baby shower table
Flickr photo by zAppledot

Picture it: You're attending a baby shower with your 9-year-old daughter and the expectant mom is in the center of the circle opening her gifts.

She's just unwrapped a breast pump and is now passing around cute outfits in pink and yellow. She's having a girl.

But you can't help wonder if the guest of honor would much rather be opening video games or iTunes gift cards than a box of diapers. And you also can't help think she'd way prefer to be hanging out in another room with your own daughter than sitting in a room with a bunch of women at a completely different stage of life.

The mom-to-be is 13.

She's pregnant. And she's having a baby shower.

Where to even begin?

This is not a made-up scenario. Members of the CafeMom community are discussing a real life situation just like this. The original poster raised the issue because she wasn't sure if it was appropriate to bring a 9-year-old to a baby shower of a 13-year-old pregnant girl. The conversation quickly zig-zagged all over the place, starting with the statement that a 13-year-old should not be allowed to parent in the first place.

Then on to the fact that she shouldn't get a shower.

Then, that she should, because someone that age needs help more than an older woman more established in life and who's not ... a child herself.

It depends on what you think a baby shower is for. Is it to celebrate new life? Then of course she should get one. Is it to help a mom out? Then she should have one. Is it to provide support from family and friends? Then she should have one.

Should you bring your 9-year-old? No.

My reasons:

  • 13-year-olds should not get pregnant. Girls need to know about their bodies and how not to get pregnant, but a baby shower is not the time or place for a sex talk.
  • Getting gifts and being the center of attention glamorizes pregnancy, whether the expectant mom is happy to be pregnant or not. I don't want my daughter to get any ideas.
  • There are other ways for my daughter to show support for the young friend or family member other than going to a party.
  • It's just ... awkward. There will be judgements. There will be opinions. There will be whispers about the choice the girl made. My daughter doesn't need to hear that from people I don't know or agree with. Despite the balloons and cake, and no matter what you feel about the outcome, this is not a "happy" event.

Go to the shower yourself, support the young mom in this challenging time, but leave your daughter home. And then think of everything you can possibly do to make sure it's not her up there opening gifts in another couple of years.

Should young girls and tweens attend the baby shower of a 13-year-old?