Are you feeling the pressure from family and friends to have a gender-reveal party? Here’s why it’s perfectly fine to decline a big celebration.
In today’s world of Instagram-ready parties, the gender-reveal party has gone from being a fun family event to a massive, exhausting celebration that requires weeks of planning and hours of clean-up. It’s supposed to be about you and your upcoming baby, but you feel like you’re just going along with a party to make your family happy. You don’t feel like booking a venue or cleaning up the backyard, you don’t want to pay for an expensive cake, and you don’t care if your baby’s gender is announced with a giant fireworks show that spells out their name in glittering letters. You just want to spend some time relaxing at home and getting ready for your baby to arrive. But everyone’s expecting a big celebration—and you don’t want to let them down.
Skipping the Gender-Reveal Party is Okay
Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t about them. It’s about you. And here’s why it’s perfectly okay to decline to participate in this burgeoning tradition.
- Extravagant Gender-Reveal Parties Are Wasteful
Gender-reveal parties might be fun, but they’re also insanely bad for the environment. Balloons, plates, confetti, straws, tablecloths, cups and decorations—all that plastic has to go somewhere, and it’s usually right into the trash. Parties held outside are even worse, as the colored smoke, trash and loose confetti tend to disappear and pollute the local environment. Once the party’s over, the few supplies that are reusable are typically tossed in a basement or a closet, never to see the light of day again. Gender-reveal parties don’t happen often, and when they do, the expecting parents usually want to buy a whole new set of decorations instead of using someone else’s. These parties produce a great amount of waste that could’ve been avoided with a more toned-down engagement.
- Gender-Reveal Parties Can Go Horribly Wrong
As “crazy” gender-reveal parties have gone viral, other families have tried to replicate that success by coming up with increasingly elaborate stunts. At best, they’ve caused mild injuries; at worst, parents and grandparents have been killed at what was supposed to be a cheerful celebration. Explosions, gun misfires and wildfires have all resulted from gender-reveal parties gone horribly wrong. If your family likes to pull elaborate stunts like these, it might be best to talk them out of it. No “viral moment” is worth risking the lives of your relatives.
- A Gender-Reveal Party Doesn’t Come Cheap
Someone has to pay for the cake, the decorations, the venue and everything else that your family’s insisting on. Your family might offer to contribute, but it’s not uncommon for the new parents to end up being the ones footing the bill. And even if you don’t, it’s just another unnecessary expense for everyone. If you’re having a baby shower, you’re already going to get gifts from your friends and family members. Gender-reveal parties tend to invite that awkward question: “Do I have to buy you another gift for this?”
- Gender-Reveal Parties Steal the Private Moment From the Couple
In the past, learning the gender of your baby was a private moment reserved for you and your partner or you alone if you’re a single parent. A gender-reveal party takes away that special moment and turns it into a loud, gaudy celebration where relatives that you barely know are invited. Also, if you and your partner are hoping for a specific gender, you might have a very public moment of disappointment.
- In the End, It’s Nobody’s Business But Yours
At the end of the day, it’s your decision. You don’t need a reason or an explanation. If you don’t want to have a gender-reveal party, it’s your choice, period. Your friends and family members might complain, but they can have gender-reveal parties when they have kids of their own. You’re not obligated to put time, money and effort into a celebration that you don’t want to have in the first place. So when the subject comes up, don’t feel guilty for giving a firm “no.”
Related Content: The Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping
In the past, the common practice was to pass Dad the surgical scissors and have him perform a quick snip just before the newborn babe was whisked away to be cleaned, measured and dosed with vitamin K. Any delay in cord cutting was viewed as unnecessary in promoting general health for the baby or mother. However, recent research suggests that a delay of even three minutes can have a significant positive impact on infants.