The Case For Throwing Teen Girls Baby Showers

75 Comments
May 15, 2013 ‐ By Madame Noire
Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

From MommyNoire

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare besides losing their child: your 16-year-old daughter is pregnant.  You want to hug her, kill her, yell at her and cry all at the same time.  Depending on her decision, suddenly your family will find themselves thrown into a confusing mixture of emotions: disappointment, excitement, resentment and fear.  Pregnancy affects the whole family and it’s a conflicting situation for a parent to face as they balance being supportive with forcing their child to face challenges that come with life’s ultimate responsibility.

Not only are you expected to keep calm that you’re going be a 40-year-old grandma, but now you’re expected to celebrate it too? Let’s face it: Your daughter’s is already pregnant, so the time for discussing safe sex and what she should’ve done is long gone.  All you can do is present her with her options.  But just because you only have so much say in terms of her choices, doesn’t mean you condone the behavior that brought her to this point.

It’s a situation that has no easy answers.  Some people think that teen baby showers send a message that parents approve of teen pregnancy, but the fact is the baby’s coming and you pouting throughout the entire pregnancy isn’t going to help your daughter be the best parent she can be.  I’ve seen a fair share of teen parents in the classes I teach and what separates those that thrive from those who allow themselves to be defeated by the challenges of teen pregnancy is the presence of a strong support system.

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  • Dee

    At 28 I was engaged and got pregnant. I got married shortly
    After I found out I was pregnant so I would be married before the baby was born. My mother refused to throw me a shower. Here I am a grown woman, married, and she still would t give me a shower because at the time of conception I wasn’t married. My husbands family three me a shower, she refused to attend.

  • besurisis

    My daughter got pregnant at 15 and we did not give her a baby shower for the following reasons 1) drama with the father’s family 2) we could (and the extended family) and did provide her with everything the baby needed 3) since our social circle were church folk and coworkers, we knew those who wanted to get the baby something would purchase a gift regardless, the rest were just looky-loos. Otherwise we were and still are supported of her but that wasn’t happening. When she chose to have her second child as an adult, her friends and cousins gave the party.

  • IAJS

    I remember when teen moms would feel some sort of shame, when they took a pregnancy test they would feel horrible if it came back positive. Teenagers today think it is cute, they think the showers are cute and it is leading to a reckless society. Everyone today is “oh don’t judge, oh don’t be hard” YES some judgment is good. Maybe if people felt some humility they wouldn’t walk around doing ignorant things. With that being said, I also feel that more time needs to be taken to teach these kids, nobody is taking the time to teach and lead down the right path BEFORE this happen…After-school programs, art, dancing, sports, all of these things are being taken away in school but they are essential.

    • chanela

      thank you! so sick of the “don’t judge” mess.

  • Shylow

    I would NOT throw a baby shower for a pregnant teen. I was 18 when I conceived & 19 when I gave birth to my 1st daughter HOWEVER I was on my own as a United States Marine!! I got a baby shower w/all 5 of my children, but that’s because I was an adult making adult situations, living an adults life. I also would not attend a shower of a teen mother/father, HOWEVER I would send diapers after the baby was born.

    • WhoCares

      …but were you married? B/c if not, then most folks on here would still disapprove on your shower. Sorry.

  • blackwomenwhitemendatingcom

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  • Rasharne

    Funny at a time when a teen needs support, everyone is judging not knowing the full story on how said baby was conceived. Every baby deserves to be celebrated, I don’t see what makes a married woman more deserving

    • BlackDiamond

      And you know what else is funny? Our hearts are bleeding for an irresponsible teenager, when there are teen girls who are trying to further their education and career goals and wait to have kids that need our support the most. Unless the teen was raped, i can care less about a teen girl who did the easiest thing and have a baby. Because i dont support teen pregnancy.

      Yes, a married woman is definitively more deserving.

      • Ms. Kameria

        I agree 100% with your comment. UNLESS the teen was raped, but that is the exception, not the majority of cases. As you can tell by now (lol) I don’t support or encourage teenage pregnancy either, and yes, in my opinion, a married woman is more deserving.

  • Ms. Kameria

    I agree with the majority. I don’t think teenagers deserve baby showers. It’s not cute to celebrate becoming another teen statistic, a single, unwed mother, aka somebody’s “baby mama”. It’s not cute at all. If I were to give any type of gift, it would be a pack of condoms wrapped up nicely in a pretty bow, and a recommendation of a type of birth control.

    I don’t attend teenage baby showers either.

    • Treacle234

      So you base your stance on the fact it does not look good? Okay then.

      • Ms. Kameria

        No, not just because it “doesn’t look good”, but because it’s NOT good. It’s furthering the stereotype and statistic of young, single, black mothers. Just because you get your period at 12, 13, 14, doesn’t mean you should have a baby to make you think you’ve done something, and to be rewarded for it with a baby shower?…..absolutely not.

  • Treacle234

    People are too judgemental. Being a teen mom comes with enough complications, judgement and labels society-wise. Let the teens have their shower b/c that’s the easy part, after baby comes they challenge comes. It’s their life.

    • chanela

      it’s their life, but the parents are gonna spend the majority of the time paying for the baby and taking care of it right?

      • Ms. Kameria

        Exactly.

      • Treacle234

        Oh what good does it serve to be so judgemental. It’s a parents duty to clean up their children’s mess.

        • chanela

          judgmental??? LOL

          • Treacle234

            Yes, judgemental

        • Ms. Kameria

          It may be a parent’s duty to “clean up their children’s messes”, but it’s also a parents duty to teach their children right from wrong, and to teach/warn/ prepare them about some of life’s situations that they wouldn’t want to be in. It’s like a “if everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you?” situation.

      • hollyw

        …errm, but wouldn’t it cost the parent more money in the end NOT to have a shower..?

        • Ms. Kameria

          If they didn’t buy or contribute anything to award (the baby shower/ gifts) the 16 year old daughter, then it wouldn’t cost them anything.

          • hollyw

            …ok, but there are usually only two scenarios; one, you foster the child and baby, then you have to support them. It’s not an “award”, the “gifts” are literal necessities…babies need things. Or two, kick the kid out, they have to support themselves, but then their friends can throw them their own shower. So not having a shower only serves as a nonsensical punishment for all involved…

            • BlackDiamond

              You do know a baby shower is a party right? The mother-to-be is the center of attention. The guests play games, eat food, and socialize. When the gifts are opened, everyone sits around and go “oooh, that is cute!”

              You can give the teen the “literal necessities” without the party and celebration of the teen’s pregnancy.

              Not having a baby shower sends the message that what the teen did is unacceptable, and discourages other teens by reiterating the fact that its wrong to have unprotected sex at that age.

              • hollyw

                The “party” aspect of a shower is debatable to me, but what I know for a fact is that a person is not going to get even a fraction of the baby prepping w/o an event that will entertain and feed them. I doubt that most on this thread would be willing to show support for the life of an innocent child (not the teen) by dropping off a gift, otherwise. That was my point.

                I also don’t think a shower w/in itself has that much power to send a powerful message either way, esp. more than how the parents of the teen themselves handle the pregnancy, towards the teen and outsiders. The benefits simply outweigh the costs, imo. It is possible to have a basic shower w/o glorifying teen pregnancy.

    • FromUR2UB

      Sorry, but you don’t have your own life when someone else is supporting you…especially when you’re a minor.

      • Treacle234

        Stop being so judgemental. It’s still their life! If they are having the child, then they made the conscious decision to keep the baby hence it is their life, their choice. A teenager is a dependent individual, who need support.

        • BlackDiamond

          It’s not judgemental, it’s stating the fact that teenage pregnancy is the result of irresponsible behavior. You dont become pregnant by waking up in the morning, and no it cant “happen to anybody”. It’s fully preventable, when there are many methods of birth control out there including abstinence. Teenage mothers are not to feel sorry for when they made a fully conscious decision.

          Hence, a baby shower is completely inappropriate. Yes, a teen is an individual who needs support, but i do not support pregnant teens

          • hollyw

            …mmkay, teenagers are minors, but are “not to feel sorry for when they made a fully conscious decision”..? Which one is it. You embody what most this thread is, a group of judgmental women who feel better about themselves judging and punishing a bunch of kids who, YES, made a mistake and will pay for it, rather than be part of the solution. Wth would denying them a baby shower do? Other than not provide you, as the parent, more prep for the baby to come?? You really think that hosting/not hosting a shower is going to make or break a teen’s decision to have or not have another kid..? Or is it how you think our own image will be affected? Come on, people…

            • Ms. Kameria

              It wouldn’t necessarily “make or break” a teen’s decision to have or not have another child, but depending on how that teenager’s mother reacted to the first one, they will know what to expect, or not to expect if they have another one.

          • Treacle234

            Who cares how the baby got here, at the end of the day they decided to keep the baby. Why shouldn’t they celebrate it. Look at DMX, he still craves his mothers love after all these years.

        • chanela

          nobody said that it wasn’t their life though…..

          • Treacle234

            Yes, someone said it’s not their life

        • FromUR2UB

          That may easily qualify as one of the silliest, most irresponsible things I’ve ever heard.

          1) There are plenty of things a sixteen year old can and should make conscious decisions to do at that age. Starting a family shouldn’t be one of them.
          2) It’s spelled: JUDGMENTAL
          3) It is NOT their life, as long as they are living under someone else’s roof, and depending on someone else for their food and shelter. Adulthood means a person provides financially for themselves and their own. THAT is what gives people the right to make their own decisions. How many 16 year olds have you known, who were able to do that sufficiently? If a kid concentrates on the things a kid should, while that age, then there’s a better chance they won’t become adults who have to live under someone else’s roof…depend on them for their food and shelter.
          4) A sixteen year old should not be having sex. Whatever happened to activities that are appropriate for youth, such as listening to music and dancing, visiting with friends, going to the movies or mall?
          5) If a sixteen year old has decided to have sex, then he or she should also have decided to use birth control. But choosing to throw caution out the window demonstrates why no sixteen year old needs a baby. Please don’t tell me that birth control doesn’t always work. It’s effective for most people who use it.
          6) If friends or relatives want to help out the kid, then they should just go ahead and give her the gifts. But, she doesn’t need a party thrown, where she’s placed in the center to bask in attention for having voluntarily gotten her little fast tail knocked up.
          7) Getting pregnant at 16 is a mistake, and please don’t play stupid and pretend you think I’m referring to the baby as a flaw. A pregnancy that young is a mistake in terms of timing, because it’s only going to bring hardship to the life of the mother and her child. It will put stress on the rest of the family, who will have to aid her in raising the child. Caring for children is sometimes an emotional and financial challenge, for stable adults who are gainfully employed. You know a 16 year old is ill-equipped to take that on.
          8) A little more judgment might have prevented all that in the first place.

          • Treacle234

            You must be a close minded American…..sigh! My spelling is correct. PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF or better yet get yourself an Oxford Dictionary and double check, since you obviously have a lot of free time.

            • FromUR2UB

              YOU, telling someone to educate herself?? Kind of ironic, coming from someone who sounds like a proponent for teen pregnancy. Furthermore, if you are the product of teen pregnancy, had one, or has a child who was pregnant as a teen, then get over yourself and look at the bigger picture. Most people wouldn’t recommend it, even…no, especially, if that has been their experience.

              Oh, and you’re right about the spelling. The British spelling. But, then, if you’re going to make a habit of calling people judgmental, it makes sense that you would have investigated every alternative spelling for doing so.

              • Treacle234

                I did not investigate alternate spelling b/c I am not American. How myopic of you to think everyone who comments on this blog is from the USA. Prime example of a typical close minded American.

                • FromUR2UB

                  Hmmm. I think the only thing open about you are legs. Good luck to you and yours.

          • Ms. Kameria

            If I could up your comment 100 more times, I would probably break my mouse.

          • Treacle234

            Listen, if you want to get a heart attack over teens having a baby
            shower then please go ahead. I am not going to hurt my head on such an
            issue.

          • BlackDiamond

            yes!! thank you! Your statement is extremely logical. i wish i can up 1000x

  • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

    I don’t know how I would feel about it. I’m not really too keen on 16 year olds being mothers. . . the benefit of getting things that a 16 year old is definitely not going to be able to provide and are needed would have to be balanced with the need to impress upon this child that what they did isn’t cute and not some source of attention and glee. Tough call. Maybe if the girl’s friends threw it instead of the grandmother.

    • hollyw

      I feel you on the ambivalence towards the occasion, and most young girls have their friends throw the party, in any case. I feel like, being a mother, you’re going to need all the support you can get, so it seems very contrary to purposefully deny a teen mom all the things she could get from a shower (b/c you know folks ain’t showing up individually w/o a party and food) just b/c the circumstances weren’t ideal…

      • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

        I agree. But the same immature and lack of foresight that got her pregnant might see a baby shower as a show of acceptance and even celebration for what she and the knucklehead father did. I’m conflicted and pray to Gawd I won’t ever ever ever have to experience that in my family.

        • hollyw

          Right, I guess that bit depends on the parents and how they deal with the situation, shower or no…

  • Reese

    Personally, I do not think it is appropriate. Although I was a grown woman when I had my daughter I chose not to have a baby shower because I wasn’t married and knew it wasn’t anything to celebrate. If somebody wanted to get my baby or I a gift they could bring it by the house. I feel like giving a teen a baby shower is rewarding bad behavior and glorifying something that shouldn’t be glorified. But at the end of the day to each its own.

    • D Bklyn

      Let’s see how many times i can “like” this….I agree 100%

    • SheBe

      Love and appreciate your honesty. I also 100% agree!!!!

    • Nia

      Dayum! You felt like having a baby was nothing to celebrate because you weren’t married? Really? Then why even have it? If I was going to have a baby, I’d have a baby shower. I’m grown, have a degree and a good job. If I wasn’t married oh well. I’m going to celebrate my baby. I wouldn’t want him or her to feel like they were not wanted because I wasn’t married.

      I don’t go to teenage baby showers. Not cute at all.

      • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

        contradiction. You gonna celebrate yours regardless but don’t think a teen mom celebrating is cute? How do you reconcile that hypocrisy?

        • hollyw

          First you’d have to clarify what she said was hypocritical. For multiple, multiple reasons, having a baby you’re able to support is a good thing and hence, supportable, vs. being a teen mother…one has to do w/ “values”; the other, finances.

          • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

            She’s hypocritical BECAUSE “I wouldn’t want him or her to feel like they were not wanted because I wasn’t married.” Wouldn’t the child of the 16 year old feel as though they were not wanted if a shower wasn’t thrown for them? That is going by the author’s rationale of no baby shower = the child not feeling wanted.

            • hollyw

              I see what you mean w/ wanting her baby to be loved by throwing a shower, but not a teen’s baby. However, I don’t think her other reason of not wanting to support a teen shower (having a baby w/o a degree/job/being an adult = “not cute”) was as hypocrytical.

              • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

                I see. I get where she’s coming from of course. A full fledged adult having a child fully aware of and prepared for that responsibility is NOT the same thing as a child with no means or enough maturity and wisdom doing it. I get that.

      • Ms. Kameria

        I gave you a thumbs up for the last statement. If you have all of that accomplished for yourself, why wouldn’t you want a husband in the household to help you raise and take care of your baby, and for everyone in your household to all share the same last name?

        It may just be me, but I thought that is how it is supposed to be.

        • hollyw

          I think her point was, sometimes, even though 99% of agree that this is how “it is supposed to be”, that this doesn’t mean that other circumstances, i.e. all she mentioned, should be less a reason to celebrate a baby or your friend/family member. Some folks on here are doing the most…

      • http://www.facebook.com/nikia.dshiznit Nikia D-Shiznit

        I’m with you on this one. I am unmarried, but not single and my unborn will not be fatherless. We are educated and definitely happy about our baby. Do we not deserve support or a baby shower because we are not married? Only married people should have baby showers? Gtfoh.

        • Reese

          That’s you, I never said you shouldn’t have a baby shower just because you’re not married. In my own case I didn’t feel comfortable doing so. I said to each it’s on you. If you feel comfortable having a baby shower by all means have a baby shower.

    • Chloe

      Agreed!!!!

      when my neice got pregnant at 16 she did not have a baby shower – NOPE!!!! it wasn’t happening because it wasn’t looked at as a time for a celebration. It was the opposite.
      I personally WOULD NOT attend a teenage baby shower I would just send a gift later on once the baby is born.

      • Ms. Kameria

        You’re better than me, because I wouldn’t even send a gift. I’ve had about 3 to 4 of my cousins give birth earlier this year, and no one got a thing from me but the side eye.

        • Rasharne

          Wow, can’t believe some of these comments. I understand not throwing a party, but all you give is side eye? You must be so perfect.

          • Chey

            Lol wow. Not everyone is going to jump for joy when a teen gets pregnant. It’s not cute, it’s not always a happy occasion. Everything does not get a pass just b/c “everybody makes mistakes.”

          • Ms. Kameria

            No, I’m not perfect. Never said I was, but I like to celebrate positive occasions, i.e graduation, someone getting a good job, promotions, student events, positive accomplishments…..not someone under the age of 20 becoming a “mother”.

            • Alexis Morris

              18-19 are adults. what is different about 19 than 20?

            • Ash Hunter

              Who are you to say that’s not a positive occasion? Jusyt because the mother is young does not mean she doesn’t deserve to have a baby shower. It’s about helping them get things they need for the baby and celebrating a new life. Sure, maybe she made a mistake, but does that really mean you need to punish the unborn baby for something it had no control over?

          • hollyw

            I agree. I thought baby showers were mainly supposed to be about prepping the mother for the baby..? So, basically, most folks want to continuously punish her, as well s the offspring…shameful.

            • Ms. Kameria

              Are you saying getting gifts and having a celebration should be awarded to someone who is 16 (who doesn’t have a pot to piss in, nor a window to throw it out of) and having a baby is preparation for motherhood?

              • hollyw

                …no, I said that the shower is an event to serve as preparation…for the baby. Idk where everyone is getting this idea that a shower has to be this big, blow-out bonanza like a wedding party. What “gifts” and “awards” does the mother receive that are not directly tied to the baby or carrying for the baby??

                • Ms. Kameria

                  The fact that she is having these things given to her, as opposed to her getting them for herself, or better yet, not having to buy baby things at all at such a young age.

                  • hollyw

                    I’m sorry but your response only leads me further to believe that your discouraging a shower isn’t to provide any positive lesson, but to simply punish the teen (and baby) for something that can’t be taken back. Didn’t address the question. Didn’t provide a solution.

                    • Ms. Kameria

                      The solution is for nothing to be done, or given, or celebrated because of this obvious mistake that could have been prevented. I’m pretty sure that in this day and age with all of the available birth control, a 16 year old knows how not to get pregnant and possibly disappoint their parents…..and I’m pretty sure a parent would rather spend their hard earned money helping their child with something positive and productive such as college preparation rather than once again wasting it on a baby shower and baby gifts for preparation of “motherhood” of a 16 year old.. Once again the 16 year old took it upon themselves to get into that situation (and more than likely after they’ve already heard someone’s advice on how not to let it happen to them)….so they should be responsible for the outcome and aftermath. The solution is they should NOT be rewarded for that fuckery with a baby shower and gifts. They will know what to expect or not to expect if they were to get pregnant again. It’s not that hard……

                    • hollyw

                      That is still living in hypotheticals and not reality. 9x out of 10, if a girl gets pregnant, the mother/family is going to assist greatly in the support of the child. The only other option is for the family to allow the girl to fend for herself. As a loving, caring parent/potential grandparent, however, and knowing that the chances of a child raising a child successfully is slim-to-none, you’re going to swallow your pride, accept any blame in the situation, and foster the teen/baby in a big way. So your “solution is to do nothing” is completely unrealistic, one.

                      Two, your assumption that you’re ‘pretty sure’ that a 16 yr-old (b/c that is the ideal age for blame, I guess) knows how to not get pregnant, and therefore should take full responsibility for all consequences, when a child, is not legally responsible for cigarettes, alcohol, SEX, or even driving w/o supervision, is extremely naive at best, judgmental and out-of-date, at worst. Anyone who works w/ kids knows that the occurrence of teen pregnancy isn’t b/c of lack of knowledge, but lack of prep (birth control isn’t nearly as available as you think) and impulse control.

                      The repeated references to showers as ‘rewards’, solutions phrased in what NOT to do (which isn’t a solution), and baby as “the aftermath” shows, imo, that most’s decision not to have a shower is cloaked in hate and judgment, rather than logic.

                    • Ms. Kameria

                      We’re going to have to agree to disagree, and leave it at that. I’ll just continue not to support those who continue to make this mistake at 15, 16, and 17 when it could have and still can be prevented. I’m done.

                    • hollyw

                      Will do, you do you. Peace & Love

                    • Feiryn Rune

                      Ms. Kameria- condoms break, pills don’t always work, and sometimes it’s not the mothers fault at all that she ended up pregnant. To some people, aborting an unborn baby is as bad as murder.
                      My step-mother was on birth control pills when she got pregnant with all three of her children. One of my friends was raped. Another was told she couldn’t have children.

                      And if no one were to give the expecting teen the things she needs, she and that baby would suffer for it.

                      You, Ms. Kameria, are a heartless person, willing to punish a baby for something it had no control over, just because of it’s mothers mistake.