Baby Showers

Surprise shower?? (kind of a vent and long)

Hey girls...this is really stressing me out...I am totally greatful for everything everyone is doing for us, and I really appreciate the fact that my mom and MIL are hosting a baby shower for us, BUT...my mom has this idea in her head that it has to be a surprise, and it's not coming from a place of good-natured fun. The thing is, her mom (my gram) surprised her with a baby shower, my gram and mom surprised my aunt with a wedding shower, and now they think they should do it to me. Here's the catch...My mom, aunt and I all work at our family-owned garden center/florist/landscaping business. I wear crappy jeans to work and whatever t-shirt fits me, with flip flops or gym shoes I don't mind getting soaked while watering the greenhouse. We do not look/feel/smell nice after work, but it's part of the job! :) My mom has told me a million times how upset she was that my grandma tricked her into showing up at her baby shower looking/smelling/feeling like crap, especially being 8 months pregnant. When they did it to my aunt and she showed up to a "party" to deliver "anniversary flowers" and realized it was actually her own bridal shower, she started crying, went home and showered and got cute, and came back. I know my mom's plan is to have me come by her house (4 min from work) to do the same to me and I just can't help being so upset by it. It's a cruel thing to do and it's for the purpose of humiliating me in front of a large group of people for a laugh. She hated it done to her, my aunt hated it done to her and has been telling my mom it's a terrible thing to do to me when I am pregnant and already feeling like crap, hot and sweaty and gross from working all day, etc...But she has her mind set on it. I can't seem to get through to her, and I don't want to come off as ungreatful, so I really have been trying to watch what I say. I just know she's going to do what she wants to do anyway and I am at the point where I just think it's such a mean thing to do to someone that I am not even excited about having a shower at all. If you have made it this far, thank you for reading, and no flames please!? :)
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Re: Surprise shower?? (kind of a vent and long)

  • It seems alittle mean to me...Why in the world would someone want someone else to look like crap during their shower. I would be mad too if someone did that to me. 

    I honestly don't know how gross you get at work, could it be something as easy as just bringing an extra change of clothes to work with you (or keep a small bag in your car) so in case you were surprised you could at least change your clothes?  Or if you suspect when your shower is, maybe run home and shower before going over there (not sure how far you live from your mom).  Hope you get a great shower with no "surprises".

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  • Well you could always do what your Aunt did and go home and come back.  I would also emphasize to your mom how happy it would make you to look nice for your shower.

    FWIW my aunt surprised my cousin with a surprise baby shower.  She later told my mom she would never do it again because my cousin was pretty upset with her.  She didn't show it at the shower but she was upset. 

  • SInce your aunt seems to agree with how you feel on this, could you maybe go in cahoots with her and have her tell you when the shower is so that day you could shower and change before heading to the shower?

     

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  • image krissyh21:

    SInce your aunt seems to agree with how you feel on this, could you maybe go in cahoots with her and have her tell you when the shower is so that day you could shower and change before heading to the shower?

     

    Ditto this.

    Second of all, if you know it will be at your moms house, don't ever go there w/o going home and changing first.  If your mom gets annoyed, you be honest w/ her "As you seem to think having me go to my shower looking like crap is fine, even though you hated it when it happened to you, I'm not going to your house w/o showering and getting dressed.  If you don't want me to do this every time, then tell me when the shower is.">

    Really- this is pretty crappy of your mom.

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  • This is reason #453465 why I don't understand "surprise" showers.  I'm SO THANKFUL that I have never attended one and they are not the norm in my area.

    My suggestion is to keep a cute outfit in your car along with appropriate toiletries.  

  • image K.a.T.e:

    This is reason #453465 why I don't understand "surprise" showers.  I'm SO THANKFUL that I have never attended one and they are not the norm in my area.

    This.  Myself and a couple others actually once tried to throw a surprise shower fora  friend.  She's the kind of person who we thought would enjoy it.  Well, instead, she got all upset and paranoid that no one was going to throw her one.

    I finally had to call her one day and say "Trust your friends".  That was all I said, but it shut her up.  And I was actually a bit annoyed - did she really think we would all NOT do something for her!?

    But it taught me a lesson - no more surprise showers! 

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  • Why do you think the guests would be laughing at you for how you are dressed? That seems cruel. I think the guests would just be excited to see you surprised for your shower. Honestly, I'd just pack clothes in the car and when the time came for your shower, get the clothes out, take a shower at your moms and join the party again.
  • Oh do I feel your pain. I have said from the beginning that I do NOT want a suprise, and SURE ENOUGH, my mom was planning on surprising me. I told her that I absolutely do not want my shower to be a surprise and she couldn't understand why. FINALLY I sat her down and said I'm not asking for anything other then to please don't surprise me with a shower. I don't care where it is or what you feed me but please dont embarass me like that. 

     Have you sat down and chatted with your mom? That's what I had to do. 

  • Thank you all for the advice. Hopefully she will change her mind about the surprise shower, as MIL is an extremely thoughtful person and also does not think it's a great idea. She is keeping my best friends and DH out of the loop because she knows one of them would tell me about it, so maybe she will realize it's too difficult to pull off and change her mind. But keeping an outfit and toiletries/makeup in the car is a good idea, just in case. If I have to keep the guests waiting while I shower and get ready, I will feel badly about it, but I guess my mom should have thought of that to begin with. Thanks for your suggestions ladies :)
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  • image EastCoastBride:
    image krissyh21:

    SInce your aunt seems to agree with how you feel on this, could you maybe go in cahoots with her and have her tell you when the shower is so that day you could shower and change before heading to the shower?

     

    Ditto this.

    Second of all, if you know it will be at your moms house, don't ever go there w/o going home and changing first.  If your mom gets annoyed, you be honest w/ her "As you seem to think having me go to my shower looking like crap is fine, even though you hated it when it happened to you, I'm not going to your house w/o showering and getting dressed.  If you don't want me to do this every time, then tell me when the shower is.">

    Really- this is pretty crappy of your mom.

    This completely. Also write a letter to your mom explaining your feelings blah blah blah-maybe if she reads it it'll set in better!

  • First of all, I feel for you.

    Years ago, when I was engaged to my now-ex husband (happily remarried here!), my ex-MIL threw me a surprise bridal shower.  It was not welcomed because a) I'd already had my showers, b) it was just a week before my wedding and so I had no time to deal with thank you notes for the 40 some people she invited (some of whom were NOT invited to the wedding, faux pas that it was,) and most of all, because c) I had just come from my dress fitting, was wearing an old shirt and cut off shorts because I thought I was just going home, my mother was "in" on it and did not tell me to wear something else, but said we had to stop at a friend's place (who I was told was having HER bridal shower) so my mom could drop off some cupcakes but that we wouldn't be staying, and sure enough!  There I am in crappy clothes, surprised and feeling really put off, surrounded by ladies from the church I really didn't know (ex MIL was the pastor and took it upon herself to invite all HER friends, regardless of whether they could even pick me out of a line up.)  

     The only good that came out of any of it is that in the divorce I kept the ice cream maker.

    Anyway, I would talk to your mom and insist that there not be any surprise showers.  If you can't get that, here is a suggestion that may help:  conscript your aunt to have a stand-by bag for you with a cute dress, shower supplies (shampoo, conditioner, comb, etc.) so you can shower and change wherever the shower is.  Come in, be surprised, shower and change  and then enjoy the OTHER shower.

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  • This sounds l like hazing to me! Maybe you can get her to give you the week of the shower instead of the actual day and just dress well that whole week. Also, maybe keep a bag packed in your car with a shower dress and make-up so you show them that you're prepared and not that off guard. It's odd that she straight complained to you about hers and now wants to do that to you... I hope you've already tried talking to her about it. Get your hubby to find out the date for you hehehe. Good luck with this one!
  • OK...I would not be concerned at all about this whole thing.  First of all, you said yourself that your best friends would tell you and also that your MIL doesn't think it is a good idea.  Well, obviously your best friends will be invited (if not that is really bad of your mother) so once they find out the date they will tell you.  Do you frequently stop by your mom's after work?  If not...that is would be a clue.  Also, as soon as you pull up and see a bunch of cars...just go back to work (or home) and shower and change.

    I was given a surprise shower for my youngest DD (she was born 17 years after my DS) by my best friend.  I thought I was going to her neighbor's tupperware party.  Getting ready to leave my DH suggested I wear something "nicer".  I'm like...it's late July, I'm hot and going to a tupperware party.  He said, I would feel better if I dressed nicer (I had on jeans and a tank type top.  So...I changed into a pair of slacks and a nicer top just to please DH.  I really had no clue since I saw all the cars at her neighbor's house and in the road (none were at her house except her car.  I went in and was biotching about a recipe my sister gave me that didn't turn out and was going on and on and on.  Finally, she said we needed to go but she needed something from the diningroom table that she was taking with her and asked if I would get it for her.  Surprise!  All the people (about 30 of them) were seated in her livingroom (which is connected to her diningroom that can't be seen from her kitchen.  OMG...I was frantically trying to remember what I had said.  My sister was there (of course) and all the church ladies.  I know I swore at least a little!!!  So...glad I changed my clothes!!

  • I am sorry that you are going through this situation. 

    The good part of this is that you do you have quiet a few things going for you: you know that it is going to happen, it sounds like your aunt is "on your side", and you are coming up with stragies for dealing with the situation. 

    I think that you should just embrace it.  I'm not saying this flippantly, either.  My ILS are the same way - so I have been there and done that!  You said your self that your mom is just trying to humililate you - she can only do this if you let her!!  If she does surprise you in your grubby clothes, don't give her what she wants - don't cry, complain or take a shower.  Smile and go on and on about how awesome the shower is, focus on the surpise element and the others that are there. 

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  • I would just refuse to go anywhere right after work. Go home, shower, and change if you are invited to go anywhere from work.

    If the shower is held at your house as a surprise when you get home, you have every right to excuse yourself, shower, change, and come back out and enjoy the party, IMO. 

  • As an imaginary guest at your shower, I can say I am very upset with your mother for causing your to turn around once you got here, and go home and shower. The only purpose it served was that I had to try to make small talk with your Aunt Ida for an hour and a half until you returned. Huh? I didn't have time to ask you about what made you choose cloth diapers over disposeable before the shower was over. And you never even had time to thank me for coming, or for the present I spent hours making for your son. RUDE I'll probably ignore you for weeks.

  • If the shower was held at your house, well, I know that I personally would be KILLING my DH shortly thereafter. So if your DH is on board with the no surprise rule, then just go home after work each day regardless and shower first. The other thing is, though, what if she has the shower at your work? Is that a possibility? Cause then you would be kind of stuck. Or do you ever get sent on errands during the day? You may think you are dropping off some flowers and BAM! it's actually your baby shower. Tricky, tricky! I just know that I would be beyond angry. If she won't listen to reason, will she listen to threats? Like, not letting her visit you in the hospital or at home with the baby if she does something like this? It's pretty harsh but it may be the only way to get thru to her. Good luck!
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  • I would head her off at the pass and plan and send out invitations to my own baby shower at the time and place of my choosing.  You may end up having the shower earlier than you wanted but this would preclude her trying to surprise you. This is supposed to be a fun time in your life, not full of anxiety over a baby shower.
  • Maybe you can turn this to your advantage... Could you start wearing nicer things to work and declining to do the sweaty, messy jobs? If Mom asks why, just tell her you have to be prepared! :)

    But perhaps that's not realistic... so yeah, I would do as others have suggested and simply have a nice outfit and toiletries available to you at all times in the car. And tell mom straight up: "I know you're considering a surprise party, and I just want you to know exactly what will happen if that's what you choose to do. I will spend the first 45 minutes [however long you need to get ready] cleaning up while the guests sit there and wait. So you should be prepared to entertain them appropriately during this time."

    Good luck! :) 

  • I completely understand! It's understandable for your mom to feel like she has to do the same thing to you. What she doesn't understand is that you might not be physically up to/emotionally up to having a surprise party.

    My overstressed, overtaxed friend is taking it on herself to throw me a surprise baby shower also. She told me all about it and then won't let me help plan anything. I don't know what day it's on (which I'll need to know since I work every single weekend, and three days during the week), what's going to be on the menu, or even what the guest list looks like! Not to mention the fact that I know she hasn't planned a single thing - she's in the middle of so many other things. Her family relies on her too much and my stuff she voluntered for is getting pushed to the back burner. Just fustrates me and ticks me off because isn't it MY baby shower? I have the greatest deadline out of anyone!

    Explain to your mother that you aren't ungreatful and while you'd love for her to take charge, suggest a day that isn't right after work. You don't want your closest friends and family to celebrate you looking like you just got back from a water park. Ask her to imagine what it was like when her mother did it to her. I think everyone means well, they just don't take our feelings into consideration.

  • If I were your friend I would tell you when the shower was planned if I knew you felt this way.

    Tell you close friends (the ones who would be guests) how you feel and ask that they let you in on the "suprise" so you can be prepared.

     

    Good luck!

  • I like what you ladies have said.

     Girl, this is so all about your mom & really isn't about you.  So I'm w/ these ladies (and really every body else).  Bring some clothes w/ you & feel free to go home & shower.  Or visualize whatever would need to happen before you'd go to a surprise shower that wouldn't make you feel totally awful.  You want this to be a good memory, not a bad one!  Heck if you get there super late, make up some excuse as to why you're late!  

    As my dad always says, another example of how not to treat people.  You will remember this & never do it to any one else!  

    I'm sure your mom doesn't mean for it to be mean, but for some reason she's just not able to see it from your point of view (or she's just blocked it out her memory from when it happened to her!)  

    Good luck!

  • Reason number 1 million + why I love my hubby! :)  My best friend (who knows I HATE surprises!) has been emailing him trying to plan a surprise shower for me....  She thinks it would be 'cute' and 'fun'... He knew I'd be pissed off about being ambushed & not dressed, ready, etc, so he wisely let me in on the secret so I can look presentable and just pretend to be surprised!  

    Is there someone in on the surprise that you could trust to give you a heads up?  I totally agree about it taking part of the fun out of a shower by feeling gross -- who wants to look at pictures years from now & see everyone cute & dressy and be the only one dressed like a bum?!?!  

    Good luck!  (And in worst case, just keep a shower bag, spare clothes & makeup in the car so you can do a quick change at your mom's after the initial surprise!)

     --michelle

    24wks + 6 days with twins (boy/girl) 

  • I totally feel your pain, but there are ways around it. My mom insisted on having both a surprise wedding shower and baby shower for me. I hated the idea. In your case since your mom went through the same thing and hated it enough to keep talking about it for all these years you would think she wouldn't want to pass on the misery, but Oh well who can understand Moms! 

    What you need to do is convince your aunt or another family member or friend to give you heads up on the date of the shower.  Get your shower outfit together so when she gives you the heads up you can quickly get ready and show up and ACT surprised without the humiliation of looking like crap to all those people who will be sure to have cameras ready to preserve it for posterity!!

    For my wedding shower - I convinced my DH to let me know when it was going to be. For the baby shower I convinced my cousin to tell me - she didn't like the idea of surprising me any more than I did.  You just need to find someone who will give you a heads up on the date, you can act surprised and even though your mom may feel bad - this is YOUR baby shower- it's supposed to be a celebration for YOU - so YOUR feelings take precedence!

     Good luck!

  • I say you dress cute for work that day and don't do a lick of strenuous work while you're there. You can say you're not feeling well and offer to do some administrative work. Then you can secretly feel a little satisfaction knowing they have to pick up your usual job and you'll show up at the surprise looking as cute as ever while your mom is dirty!
  • i feel for you. i had a surprise baby shower, and really didn't look my best. My dad called and said we were going to have a family dinner for my mom's birthday at their house.So  I went wearing bedroom slippers, (my feet were really swollen from working all week and wouldn't fit in shoes, a stained up sweat shirt, and jeans b/c it was supposed to be my mom, my dad, my brother, my grandmother, me and my fianc?e. They had people park where I wouldn't see the cars Imagine my embarrassment  when I opened the door and everyone yelled surprise.I was so mad at my family. I borrowed some of my mom's makeup, had my fianc?e go home and get me a change of clothes.Once I ate, and changed and got over the embarrassment I enjoyed myself. But when my bridal shower came up I made sure everyone knew I didn't want another surprise shower, and I wanted to look nice for it.
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  • Totally illhearted, insensitve, rude and selfish plan. Sounds like we have the same mother. Mine tried to do something this stupid for me for my bachelorette party, she though it's be cute to dress me up in a jailbird outfit, have my sis in law handcuffed to me in the "warden's" outfit and parade ourselves on a busy streetcorner in our city and pass out hershey kisses in response to asking strangers for marriage advice..... my mom thought it would have been a hoot to publicly humiliate for a laugh at my exoense.   To say the least it didn't happen, I told her I wouldn't show up no matter how ungrateful she thought I was being or what the rest of the night had in store for me.

    . There is a line of respect in families and your mom is crossing wwaaay over. I would stand my ground, say exactly how you feel, don't mince words and if she wants to think you are being ungrateful then she doesn't need to be a part of this very special experience with you. It's her choice. You shouldn't be made to feel guilty by any means. And you certainly shouldn't be made to feel like you have to tread water with your words around her. I am so sorry you are experiencing this but I totally understand!!

     So my adivce is to simply toughen up your skin if even for 10 minutes to tell her this isn't how you want your special day (after all it is about YOU and not HER) and that if she chooses to continue on this path of planning that you are opting out of participating. yYour mom will look like the fool in front of all of your family and firends, not you. Your other option is to call out sick that day in preparation to showing up to your "surprise" shower looking as gorgeous as can be. Who cares if it's a family business.....I would consider you calling out sick at this point and after what your mother has planned for you a "mental health day".

     Good luck!

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  • i understand u wanting to be all cute and fresh for ur shower, but it sounds to me like ur really making this into such a horrible thing when its not. if it was me and i knew she was gonna do it, i'd make sure i had a cute outfit in my car just in case, some easy to put on make-up, dove body wipes, and a hair brush in my bag. then laugh at them for tryin to get u, when u got them. it just sounds to me like ur being super uptight about something with such a simple solution. if u insist on it being a horrible event where u embarrased and ridiculed then u set urself up to be unhappy. its a crazy lil tradition not the end of the world. have fun with it and u'll enjoy urself. but feeling sorry for urself will only make it worse...

    good luck!

  • Take a change of clothes to work that day or go home after work to shower and text her- sorry I'm going to be late..
  • If you talk to your family and you dont think they are going to listen.. maybe you can also speak to someone who you are close who would be attending the shower that would feel your pain and ask them to tell you when it is.... or you can just keeping calling out sick up until the day of the shower.. LOL. jk
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