I was asked to co-host a baby shower for a friend who is having her third baby. She has a boy and a girl already, so she already has all the gear. I feel funny about inviting people to give her more stuff, but I don’t want to look like I don’t care about her. What should I do?
Dear Awesome Auntie:
Because that’s the kind of friend you want to be, right? An awesome one?
Then host the party. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you have kids, too, since you’re reading this site. Remember how you felt when you were having your baby, even if you only had one? There was emotion, suspense, frenzy, and sometimes that weird gassy feeling. It was a heady time, full of expectation. Your life as you know it was about to end and make way for something amazing.
Well, news flash: that is how your friend is feeling. Doesn’t matter how many kids you have — two or four or seven. You might be exhausted after the first one has sucked out all your energy and now you’re going for another (or another…), but a new baby brings joy no matter what.
Some people think a baby shower for 2nd or subsequent baby is tacky. I say that depends. Here’s how to handle this situation with class.
First of all, make sure the mom-of-3-to-be actually wants the party.
She may be unaware of the plans, and unless you are quite sure that this gal loves surprises, it’s best to err on the side of caution and confirm that she won’t be horrified that you’re planning this! With 2 kids already and a bun in the oven, maybe she just wants to hunker down and get as much rest as she can before the new arrival. Or, maybe she’s just passive-aggressive, and really wants a party but refuses to say so. (I could write a whole book on how to deal with that kind of person, but it would be easy to summarize: don’t.)
Just remember: you are celebrating your friendship. You are celebrating a new life.
Select your guests wisely.
Only people who really care about this woman or family should be invited – they are the ones who would likely get a gift for the new baby anyway, and would welcome the chance to celebrate a little bit with the mom before the birth. Acquaintances, coworkers, friends of friends, or distant relatives might not be as thrilled to be asked to come to a gift-giving occasion for someone they don’t feel close with. Naturally, then, this will be a more intimate event. Cozy, even.
Everyone knows she has two kids already. Everyone knows she has all the gear…or does she? Maybe she gave away all of her son’s baby clothes, and needs new blue onesies for the next boy. Or maybe she could use a new bouncy seat, or a stylish diaper bag to help her feel not so frumpy when she leaves the house. Ask her for a short list of suggestions. If she does have all the clothes and gear, she’ll need diapers, of course. Why not limit gifts to diapers and wipes? You can make a theme out of it!
Call it what it is.
This isn’t really a shower. It’s an excuse to get together to heap love on the mama, and give her some diapers and maybe an I.O.U. for a home-cooked meal or a gift card for takeout to use during those first few weeks after the latest tot is born, when she’ll feel like she’s underwater. I’ve been a guest of honor and a guest at a baby “sprinkle,” which is a cute version of a baby shower, right? Go as cute, or not, as you think your friend will enjoy.
Only you can control how tacky or classy this occasion will be. Just remember: you are celebrating your friendship. You are celebrating a new life. If you keep that love in mind, you can’t go wrong.
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I 100% agree with you, Ask Sassy!! Showers are a fan excuse to get together and celebrate this new little life that’s coming into the world- I don’t find them to be at all tacky, no matter how many kids one already has! A new baby is a new baby, simple as that 🙂 Plus, like you said, she may be lacking a lot of essentials!
*fun, not fan.
You’re a wise young lady, Katie. I totally gave you a one-time typo pass.