February 24, 2020
Let my start this post by saying that I am writing this in real responses we have gotten after expressing our feelings and announcing that we are opting out of a shower. I’m going to show a side that may not be the Frankie you’re used to. I’ve got more hormones in me so just FAIR WARNING…I may get a little fiesty.
Okay so I know it seems odd, crazy, weird, unusual, whatever you want to call it for a first time 25 year-old mom to be opting out of a baby shower. For most American women and families, having a baby shower is a stepping stone in preparing for your new child. It’s something that just seem’s like a given, something you “have to do”. We believe it’s a party society makes us feel obligated to have. And if we don’t, we’re seen as going against the status quo.
We’re opting out for many reasons….
But in short FOR US this is the right decision for our life and child…and here comes the feistiness…it’s not against the law to not have a baby shower. Free country baby! You can have one, you can not have one, you can have 10, I’ma do me and you do you boo. With that being said though, a lot of our family and friends have looked at Joe and I with a “Wait What??” face when we told them we do not want a baby shower. So I’m going to lay it all out for ya’ll….if you care.
I know, I know. The girl who dances around in her car on Instagram doesn’t like attention. I have realized over the past few years is that I am a total Ambivert. And I seriously think Joe is too. We took a online test and he scored in the Ambivert category.
An Ambivert is someone who falls in the middle of Introversion and Extroversion. Here are some common traits of Ambiverts to give you some context from the site Introvertdear.com Maybe this list will help you realize if you’re an Ambivert too!
“1. You don’t shy away from attention, but it depends on the context. In a lot of situations, you’re happy just quietly observing.
2. You enjoy being at a crowd, party, or group event for hours…and then suddenly your energy is gone. When this happens, you just want to get out of there.
3. You prefer meaningful talk. Like extroverts, you enjoy conversation — but, like introverts, you hate small talk. (You can doit, you just find it a little less than sincere.)
4. There are limits to your social comfort zone. You’re comfortable socializing (usually), but asserting yourself can be difficult.
5. You’re very reserved in some situations. You present a very different persona to co-workers and casual acquaintances than you do to close friends. If you don’t know someone well, you tend to be much more reserved.
6. You like to have backup. You actually really enjoy meeting new people, but you prefer to have your friends around you when you do it. You’re unlikely to run up and introduce yourself to a complete stranger, at least on your own.
7. You don’t quite fit either label (but you kinda fit both). Descriptions of both temperaments introverts and extroverts resonate with you equally.
8. You hang back. You’re excited to go to social events, but often start out just observing everyone around you.
9. You take alone time in small doses. You understand that you need and enjoy it, but one night to yourself is usually plenty. An entire weekend alone would leave you restless and wondering what you’re missing.
10. You (usually) think before you speak. You don’t have a problem putting your thoughts into words, like many introverts do. However, you’ll often wait to hear what others say first before you speak up.
11. You tend to “balance out” the people around you.If someone’s a talker, you’ll be quieter and listen. If they’re quieter, you’ll talk more.” -Introvertdear.com
Now that you have a better understanding of who we are, let me tell you about our wedding. First off it was beautiful, Our families gave Joe and I a beautiful wedding day. But there was a little over 200 guests. I would have liked to keep our guest list under 100 but with our big families and long list of friends there was no way that was going to happen. Joe has 12 siblings and I have a multitude of aunt’s uncles and cousins. We had our parents friends, our church friends, school friends all in attendance, the list went on and on. Even my bridal shower was pretty big. I have love for everyone who came to support us but it was a lot.
So if we had a baby shower, there is no way it could be a small group of ladies. It would be every woman I’ve come into contact with in the last 25 years and more, whom I all love but for my personality type, it would be too much. I made a list of all the women I could think of off the top of my head that would want to come and are close enough to me and our families….it’s 65. That’s a lot of ladies. The idea of having a huge shower, with a ton of women, makes me anxious and I don’t need or want to feel in the time we have leading up to our child’s birth.
“The global baby products market size is expected to reach $16.78 billion by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc.”. 16 BILLION DOLLARS….that is crazy talk. There’s an entire group of companies out there that market to women and families. They are skilled in convincing us to spend money on items that don’t get used more than a few times, or don’t get used at all.
It makes me feel frustrated that companies continue to make and sell things for babies that the babies don’t actually need. These companies know we will buy them because it will make us feel good for a moment…but then we will have moved on to the next thing we think we need to buy but never actually needed. To put things in perspective, there’s literally a store called Buy Buy Baby.
Personally, for us, it feels unnecessary to buy things for this baby or for anyone that matter just because we think they have to have it, or that we won’t able to survive parenthood without it. The social obligation of gift giving has gotten out of hand. We are taking on the “buy as we go” method, which may be completely bonkers and if I’m wrong I will be the first one to admit it to you, but for us this is how we have decided to do it.
I have created a small registry with about 30 items from Amazon because we have family already asking what we want in terms of items for the baby. Let me also set the record straight that just because we are opting out of a shower, doesn’t mean we are opting out of receiving love, blessings, support, diapers, wipes, etc. I’ve asked my mom and dad if they could help us with providing meals once we bring the baby home. That’s how I would like them to serve and love us. A lot of people have expressed that not having a shower is unfair to my mom. My mom has the been the most supportive in this decision that we’ve made. I know that she may be bummed but her and I know that her and my dad will have years and years and years to spoil their first grandchild.
Some of our family and friends have interpreted us opting out of shower, as us saying that we are opting out of gifts, which is not true. We are just opting out of the party. We are so blessed to have friends and family members who are all about hand-me-downs. We’ve already received a crib, a carrier, some clothes, and swaddling blankets.
The whole point of this is not to say we’re opposed to accepting gifts, support, love, blessings, prayers etc.
I know that gift giving is some people’s love language and I know my parents and our family will want’s to spoil our child and I’m okay with that!! That makes me happy that we have family that wants to give us gifts, but what I’m not okay with is a big party that is going to bring me stress and anxiety, and to receive gifts that aren’t necessary for our lifestyle no matter how kind the gesture is. Our home has always been a place where everyone is welcome, no matter what. We’ve had our friends and family live with us. Our friends come over, and they know they don’t have to knock and they are welcome to just to come right in.
We do not want to fill our home with items that will go unused, or completely to waste.
I also hope that everyone knows, that just because we aren’t having a shower doesn’t mean we’re not going to want visitors encouraging us, loving on us and our child. Text me, call me, come over whenever you want. We will welcome you with open arms. Larry and Clyde will welcome you with licks and wagging tails.
If you want to give us something not on our registry, please consider praying for us.
Some specific prayers would be, my stress level. I have a lot of work going on in the spring, and fall and I don’t know how everything is going to play out with my body and once Peanut is here, I don’t know how feedings and being away from them will be. The unknown scares me. We need prayer for Joe’s and I’s relationship, that during this new season, we continue to care, support and encourage one another. We need prayer for our dogs..not kidding…they are our babies right now and we don’t know how they will adjust to not having our full attention. I hope that it is an easy transition, but who knows….Doodles notoriously have zero boundaries.
I know some people aren’t in the financial situation to be opting out of a shower, and I’m not judging you if you do have one, because you want one and need help preparing for your child. I’m just trying to explain why we’re doing it this way to prevent any future, “Wait, what?” facial expressions.
I want to create as little waste as possible with the whole gift giving thing. We don’t know how much longer we will be spending in the home we’re in so we have also decided to save our money by not decorating a nursery. This doesn’t mean we don’t love our child or want them to have the world or have a safe space to sleep and dream, it just means that in my opinion, a baby in the early months doesn’t care about nursery art, or paint colors, or sheet patterns, or fluffy pillows, so why would we ask family and friends to spend money on those things? When we’ve found our forever home, I promise you that there will be color on the wall, art hanging everywhere and glow stars on the ceiling.
I’ve learned by being around my 13 nieces and nephews that most babies at first just want to eat, sleep, poop and repeat this lovely routine for months.
If nesting to you is creating a beautifully decorated nursery then by all means go for it! I see myself nesting by getting our home ready, and organizing my office and our bedroom. I’ve already been clearing out space all around the house and have made a massive donation pile. But in the next couple months I will also be nesting by preparing my business for my maternity leave. I will be creating content in advance for the blog, preparing instagram posts in advance, getting email responses in top shape etc.
My photography work does not lend it self easy to having parties on the weekends. I have 2 personal Sunday’s aside from Easter blocked off in April, no open weekends in May except for our 5 year wedding anniversary (Also My SIL is expecting her first baby in Mid-May), no open weekends in June except for Father’s Day weekend (I’m shooting 4 weddings) and then my due date is mid-July. So even if by some chance I change my mind, I literally do not have time. And I don’t know anyone who plans a mid-week shower in the evening after normal work hours.
I know some things in this post might rub some people the wrong way, but this is a blog, it’s not a newspaper, I’m not going to please every reader so I’m just gonna say what I’m feeling. Here is goes, When I have told people that we’re not having a shower, only a handful, and I’m talking like 3 people have had a response that I appreciate, and that response goes something like”Good for you!” or “That’s Awesome”.
If I’m being honest here I’m having a hard time with after I’ve explained that a big party is too much for me, there’s no time and we’re not interested in receiving unnecessary gifts, that we SHOULD JUST DO, “a small little something”, “multiple showers in smaller groups”, “a dinner with friends”, “have a co-ed party” etc. Our decision, needs to be respected and not pushed aside and replaced with a substitute option of a shower. In response to the co-ed option I told Joe, “If we end up having a shower, then you have to come.” and he responded with “Nope, I don’t wanna go to a shower.”
I’m guilty of the “Oh you should….” phrase 1000%. But heres the thing, when we tell people(even with the best intentions), “Oh you SHOULD do this”, after they’ve opened up to us about a decision they’ve made; it can make them feel unheard, or like their decision isn’t good enough for YOU. When in reality the decision they’ve made has nothing to do with you. I would encourage you, if a friend comes to you with an idea or choice they’ve made, try to be as supportive as you can. Truly listen to what they are saying, instead of trying to change their minds.
So there it is…my unfiltered, raw and the real reason’s we are not having a shower. If you’re expecting and can resonate with anything I’ve said I would love to hear from you. I hope I wasn’t too sassy. I love you all!