In this week's MommyBeta Podcast, we discuss whether or not it is vulgar to have a baby shower for your second (or third or fourth...) babies. This is something that I may be a little too opinionated about so allow me to pontificate and feel free to pontificate back in the comments.
I had never heard that it was uncouth to have a shower for a second baby until I became pregnant with Baby #2. My dad's wife was the one who brought it up, informing me that it was considered rude. Rude??
I asked my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and they both agreed that this is tradition. They thought that a second shower would reflect poorly on them as if they were trying to get more stuff out of people. My mother-in-law said she would feel uncomfortable throwing my sister-in-law another shower.
What kind of people would judge my sweet mother-in-law for wanting to throw her only daughter a shower if/when she is pregnant again? They don't have to attend! But would they judge for wanting to celebrate a new child? Are those the kind of people we call friends?
The first baby shower was certainly not to "get stuff out of people." It was to celebrate our newest addition, wasn't it? The stuff is a bonus.
Why would anyone begrudge someone the right to celebrate a new baby? Babies are brand new people! They need a few things in this world. Given, second-time-moms don't need swings, swaddles, bottles, etc. But they need a few new things. Must Baby #2 be forever relegated to hand-me-downs from the get-go? And no cake? No games? No festivities AT ALL for Baby #2??
One point I especially appreciated in The Girlfriends' Guide To Pregnancy was that every baby should be celebrated equally. Why should Baby #2 receive zero fanfare just because Baby #1 fertilized the egg first?
In my family, we have showers for every baby that joins our ranks - from 1 to 5. We never expect huge extravagant presents. We just expect that everyone will want to ooh and aah over baby stuff and celebrate motherhood together. What is so vulgar about that?
I was speaking to a friend of Colombian decent recently about this topic. She seemed to think this was a cultural issue.
"Hispanics have showers for every baby," she said. "I think not having them is an American thing."
But Americans register for wedding gifts even when they have been cohabiting and don't need "stuff" like flatware and toasters. And they throw extravagant weddings for Marriage #2. So why does the second child get so short changed?
My Colombian friend said that she had recently attended a "Sprinkle" for a friend who was pregnant with Baby #2. It is a play on the word "shower." You don't need to be "showered" in gifts but you can ask for a sprinkling of them. Kind of a cute semantical solution if you're worried about being offensive - which in the end, I am not. My mom wants to throw me another shower and I may do a small registry as well. Is that so rude?
I am not one for tradition so it would stand to reason that I break with convention with this no-second-baby-shower rule. But I would like to say on behalf of second-time mommies everywhere that I think the no-second-shower rule is total crap and should be thrown in the diaper genie. We should be able to celebrate the brand new person growing inside of us! And if you find that offensive, you can tell him/her that they don't deserve a party because they are the youngest and it is considered vulgar. Go ahead. Say it to this little face!