Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I am having my third baby soon, and I am planning on throwing myself a baby shower. Despite having two other children I've never had a baby shower, so I didn't think there was anything wrong with throwing one, but when I told our families and friends no one seemed supportive or interested, and several of them made rude comments about how it is inappropriate to have a shower for your third child, "especially when we just had a baby of the same gender less than two years ago."
We're not having a traditional shower – it's going to be co-ed and more like a baby-themed barbecue with games and presents – but people still seem to be uninterested/offended. Part of me is afraid that no one will show up, and part of me is afraid that they'll all show up and behave badly. Is there any way to change their attitudes so that everyone can just show up and have a nice time?
- Mrs. Self Shower Blues
Dear Mrs. Self Shower Blues:
While throwing yourself a baby shower may not be “politically correct,” it’s the new millennium and new rules apply. Still, there are many “traditional” folks who like to stick to the “traditional” rules. Instead of focusing on changing their attitudes, perhaps changing your approach might be more beneficial. Start by nixing the word shower and using, “barbecue,” “celebration” or “soiree.” It sounds more inviting and a lot less “traditional.”
The presumption that you are expecting presents might also leave some folks with a bad taste. Inviting people to celebrate the birth of your third child without requesting a present or supplying a registry list comes across a tad more tactful and might even insight some really thoughtful gifts.
Throwing your own party is fine, but it’s important to set a welcoming, tasteful tone. If you do that many of your family and friends will probably come around and look forward to celebrating your new baby. Unfortunately, you can’t control people’s attitudes or stop them from behaving badly, but you can plan a fun day and extend an invitation for them to share in your excitement with you. Once you change your presentation, you should be able to gauge how people are receiving it. Welcome the positive people with open arms and don’t give any energy to the negative ones - you’re going to need all of your energy for your precious new baby.
Winks & Smiles,
Ever thrown your own shower? Or, attend one when someone had? Do you think it’s inappropriate? Don’t be shy; your tactful two cents are welcome…
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