Who’s to Host? Responsibility of the baby shower

by epi on July 2, 2012

Q: My son is about to be a first-time father, and he asked me if I would be willing to host a baby shower for his wife. They live a distance away from me and therefore the attendees would be friends of mine rather than people from my son’s age group. I told him that it would not be appropriate for me, as his mother, to host a shower and that it should be a family friend, not a close relative who would do this. I know that I have been invited to many baby and bridal showers where a mother, mother-in-law, or a sister has been the hostess. Is this acceptable now? Am I just being old-fashioned?

A: The “rules” on baby showers have changed. In the past, it was considered inappropriate for a member of either the mother- or father-to-be to host a shower at the risk of appearing self-serving. Today that is no longer the case. It has become more common and acceptable for the mother or sister on both sides to host a shower.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lilli July 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I respectfully disagree. While it has become more common for close family members to throw showers, I don’t think that it is any more acceptable than it was in the past.

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Country Girl July 2, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I would add that the greater concern to me seems to be Mom’s suggestion that, due to her location away from the couple, attendants will be only/mostly her friends. It is not thoughtful to throw a shower where attendants do not know or are not close with the bride. That would really make it seem more like a gift grab and would be uncomfortable for everyone.

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Chocobo July 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I also disagree with EPI. It is not appropriate for family members to solicit their friends for items that they should be providing as the family. I have heard that one way around this rule, which very much still exists, is to throw a “shower” like event and only invite family members, and call it a family party. Then you circumvent the rule by making an occasion out of what the family should be doing anyway — providing for own of their own — but do not involve friends who do not carry that obligation.

Either way, it doesn’t matter — if the parents of the father are uncomfortable throwing the party, they shouldn’t be forced to do it.

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Ashley February 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

I have a similar, but slightly different situation. The mother- to-be is my cousin in-law, and lives in California, while I live in Texas, and most of her friends and family live in New York. She has has one true sister in-law, however I don’t think the idea of giving a shower has even crossed her mind. I would actually really love to throw her a shower, but travel expenses and circumstances inhibit pretty much everyone from coming together. Is it completely inappropriate to send invitations and maybe a small favor of some sort, and explain how we would love to shower the mom- to- be even though we are all far apart?
I don’t want it to seem like I’m just fishing for gifts for her, but I want her to have help with all the purchases a baby requires.

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Alicia February 4, 2014 at 1:40 pm

No a shower without a party is just a gift solicitation. In an ideal world most of what a shower about is warm wishes and advice for the mother to be. But there is no way that this will come across as anything other then a gift grab. If you want to help with the new kid purchases then use the money it would have cost to host the shower and give the mom to be a lovely gift from you. Leave other to give or not give as they wish and without your input.

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Linda April 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Is it appropriate to send a thank you card to your mother-in-law and sister-in-law who hosted your baby shower? It was at your mother-in-law’s house.

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Alicia April 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Absolutely!!!

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