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To think this baby shower invitation is grabby as fuck?

(222 Posts)
ENormaSnob Wed 13-Feb-13 20:26:03

Friend is having dc4.

Invited to baby shower, nice cafe type place, £10pp payable on the day.

Friend doesn't want presents and instead has asked everyone to contribute towards one big item.

The only saving grace is she hasn't done it in poem format.

Am not going.

Aibu to think this is just cheeky and grabby?

Friend has no connection to any culture or country where this is the norm.

fuzzypicklehead Thu 14-Feb-13 11:40:01

It really annoys me when baby showers are turned into a big commercial thing. It's not supposed to be about gifts! It's supposed to be an opportunity for women to gather and share their excitement and wisdom with the mum-to-be, play games, eat food and share stories. It's a lovely tradition, but people over here seem to ignore all the sentiment and just focus on presents.

Sure, in the US people might give the new mum a cute keepsake for the baby or some nice smellies to pack in the hospital bag--because it's thoughtful not because they're expected to furnish the baby's nursery.

But lots of baby showers I've been to in the states are "bring & share" type parties where you cook a dish for the party and a dish for the new mum's freezer to help out in the early days, especially if it's a second or subsequent child.

I'm all for baby showers, when they're about women supporting each other--but the "gimmie gimmie's" just make me sad.

Floggingmolly Thu 14-Feb-13 11:48:08

It's as grabby as bedamned; but to add insult to injury the op is due at the same time shock
Why would imagine your friend, at the exact same stage of pregnancy, wants to both pay to come to your baby shower and donate yet more cash for you to spend on your baby?
And it does sound as if she's organising it herself, so not being aware is no excuse.

princesschick Thu 14-Feb-13 11:55:15

I think it's tacky. I don't really understand the whole baby shower thing. But maybe I'm a bit superstitious about having a party for someone who hasn't arrived alive and kicking. Do people want to be surrounded by their closest friends at a really special time or do they just want gifts? It does make me wonder if it's an excuse to get stuff in the disguise of a party.

I'm not going to have a baby shower. I do quite like the idea of getting some girlfriends together and having tea and cake and a gossip before the baby arrives but I would call this a catch up / girlie afternoon and it would be about me, not the baby. I certainly wouldn't expect presents for the baby! And if I do, there won't be any baby themed cupcakes!

I think it's different if people ask you want you want / need. If family / friends ask if we want anything for our baby, first I'll say, no you don't have to. Then I'll say, oh just a small token gift when baby is here and if they insist and ask if there's anything we need I'll pick something off my list. Or we'll ask for a contribution to a Junior ISA for baby's future if we've got everything we need. But I wouldn't invite people to a party and insist that they give me stuff. Or bring their cheque books! No way!

Each to their own I guess! I still think this is grabby (esp for DC4 - surely they have everything they need except maybe a huge van to cart them round in?!)

flixy102 Thu 14-Feb-13 11:59:57

I'm going to a 'baby shower' this weekend.
It's being held in a restaurant so we have to pay for our own dinner.
The couple know what gender they are having but have only told family and close friends (ie not everyone going to the shower) so although I know it's a boy, I have been instructed to bring a gender neutral gift. confused
They have a gift list (named brand bottles etc)

WIBU to bring a blue present and give the game away by mistake? (Not that I actually would!)

mrsjay Thu 14-Feb-13 12:02:06

baby showers are grabby in whatever form they come in it is just asking for 'stuff'

Bunbaker Thu 14-Feb-13 12:03:15

I wonder how many people will actually turn up. Perhaps the big gift won't happen if only a couple of her friends go grin

dayshiftdoris Thu 14-Feb-13 12:09:38


Have you checked the website of the place you are going? Only ask because a cafe local to me has the £10 baby shower offer but that £10 provides the gift AS WELL!

So each person pays £10 and it covers food, drink, cake and a range of things like photo shoots, silver fingerprint jewellery voucher, lunches in the future etc.,, it's quite a package. I wonder if your friend is keeping that element quiet and requesting gifts on top?

£10 all in I wouldn't mind but sounds like your friend might be pulling a fast one!!!

Rache1S Thu 14-Feb-13 12:11:13

I have always been of the opinion that baby showers are a bit naff and, yes, more than a bit grabby. I am generally only interested in gatherings with groups of female friends that involve getting pissed a nice bottle of wine for me.

However, I am pregnant with baby #1 and a friend has asked if she can throw us a baby shower (joint with a mutual friend who is due 12 days before me).

I don't really feel I can say no as she is very keen and it's such a lovely thing to offer to do for us, but I will be stressing that no gifts are expected (in fact I would prefer if anyone wishing to buy DD a gift waits until she arrives), and will be giving my friend (the hostess) money towards food and drinks for everyone so it won't cost her anything other than her time.

HecateWhoopass Thu 14-Feb-13 12:12:27

What's the difference between this and wedding gift lists/requests for cash?

Reading about those, it seems many people think that's good and normal and useful and not at all grabby. It's no bigger event in your life than the birth of a child. People who love you celebrate both. It's traditional to give a gift at a wedding and give a gift for a new baby.

So what makes one ok and the other not? (neither are ok in my view, I think it's always wrong to ask for a gift! But I have come to realise that many think it is fine to ask for a gift)

Genuinely asking, because I don't understand why two things that have the same basic principle are thought of so differently.

atthewelles Thu 14-Feb-13 12:14:44

That can't be it RacheIS because the Mother to be has said she doesn't want presents, she wants cash towards 'one big thing'.

SPBInDisguise Thu 14-Feb-13 12:27:03

That said I do like the traditional american type as is described on this thread (never been to one). A get together before the baby is born, chance to make a fuss of the mother if you want to.

SPBInDisguise Thu 14-Feb-13 12:27:57

And I like the thought of baby-themed cupcakes
<too much time on my hands, clearly>

ChairmanWow Thu 14-Feb-13 12:28:24

Whoopass the wedding is an event in itself. Yes, it's traditional to bring a gift but by no means mandatory. When I was in a low paid job a few years back I went to a couple of weddings empty handed as I couldn't afford presents on top of hotel, travel etc and it was fine.

Baby showers, or at least this baby shower is an excuse to sting your friends for money or presents. I'd rather people bought my babies gifts because they genuinely wanted to, not because they were pressured into it by the organising of a contrived event. There's also an attention-seeking side to self-organised baby showers which I find really distasteful.

PaellaUmbrella Thu 14-Feb-13 12:31:25

YANBU. Very grabby, especially as she already has 3 DCs - what big item can she possibly need?

When I was pregnant a friend kindly offered to throw me a baby shower, but I declined. I didn't feel comfortable inviting people and them feeling obliged to bring a present. As it happened most of the people we would have invited bought DD present once she was born, but that was on their own terms.

I don't like baby showers - an unnecessary Americanism & in the same category as expensive hen weekends.

Wishiwasanheiress Thu 14-Feb-13 12:34:16

Really don't get such vitriol to these things. Or why quite so many want to tell us about them.

Does it make u feel better? Superior? Just makes u seem all Les Dawson / cats bum faced. Like any party, gathering, or coffee if u don't like the person don't go, if u do like them then surely you can love them enough to go and just take a small token gift? By all means think to urself "I'm such a better person than u" just keep it to yourself?

TheBuskersDog Thu 14-Feb-13 12:39:39

To those saying you would buy a gift anyway when the baby is born, well actually not everybody buys a gift for every baby born to people they know. I would only expect close family and friends to bring gifts after the birth (not expect as in be upset if they didn't iyswim) not more casual friends/workmates, but this wider circle are often invited to baby showers as well. I would imagine most people would feel they would have to take a gift and then would end up spending more than they really want so as not to look tight.

I think it's perfectly OK to get together with friends a few weeks before the birth because it will be difficult afterwards, but that's just a night out/in. Why does anyone need to get different groups of friends/family/colleagues together when they never normally would? Also the idea of playing baby themed games- really?shock
The celebration should be the birth of a new child, not a woman's ability to get pregnant.

mirry2 Thu 14-Feb-13 12:40:01

I agree with others that is something that your friend(s) organise for you. People did it for my mother when my ds was born, but we lived in America at the time and it was very common over there.

MiaowTheCat Thu 14-Feb-13 13:49:06

I find them naff, and I also find all the flip-outs on parenting forums because someone bought something NOT ON THE LIST hilarious! Added points for amusement when the list includes a wonderful array of first-time parent nativities that anyone with a clue knows will be on ebay within a week (for some reason baby-wipe warmers always spring into my head at this point) and the utter horror and outrage is someone buying something like muslins instead.

I just hate the expectation and assumption over presents full stop - for weddings, christenings, baby showers - the lot... if someone wants to buy something nice - fine, but that's their choice. I guess I just feel that a gift not freely given is a meaningless gesture.

dilys4trevor Thu 14-Feb-13 13:53:19

My main problem with them (when self-organised) is they are so 'look at me, I'm having a baby, aren't I special?' But then again I really hate it when women get all princessy about birthdays too (if you don't go to a really expensive all day and night (or weekend!) celebration and stay out until 4am you get a bit of a cold shoulder....we're in our mid-30s FGS).

Tbh I do think wedding gift lists are a bit different. Weddings cost a helluva lot and are basically a day of free booze and grub in a lovely venue and you have been chosen to share the day. A gift is fair enough and it's fine for people to avoid getting tat they don't want. Having said that, we did a wedding gift list (can you tell?) and I must confess I DID get a bit grabby and was constantly checking with JL online to see which gifts people had bought. Am a bit embarrassed about it all now. blush. If I could go back I wouldn't do it again as I didn't like how weird I got about it.

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 14-Feb-13 14:20:06

I think baby showers have an important role in modern motherhood

In the past we lived much more closely surrounded by female peer support, but now we have to sort of artificially recreate that old support system with babyshowers, NCT, silly baby classes which are really just an excuse for mothers to spend an hour with other mothers cause the babies dont give a flying fuck what's going on, etc!

what a babyshower provides is just a wee taste of what being pregnant in the past was like IMO

farmersdaugther Thu 14-Feb-13 14:35:31

Never been invited to one and I'd never go. Tacky as hell IMHO. And I certainly won't let someone buy me pram or a cot etc.

I don't think you should celebrate a baby until they have arrived safe and well.

Also I'd hate to jinx it, last year my friend had a stillborn at 40 weeks. sad

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 14-Feb-13 14:41:56

its about celebrating/supporting the mother though. And technically being born isn't out of the woods, by that logic do you wait till a baby is past the SIDS risky age at betwen 6 and 12 months to celebrate it.. but then preschoolers are a high risk age for fatal accidents too aren't they...

and IMO a stillborn still makes the woman a mother, and still should be acknowledged/celebrated for the short time it was alive (in the womb, but still) So I don't really like the sentiment of not making a fuss of an expectant mother until she has delivered a live baby incase she never delivers a live baby. The time she spends with it before it's born during pregnancy is 'real' too - the relationship a mother feels with her child doesn't just begin a the point of birth

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 14-Feb-13 14:47:05

we've been given next size (and size after that) clothes for DS as gifts. farmersdaughter he hasn't sucessfully lived that long yet, some babies don't, so should we only have been given newborn clothes until he's definitely still alive at 3 or 6 months?

Imogenj Thu 14-Feb-13 14:49:41

Baby showers: naff, naff, naff. The thing about presents is that it's for the giver to decide to when, where and if at all to give them so any kind of 'invitation to purchase' is bad mannered. Ditto including wedding lists in with the invitation - if I want to buy a gift I will, of my choice and budget! (or am I hopelessly out of touch??)

Slainte Thu 14-Feb-13 14:53:09

Grabby, grabby, grabby. Been invited to several but have declined them all. I was especially annoyed at the invite that had an Amazon gift list attached angry

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