Gender-Reveal Parties Need to Go -- Here's Why

gender reveal party
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Expecting a baby is definitely a cause for celebration, but do some soon-to-be-parents get a little too caught up in spreading certain pieces of the good news? Possibly. Gender-reveal parties are all the rage among pregnant ladies, but is the whole concept a bit unnecessary? The Washington Post's Miss Manners thinks so, and I couldn't agree more. 

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Here's how the whole topic came about: A woman wrote in to the etiquette maven's column and explained that while she wanted to throw herself a little shindig to share her pink or blue news, she had concerns. She wrote: "I worry that this party might be construed as a rude attempt for gifts. I don't want any gifts, and this isn't a baby shower, nor am I expecting one. I just want to share the joy with family and friends and provide food and games. But would the whole idea still be considered tacky?"

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To which Miss Manners (my new hero) responded: "Not everyone is as excited as you are about every detail of your child's life. It's best to know this now, before you start going on Facebook announcing baby's first spit-up, or throwing parties for when he or she sleeps through the night."

While that might sound harsh, some people appreciate that level of candor -- and here's where I start my slow clap.

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The etiquette expert took it a step further and wrote: 

The particular new ritual you mention -- and there really isn't a correct term for this made-up event -- is farcical. Cakes are cut to reveal pink or blue insides, bets are taken and teams are formed. (One acquaintance of Miss Manners attended such an event and said that the mother-to-be was so distraught when she didn't get the gender she wanted that she started blaming the guests for jinxing it.)

Ouch! Miss Manners's words are definitely bold, and yet I find myself nodding along -- and here's why: I always think it's funny when people act like it's a huge deal to reveal the gender because 1) you've only got two options! (If it were boy, girl, or shih tzu, that's a party I want to attend!) and 2) no one should (or does) care more than the expectant parents, so stop acting like you're doing something for ME by sharing YOUR news. 

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Don't get me wrong -- I enjoy a party no matter what the occasion -- but this just feels really self-involved to me. Plus, I've known people who were told the wrong gender and then had to adjust their mindset when that bundle turned out to be the opposite of what they were planning. So I prefer to take a "Let's just wait and see!" approach to baby's gender.

Shower? Count me in! I'll play your Bingo games and try to diaper the lady next to me using toilet paper all in the name of an afternoon of fun and making the expectant mom happy. Post-birth celebration? I'm so there. But gender-reveal gatherings just feels like a bit too much. 

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It reminds me of when couples keep their baby's name a secret. I'm not talking about those parents who haven't decided yet. I'm referring to the ones who make it a huge mystery -- as if it's a season finale cliffhanger -- and you'll just have to wait on the edge of your seat for the next five months to see how it all plays out. Spare me the suspense. Unless you're naming your baby after me or offering me the chance to pick your child's name, I didn't expect to be involved in the process anyway. In other words: Surprise me! And while you're at it, keep your baby's gender a secret too. I love anticipation. 

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