Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: Im pregnant with my first child, and Im getting quite a bit of feedback from close friends and family about having a baby shower.
I dont really want to have one. I feel like my husband and I have the resources to take care of what we really need, and it seems a little self-centered to be asking anyone else to contribute to a choice we made on our own. Im feeling a lot of pressure about the baby. Is it OK to say no, I dont want one? Is it important to let other people have a party?
Youre under no obligation to have a shower. So, yes, its OK to say no and hold to it.
However, the answer to your other question is that people often do like to feel as if theyre a part of your major life events.
So, why not at least consider a themed shower that allows people to (1) express their taste versus follow your instructions; (2) spend very little; (3) promote a beautiful connection between these loving people and your baby?
The idea I have in mind is a childrens book shower, where guests are asked to bring (and sign) a favorite. Another, though, would be an advice or time-capsule shower, where people can write down something they wish someone had told them lets say upon their high-school graduation, or at different stages of life. Get a nice archival box for them and hold on to it to present to your child when s/hes 18. Im wishing Id done this.
Re: Baby showers: I totally support the idea of a book shower for a new baby it gives the village a chance to get together and celebrate a new baby, and you never know when you might need that village down the road.
For that matter, dont discount the tips that you can get at a baby shower. You might not even be aware of the random stuff that other families have found to be lifesavers when it comes to taking care of babies.
Thanks. I also heard from others suggesting a theme of little things I couldnt have done without. Id bring a pack of Sharpies.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.