I received another baby shower invitation in the mail a few days ago.
I'm past the age of wedding invitations and most baby shower invitations. I'm always happy to receive a baby announcement and to send a gift when the baby is born.
But, I get really annoyed when I receive shower invites from across the country- when the mother-to-be knows you can't be there- in order to get a gift. I also get annoyed when it's from someone you haven't seen in ten years and here's the new one- baby shower invites from people who aren't married! Todd and I have a couple of these folks in our extended family. Now- there's always a ring involved followed by either a short-lived marriage or a broken engagement. I've seen this pattern again and again. Bristol Palin anyone?
Where has etiquette gone? Don't you think that if you're having a baby- and you're not married- that you should forego the shower?
I also think that if you get married- and are knocked up- you should get married quietly. At a courthouse, at a private home. There should be no 1. Dance 2. Dinner.
I've found that many people disagree and I ask the question again and again-- what is with the out-of-wedlock kids? I heard the other day that now 40% of children are born to single moms. There are more kinds of birth control available today then lipstick shades. If you don't want to get pregnant- you don't. This is crossing all socio-economic lines and education levels it seems to me.
I think it's a combination of things:
1. the idiots in Hollywood who have made it look "cool" to tote a baby around sans daddy
2. the Boomers refuse to encourage adoption of their grandchildren...every Boomer I know who is faced with this situation says they're disappointed, but there's no way that they're going to let that grandchild go- so they fully support (financially and emotionally) their single-mother daughter. They'll be in the labor room, they'll help with daycare and they'll help with the bills....whatever it takes. Of course, I believe a family should be supportive in this situation and it is the individual family's choice on how to handle this situation. My rule is- if I don't have to pay for your daycare, then do what you want.
3. marriage is no longer seen as an institution- but an excuse to have a wedding
4. it's now completely, socially acceptable
I'm seen as very cold-hearted with this issue and it's caused a couple of big arguments in my family. I never blame the children involved- but I certainly feel sorry for them because they're immediately at a disadvantage with only one parent.
When somebody gets knocked up- without being married- you're just supposed to hop on board. You're not allowed to say a thing- it's none of your business of course- but when it comes time for baby showers and weddings, rest-assured you're going to be on the invite list.
I picked up the Target registry for the un-wed mom-to-be yesterday...I started laughing out loud. Among the basics of onesies, baby monitors, high chairs-- one item stood out-- a $180 portable DVD player. Now THAT's moxie.