baby

‘It seems so unnecessary’: The politics of the second baby shower.

There’s an unwritten rule that while we tend to go all out for our first baby – a big social media announcement, a baby shower, a million photos and all the (sometimes inane) stories about their milestones – parents tend to calm down by the time baby number two comes along.

Yes, they announce it. But they’re too busy wrangling another child to fuss too much over the impending arrival.

But when it comes to baby showers, is it appropriate to hold one for your second (and third, and fourth, and eleventh) baby?

A new report from thort.com has found that a friend’s baby can cost you on average $2213 over 10 years. This figure includes things like baby showers ($68), gender reveals ($57), and birthday presents ($66), and is also A LOT OF MONEY if you’re multiplying it across a) a friendship group, and b) friends who have multiple children.

The study of 1000 participants also found that as a friend, you can generally be expected to pay $512 in the first year of the life of a baby that’s not even yours, because there’s often also an expectation to give at Christmas, Christenings, and Easter.

Watch: People share the worst baby names they’ve heard. Post continues after video.

Of course, there’s joy in all of these occasions. But it can be a tad rage-inducing when a friend decides they are going to repeat something that doesn’t necessarily need to be repeated – like a baby shower with all the mocktails, nappy games, and gifts, for their next child.

This is especially considering that by that stage you’ve probably already spent the above $512 on the first baby…and maybe even forked out for an engagement gift, a hen’s night, and a wedding gift before that (for your friend, not the baby).

Yes, yes, the second darling cherub is just as special as the first one – to the parent(s). Not necessarily to you.

But here’s the thing: that second or third baby won’t ever know that a shower wasn’t thrown for their impending arrival. They’ll never think, “Oh, I was loved less.”

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(Or maybe they will, but really, that sounds more like a problem for your friend than for you.)

So, when you get the invitation to a second shower for someone, you’d be forgiven for thinking these thoughts:

Again? I need that money for literally anything else. How much attention can one person get?

This all seems a bit Kardashian-esque to me.

 

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Kim at her baby shower today!

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Sydney mum Eleanor told Mamamia this is exactly what ran through her mind when her own sister wanted her to throw her a shower for her second baby.

“My sister threw me my first shower, and then I did the same for her. But doing it on the same scale the second time ‘round just seems unnecessary.

“Or even…greedy. I don’t mean for things, but for attention.”

Cara, a mum of three, suggested that for a second baby, perhaps a ‘sprinkle’ (smaller guest list, smaller gifts) or a ‘sip and see’ (a chance for friends to meet the baby en masse after it’s born), might be more appropriate.

“Maybe even saying ‘no gifts’ might be good for a second shower, because we all know you’ll give something when the baby is born, anyway.”

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Danniella was not as diplomatic when asked her thoughts on second baby showers.

“F*ck that,” she said.

“If I’m forced to go to another shower for the same person, I’m not buying anything out of obligation – they probably have everything already.

“They can wait until the baby is born.

“Otherwise, I just wouldn’t go.”

All of this wanton expense – that $2213 – may be alright if your friends are doing the same for your kids; but what if you don’t have children? Or have three less than your friend?

It looks like Carrie Bradshaw was right about one thing at least: it can feel like you’re being punished for being, or ‘having’, less.

Let me explain.

In the 2003 episode called “A Woman’s Right to Shoes”, Carrie attends the baby shower of her friend Kyra, who already has a child.

She’s asked to remove her shoes at the door to help keep the floor clean for that kid, which she reluctantly agrees to do. When she tries to leave, she discovers someone has nicked her Manolos.

Her friend is apologetic, and offers to pay for the shoes, but when she hears they cost $450, she tells Carries she shouldn’t have to pay for her choices.

And yet…Carrie calculates that between Kyra’s wedding and child, and all the associated events, she has paid for Kyra’s choices. Many times.

Doesn’t seem fair, does it?

As Danniella, who is proudly child and relationship-free said, “Spending $20 on a gift for my friend’s child, instead of $50, doesn’t mean I care about my friend or their baby less.

“I know gifts are nice to give and receive, but I’d rather do something useful for a friend, anyway. If I ever got sick or something, I’d want my friends to bring me food, not send me a bunch of flowers.

“A person’s time is more valuable than anything they could buy.”

Oooh, that’s deep, Danniella. And absolutely true.

Nama Winston has had a decade-long legal career (paid), and a decade-long parenting career (sadly unpaid). Nama uses her past experience as a lawyer to discuss everything from politics, to parenting. You can follow her on Instagram: @namawinston and Facebook: @NamaWinston.

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