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...about this baby shower?

(29 Posts)
HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Tue 01-Apr-14 00:09:03

My friends (let's call them A & B) very kindly offered to throw me a baby shower. I'm expecting my first child in the summer. However, I've always felt (quite strongly) that they're quite grabby events that nobody really enjoys. I just don't like the concept itself. And so I tried, gently, to thank them for the thought, but suggested that we just get together one afternoon for tea or similar with no gifts. A different friend (C) came to lunch on the weekend and told me that friends A and B had told her they'd asked me about it but I wasn't interested and so they were miffed (friend C's words). I found this upsetting because I tried really hard to thank them for the thought and suggest a way to have a shower that I'd like (without feeling like a hypocrite for having a shower when I've always said they're awful ideas). I didn't say a word about my feelings on showers in general. Friend C tried to get a date in the diary for a simple shower at my house and it suddenly occurred to me that it might be an idea to have a mixed baby shower and make it a bit of a party. I have very separate groups of friends and they really don't mix so I'd feel odd lumping all the women together for a shower but for a mixed shower, we could make it a garden party for all of our friends, possibly with a theme. Friend C was clearly unimpressed with the idea but said that it was clear I'd enjoy that more and she'd think of some games. Again, sweet, but honestly, I cringe a bit at the thought.

I am now worried I've been really rude, not least because friend A had a shower. I really did try to thank them, to say how sweet they were, and I just said maybe afternoon tea would be nice because we'd all get together and there would be no pressure to get gifts. But I now feel that they think I've been ungrateful. AIBU not to give in to a shower when I really don't like them but to try to find middle ground? I suspect that I am actually BU - presumably because they were offering to throw the party for me I should have just let them - but I really don't like the idea, however grateful I am to have friends that want to do this. What do you think MN jury?

elahrairahforprimeminister Tue 01-Apr-14 00:14:56

You're not ungrateful.

You're avoiding a grabby and wanky event which no one actually enjoys.

You've saved your other mates a day of giving up an afternoon, making hmm faces and playing silly games despite being adults.

You're a hero!!


vvviola Tue 01-Apr-14 00:21:41

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all.

My friends did throw me a surprise baby shower... technically.

But seeing as I was the first of our group to get pregnant (by a long shot) and despite being in my late 20s it had caused a bit of a stir, it was as far away from a traditional shower as possible. I fondly refer to it as the "getting drunk on Vi's behalf" shower.

They cooked, we ate, they drank, they opened champagne, they drank some more. I got a couple of presents (plus the hilarious tales of the girls venturing into baby shops in our small town while not wanting to cause gossip themselves).

I went home at about 6pm. The girls were all still there drinking at 10 when my Mum phoned the organiser ( my oldest friend ) to tell her I had gone into labour. And I believe there were still a few hangers on to receive the news of DD1's arrival at 2am grin

That's the only type of shower I would ever accept - and my friends knew that about me. I think it's very unreasonable of your friends to try to force you into an event you wouldn't enjoy, particularly when it is meant to be "in your honour".

WorraLiberty Tue 01-Apr-14 00:27:30


I know hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it would have been best to say something along the lines of "That's so nice but I don't want any kind of shower/get together just because I'm pregnant".

I think perhaps you've confused things although I can understand why.

SLVC Tue 01-Apr-14 06:01:04

YANBU. At all. They are!

I totally agree with your feelings on baby showers and made my DH promise not to let anyone throw me one... But to those friends who did like them, I told I was far too paranoid about tempting fate - that if I had a party with baby presents I was worried something might go wrong... Would that work as a get out clause for your friends?

mumminio Tue 01-Apr-14 06:06:58

Yes and no...If you don't want one, you're within your rights to say no. But perhaps there was a miscommunication? They shouldn't have been miffed!

I felt the same way, and I used to find the concept naff, but a friend wanted to throw one for me and I let her. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it, and it was such a good opportunity to catch up with lots of friends who I haven't had much of a chance to see since.

Basically, if you think you might enjoy it, there's no harm in having a baby shower, and you can say "no gifts" if you don't want them. If you do decide to have a mini-shower, I'd suggest going back to friends A and B, explaining the "no gifts" as it makes you feel awkward, and wanting a party.

If they're still miffed, get new friends smile

Mouthfulofquiz Tue 01-Apr-14 08:01:08

Baby showers make me cringe!!
I was offered one and politely declined - grabby.

Supercosy Tue 01-Apr-14 08:05:08

Yanbu at all. I've never had or been to a baby shower but I feel a bit like you. I think you did the right thing to be honest but polite with them about how you feel. You're not being rude at all. The baby shower is apparently for you so if you don't like them then there's no point in having one. It's a shame your friends are upset but it's almost as though the whole thing is for them!

JapaneseMargaret Tue 01-Apr-14 08:11:43

YANBU, and I hope your friends come round and understand your way of thinking.

My best friend and I were due our first DC at the same time, and she suggested we hold a joint one together for each other. I well and truly put the kibosh on that, and I think she was probably more than a little bit fired.

But, seriously. People buy you presents when the baby arrives anyway. I knew we were going to be having a Christening where people once again feel obliged to buy presents. Combine that with the fact that lots of people had already given me stuff for the pregnancy, and the thought of expecting them to shell out for the baby yet again just had me cringing.

formerbabe Tue 01-Apr-14 08:15:10

I really like baby showers...(pls don't throw things at me!). Not baby showers where there is a gift list so expensive every guest needs to re mortgage in order to buy something, but where friends and family buy bits and pieces. I think its a nice thing to do before you have the baby.

Bardette Tue 01-Apr-14 08:19:50

Yanbu, of course you're not. But if I were you I'd speak to your friends and explain again to thank them for their kindness and that you'd love a get together, just don't like the whole grabby bit. If they're still miffed after that then I wouldn't give them another thought.

balenciaga Tue 01-Apr-14 08:24:12

Oh god baby showers sad

My lovely, lovely friend organised mine, was her idea

I didn't want one really for same reasons as op but went along with it as didn't want to seem Ungrateful

I asked her to say to everyone to NOT bring me presents, that I just wanted a get together, which was true

But tbh I wish I'd backed out of it as, lovely as it was, she'd invited like 30 of my friends and only 10 came (including her) and I was gutted tbh as made me feel shit and unpopular

Ended up crying on the morning before as I was dreading it so much

JapaneseMargaret Tue 01-Apr-14 08:48:55

balenciaga - that's exactly how I'd feel, I can totally relate.

NymodigFruOla Tue 01-Apr-14 08:59:03

I wonder if they're miffed because, however polite and grateful you were, the fact that A did have a shower makes it seem as though you think she was grabby, or whatever?

Odaat Tue 01-Apr-14 09:04:03

YANBU - baby showers make me shudder! The whole concept is Ca-riiiinge. My friends asked me if I would like one, i said not thanks it not really my thing- and that was that!
If they are offended , try chatting to them again and explaining yourself. Obviously you dont have to, but as mates thats what we tend to do. (I am assuming they are generally good / nice folk if you are mates with them)

Odaat Tue 01-Apr-14 09:06:36

Aww balengcia - that is what would happen to me to! I think that is one of the other reasons I hate these things - I would stress out about whos coming and what if no one showed and then why did certain mates not show? Pathetic, but I think most would be the same!?

TarkaTheOtter Tue 01-Apr-14 09:12:24

I agree with Nymodig, I think friend A feels you are judging her decision to have a shower. Not much you can do about that though.

nicename Tue 01-Apr-14 09:20:52

Does anyone like these things? In the UK people are more wary of getting/buying things pre birth 'in case something happens'. Why don't people understand that?

I am an old grump who hates enforced jolity, so may not be the best one to offer my tuppenceworth.

HappyAgainOneDay Tue 01-Apr-14 09:43:21

I don't think I'd be miffed about people not turning up to a shower. They might not have agreed with the whole cringeworthy idea or couldn't go because of some other reason.

I can't see the point of buying baby things before a birth anyway. It's better to wait until it's born successfully and then give something as a welcome. Then there'll be christening presents a couple of months later perhaps .....

NymodigFruOla Tue 01-Apr-14 09:46:10

Happy, the OP's friends are miffed because the OP has said she doesn't want to have a baby shower.

ViviPru Tue 01-Apr-14 09:51:11

Oh god OP this is precisely sort of pickle I'd find myself in. I'd have found it really hard to veto the idea altogether so would have tried to find a happy middle ground as you have, but then it all spectacularly backfires as everyone has their own agenda. No advice I'm afraid, but just wanted to chip in with YANBU. You might have been a bit U in sending out mixed messages,"I don't want a baby shower but lets have a get together" - leaving room for hmm but I'd probably have done exactly the same...

fuckwitteryhasform Tue 01-Apr-14 09:58:46

I think if your friends want to buy you gifts you should graciously accept them not insist that they don't buy for you. I think you should have said you didn't want a big "shower" as such and no gifts necessary but let your friend organise the afternoon tea or similar and accepted the gifts. I find it bizarre that you've now organised what sounds like a Niger event than the one originally suggested, everyone will come with gifts anyway and call it a shower not a garden party. I'd be a bit offended if I'd been the one trying to organise something nice for your first baby.

fuckwitteryhasform Tue 01-Apr-14 09:59:12

bigger event not Niger event!! Stupid phone

NymodigFruOla Tue 01-Apr-14 10:43:15

The trouble is, it's become more about them than about you.

It's like people organising surprise birthday parties for others who find being that sort of centre of attention excruciating, or lairy hen parties for a BTB who'd prefer to just go out to a nice restaurant.

I'm sure they're kind, well meaning and lovely friends. But they're trying to override your preferences.

HomeIsWhereTheGinIs Tue 01-Apr-14 10:59:00

Wow, an almost unanimous AIBU! Thank you all. You've basically encapsulated how I feel. fuckwittery your point neatly covers my main concern though. It was hard enough to politely say no to such a kind gesture from A & B but then when C was here she treated it like a done deal, saying "I know you said you didn't want one but we'll just do something small here at the house - who do you want to invite" and suddenly I was back at square one, being asked to provide a guest list. I don't want to haul in 30 women I don't see very often and force them to give me gifts, so it occurred to me that if DH and I held a garden party that day, they could then organise the games etc if they really must (I'm desperately hoping they don't want to). Short of saying "I've already said no, and I meant it", I couldn't think how else to deal with it. I hate it when people won't take no for an answer but keep on insisting.

Thank you all for your input, I feel a bit better (but still a bit worried!).

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