View Full Version : Lots of questions regarding baby shower!
10-30-2002, 01:35 PM
I have been offered a baby shower which will most likely take place in January or early February. My hostess is very creative and I trust her tastes completely. However, I was wondering how involved should I be in the process. I know that she will ask me for my input, but at the same time, I don't want to be seen as too "involved".
I was thinking of discussing with her some possible dates for the shower and telling her of my preferences, such as time of day, Saturday vs. Sunday, and of course, the guest list. It is early, I know, but people's calendars fill up pretty quickly in the Washington, DC area - it is amazing! With this resolved, then that way invitations can be sent out early in January.
Regarding guests: though I must admit that I am a stickler for etiquette, I would like to invite not only good friends and family (as is the norm), but also "new" friends that we have come to know since relocating to this area 3 1/2 years ago. This past summer, I was taken aback by an invitation I received to a baby shower for someone I did not know at all. Okay, I had probably MET the person once, but that was about it. I went to the shower anyway, but I just thought that sending an invitation to a remote acquaintance (at best) is in bad taste.
So where do you draw the line? The "new" women I have come to know, have spent time in my home - have either been invited for dinners, BBQ's or birthday parties, etc. They are not necessarily "good", intimate friends and we do not really chat on the phone (seems like no one does that in DC anyway). I know that they would enjoy coming to the shower and I am actually afraid to leave some people out of the guest list, yikes!
But the whole purpose of a shower is to give a gift and I am still concerned over been perceived as just wanting a gift, which I assure you is not the case.
Now to DH. He is excited and even hinted as to whether he was going to be invited. I have no preference as to whether a shower should be co-ed or women only. But, if I include DH, then all other men should be included as well, right? I am thinking that I wouldn't want to increase the expenses for my hostess, yikes!
Finally, (did you think I was ever going to end this?) there is one woman I would like to invite to the shower, but the thing is that she has already given me some really nice things for the baby. For example, she gave me her Chicco Mama high chair (practically new), a Century Fold n' Play, and lots of reading materials. I don't want her to feel like she needs to give me yet another gift as I am so appreciative of the things she has given me already. Should I communicate this sentiment to her or should I just not invite her?
Any other thoughts, suggestions, ideas you ladies can provide? I want this to be fun!
Naty (March 03)
twins r fun
10-30-2002, 02:16 PM
I'm only going to comment on your last question, since I don't know the ins and outs of baby shower etiquette! I just lent a good friend of my sister a ton of baby items (pretty much everything that my twins aren't using anymore). I would have been really offended if I hadn't been invited to her baby shower. I think of a shower as a way for your friends to celebrate the impending birth of your baby, not just a gift opportunity. I would have felt like because I had already given her things, I wasn't entitled to celebrate with everyone else. However, the hostess (my sister) made it clear that the woman DID NOT want me to bring a gift under any circumstance (I brought a little toy, anyway)! I think your friend should definitely be invited, just tell her (yourself or through the hostess) that she has given you enough and you do not want a gift.
10-30-2002, 02:43 PM
Thanks Nicole. I was thinking the same thing. I would like to let her know (perhaps via my hostess) that no gift is necessary, just her company. I will definitely invite her. Thanks for the feedback.
Naty (March 03)
10-30-2002, 03:32 PM
Regarding the invites, I would feel free to invite anyone that you think might send you an invite if they were having a shower. Does that make sense? If you've invited them into your home, chances are they are close enough friends to invite. I know the purpose of the shower is to help the new mom by providing gifts of useful items, BUT it is also viewed by most women as a time to celebrate the coming birth... and I think both purposes are about equal. I wouldn't worry about whether someone perceives that you want a gift because you have an invite sent. Most women would be offended by being left out if they consider you a friend at all.
About DH... tell him he can come if he wants, but there will probably be all women there, and there will be a lot of "women" talk going on. Don't specify one way or the other whether it is co-ed or not. The women will come, and most of the men will avoid it at all costs (even if it IS coed!).
And I agree, DEFINITELY invite your friend and just tell her not to bring anything. She will be hurt if you leave her out.
So, give your hostess a good date & time, a list of invitees, and sit back while she does the planning for you. Then just show up and have fun! :) HTH!
My DH attended our shower as the only male and was really happy he was there. If your husband wants to attend, I say let him - and I don't think you need to invite other males - he'll come in handy loading up the car when it is over! With regard to the guest list I would invite people who I would expect to be invited to and willing to attend their showers. I too have been invited to the showers of remote acquaintances - I did not attend their showers nor did I invite them to mine, it just didn't seem right. Best wishes to you...
SAHM to Lilli (9/20/00) & Alec (10/21/02)
10-30-2002, 04:24 PM
I would definitely invite the ladies who have been to your home and that you have done things with. I love getting invited to showers for friends, even if they are not really close friends. It's all about sharing in the happiness of a new baby coming into the world.
Do let your hostess know about times and dates that are convenient to you. I don't think that doing that makes you too involved.
When I was pregnant with our first child, our Sunday School class at church hosted a shower for me and another lady who was due at the same time as me. They made it a coed shower. It was a cookout where everyone brought their own meat to grill, and all the side dishes,paper products and desserts were brought potluck-style by everyone. We had a blast! DH came in and "oohed and "aahed" over the presents and then went back out to hang with the guys. Granted, you can't have a cookout in DC in the winter, but maybe you could do a coed brunch - breakfast foods aren't usually that expensive. If you do the shower in the afternoon, just some light appetizers would be plenty, just make sure to have plenty of them if it does become coed, because men can eat a lot..DH did attend one of my girls only showers and was completely comfortable and had a great time.
I would invite the casual friends, too. If they don't feel close enough to you, they will probably just decline the invitation. They would be more likely to be hurt that they weren't invited. Plus, don't worry about the obligation of gifts. I've been to baby showers for coworkers' wives that I didn't know at all and I usually just tailor my gift to how well I know them (the bottles or a book for ones I don't know well, the fancy outfit or baby monitor for closer friends.)
PREGNANT! EDD 6/9/03
10-31-2002, 12:51 PM
Thank you all for the wonderful input you provided to my concerns. They are extremely helpful to me. Again, thanks ladies!!!
Naty (March 03)
10-31-2002, 02:48 PM
I agree with everything everybody said, but also just want to add that you should do what would make it a special day for YOU. If there are people you want there, ask them to come. If you don't want somebody there, don't send an invitation. You don't sound like you're in any danger of being rude or ignoring reasonable good manners, so I wouldn't worry about that stuff. You can get too tangled up in the "shoulds" and forget that it's supposed to be fun and celebratory. This is an early chance to welcome your baby! Make sure it feels good to you, and everything else will fall into place.
Mommy to Abigail Rose
11-03-2002, 01:16 AM
I can't offer anything else that these ladies haven't already said. But I will say, be careful with the dates! ;-) You don't say when in March you're due, but you don't want to schedule it too close to your due date. I was due March 27th and some co-workers had a small shower on February 11th. I was supposed to attend another shower for another co-worker (due 5 weeks after me) on March 11th, but that's the day Evan decided to make his arrival! My family didn't have a shower for me--my mom's not the party planning type, and my cousin that is the planning type got married on New Year's Eve, so until she was all done with her wedding stuff and started to think about hosting a shower for me there was no time left to schedule anything. So we just had a "welcome baby" party after Evan's baptism when he was 3 weeks old.
The woman that did host my "work" shower asked me for menu preferences since she knows I'm a picky eater. Other than that I wasn't too involved.
I would have loved to have a "big" shower since I didn't get to have a wedding shower (see the part above about my mother--my cousin planned a small wedding shower for my bridal party at my mom's house). Guess I just feel like I've been cheated out of some "woman's rite of passage" kind-of-thing or something. LOL! You'd think I'd be over it by now! I'm also the kid that had one birthday party with friends the entire time I was growing up.
Sorry got off topic there.
Invite whoever you feel comfortable inviting (you could always ask the hostess if she had a "number of people" in mind). I think the "type" of party dictates whether guys would feel comfortable there (such as, are you playing the "silly" shower games that women play, or is it just food and gifts). But, by all means, HAVE FUN!
11-04-2002, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the feedback! I am due the first week of March (on the 5th). Do you think that is too close?
Naty (March 03)
11-04-2002, 03:48 PM
Ooops, forgot to mention that the shower has been tentatively scheduled for February 1st. The other date that might work is January 19th. What do you think?
Naty (March 03)
11-04-2002, 09:54 PM
Just a note...but your mother shouldn't plan/host/be involved in a big wedding shower for you anyway.
11-05-2002, 12:11 AM
That timing sounds fine - I'd say at least 4 weeks before your due date. Anything else is cutting it a little close, in my opinion. I am a first time mom and went into labor two weeks early - it's not that uncommon!
mommy to Colin Daniel 9/28/02
11-05-2002, 01:27 PM
Well, I have no sisters, so I just had female cousins and a few close female friends of DH's in the wedding party. I didn't have any "close" female friends to throw a shower for me. It's not so much that my mother doesn't want to do it. It's that she doesn't want ANYONE to do it. She has this fear that a big party will be planned and nobody will show up! She'd rather just give us money to buy what we want than get stressed out. She could have worked with my cousins to plan a "real" shower, but she didn't want to. (Around here the bride's mother often helps the bridesmaids with the cost of food, etc. for the shower. Nobody thinks anything of it.)
I wanted to have a party for my parent's 40th anniversary in June a few years ago. I reserved a pavillion at a local park for a cook out and I was going to take care of everything. Well, she freaked out and didn't want to do it, and then it was I couldn't invite anybody from my dad's side of the family, just hers. This was the only way should would agree to show up. Even though I didn't think it was fair to my dad, I went along with it. (We're a little closer to my mom's side of the family, but still get along with my dad's side.) The whole time leading up to the day all my mom could think about was "What happens if it rains? What if nobody comes? I'm just going to sit off over here by myself and not do anything." Well, the day came and it was absolutely beautiful and my mother enjoyed herself!!! As did everyone else. She just couldn't see past her anxiety to see how much fun it would be. Of course now I feel I have "free reign" to invite everyone I want to to their 50th anniversary!
11-05-2002, 08:24 PM
Alittle funny story...
I feel alittle awkward (sp???) about having a baby shower and inviting some folks because I got married three years ago and got bridal shower gifts, wedding gifts and now here it is baby time. Many of my friends and those that attended have not had any events where I can return the favor. So I was telling one friend I might just have a "welcome baby" party and specify that no gifts are wanted/needed in some formal etiquette way.
But any way I was on the phone with her and I said "I only want their Presence" (as in attendance)...not realizing that that sounds like "I only want their presents"...I of course did not notice what I said becaseu my mind track was on "presence" as in attending...there was this long pause till I realized what was heard...
11-05-2002, 10:07 PM
I understand how you feel - we just celebrated our first wedding anniversary two weeks ago and our baby shower is this weekend. I don't think my family will be throwing us any type of shower - I come from a very large family and someone is always either having a baby or getting married. However, my husband is an only child and the oldest grandchild, so our son will be the first for his family. I don't think they mind in the least having this shower so soon after our wedding. Just remember - these 'parties' aren't about the gifts or returning a favor - they are about celebrating a special event in your life. I don't know anyone who would fault you for having so much to celebrate. If they did, they probably have more issues than you would want to deal with.
On your little side note - I did the same thing with my co-workers who are invited to my shower this weekend (my team at work is also throwing me a shower). I told them 'their presence is present enough' and they didn't take it the way I said it. I finally said 'No gifts, just show up!' I think they got the message.
11-05-2002, 10:51 PM
Have fun at your shower!!!! How exciting!!!!
I am sooo fortunate that non of my friends are opinionated about stuff liket hat and they would be there with bells on their toes...it's just me feeling that way.
I do make sure that I hoot and hurrah for any event they have so I am fortunate there. Having moved from DC to Raleigh between wedding and baby makes it difficult for me to be there for every one elses events...though I try and always make certain to send something...but you are right this is a celebration for the babies :):):)
11-05-2002, 11:38 PM
Well, it sounds like you'll have a boat-load of showers then! Just enjoy them - for me that's easier said than done. I too am blessed with wonderful friends, but it's my sister and other family members I have to worry about. One of my sisters thinks I have everything handed to me and is still holding grudges over things that happened when we were kids. Doesn't make for warm, fuzzy holidays around the fireplace. It's been said friends are family we choose for ourselves, so I think I've been pretty lucky. Just let your friends spoil and pamper you - it really only happens with your first baby, so enjoy it! Believe me, from what everyone at work keeps telling me, by the end of your ninth month, you'll be happy you were able to celebrate!
11-06-2002, 02:48 PM
I felt funny, too, because our baby was due 16 months after we got married, but keep in mind that this is your last big celebration - they just happened to be close together! I'm sure that there were some that complained about our wedding and baby coming so close together, but hopefully the idea that they were "done" buying gifts for us consoled them.
Not that I felt that the showers were all about gifts - or that anyone is obligated to buy us a gift - but if someone is getting upset about "another" shower for you, it usually is because they don't want to buy another gift!
mommy to Colin Daniel 9/28/02
11-07-2002, 02:56 PM
About showers, I may be involved in helping to host one. I've never been to one (I didn't have one). What do you DO at a baby shower?
11-08-2002, 03:31 PM
It depends, but usually eat, play silly games, open presents. At least that's what it's been like at the handful I've been to. They were all work related showers (so just the mom-to-be and some co-workers).
But I think there are a bunch of websites out there with ideas for baby showers. Some people do things like buy plain white onesies and have the guest decorate them for the baby. That's the only "different" idea I can remember reading about right now.
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