Self Shower Blues

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dear Wifey:

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,

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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…

The advice on this site is intended to be helpful, but is not meant to take the place of marital counseling, legal advice, financial advice or any other professional service. If you feel you need professional help, it is encouraged for you to get some.


Anonymous,  March 25, 2009 at 11:30 AM  

Wifey said it best. This is your baby and your life, you should definitely do what makes you happy. If I were in your shoes, I would have a "welcome our new baby" or "celebration of life" get together, like Wifey suggested but I would only invite those I am closest to. All my co-workers from the office wouldn't get an invite. Only those people that are special in this life to me; other friends who have children but don't get over to the house often, those who I know pray for me and have my back, those who are actually gonna be there when the baby is dedicated or baptized, those who will actually have a relationship with the child in the future, ya know. Those are the people I want to surround myself with, surround my child with, celebrate life with, and thank for always being there for me. People who want to come, will be there. And in the end, those are the people that are suppose to be there. God bless you, the new baby, and your family.


Anonymous,  March 25, 2009 at 12:33 PM  

Wow that is some really good advice coming from Wifey. I think keeping it light in the invitations is a really good key too. Barbecue, soiree, is something people definitely would want to get down to I think. 2 years time between babies to me is a enough time to not have baby items in the house anymore. Hope all turns out well.

My best, Lynn

3 Bay B Chicks March 25, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

Such a great post, Wifey. I agree with all of your advice. The keys to a successful soiree are really just planning and presentation.

Oh, and I have totally orchestrated my own parties. Not for baby showers, but definitely for birthdays. My guests and I always seem to have a ton of fun.


Liz Wilkey (a.k.a. A Mom on Spin) March 25, 2009 at 9:26 PM  

Dear Wifey,

I say "Forget the baby showers! Who cares whether you can change a few diapers???? Save the pampering for entrance into the teenage years. . . That's the time you really need all the help you can get!!!!!"

Unknown March 25, 2009 at 10:08 PM  

Thanks for the input, Ladies!

Lizspin, you are so right. I'm already afraid of what's to come. We should definitely have "teenage" showers - smiles!

I'm Just Me March 26, 2009 at 1:26 AM  

Great post! I don't have any children yet but I have always wanted a co-ed "Welcome our little family member" party! I say go for it! I think it would be wonderful for you to plan and host the event.

The word "Shower" conquers up all kinds of images like Sunday afternoon and a group of all women tasty unlabeled baby food jars and diaper pin games... a party/bbq is a great way to get all the people you love together to celebrate your new little one.

And Congratulations on another addition to you family!

Inviting Company March 26, 2009 at 1:13 PM  

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Anonymous,  March 26, 2009 at 1:52 PM  

This is some really good advice Wifey. I do know of someone who through a baby shower for their 4th child. I wasn't sure what to think, as now that I'm an adult and doing adult things (ie: getting married, having children) I see there are so many rules and regulations to things. Forget all of that stuff and do what makes you happy. And like Wifey said, you can't change people's attitude but you can change your approach therefore changing their attitudes and your own. Love it!!!!

Anonymous,  March 27, 2009 at 8:24 PM  

Yeah, I think it's pretty much common sense that after the first you don't get a shower, and if you didn't get one...oh well.

The Rambler March 28, 2009 at 8:37 PM  

Great advice Wifey.

Thanks so much for visiting me on my SITS day :)

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