Watching “R&B Divas” last night (great show by the way), there were a lot of deep issues to pick apart but one of the lighter things that stuck out to me was the fact that six babies in, Keke Wyatt’s friends were throwing a baby shower for her. Where they do that at?
Immediately, I wondered if Keke knew how lucky she was (and where her hand-me-downs were from her other five kids) as my mind drifted back to a discussion I’d recently had with my coworkers about baby showers and the subsequent gift-giving that is required every time one of your family members, friends, or even distant associates decides to bring life into the world. When all was said and done, our consensus was that every mother is allotted one baby shower — two at the most if you have a child of a different sex somewhere down the line. It would seem, though, that we’re in the minority on that.
Just this summer, an old friend/acquaintance of mine was having a baby shower and did a Facebook tag letting me know I was invited. Initially, I thought, “aww this will be fun, let me think of what to get her.” As the days dragged on, right up until the morning of the shower, I’d talked myself all the way out of that pseudo-obligation. For one, she was on baby numero tres and had already had one of each sex — within four years. What could she possibly need besides some new onesies, diapers, and bottle nipples? With all the people tagged in that generic post, she would be fine. Second, I was in the midst of moving and knew I could find could use for the dollars I’d spend on her gift to finance my relocation. After all, I wasn’t having a going away or house warming party because, like her, this wasn’t my first time doing this. There was also the issue of a Facebook invite that made me feel less obligated to attend. I can admit I was a tad lazy and a bit selfish in my reasoning, but is it not a smidge self-centered to also expect people to shower you with presents every single time a single, perseverant sperm meets your egg?
Ironically, this weekend I came across the episode of “Sex & The City” when Carrie protested single women’s rights to shoes in light of the exorbitant amount of money she spent buying presents for her friend’s children only to be criticized for spending a pretty penny on herself. It’s true, when you are single and childless, you have a tendency to feel (and be treated) like Santa Claus all the freaking time. If it’s not a baby shower, a bridal shower, a bachelorette party, a wedding, or a christening, mother’s day and father’s day are sure to be around the corner. Even if you are your only financial obligation, doling out cash for these events every time they roll around can be taxing on one’s wallets. I won’t even get into the issue with people putting all of the expensive items on their registries, but when you start trying to double and triple up on these types of things, let’s just say you should be well-prepared to expect fewer and fewer RSVPs each time around.
And essentially, that’s all the person on the receiving end of such invites can do –not go. You can’t stop someone from wanting to celebrate their sixth baby or their third marriage, you can however suggest they check their attics and basements for the boxes of gifts they got the first time around and tell them to make it do what it do. Of course, they may be slightly offended if you aren’t the first person to arrive with the biggest gift-wrapped box in the room and the brightest bow on top, but there are plenty other ways you can show support for these monumental times without breaking your bank. Who wouldn’t want a babysitter, or someone to help them put together furniture, or re-decorate the nursery, or re-baby proof the house? Time, I have no issue giving; I’m just not trying to be one of the three wise men who comes bearing gifts every time the sun comes up. Making it rain may be a hot catch phrase for people with endless ends, but as far as I’m concerned you’re only allowed to be showered once per every major event in your life, you better get all that you can get out of me the first go-round.
What’s your stance on multiple baby showers, and even bridal showers and wedding gifts for divorcees?
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