Soapbox: So You’re Having ANOTHER Baby Shower? Please Don’t Invite Me!
I probably won’t win too many fans with this statement, but it’s been on my mind for the past few years. I don’t think second-, third-, fourth-time etc. moms should have a baby shower for every pregnancy. The baby shower should be reserved for new moms only!
A baby shower is supposed to help prepare the new parents for their baby. Guests give really cute clothes that make the parents and attendees gush, but most gifts are usually some kind of contraption that will make caring for the baby easier — like a Diaper Genie and a case of diapers. Yet, a baby shower for a second child shouldn’t be necessary. Most parents know whether they want one or more children. And if they decide on the latter, then they should think ahead and keep most of their reusable shower gifts for the future. That’s what my cousins have done. Between the three of them, they have 10 children. And throughout their parental lives they’ve swapped cribs, strollers, car seats, etc. and have handed-down clothes.
For most, the goal of a second baby shower is to cut down on the cost of a newborn. But it doesn’t make sense to spend money on a baby shower to save money after the baby is born. In my experience, most second-time or third-time moms often throw their own baby shower, which means they’re shelling out all the planning money. I say save that money and head to your local consignment shop to find cute and useful baby items. Or even have an item and clothing swap with some of your friends in the same situation … And leave your single friends alone because it wasn’t our decision to expand your family and we probably won’t get anything out of it.
And maybe it’s just me, but baby showers are extremely boring! Those games attendees are forced to play are stupid. And I’ve never been the type to gush over a pregnant belly. In fact, the idea of growing an organism inside a womb grosses me out in much the same way a tiny kangaroo fetus crawling up its mother and into her pouch does. I know pregnancy is a necessary occurrence for the human population to grow and continue to exist, but it’s a process I’d like to observe from afar until it’s my turn.
And that brings me to the main reason I’m anti-baby shower for non-new moms. When I leave a baby shower, my ego and self-esteem are often in the toilet. I feel low because I know I want at least one child, but am nowhere near achieving that dream. I’d like to start a family the “right” way for me, and that requires a husband first. During and after a baby shower, I find myself questioning my life decisions. Should I have toughed it out and stayed away at college instead of returning to NYC, where dating is difficult on a good day? Would I have married my college sweetheart? Maybe I should have gone to business school instead of J-school, where the pickings for attractive men were slim? Will my endometriosis prevent me from becoming pregnant? All these feelings and questions hit me like a ton of dirty diapers, and I’m left alone to build my self-esteem back up.
I can suck it up or put aside these feelings for a friend or relative who’s having her first baby, but not one who is having a second, third, etc. child. That might seem selfish to some, but I think it’s selfish to subject your friends to a baby shower, where they have to give a gift, pretend they’re happy to guess the kind of candy diarrhea is in a diaper, and leave the shower feeling horrible about themselves. No, thank you! And my feelings won’t be hurt if I’m not invited … Seriously, don’t invite me!
So if you’re going to have a second, third, or fourth baby, think about whether a baby shower is really necessary and worth the headache it will inevitably cause you. Also consider whether your single friends really want to attend. If they’re like me, then they’ll go, but they won’t be happy about it. And when you’re pregnant you’ll want to keep your friends as close as possible, especially if you’re going to need someone to babysit your first bundle of joy while you’re giving birth to your second.