Being pregnant

Does Dad deserve to have a baby shower, too?

Karen decides to let her husband in on the fun.

Photo by sjlocke/iStockphoto

You could say that I’m kind of traditional. I grew up in a small town (shout-out to Peterborough, Ontario!) and I blame it’s homey, lovely-yet-stuck-in-the-1950s vibe on my strange perception of etiquette: I expect men to always hold doors, everyone to say please and thank you (constantly), women to bake for sick relatives, bring hostess gifts to parties, and so on. It’s nothing kookie, but still kind of old school, right?

Recently I was having dinner with a friend and we started discussing possibilities for my baby shower. Of course I’m picturing all the women in my family sitting around sipping tea and daintily nibbling on finger sandwiches as they dole out generations-old parenting advice. That was until my friend asked, “What about Barry?” I must have looked puzzled because she went on to explain how nice it is that he’s so excited about the baby and wouldn’t it be great to include him at the shower? Again, my initial reaction wasn’t great. I imagined him attempting to gingerly perch on the edge of a sofa while not-so-daintily scarfing down a brownie and discussing breastfeeding tips with one of my aunts. I think I laughed out loud.

Of course, this wasn’t at all what my dear — and thankfully patient — friend meant. What she had in mind was a more modern take on things: A couple’s shower. And I have to admit that after we talked about the concept for a few minutes it really started to grow on me. Then I remembered a guy friend telling me about a “daddy shower” he went to in Las Vegas last year. The man-only affair had more to do with gambling, strippers and heavy drinking than teetotaling, I’m sure, but it showed that his friend must have had some real zeal for his new role as Dad. And why shouldn’t guys be just as excited about baby’s arrival? It takes two, as they say, right? So why should mom get to have all the fun and attention? After all, once this little girl arrives her daddy is going to be sharing in plenty of the work. Trust me.

So, over the past week I’ve come around to the idea and formulated a plan: I’ll have my very traditional, ladies-only baby shower for the women in mine and Barry’s families (kindly hosted by my sister- and mother-in-law. I love you guys!) AND my friend is going to host an evening affair where we’ll invite some of our friends to have a few drinks and celebrate the baby in a more guy-friendly fashion. I’m happy with the compromise and so thrilled that Barry will have a chance to join in on the pre-baby partying — even if it’s not Vegas.

Now its time for phase two of shower planning and I need help! Moms out there, please give me some gift registry advice. What do I really need, what’s nice to have and what’s a waste of space and money? What should I register for and what should I just buy myself? (Especially since the shower won’t be until my 36th week!) There’s so much to choose from and plan for, please help me!