Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Baby showers in England?

I was invited to my first baby shower a couple of weeks ago. The invitation by text came through well in advance and I have to confess to a rather large feeling of foreboding as a result. I politely declined (or rather, made another appointment up as I had no real reason for saying 'no').

I mean, I'm english. I live in England. Baby showers are something I've only heard of from our friends across the Atlantic. One of those things one witnesses on American soap operas. Surely they don't happen in little old England?

Apparently they do.

So what is a baby shower? The picture the phrase conjures up in my mind resembles something like the image right... undoubtedly cute, and definitely inaccurate. As I've said, I've never been to one and, call me cynical, but I never really intend on going to one. There, I've said it. So now one of my closest local friends will end up getting pregnant and throwing one which I have no choice but to attend... but until that day, I'm keeping my distance.

In my opinion (and I apologise if my opinion, lowly as it is, offends anyone) but surely a baby shower is just an excuse to invite people to buy you and your baby presents in the same way an engagement party forces friends who would normally merely congratulate you and share in your happiness to actually fork out for a present, perhaps against their will. I don't believe in that kind of materialism. If I did have a close friend who's having a baby I'd buy her something as and when I wanted to, not because the reason and timing is dictated to me by a 'shower' (ridiculous name!).

Anyway, I'm (half) interested. What's the point? What are they for? Why should I ever go to one?

Rant over.

Potential Mummy B


Jenn said...

I'm actually going to a baby shower this Sunday. Where some families go all out, mine just gets together to celebrate with the women in our family. I crocheted a pink and white baby blanket for her, because I agree that it's not right to expect large gifts from your family just b/c you're preggo.

RookieMommy said...

I was actually going to write a similar blog post about baby showers for my blog.
I'm with you. Just back in England after 10 years in Canada where the baby showers are as rife as in the US. They did come with an expectation of gift giving and often an air of 'who spent what' as the group would sit in a circle and open gifts. I just don't like that sort of thing. Same with kids birthday parties - I don't like the N. American tradition of sitting in a circle taking it in turns to give a gift to the birthday boy/girl. I'd rather presents were opened in private with less attention to price tags.
Like you I'd rather buy presents for people because I want to, not because it's an expectation.

Jenn said...

I have an award waiting for you on my blog!

Young Mummy said...

My friends and I all do baby showers for each other. But it's not about gifts, it's just a lovely opportunity to get together and celebrate the imminent arrival. It's nice to be able to make a fuss of the person who is the size of a house ;)

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