baby shower - do we invite the in-laws? — The Bump
Baby Showers

baby shower - do we invite the in-laws?

Hey everyone! I am currently 10 weeks pregnant - so I'm super far away from baby shower time, but I tend to stress about things really early and this issue has bothering me in the back of my mind lately.

My mom and sisters plan to throw a shower for me. They intend to invite our family members and very, very close friends. Now, when I got married earlier this year, they also threw my bridal shower. They had intended to invite ONLY our family and very close friends to that as well, but my husband's mother and sister decided that 1) their family didn't need to throw me a shower (absolutely right in this regard- a shower was NOT necessary and I'm grateful that I had the one that my family threw for me) and that 2) since they weren't throwing me one, they felt that it was my family's responsibility to invite all of their relatives. It was a very awkward situation; long story short, we invited everyone on both sides to be polite and their side couldn't show so bridal shower ended up being my family + MIL and SIL. 

My in-laws haven't mentioned anything about a shower yet, but I'm worried that the same thing is going to happen with baby shower in a few months. I want to make it absolutely clear that I do NOT feel that anyone, either on my side of my family or on my husband's, is in any way obligated to throw a baby shower for me. However, I don't want my family to have the burden of hosting EVERYONE again when, in the last year, they've already hosted both a wedding shower and a wedding for me. I would prefer that if my mom and sisters throw me a shower, they invite the people who are important to them - meaning our family and close friends, not the in-laws. Is there a polite way to handle this if the issue arises? With the holidays coming up, I feel like this is a topic that's going to be talked about at some point. 
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Re: baby shower - do we invite the in-laws?

  • Your mom and your sisters should handle the invites, but if your in-laws press this issue with you, I would say that they are only planning a small shower or just for your side of the family.  I don't think that's rude at all, though your ILs sound pretty rude.  You could invite MIL and SIL only - if you want to.  
    [Deleted User]Deardra77EssJayCee
  • @RedheadBaker - You're right, it's not. However, with my in-laws being the way that they are, this is something that, unfortunately, I do have to worry about. 

    @peeppeeppeep - thanks for the advice! I'll give that a try. Yeah... they're interesting. I think that they mean well (most of the time), they just do things very differently from how my family does things and sometimes navigating that is tricky! Thanks again!
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  • It is up to the hosts to decide who to invite. If your sister and mom don't want to invite your in-laws they certainly don't have to.

    If you are asked about your shower by MIL you can say your mom and sister are throwing one for your family and I would leave it at that.
  • I don't think your mom and sister have any obligation to host a big shower for your husband's full extended family, but to exclude your MIL and SIL (and any other in-laws with whom you are close) seems pretty rude. It's not their place to host a shower for you, but certainly they would like to celebrate this milestone with you.
    ombradellarosa
  • You can have multiple showers.
    With large families and friends it can be a little too much. I had a family shower and a shower at work. Some people have a shower on each side of the family and then another for friends. I'm lucky my in-laws all live overseas so I didn't invite them. They came to visit when DS was 6 mo. and bought a bunch of stuff while they were here for the baby.

    Don't stress about it. It's a long way away. You don't need to even think about it until you are 7 mo. along. You aren't even through the first trimester yet. If anyone brings it up now just say "It's a little early to think about that yet". Sounds like a good idea to brace yourself for conflicts but being in a fragile state, hopefully everyone can put aside their petty differences and have your health and baby's in their best interest to keep it calm and void of conflict.
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    karaelaine1991
  • I say definitely invite the in-laws (at least MIL and SIL)

    I understand where you are coming from, I hate my in-laws, and we do not get along. But, in some situations you have to let bygones be bygones. Just be the bigger person and include them. I am sure in the long run it will be very appreciated. 
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • You have a lot of good advice from PP's here. Sounds like your relationship with your ILs is really stressful if you are already so worried.

    The other thing to remember is that this is not like a bridal shower. Baby showers can be intimate with just your family and closest friends. I had a couple baby showers with DD and my favorite was my smaller family shower because it was so much more relaxed and cozy (and a tea party theme which was lovely and unexpected!).

    Let your mom know you're worried and tell her you will direct any comments or questions to her. I'm sure she will run interference for you. Big hugs.

    BFP #1: It's a GIRL! DD born October, 2012
    BFP #2: m/c at 7w, February, 2014
    BFP #3: It's a BOY! Please be our rainbow! Due February, 2015
    *everyone always welcome*
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    karaelaine1991
  • dufferoo said:

    I don't think your mom and sister have any obligation to host a big shower for your husband's full extended family, but to exclude your MIL and SIL (and any other in-laws with whom you are close) seems pretty rude. It's not their place to host a shower for you, but certainly they would like to celebrate this milestone with you.

    It's not rude not invite her MIL and SIL. The hosts aren't obligated to invite anyone. If MIL and or SIL want to host a shower they can offer.
    [Deleted User]karaelaine1991[Deleted User]
  • Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! It can be hard to please everyone but I tend to break my back trying to, hence the stress, haha. I'm going to try to avoid the topic for now, but I think that the advice given by VOR is probably what I'm going to go with if addressed. Best case scenario would be if I have one shower on each side - I'd love to celebrate with everyone! - but I don't feel that it would be appropriate for me to suggest it. 

    In response to those wondering about my relationship with my in-laws - it's interesting. My husband's family dynamic is very different from that of my family, and sometimes it's difficult for me to know how to handle different things. His parents had a very messy divorce and his entire family fights a LOT - while my parents have been happily married for 25 years and my siblings and I rarely fight. Despite this, though, his family has never been anything but kind to me, and while the way that they do things is not how I'm used to, I know they always mean well. Which is part of why this stresses me out - I'd hate to offend them, but at the same time, I do need to be sensitive to my own family's financial abilities. 

    Thanks again for all of the advice! It is greatly appreciated :) 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • If your mom and sisters don't feel they can have a conversation about this with your MIL, here's what they need to do:

    Wait until they are ready to send the invites.  If MIL has not already offered to throw a shower focused on DH's side of the family, then they should invite just MIL and SIL if they want to. If they don't want to invite any of your DH's family, that's fine too.

    If your MIL wants to invite bunches of DH's family, she needs to host her own shower.  She doesn't get to sub-invite them to a shower hosted by your mom.  If your MIL receives an invite, that leaves her with the choice to either attend or not.  

    Have DH ready to help explain this to his mom if she freaks out.



    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
    BabySchroeder2014karaelaine1991
  • ordinary1 said:
    I don't think your mom and sister have any obligation to host a big shower for your husband's full extended family, but to exclude your MIL and SIL (and any other in-laws with whom you are close) seems pretty rude. It's not their place to host a shower for you, but certainly they would like to celebrate this milestone with you.
    It's not rude not invite her MIL and SIL. The hosts aren't obligated to invite anyone. If MIL and or SIL want to host a shower they can offer.

    Yeah, it actually kind of is rude to exclude the grandma-to-be. And traditionally, family members wouldn't host a shower, so while I'm not saying the mom and sister are dicks for doing so anyways, I just don't think it's a good attitude for anyone to act like the mil and sil are dicks for NOT.
  • Gosh people. What I meant by "fragile state" was a lot of things can happen in your first trimester. I know lots of people that have had miscarriages at every stage. If you let yourself get upset and stressed out, it can have health consequences. Having to go on bed rest, early labor etc. Just try to avoid conflict and don't worry until you have to. I went into early labor because of all the stress from work and family strife I was dealing with.
    Just put off the subject and see who offers when the time comes. Whatever happens, try not to get too upset.
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  • Again, misinterpreting... What I meant was, you can't plan everything so far in advance. Crap happens, especially in the first trimester. So just wait and see for now. Stress doesn't help anyone. I did not mean to imply that it causes miscarriage. It can however contribute to risk factors later on that can cause early labor like high blood pressure etc. it's in everyone's best interest to avoid stress.
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    AggieMom0809
  • For every shower thrown for me or that I've hosted the bride or mom to be is asked who to invite. In our family, we invite our family as well as SOs immediate female family members. SOs family does the same though I've always felt it awkward to invite the same people to both since the etiquette is to bring a gift.

    I agree with Designermomma though. You are still too early along to be worrying about baby showers. I wouldn't think about getting or planning anything baby until you are at least to the 12 weeks mark. 
  • For every shower thrown for me or that I've hosted the bride or mom to be is asked who to invite. In our family, we invite our family as well as SOs immediate female family members. SOs family does the same though I've always felt it awkward to invite the same people to both since the etiquette is to bring a gift.

    I agree with Designermomma though. You are still too early along to be worrying about baby showers. I wouldn't think about getting or planning anything baby until you are at least to the 12 weeks mark. 

    I'm laughing at the "since the etiquette is to bring a gift." I thought the shower was to "celebrate" the baby, per your past posts. Amazing that etiquette is a concern when gifts are involved. I'll be chuckling for a while. Thanks, I needed a good laugh!
    [Deleted User]
  • For every shower thrown for me or that I've hosted the bride or mom to be is asked who to invite. In our family, we invite our family as well as SOs immediate female family members. SOs family does the same though I've always felt it awkward to invite the same people to both since the etiquette is to bring a gift.

    I agree with Designermomma though. You are still too early along to be worrying about baby showers. I wouldn't think about getting or planning anything baby until you are at least to the 12 weeks mark. 
    I'm laughing at the "since the etiquette is to bring a gift." I thought the shower was to "celebrate" the baby, per your past posts. Amazing that etiquette is a concern when gifts are involved. I'll be chuckling for a while. Thanks, I needed a good laugh!
    Um ok... 

    And since when is etiquette not involved in any social event? There's different expected etiquette for different events. And before it gets brought up from the other thread, if they don't want to bring a gift, they don't have to. Wouldn't want them thinking that someone was telling them what to do with their money.


  • For every shower thrown for me or that I've hosted the bride or mom to be is asked who to invite. In our family, we invite our family as well as SOs immediate female family members. SOs family does the same though I've always felt it awkward to invite the same people to both since the etiquette is to bring a gift.

    I agree with Designermomma though. You are still too early along to be worrying about baby showers. I wouldn't think about getting or planning anything baby until you are at least to the 12 weeks mark. 

    I'm laughing at the "since the etiquette is to bring a gift." I thought the shower was to "celebrate" the baby, per your past posts. Amazing that etiquette is a concern when gifts are involved. I'll be chuckling for a while. Thanks, I needed a good laugh!

    Um ok... 

    And since when is etiquette not involved in any social event? There's different expected etiquette for different events. And before it gets brought up from the other thread, if they don't want to bring a gift, they don't have to. Wouldn't want them thinking that someone was telling them what to do with their money.

    You crack me up. Too funny!
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