I was talking to my buddy yesterday about going shooting this weekend. He told me he can't because he's going to a baby shower - He's going to support his friend who is the daddy to be. I said he could be more supportive by getting his friend out to shoot guns instead.
I have been hearing more and more about these couples baby showers and couples wedding showers. In my mind, a baby and/or wedding shower is specifically for women. These parties are a chance for women to get together and talk about the joys and struggles of being a new mom or new bride. Honestly, this is not something that I, as a guy, want to go anywhere near. I asked my wife about this (she had a wedding shower without any guys being there) couples baby shower, and she said, "I will never ask you to come to a baby shower." I thanked her for that (and put it in writing).
So, I wanted to get some other guys' thoughts on this subject. Do you agree/disagree with men joining women at these events? Is this becoming more of a trend, or am I just now hearing about it since more of my friends are having babies? If guys do go to these things, what is protocol? Do you bring different gifts for the man and the woman? Enlighten me
Well that is not exactly how the female of the species works. They "invite" the guy. Sometimes "invite" is less of an invite and more of a chance to get all pissy and upset because the guy doesn't want to go and of course he just has to go because she wants him to.
Later down the road the guy is nagged when he wants to do something with the guys because he was "allowed" to go to the shower with the girls and now girls should be able to go on the fishing trip or whatever else the guys are now planning.
-Rebekah, this is not saying you do this or every girl but it deffinitely fits the M.O. of how females tend to work.
I can accept that as a legitimate concern. It's not the rhetoric I hear in the women's discussions. They're saying, "Traditional showers are boring and/or encourage damaging stereotypes. It will be more fun if we invite men." Nothing along the lines of, "My fiance/husband will feel left out." Though I have read concerns that there's no equivalent, sober party just for men, preparing them for marriage and parenting. I took an informal poll on that issue on AoM, and of course no one felt left out. And I'll repeat that I don't see the all-women parties as serving a big moral preparation purpose.
As someone who literally grew up in labor and delivery departments, I do worry individually about bridging the knowledge gap on those issues, when the time comes. I'm also the oldest of 3 marrying an only child, so anything that "prepares" my co-parent (and healthcare proxy), I'll be in favor of.
Finally, the longer I think about this "allowed" and "made to" language for social activities, and the closer I get to marriage, the more it seems to me the problems come from immaturity. If you want to go fishing, organize your own fishing trip. If your wife is "making you" go to a party, the fault is in your marriage, not with the person who invited you (as opposed to just your wife).
You want us to have all-female parties, even if we don't want to.
You surprise me. You wouldn't ordinarily decide for me what I want, any more than I'd decide for others why they want this or that party. I'll ask one more time before giving up: what's going on?
"I see coed baby showers and wedding showers as a way of reducing further the single-sex space in our culture, and it's already too abbreviated.
My post got thoroughly cut off. Basically, you had this means and ends language which you extrapolated to the entire culture. I don't think it's consistent with I wouldn't "decide for others why they want this or that party," so I'll assume you didn't mean the cause-and-effect ideas I read into "a way of."
That's the effect. Don't know the motivation. Not the way I'd want to do it.
If I recall, the "sort-of protocol" concerning babies was the women had the shower for the mother-to-be's first pregnancy. That was the "all-women party". The guys didn't do a pre-birth party, but the new father passed out cigars and "stood treat" for a round or two for friends at the local watering hole. That was the "all-guy party."
I've been involved in both types. Once my "role" for the bridal shower was taking my toddler-age son to a nearby park. At the last co-ed baby shower, it was obvious that the gals putting together the entertainment and games didn't know that the guys were being invited.
For weddings, the women had the bridal shower--no guys. The guys had the bachelor party, which was stag. Didn't have to involve strippers or "professional company", it was a joking celebration of the guy's "last chance" to hang with his buds & cut loose a bit without having to consider his family responsibilities.
I was at my wife's and my friend's baby showers. I don't see anything wrong with it. The person leading my friends baby shower's games did not like how I played but other then that it was good.
The game in question was how fast can you get the plastic toy baby out of the ice. I asked what are the rules on this game. She said you just need to get the baby out and we could not leave the room. Turns out she did not expect the "put the ice cube under the chair and sit on it" option.
But to join the party and support the father to seems like the right thing to do. Modern Fatherhood is about active participation at all levels.
I've been to several baby showers that had both men and women. You are going to support the family (and baby) not just the mom.
One gift - baby related.
With that said usually the men have gathered on the fringes and stood around with beers to commiserate and converse.
Didn't we discuss this before?
Yes. DJ started the discussion over a year ago, but she deleted that part of her account. I looked for it.
Addendum: After several rounds of e-mails between my mother and myself today, trying to round up contact information for my father's cousins, I am struck by how much "the bride's family" really means, "the bride, her mother, and any married sisters." I'll add that the employment situation in both households is "untraditional." Neither my father nor my fiance are employed full time outside their homes, but my mother and I are.