'm having this shower, I really want to do something for all of the people who come and celebrate with me.  Is it inappropriate for me to make some kind of favor/gift for all of the guests for my own shower?  And what could I do?  I know that mom and MIL are planning on some kind of tchotchky favor, but I would sort of like to do something in addition to that, from me.  Is that rude or weird?  Am I overthinking all of this and being ridiculous?  Am I just neurotic and should get over it and be thankful that someone wants to throw me a shower at all?

Thanks for hanging in and reading all that, and for whatever advice you have for me.

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Re: Baby shower issues/questions (long)

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    I don't know about most people but I feel super excited when one of my family members or friends are having a baby shower.  I LOVE buying things for the new LO. Dont' feel guilty, people who are attending your shower will be getting you things out of Love for you.. They dont' feel bad about spending a little money (we can't take it with us) so dont you feel bad.  Just try to sit back and enjoy one of the last times it is gonna be about you.  LOL Because after the baby, all the other people want to do is see the baby.  You have officially become chopped liver, in a very good new mommy to be way...LOL
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    Thanks.  I agree with you - while I admittedly don't love actually going to showers, I do like shopping for and giving shower gifts for both wedding and baby showers.  And the money has never bothered me at all when I'm giving shower gifts. 

    Somehow when I'm the recipient, though, I always feel so guilty!  I was the same way about my bridal shower, but maybe to a lesser extent, because I didn't have all of the hand-me-down stuff that I have for the baby, you know?

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    You could always ask people to make a donation in your babies name to March of Dime or another charity you support in lieu of gifts.  If they want to do something otherwise you can just call it a party with no gifts required. 

    Just a thought!

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    I don't know how helpful this will be, but I'm going to try:

    I think a couple of things:

    1. I don't think it's true that showers are only fun for the person being showered.  If this is a huge concern for you, try and make it more into a party/celebration.  Don't open your gifts at the party if you don't want to.  Or, open them when you have something else for guests to do and let those who want to watch, watch, but don't "force" them to.

    2.  I really think that if I were in your shoes, I would go with the flow and let my mom and MIL take care of things.  They seem excited about it, and I know that my mom and MIL would be heartbroken if I said I didn't want one.

    3.  As far as gifts go, register for what you do need, even if that registry is small.  You could also mention that you would like people to make a donation to a certain charity and/or register for giftcards (if you don't find that tacky--to each their own, right?)  If you're thinking of cord blood banking, you could also do some sort of registry toward that (though I must admit that I'm not 100% on how that works). 

    Best of luck!

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    Stop overthinking it.  Chill out, register for the stuff you need and try not to stress over it.  I understand your feeling but people don't look at expectant mothers as being gift grabby for having showers - unless they really are gift grabby and show it.  You are safe!

    Register for lots of books - people love to buy kids books and you can rationalize that the gifts are then actually useful for your LO's development.  I bet you can find lots of things for your registry that will be useful. Don't worry about finding big stuff.  Just register for what you need and want and don't stress about it.  Honestly, some people REALLY enjoy shopping for a baby.  Them being able to buy a cutesy baby thing is a thrill for them - even if you don't like it!

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    I hear you on this one... personally, I had a lot of issues with our wedding and the whole shower related to that. In the end, though, it ended up being really fun. Aside from the crib, we don't have a lot of the stuff that we need for the baby yet, so I'm open to the baby shower (my mom is super-excited... my MIL couldn't care less, but she is invited).

    One thing I have insisted on (and that my mom doesn't really know how to deal with) is the fact that I want a co-ed shower. I feel like the baby is my husband's too, so he should also be able to attend the shower. We are doing the shower as a brunch where the focus will be catching up with close family and friends rather than playing girly games.  I do worry that the guys might be bored or that a lot of men will simply opt not to attend. We'll see.

    Agree with others that you might find something else to register for other than "stuff." 

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