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Actually, We Don't Want a Baby Shower

Photograph by Getty Images/Blend Images RM

Black pregnant woman admiring gifts at baby shower

Black pregnant woman admiring gifts at baby shower

My husband and I are expecting our first baby, and family and friends are constantly asking us when our baby shower is. Everyone pretty much expects that a friend will throw us a party, with Pinterest-worthy appetizers and cute party games.

One problem: We're not having one.

It's not that we don't have friends or that we're morally opposed to sugary cakes or that we hate the idea of generosity and celebration. We just don't want a baby shower and so we've happily (and politely!) informed people that we'd prefer to pass.

Here's why:

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1. We don't actually want that much stuff

If you listened to every retailer in our overly materialistic culture, you'd think you need piles of supplies for a baby. But when they're first born, their needs are actually extremely basic.

We live in a tiny, one-bedroom apartment above a coffee shop, and we barely have room for ourselves, let alone the small human we're about to bring home. Our (very) generous parents have given us a few crucial gifts, and the rest we can cover on our own. While we really appreciate people's desire to throw presents at us, in all honesty, we just don't have the space for anything other than necessities. We plan to buy things as the baby needs them instead of all at once before he's born.

If people really want to give us a gift that we'd appreciate, we'd love for them to bring us takeout when we're both exhausted at home with a newborn. That way, you can actually meet the baby, too!

Don't get us wrong: we love baby showers. Invite us to yours, and we'll come, gift in hand and ready to party.

2. We just had a wedding

Our wedding was less than a year ago, and we were spoiled silly from a bridal shower and the actual big day. We desperately needed the basics, like dishes that aren't paper and towels without holes, and we're so grateful to have received them from our family and friends. While we completely understand that some people are in that same position with baby showers, we're not. So another huge party all about us in less than a year just doesn't feel right.

We don't expect that every milestone in our life should come with a party and a bow-wrapped gift, and we personally feel like it's a lot to ask from a group of people who recently bought us major gifts—and spent money for travel to our wedding. We've also spent a lot of time as the center of attention over the past year and are ready to just embrace our new life—without a formal celebration. Well wishes will do just fine.

3. We're tired

Our pregnancy has had a few minor complications, so we've had more trips to the doctor than usual. Add that to our birthing class, our full-time jobs, my husband's graduate school classes and weddings/bridal showers/bachelor parties of other friends, and our schedule is jam-packed. We'd rather spend our open weekends sleeping in and enjoying the last of our free time. We don't have many Saturday mornings left to just lounge around and hang out with each other. So while we love our families and circles of friends, we'd really rather keep the rest of our free time open.

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Don't get us wrong: we love baby showers. Invite us to yours, and we'll come, gift in hand and ready to party. But if the party is really supposed to be about the parent-to-be, we feel completely comfortable saying these parents-to-be appreciate the effort, but would rather not be showered. (Though we're totally serious about that post-baby takeout idea.)

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