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Hostess Responsibilities and Baby Shower Etiquette

Who Should Host a Baby Shower?

Although traditional etiquette of who can host a baby shower has loosened
a little bit, one thing remains solid: The parents-to-be may not host their own
baby shower (or any party that entails gift-giving from the guests, for that matter).
Other than that, anyone can host the shower. People used to believe that only
non-relatives may host the party: this would leave it up to close friends, coworkers
or church groups. Now, it is acceptable for mothers and sisters (or inlaws)
to host a celebration for the new baby. The important thing is that
someone makes the effort to support the mother- and father-to-be and plan this
special initiation into parenthood.

How Can I Recruit Others to Help Me Host a Shower?

If youíve been asked to host a shower and are overwhelmed with the
prospect, itís important to remember that it is not unusual for a mother-to-be to
have multiple showers for both sides of the family, co-workers and friends. If you
are not up to hosting a huge shower for everyone the mother-to-be knows, you
can offer to do it for a smaller group. If the mother-to-be would prefer to have
one or two larger showers instead of many smaller ones, you may want to ask
someone to help you host. For example, a friend of mine, who was a school
teacher, was due in August. She wanted to wait until she was finished with
school before having a shower, but she also had several weddings and
graduation parties for family and friends throughout the summer. That left only
two weekends open before it started getting too close to her due date. She
already knew that she needed to travel across the state to her hometown for one
shower during one of those weekends. That basically left one weekend to have
her other shower for her friends and husbandís family. I decided that it wouldnít
be too big of an undertaking with a little help. I recruited two other friends and
her mother-in-law and we worked together to throw her a great baby shower that
everyone enjoyed! There are a few things you need to keep in mind, however,
before you ask someone to help you.

Youíll need to decide if you want to co-host the shower with another
person. There are advantages to co-hosting with another person. First of all,
you will be able to split the expenses with another person relieving yourself of
some of the financial responsibility. Youíll also be able to split the planning
responsibilities as well as put two (or more) heads together to get tons of great
ideas to help the mother-to-be to feel extra special. If you do ask someone to cohost
with you, itís important to take a few cautions. Make sure it is someone you
can get along with for the duration of the planning process. Not getting along
could place extra stress on the mother-to-be (which can defeat the purpose of
the shower). Also, decide ahead of time who will take care of what and how
much you want to spend. You donít want your co-host going way over your
budget and then asking you to pitch in half. You also donít want to end up with
two cakes and no food (of course, maybe the mother-to-be would like that).

If youíve decided that you donít want a co-host, there are other options.
Many times, people will offer to bring something when they RSVP. Take them up
on it (just have a list of things available that youíd like other people to bring so
you can definitively tell them what you need). If you donít want to take the
gamble of people offering help, just ask a few people close to the mother-to-be to
help you out a little bit. Maybe ask her mother to bring a vegetable tray or her
sister-in-law to bring three door prizes. If you are going to solicit help, itís a good
idea to keep it to just one or two people and just ask people close to the guest of

Another thing to keep in mind is that when you are invited to other
showers itís always a nice gesture to offer to bring something when you RSVP to
help out that hostess. Finally, be sure to give credit to everyone who helps you
out. Before you eat, for example, you could say something like, ďAnd thanks to
Maryís mother for bringing the wonderful vegetable trayĒ.


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