Baby Showers

How much say do I get to have in my shower? (1 post for 3 ?s)


I am a big fan of showers with your close friends and family as opposed to every last female relative and people you ever met.  The nice part about my wedding shower is that it was limited to my guest list, and even then not everyone was invited.  For my eventual baby shower, is it rude for me to provide a guest list of people I want invited, and also to request it be limited to that (allowing of course for people I've forgotten)?  I loathe showers where I feel like I was only invited to bring a gift, and don't want my shower to end up being that way. This question stemmed from the fact that I asked my mom early on in my pregnancy, before any planning would have started, to plan a local one in Philly with my MIL instead of two, like they did for my bridal shower.  My husband's family lives in Baltimore, which is 90 minutes away, but considering we drive down all the time for their events, and they rarely come up to see us (except for his parents, of course), I figured it would be a nice excuse for them to come up.  Also, DH (who is 30) has lived up here for almost 13 years now and still has to drive down there every year for his Bday, etc.  Plus, by then, the babies room would likely be done, and the non-locals can stop in and see it. Also, my last point was that once the baby is due, it's not like we'll be having a home party and a MD party for the baptism, 1st bday, etc, so they might as well get used to driving up here for baby related things. Anywho, my mom said that my MIL has already been talking about it, and when my mom told her my local request, she was disappointed about not being able to host her own shower, and some IL commented about that being a lot of people to have drive to come up here.  Now that has me worried about how many people they are planning to invite.  My MIL was arguing with us up until 2 weeks before our wedding about people we HAD to invite that she had forgotten in the two years prior (which we didn't), she seems to think the more the merrier.  I did a quick guest list and came up with 15-20 people from out of state, and I don't think any of them are they type not to come because of the drive. This all happened earlier this week, and my mom was not pleased to be stuck in the middle.  She said she thinks it is all smoothed over to the extent that there won't be one in Maryland, but they think its "too far away for them to help plan the Philly one".  My mom also said she doesn't see the point of them worrying about it now, since "it's not like the shower will be until the end of August or early September".  Considering I'm due 9/18, is it out of line to request an earlier shower?  I already leveraged having a surprise baby shower to get a non-surprise bridal shower, so I won't know until I'm there, but I just worry about it being too late, especially if I deliver early.  I feel like 4-6 weeks before is good, but I would wait a while to say anything to my mom anyway.
So with the limiting it to one shower and now trying to limit the guest list and also the timing, and I being overbearing?  I really want the simplest shower, and I don't care about any of the details or anything, but I now feel like I'm becoming a pain.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Sorry if this is too long, I'm new to the bump site and posting here.  I also realize it's still early, but all this came up this week, hence posting now.    
Grace(19 weeks, due 9/18.  This will be the first grandchild on both sides.)  

Re: How much say do I get to have in my shower? (1 post for 3 ?s)

  • You can politely state your requests, but in the end the hostess has the final word on what she can afford, do, etc. Of course, most hostesses actually TRY to do things they think the new mom will like so she will enjoy her shower! 

    In the end, all you really can do is sit back, smile, have a good time and thank your hostesses for taking the time to put everything together for you. 

    IMO, I would never expect people to take the time and money to travel to an out of state shower. I can see the MIL wanting to do it and maybe even a SIL, but anyone else... I wouldn't expect them to or even send an invite. It is just too much for a 2-3 hour event.

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  • from my understanding, most showers happen around the 30 week mark. maybe mention to your mom that any closer to your due date would make you feel physcial uncomfertable, causing you to enjoy it less. and while you can have a say in who you would like to invite, the host may include more. since its a surprise you may just have to suck it up. i would make your preference known to your mother but not push it. GL
  • Two sides to this:

    Yes, I do feel that you can have a say in the guest list.  Also, I do feel the timing is important and I would talk to your mom about that.  TEll her that w/ a due date of 9/18, late Aug might be too late.

    Also, I fully understand where you are coming from on not wanting a huge, "everyone we know" shower.  I also believe showers really should be for those who you are closer too.

    However, the fact that you feel it's your place to dictate that all the guests have to drive 90 mins for you is where you do go too far.  They are doing YOU a favor by coming to a shower for you and giving you a gift.  To then expect that they have to drive 90 mins for it>...??  Kind of rude.  

    If these are people who have no desire to drive up to see you all, do you really think they are going to care all that much about seeing teh baby's room?  Eh, probably not!

    A shower isn't the same as a baby's b-day, or baptism, etc.  On those, yes, you'll have ONE event and you'll invite people and who wants to come, can come.  But a shower - remember, it's a GIFT to you and somewhere in there, you do have to give up control.

    Now, that being said, if you don't want to drive to Baltimore, or if your MIL just doesn't seem willing to keep it small, then you have every right to say "Thanks for the offer, but I'm not going to be able to come down for another shower.".  100% fine for you to do this! 

    But if your main reason for saying "no" is that you want to make everyone drive to you....  not cool.

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  • The more you try to control it, the more angry and disrespected you will feel at everything that may not go your way.  Just relax.  Most people I know hate showers, throwing, going, or being the honoree.  Yet people insist on sticking to the traditions.  It's just how it is!  With the 90 minute drive it seems unfair to to ask too many to drive.  If you're against going to MIL shower, tell her you don't want to drive and your too busy to dedicate a weekend.  But DH has to be on board, because if for some reason y'all happen to go and visit around the timeframe when a shower would be reasonable, they may try to hatch a plan...if MIL is already huffing this early on, chances are she's going to do what she wants, you just have to decide if it's worth being upset about.
  • Unfortunately, I have a very similar situation: all of my family lives three hours south of us and less huge events (like our wedding), won't drive up for a shower, etc.  All of DH's family lives three hours north of us and also doesn't come down often.  This leaves me with our local friends and co-workers to attend events.  I would not expect a large number of people, like cousins and even aunts/uncles to drive up for the shower, honestly.  Some may send gifts, others may not.

    In terms of shower date, I think it's realistic for your mom to have the shower at least 4 weeks before your EDD, having it after 37 weeks poses the risk of you having the baby before the shower and if people are planning to travel for this, the last thing you're going to want is for them to have to cancel any arrangements they've made.

    Also, with the exception of grandma and grandpa, don't really get your hopes up about too many people traveling for events as the baby gets older.  As nice an idea as it is, it just never really pans out that way.

  • A few points.  I can understand wanting a smaller/more intimate shower, and I don't think it's rude to ask for an earlier date.  That said, you've put in a lot of thought justifying why these people should drive to you, and that's over the top IMO.  I get the impression you feel it's their duty to drive to you, and it's not.  A shower is a gift in and of itself, they people coming are bringing gifts, and some care should be taken not to make the guests have to really go out of their way.

    If it was me, I'd let MIL throw her shower (you have the right to decline, I'm just saying it doesn't seem worth it).  It's her first grandbaby, she wants a chance to celebrate with her family, and doesn't want them all to have to travel out of town.  It seems like a small price to pay to have to drive an hour and a half and see the family, have a party and be given gifts, even if it's not exactly what you wanted.  Make your stand about not driving down there on other things that come around all the time, not something like this.  JMO.


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  • I think it's perfectly reasonable for to request your shower take place no later than 36 weeks along. I would not expect people to drive 90 minutes, I would not want to be expected to drive 90 minutes. You can invite them, but if they decline don't be upset. I would give the party-thrower a list of people to invite, but if she invites additional people, smile politely and just accept it. If you'd like to have smaller intimate showers then you should plan on having 2, your fam, & SO's fam.

    P.S. I don't understand the whole "Surprise SHower" thing. I've never heard of this before, but it is what it is.

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