It’s your first pregnancy and you are contemplating having a baby shower.
After all, your bestie had one and your work colleagues have dropped the hint. On top of that, you have some family members suggesting the idea.
Yet, you are wondering if a baby shower is worth having. Let’s run you through the pros and cons of baby showers.
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Whose idea is it?
There are so many “shoulds” in life that make us feel like we have to comply. Sure, society has its traditions and one of them is a baby shower.
Everyone is always excited when they find out a friend, colleague, or family member is expecting. However, having a baby shower is something you want to decide about for yourself.
You may have family or friends strongly insisting on a baby shower. Yet, if you’re not comfortable with the idea, then it’s not going to be such a great time.
Are you having the shower for yourself or just to keep your friends and family happy?
Look who’s coming
Maybe your mother or another relative insists on organizing a shower. If you don’t know all their friends, there is a chance that strangers come. That can lead to socially awkward moments.
How comfortable are you at talking with people you don’t know? For extremely introverted people, it’s a situation they want to avoid.
Additionally, there may be people invited that you don’t get on with (it could be a case of a family member being invited that you weren’t aware of). Now a relaxing few hours can become a tense time for everyone.
Another point is, If you have very few friends, then the invitation list will be very small. That can be the case if you have just recently moved into a new area.
Be prepared for no-shows
When you send out the invites to your baby shower, you may get a lot of RSVPs back. Things are looking great. The shower seems like it’s going to attract a small crowd.
But, people are people…
The day of the shower arrives and you may find only a handful of the RSVPs turn up.
That can be demoralizing for you. Worst case scenario is you have a limited number of friends and none of them comes.
Can you cope with that? If the answer is “No”, then forget about having a baby shower.
All eyes are on you
If you don’t like being the center of attention, then think twice about having a baby shower.
You will have family, friends, and maybe an unfamiliar face or two watching you throughout the shower.
There are games to play, conversations to have, gifts that need opening (with people watching). The whole thing is a social extravaganza.
For people that have social anxiety, the shower can be a nightmare. If you’re an extrovert it’s fine.
The question is which type of person are you?
Will you be physically up to it
Of course, everyone is different. Your family and friends who have had a baby shower may tell you their accounts. Some enjoyed the shower, other females will say that it was hard to last the distance.
A shower can go on for up to 4 hours (or longer). You need to consider whether you will be able to be the “life of the party” for several hours.
If you think that you are going to be physically uncomfortable throughout the shower, then think twice about having one.
Thank you for the gifts
If you’re financially stretched, a baby shower can help set you up for the imminent arrival.
Creating a gift registry that lists the essentials makes it easier for your guests. They know what to buy you.
However, some women will tell you that guests ignore the registry altogether. That can lead to double-ups of items (not that that is such a bad thing) and also things that you need not be purchased.
Now you have to go out and buy the items that the guests didn’t get you. So much for the baby shower helping you out financially.
There’s no time
Depending on when you have your shower, your baby may be born before the actual event occurs.
That doesn’t mean you have to cancel it. You can bring your baby to the shower. However, you may have to purchase the final bits and pieces that your friends and families didn’t give you.
That can be stressful for you because, not only have you got a newborn to take care of, you have to go shopping for those final pieces.
What about the baby coming while you are having the shower? Many people won’t be bothered, but for you maybe it’s a situation you want to avoid.
What’s your motivation?
Ask yourself: why do I want a baby shower? Several answers can crop up:
- Just so that I can get things given to me that I can’t afford
- Because I’m pressured into having one
- So I can have a get together with some close friends and family
If your reason is only so that you can save money on buying the things you need, then people can pick up on that. If you care more about the gifts than the people at the shower, well…it’s not going to be a great time.
Feeling like you are forced into having a baby shower can also suck the fun out of it. You may put on a good front, but your guests will know that you aren’t enjoying yourself.
It’s a case of doing it because you “have to, not because you want to.”
Getting together with your nearest and dearest (both friends and family) is always a good time. It’s more special when you all come together to celebrate your upcoming birth.
If gathering together with the ones you love is a rare occurrence, then a baby shower may be worth thinking about.
Is it worth having a baby shower?
As you have seen, the answer to that question is: it depends.
Baby showers are great if you are on a tight budget and need essentials for your baby. Yet, if guests don’t buy what you need, you have to fork out of your own pocket.
Something you could have done without a baby shower.
Because you don’t organize the shower, you cede control to someone else. A someone else who may invite people you don’t know.
If you are an extremely shy person, the idea of talking to strangers may not appeal to you. However, if you’re outgoing and an extrovert, then the idea of having a baby shower may sound like fun.
Perhaps you mentioned the idea of a baby shower to a friend or family member. Yet, you were just “talking” without any serious intention of having one.
Now the other person is running with the idea and you feel an obligation to have a shower. But, you don’t want to.
As you have seen, there are pluses and minuses with baby showers.
It’s not necessary to have one if you’re not comfortable with the idea.
If you think the time, effort, and stress of a baby shower isn’t worth it, then don’t have one.
However, for those of you that are keen on having one, go for it!
At the end of the day, it’s your baby and your life.