I was recently flipping through my daughter’s First-Year scrapbook – a truly sentimental gift handmade by my mother-in-law. The book opens with a few pages devoted to baby showers friends and relatives held for me during my pregnancy. Scenes of smiling faces, adorable onesies, mounds of diapers, smiling grandmothers-to-be, and me – grinning from ear to ear in every picture, with just a hint of uncertainty and mild trepidation thrown in for good measure.
I look forward to the day when I can share these pictures with my daughter – the little person no one had yet met that was nonetheless being celebrated and eagerly awaited by so many.
As I flipped through the rest of the book, the thought occurred to me – “What will my second daughter think? Surely she will come across this book and then wonder why her albums have no party pictures.”
Which brings us to the delicate matter of second and subsequent baby showers. In terms of etiquette, what’s the proper way to handle? Is it appropriate to have one? How do you respond to people who ask if you are having one? It’s not as if you can host one for yourself! Because that’s just tacky!
At the start of my third trimester, my sister offered to host one for me. I gave it some thought, and of course scoured the web for moms who had similar insecurities about it. I found many responses that echoed the feelings I had. For example:
“I firmly believe in a shower for every child. A shower is more about celebrating the new life coming than it is about gifts. It doesn't seem right that the first child is the only one that has pictures of their loved ones gathered together to celebrate them before they are born. Have a get together for her. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate.”
– B, from http://www.mamasource.com/article/second-baby-shower-6958#response_1.
And, as luck would have it, Emily Post seems to think the same, to a degree:
“It is all right to have a baby shower for a second or third baby, as long as the guest list is comprised of guests who did not attend a shower for the first (and/or second) baby, with the exception of close friends and family members who would be upset not to be there.”
So, I’m letting my sister do her thing, and have invited a new group of friends that weren’t around the first time, as well as close family. I am going to enjoy every minute of it. I also hope that it will make the situation a bit more real for my first-born, who seems excited about becoming a big sister.
I’ll keep you posted!