Baby Showers at School?

Stephanie - posted on 04/15/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I'm a third grade teacher in North Carolina and I'm 5 months pregnant. I'm dreading questions from administration about having an after school baby shower. I don't want one because I don't want to require anyone to give me gifts. I've also been constantly annoyed over the years over all of the unstated shower-throwing (and gift/money collecting) responsibilities that are thrust upon me whenever people in my grade level get married or have babies. Is this just a "Southern" thing, or does everyone have showers at school/work? Also, how can I gracefully decline the offer when it comes up?

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Kristin - posted on 04/16/2009

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We do showers at work (Wisconsin). It is usually done on Friday mornings before school-breakfast kind of thing. Could you ask for a book donation to your school library instead of baby gifts? Or...have the hostess/es ask for a favorite recipe from each person (instead of a gift), and then put it together in a nice book for you?? Congratulations on your pregnancy!

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I teach third grade in Ontario, and for my baby shower, anyone who wanted to contribute and show up could. A coworker held it at her house after my son was born, and my close friends on staff came. It wasn't about the gifts - they did a collection for a group gift- but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my friends after a couple of months away and getting to show off my son. I will be hosting another colleague's shower in a couple weeks at my house, and it's the same thing.

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I think it depends on where you work as to how people handle this. In my case, my co-worker friend offered to throw me a shower and chose to do it OFF campus. This way, all who attended WANTED to be there, and those who did not did not feel like they had to contribute. We do have a school courtesy fund that gave me a gift certificate on behalf of the faculty, but since I contribute to that too, I didn't feel guilty that it was my turn. All you can say is, "Thanks for thinking of me, but it's really not necessary." If people still feel the need to give something to you, then all you can do is say thank you. Hope this helps!!

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Jamie - posted on 04/19/2009

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It sounds like you already have a plan but I thought I would post what my school does for anyone else who may read this.

My school has a Courtesy Committee and we donate to it if we want to participate in any shower/party. The rule for baby showers is that you get a shower for the first baby and we give a gift worth $100 (retirement, wedding, and other parties are different). Some teachers decline a celebration and so we will just do a treat day in the teachers lounge. Teachers who want to celebrate bring a treat to share with the staff. If a staff member wants to give a personal gift, that is done at a separate time, not during the party. Thank goodness we have a small staff and I have a long walk to the teachers lounge! :)

I had my baby shower last year and it was awkward but nice. I knew that some people wanted to be there and some really didn't care. It was quick...cake, punch, my gift, done. I am the type that doesn't want a fuss made for me so I felt bad for my teaching partners because they put it on for me.

Kimberly - posted on 04/18/2009

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I was new to my school and they threw me a baby shower. I also felt very weird. This is my 3rd baby but I was not expecting to have another one and so I had to start over with all the baby stuff. There were only 12 people that showed up and it was odd. I hope it all works out and congratualtions on your new bundle of joy.

Stephanie - posted on 04/17/2009

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Thank you for the suggestions!



My school collects "hospitality dues" at the beginning of the year for gifts for marriages/babies/condolances/etc., but there's still an expectation for each grade level to contribute separate gifts, too. And, by the end of the school year, hospitality funds are low.



A co-worker just offered to have a celebration for me at her house, and I definitely like that idea better than having one at school. She's a good friend of mine and my grade level chair. We uaually have a grade level celebration at the end of the year at her house. Now, we'll just make it a baby celebration, too! And, I'll let everyone know that gifts aren't necessary. To help the hostess with food, I'd like to have everyone bring a dish and I like the idea of gathering recipes, too!

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for my first pregnancy, the ladies in my department (hs teacher) offered to throw me a shower. this was in the spring. by fall, there was a political fall out at school because of changes to the schedule, partly due to my maternity leave and trying to find a course that would be easier to fill with a sub (hard to find good math subs). anyway...they still threw me a shower, but it was very awkward, done at lunch, very rushed and no fun. :o(



i'm at a new school now and we threw a shower for a pregnant colleague. for whatever reason, i'm in a very chummy department now, and it was great fun, even though i was new.



also, at every school i've worked at (3 of them), there was a social club that collected funds from the staff at the beginning of the year for life events like marriages, births, etc. everyone got gift certificates for whatever event. not a huge deal, usually an announcement at a staff meeting.



anyway, i don't think it's a southern thing. i'm in california. maybe it's different for me, since high schools tend to have larger staffs and departments tend to be somewhat isolated. having just 10 teachers throw you a party isn't such a big deal.



maybe if someone asks, just say that you are sensitive to the tough economic times and would just prefer a simple cake and time to hang out with colleagues. people really enjoy celebrating births, so it's nice to acknowledge the thought, but i think it's okay to say "your presence is gift enough."

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