Weddings, it seems, are an ethical minefield. It’s rare for much time to go by without someone starting a new conversation querying engagement party/wedding etiquette on the Essential Baby forum, whether it’s to do with the hen’s party, attendance requirements, gifts (including wishing wells) or feuds with other family members.
But a new ethical controversy has arisen – this time around a baby shower.
A story on US parenting site mommyish states that a mum-to-be gift-shamed people she’d invited to her baby-shower – even those who hadn’t attended.
As writer Maria Guido stated, a woman received an invite to a baby shower from “an ‘acquaintance’ if you can even call her that”.
“They sat next to each other at graduation and they have some mutual friends in common, but they are not friends. I repeat, they are not friends,” she wrote.
The woman was unable to attend – and after the event, was sent this oh-so-charming poem:
We’re sorry you missed the shower!
There was fun and games to be had
The food and drinks not too bad
The loot was a plenty
But we looked high and low and found none from you
Not even a shiny penny!
Babies need a lot
Of this fact we all know
So we’ve included some shops below!
If none are to your liking, and that we understand
Then grab a pen and get to writing
For checks are to our liking!
The *** Family is registered at these stores and checks can be mailed to this address.
As if this plea for goodies wasn’t enough, the grabby mum-to-be also sent a poem to another group of guests: those who had attended and had given her gifts that weren’t to her liking.
We loved seeing you at the shower
Remember how the gifts they did tower?
We sorted them for hours
Upon sifting and sorting we noticed something amiss
For your gift didn’t match the list
To fix your situation we listed our stores below
But a check could also help us flow!
We all know that having a baby, not to mention raising a child for at least 18 years, costs a lot. Yes, it can help to have friends and family members who can chip in with products and a few spare dollars, but it’s really taking it a step too far when you call them out on what they’d decided to give you and your unborn babe.
Imagine choosing the gift you thought would be ideal - a favourite children's book, perhaps, or a handmade mobile for the nursery - and being told "Thanks - but to fulfill your duty as a baby shower guest, we're also going to need a bottle warmer with that."
We can only imagine the wishlists that will be handed out before each and every one of the child’s birthdays – and Christmases, and Easters, and graduation parties ...
Hopefully the child will be great at making friends, because we have the feeling Mum and Dad won’t have many of their own left to invite to their parties in future.