The arrival of a new baby is always exciting! First baby, second baby, third baby, fourth baby; each one a new special blessing! But what may not be as exciting as the new baby, is the arrival of a second, third, or fourth baby shower invitation for the same family member! Your initial thought may be that you were JUST showering this same couple with baby clothes and paraphernalia; Do you really need to attend ANOTHER shower and are you expected to bring ANOTHER baby gift?
I am old school and I also live on a tight budget. I think the idea of having a baby shower for every baby a couple decides to have it a bit ridiculous! I can’t afford to keep buying gifts!
And because they are family members, I am looked down on if I don’t bring an expensive gift. I’m tired of this! Having a baby shower used to be a privilege and an honor.
Now it is expected for every baby! Some people have a baby almost every year. They should already have everything they could possibly need! This generation expects everything to be handed to them! These same family members don’t even send me a birthday card on my birthday or a Christmas card or present! It’s sad! I can not continue to do this. I need a way out!
I needed to vent, and I know I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, but like I said it was an honor and privilege to have one baby; it seems ungrateful to have one for every baby.
Thank you for writing and this is a great place to vent.
I hope you don’t “get flack for feeling this way.” Sometimes people don’t use logic when planning these types of events. Friends or family members feel pressure to give a baby shower, thinking it’s expected of them. In turn, very few moms-to-be will turn down the offer, although I have had future mom’s write in asking how to say no to a baby shower.
And you are correct, in the past, baby showers were traditionally given only for the first baby. But that tradition has changed. I feel it’s due to several factors: the continual improvements in equipment and technology, most parents waiting longer between babies, along with the trend toward getting together to celebrate more events. However, if a couple has a baby every year and has everything they need, I agree that a shower is not necessary. What that couple needs is diapers!
I understand your conundrum. Normally, I would tell you that you don’t need to attend these repetitive baby showers (by saying you are not able to make it). If you don’t attend, you do not need to give or send a gift.
Since you are family, and you feel pressure to go, I recommend that you don’t buy an expensive gift. You said, “I’m looked down on” if I don’t buy an expensive gift. I’m going to be blunt here – don’t worry about what others think. Buy something that fits your budget. It’s no one else’s business what you buy or what you can afford. We tell our kids not to bow to peer pressure, but as adults, we do it all the time. I promise you will feel much less resentful if you don’t overspend. If your worth to them depends on how much you spend on a gift,… well, I don’t think I have to fill in the rest.
Go with the goal of spending quality time with your family and growing your relationships. Stay within your comfort zone when it comes to the price of the gift, and try not to worry about what anyone will think. (It’s hard, but with practice it gets easier. I know this because I am a reformed over-spender).
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Cheryl Seidel is the founder and President of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations, and more.
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