Many pregnant mamas-to-be look forward to their baby showers. Others, not so much. Of course, there are plenty of reasons why a baby shower is a good idea, especially if mom is expecting her first child with her partner. But at the same time, many moms are bucking the trend of being showered with gifts by family and friends for other traditions instead. Why? Because they feel as though baby showers are a huge waste of time and money. And apparently, more and more people are agreeing with this statement.
Baby showers are meant as a way to help a mother-to-be prepare for the arrival of her first newborn baby. As a matter of fact, some moms have multiple baby showers and even have parties for their second and third children, too. Some people love it, while others believe that it might be a little too excessive. Either way, many future moms and dads are doing things there way, regardless of what their family and friends have to say about it. Baby showers are a great idea, only if you truly believe you should have one.
With that being said, here are 20 things that all moms and dads should consider before having a baby shower.
Let’s face it: baby showers are not cheap. The more people that are invited, the more it will likely cost. And depending how fortunate you may be with your generous friends and family, it might be hard to find someone to foot the final bill. This mom said on Reddit, “I am 36 weeks and have not had one. My 'good' friend was supposed to throw one for me. (She volunteered; I did NOT ask.) And by throw she wanted me to foot the entire bill, set up/decorate, plan it and clean up after. I guess she just wanted to take the credit for 'hosting' it.”
Here’s another question that a lot of people often ask: who should be in charge of all the planning? Should it be you, a family member or a friend? This mom wrote on Baby Center, “My shower was 3 weeks ago ... And I have been in the hospital for a month. After refusing to cancel the damn thing, forcing me to do the invitations and buy the favors, MIL (mother-in-law) turned the afternoon into a cheesy Facebook photo shoot, told everyone I was in the hospital because I was "nervous about being pregnant" (in for a heart condition, pre-e, baby has IUGR, triple nuchal cord).”
Here’s something else that you may have very little control over when it comes to your baby shower: the guest list. You do your best to grin and bear it, especially during the most awkward of situations. Another mom wrote on Baby Center, “My mil (mother-in-law) and sister-in-law hosted the party and invited a bunch of mil's friends. No big deal, it really was her party. Mil told me in front of everyone that she threw the party because she knew I didn't have any friends. My friends, who were all sitting there, couldn’t believe what she had just said.”
This mom recalled on Facebook, “My family lives an hour and a half away and my mom wanted to do all the food. Me knowing that my family is ALWAYS late, by hours, I told her I would just order some sandwiches and put together somethings for people to grab. Plus, we had a lot of friends coming and I knew my mother couldn't financially provide food for that many people. So I told her don't worry about making anything and my mom threw a fit. (She wanted to make two pans of lasagna - for 30 people - with no place to eat it.)”
A lot of moms and dads will agree that having a baby registry only benefits them if they actually receive the gifts that they pre-registered on their lists. But that’s not always the case. Guests tend to buy what they think the new parents should have. All too often moms end up making more gift exchanges and returns than anything else. This mom said on Facebook, “Another thing about baby showers [is that out of] those who came to the shower, I find only 25% bought stuff off registry but we got lots of stuff off our registry in mail from friends/family who couldn't make the shower.”
When it comes to baby shower games, you either love them or hate them. They can turn out to be a hit, or a big flop. There really is no in between. One person wrote on What to Expect, “The host had ducked out and was in the kitchen talking to a friend. Not like I had planned it, so I just got really red and hot and embarrassed and thanked everyone as a group. Eventually people started talking amongst themselves and getting more food, but I just wanted to get out of there so bad after that. I couldn't believe the host didn't plan a single game!”
When you are in the home stretch of your pregnancy, you might not feel or look your best. All you want to do is stay at home, yet your friends and family are pushing you to have a baby shower. You then feel pressured to look your best, even when you’re not feeling your best. This mom said on Baby Center, “My husband wanted to make me an album from the shower but my mom wouldn't give him any pictures. She claimed something happened to the camera even though she hired a photographer. When I started getting on her about it she told me that I was too fat to have the pictures and I don't want any proof that I was ever that obese. According to her, 'no woman should see her baby shower photos, its just too depressing.'"
Then there’s also the fact that you can get a lot of gifts that you really don’t need. One person wrote on What to Expect, “So yesterday was our Baby Shower and I have to say that I was disappointed I'm grateful for our fam n friends but it just didn’t go as I thought it would. And the worst part, we barely got ANYTHING off of our registry We spent a good amount of $ helping to throw the shower and now we have to spend even more to get the necessities for the baby. I feel bad for ranting - and don't want to seem ungrateful, I just can't help but feeling disappointed.”
Here’s something that a lot of moms have pointed out: no one really asks them if they want a baby shower in the first place. They just assume that the party has to be done. Another person wrote on What to Expect, “I am very lucky and we got all the big items from family though. My friends and MIL through the shower, but I ended up doing a lot of it myself and I spent a lot of money on it. I would have been better off using that money to get the things I still need. I am grateful for the effort, I just expected to not really have to do much or spend that much of my own money.”
Having one baby shower is considered a blessing for many mothers-to-be. But having more than one? It can either be a double or triple blessing, or a double or triple headache, depending on who you ask. Plus, if you have family members who insist on throwing you a party but don’t follow through with the planning, you might end up doing everything yourself – multiple times over! This mom wrote on Reddit, “Sometimes family members push preggars to have showers and insist that they will throw it and then don't follow through, leaving the preggo to pick up the slack, especially if invites went out already.”
Here’s something else that many parents don’t talk about but definitely do think about in the back of their mind: the pressure of hosting or throwing a Pinterest-perfect party. In other words, there is a lot of pressure to have a picture-perfect baby shower that’s worthy enough of several dozen likes on Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets. But the problem is, not everyone has the talent, the creativity, or the budget to make their baby shower look like it came straight out of the pages of Oprah Magazine. That, or replicate Khloe Kardashian’s insane, over the top baby shower with hundreds of flowers!
Here’s another problem that a lot of new moms say happen all too often during their baby showers: they get an abundant number of onesies and diapers, most of which they never need or use. Why? Because many guests more often than not buy onesies are diapers in the newborn or Stage 1 size, which many moms typically don’t need. Baby shower guests don’t realize that babies grow very fast in the first few months and even surpass these sizes almost right away, leaving the mom and dad to exchange their gifts or buy what they need in much bigger sizes.
Also, a lot of moms would agree that having a baby shower is just too stressful, especially if there is a lot of details involved in the planning. They just want to get it over with! One mom said on What to Expect, “I am one of those who believe complaining about gifts you got sound ungrateful no matter what. But I do agree, I'm very happy I'm done with showers. I've had my bridal shower and baby shower all this year and I'm grateful and got lots of generous gifts. But I gotta say, there are usually dramas come with these & I'm glad it's done.”
For a lot of expectant moms, they might want a baby shower but unfortunately, just don’t have enough friends or family that live nearby, which makes planning rather difficult. Another mom wrote on What to Expect, “Our family lives in Mississippi and they gave us one when we were in town, but the town only has a Walmart so we didn't expect much. We have gotten everything on our own, I just hate depending in others, we are the only people our kids will depend on so we might as well start now by making sure we can provide everything they need.”
When you are expecting your first baby, the entire family has every right to be just as excited as you are. But what do you do when your mother-in-law appoints herself as the one and only person in charge of * your * baby shower? This mom wrote on Baby Center, “I had two baby showers because my MIL (mother-in-law) just wanted "her people" at the one she through for me. It was a bunch of female IL's that I met briefly once at my wedding the year before, so the whole thing was quiet and stuffy. They did get me a lot of nice stuff off of my registry.”
Let’s face it: we’ve all got some kind of family drama, whether it comes from your side, or your partner’s side. There’s always someone who is bound to drop the ball at the wrong time, with fingers being pointed all over the place. This mom said on Reddit, “I get to the shower and nothing is ready. No decorations, aside from the little I set up the night before, no snacks, no tables, chairs nothing. This all starts getting done at 1pm, the time the shower started. Luckily, we're a Hispanic family and almost everyone arrived an hour late. Then I realized there was no food. Apparently, they thought it was best to start cooking a pretty hectic meal during the shower.”
You know what’s even worse than having a dull and organized baby shower? Having someone promote their products at your party! This mom said on Reddit, “A few of my friends notice this Scentsy display on the refreshments table. I hadn't noticed it before. They all start talking about how cute they are and how it was such a good favor. Well the 'friend' throwing the shower steps in and tells us they're not favors but her other friend sells them and she told this friend she could set up her display in the hopes of getting some business. I was really embarrassed I thought it was super tacky that she thought it was okay to try and sell my friends Scentsy [stuff[ at my baby shower.”
With all of that being said, there’s another kind of baby shower that can turn out good or bad, depending on how it’s done: a “pity” shower from your co-workers. If you have a great group of co-workers who are friends, it can turn out to be a lot of fun. But if they are just mutual acquaintances, it can turn out pretty weird, fast. Luckily, this mama had a great experience. She wrote on Reddit, “Ex-coworkers that are now my friends are having a small baby shower for me on the 16th at a restaurant. Did not expect it and it is so nice that they still think of me. They insist I register for baby stuff (even though I do not want to) so they know what I need. This feels awkward but after several requests, I'll be doing this tonight.”
In the end, a lot of moms agree that having a “meet and greet” after the baby is born is a much better idea than having a baby shower. Your close friends and family get to actually meet your new bundle of joy and celebrate you as a mom at the same time. Plus, you are control of who gets to visit your home and who you want your baby to see first. Whether it’s your friends or your family members, you can make the meet and greet your own kind of party or you can do it in an intimate setting. Either way, it is totally up to you and your partner. In the meantime, let us know what you think by leaving us your thoughts in the comments section below!
Being pregnant is hard is it is. But having to plan your own baby shower? Some moms would rather forget to entire ordeal. Plus, there’s always the awkwardness of wanting a baby shower but just not being able to ask anyone close by to throw you one or worse, having to throw yourself your own shower. That’s why many new parents would rather forget the entire ordeal and just rely on the generosity of their family and friends – without the headache of having a forced upon party. This way, you can do things your way, without any interference or expectations from third parties.