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A Shower for Baby #2?

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This morning my husband called and said, “is it okay if my mom doesn’t throw you a sprinkle?” A sprinkle is apparently a baby shower for a second/third/subsequent child. My mother-in-law offered to host a party for us and asked my husband for a list of details including possible dates and a list of people we’d like to invite.

My husband, (feeling overwhelmed by a million other things going on with his business, job and home renovations), thanked his mother for the offer, but told her it really wasn’t a great time for us to plan a party.

I appreciated the gesture and was surprisingly torn about my husband’s idea to forgo it. First, let me say I didn’t expect anyone to throw a shower for me.

Other than a few miscellaneous items we have everything we need for this child, so I certainly don’t need a big bash and a room full of gifts. My guest list would change a lot from the last shower too. It would only include extremely close friends and family members. Last time a few extended family members and coworkers were invited.

To be honest I was initially against the idea of a second shower. A few moms told me second showers are held when the second child is a different gender than the first. In my case we didn’t know the gender of my first child before he was born and we don’t know the gender of this one either. That means I have a whole lot of yellow and green gear and baby outfits that can be handed down to baby number two. It also means we can’t have a party with “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl” banners streaming from the windows.

So if I don’t need gifts, don’t like to be the center of attention, don’t know the gender and didn’t plan on anyone offering to host a shower why did I feel so torn about not having one? The answer is surprisingly simple: I remembered how warm and fuzzy I felt during the shower that was held for my son.

In my pregnancy journal I wrote:

This Saturday my friends and family threw a baby shower for me, well actually for you, little one. And while you are still weeks away from your expected arrival the outpouring of love for you was absolutely amazing.

The women in my life come from various backgrounds and they all have different goals in life. Each one is amazing in her own way. I can only hope that when you grow up you are blessed and surrounded by such loving relationships in your own life. Of course, you’ll be loved and adored by your dad and I and all of our families, (that goes without saying), but I hope you come to find love and companionship from the friends that will become your extended family.

On Saturday the room was filled with a group of women who came out to celebrate you. Some women who couldn’t attend sent cards and gifts so they wouldn’t miss out on the festivities and when all was said and done I hand wrote twenty-seven thank you cards that corresponded to so many gifts we had to transport them in two separate cars.

It amazes me to think that you aren’t even here yet and there is already a pocket of love blooming around you!

I suppose I wanted to feel that kind of love for this baby even though he or she isn’t here yet.
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Newlyweds on a Budget

Thursday 29th of January 2015

This whole no-shower-for-second-baby is something I've only heard about in recent years and it's definitely something I've only heard coming from white people (is that PC to say??). Coming from a Mexican family, I've learned to celebrate EVERYTHING, and I just don't understand why people wouldn't want to celebrate a second child. It's like second-child syndrome is already starting from the womb! Perhaps it's because we view baby showers more as a celebration than a greedy grab fest. I agree that maybe you don't invite everyone and keep it to close family and friends only, and if it's the whole gift thing thats bothering you, just ask people to bring their favorite children's book instead. I think it's wonderful when families want to honor the new baby that's going to enter into your life. As for the comments about feeling forced to buy a gift--I feel like sometimes people completely forget about what the purpose of buying a gift is. Don't give a gift if it's going to make you feel hardened or out of obligation--and heck, don't bother attending the party if it bugs you that much to bring a gift. The whole purpose of bringing a gift is supposed to be the sentiment behind it. I don't have any friends where I feel they would throw a party just for the gifts (isn't it cheaper to buy it yourselves than to throw a party?) and they know it's the same vice versa. Like I said, it's a celebration of life and the sentiment that counts...sometimes people just need to lighten up. It's like we don't even realize the purpose of parties these days.

One Frugal Girl

Friday 30th of January 2015

I'm so glad you left this comment.

It's interesting that you believe a cultural issue is primarily to blame. You may be right. I do think these celebrations are focused on the true celebration, (the birth of a child), but it can certainly feel like a greedy grab too. When a family member registered she included items she would never buy for herself. Just crazy pricey items like $800 strollers. I mean come on if you wouldn't buy yourself something that expensive why on earth would you expect someone else to do that.

Because of the tradition people feel obligated to buy gifts and as someone who doesn't need anything that stresses me out. I suppose a really well written invitation would help set the tone. Something that speaks to celebrating the love of this new child and saying 'absolutely no gifts' or suggesting something very small like 'one book'.

I love new babies so I'm with you on buying gifts out of love not obligation. I am typically so excited about the birth of a friend or family members baby that I can't wait to buy them something even if it's something small. I think gifts should always come from your heart and I do think that's an issue with showers. Guests may want to celebrate the baby but not shell out big bucks to help the expectant mother deck out her nursery. The whole thing makes me sad.

Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom

Thursday 29th of January 2015

I love your entry in your journal! I remember being so overwhelmed with love at my shower too!

I think throwing the baby a "birthday" party afterwards is a good idea. No presents, just sharing your new Little One with your friends and family. We threw a small bbq for our girl when she was a couple months old. It was pretty relaxed and nice to see everyone again. But it was no shower!

One Frugal Girl

Friday 30th of January 2015

I'm a little worried about feeling up to throwing a party, but I figure we won't plan for it at this point we'll just see how things go. I do think it would be more fun to do it after the fact. After all, then the little one can feel the love too!

Kay

Thursday 29th of January 2015

What my brother said really rubbed me the wrong way. But he's my brother so I will be chipping in for a gift anyway. The sad part is I know if the situation was reversed I wouldn't be getting anything because I make a lot of money and everyone just expects me to pay for my own stuff because I don't "need" financial help. Talk about double standards...

One Frugal Girl

Friday 30th of January 2015

I wish these parties were more about celebrating the birth of the baby and less about the stuff :( It sounds like you don't have the best relationship with your brother. That always seems to make matters involving money especially difficult.

Kay

Thursday 29th of January 2015

I personally hate second baby showers just like I would hate having to buy a gift for a second wedding. I am not a fan of parties in general so my opinion is probably biased. I want to attend a baby shower or wedding where they say "no gifts of any kind" then that will show that the person is truly having the party to celebrate and not just to get gifts. And if you are invited to said party and attend then it would be really awkward if you didn't bring a gift. It's a lose lose. My brother is having another baby shower (his second kid, his fiancé's second kid, first kid togetheR) and his reasoning was that since the two kids are old he doesn't have any baby stuff left. So you're throwing a party just so people can buy you stuff you don't have?

Newlyweds on a Budget

Thursday 29th of January 2015

I would feel really sad if a sibling of mine felt that obligated to buy a gift for our second child. I buy gifts for others--even their second children--out of love, not obligation.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 29th of January 2015

I love this comment! I felt the same way about friends who told me they'd throw a shower for a different gender. It's like 'okay now it's time to buy me little blue outfits or pretty pink dresses.' I've heard similar things about large age gaps between children. It's like 'okay we gave away all of our stuff now let's have our friends buy us new things.'

I would definitely include a 'no gifts of any kind' note if we had a sprinkle, but after thinking it over the best course of action might be an intimate party (i.e. beer and pizza) with family and close friends after the baby is born.