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Originally published Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 5:05 AM

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Mom-to-be not interested in throwing a baby shower

Syndicated columnist

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I'm with you. As an introvert, I'm extremely choosy about the kinds of parties I attend... MORE
"Mom-to-be not interested in throwing a baby shower" Good for her. most pe... MORE
Baby boy showers should be conducted by men, for the purposes of, careful, high value... MORE

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Dear Carolyn

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I’m pregnant with my first child, and I’m getting quite a bit of feedback from close friends and family about having a baby shower.

I don’t really want to have one. I feel like my husband and I have the resources to take care of what we really need, and it seems a little self-centered to be asking anyone else to contribute to a choice we made on our own. I felt the same way about a bridal shower, and I did successfully avoid that horror, but I’m feeling a lot of pressure about the baby. Is it OK to say no, I don’t want one? Is it important to let other people have a party?

– A Must?

DEAR A MUST?: You’re under no obligation to have a shower. So, yes, it’s OK to say no and hold to it.

However, the answer to your other question is that people often do like to feel as if they’re a part of your major life events. That sounds like the case here, and having a bunch of people feeling invested in your baby’s life isn’t the worst thing for the baby.

So, why not at least consider a themed shower that allows people to (1) express their taste versus follow your instructions; (2) spend very little; (3) promote a beautiful connection between these loving people and your baby?

The idea I have in mind is a children’s-book shower, where guests are asked to bring (and sign) a favorite. Another, though, would be an advice or time-capsule shower, where people can write down something they wish someone had told them ... let’s say upon their high-school graduation or at different stages of life. Get a nice archival box for them and hold on to it to present to your child when s/he’s 18. I’m wishing I’d done this.

Anyway, urge these “close friends and family” to toss around ideas with you, if this version of a shower appeals to you.

Re: Baby showers:

I totally support the idea of a book shower for a new baby — it gives the village a chance to get together and celebrate a new baby, and you never know when you might need that village down the road.

For that matter, don’t discount the tips that you can get at a baby shower in the way of useful stuff. When you get married, you already have a pretty good idea of what you need to maintain a household, but you might not even be aware of the random stuff that other families have found to be lifesavers when it comes to taking care of babies.

— Anonymous

DEAR ANONYMOUS: Thanks. I also heard from others suggesting a theme of “little things I couldn’t have done without.” I’d bring a pack of Sharpies.

Re: Showers:

One good reason to go along with a (subdued) baby shower is that if you do, you should be able to exert a modicum of control over it. Otherwise, there’s the horrific risk of a surprise shower that’s nothing like what you’d want.

— Anonymous

DEAR ANONYMOUS: “Horrific” is somehow both gratuitous and apt.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com and follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax. Find her columns daily at www.seattletimes.com/living

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