Mom and or mother-in-law make you feel like throwing a baby shower was your responsibility? — The Bump
Baby Showers

Mom and or mother-in-law make you feel like throwing a baby shower was your responsibility?

Hello, I was just looking for other people's thoughts on this issue. I am 28 weeks along with my first baby,  and I was just married last year. I knew of course I would need a shower, and when I found out the sex and was discussing it and showing ultrasound pictures to mil, I brought up the fact I was planning to have a shower. She kind acted like she was suprised, because we were talking about getting 2nd hand baby stuff. She was reminding me of all the things i would need "dont forget you'll need ect".  I said "well im going to have a shower too". She said that her church 'is going to want to have one for me'. I was relieved to hear this. Being a new mom I didnt know how these things work. So right away my own mother is telling me to pick a venue and was glad to hear 'the church would let me have it there'. My mil reserved the date. Her and my mother are asking me 'well what about decorations? Are you having games? 'My mother offered to pay to have it catered. When I told mil this she seemed surprised and said 'the church' usually does the food. She also pushed for me to have the shower open to all church members (which was fine with me) but then told me she wasn't sure how many members would actually come because 'people dont know me very well'. I already feel apprehensive enough because even though ive attended their church for 5 years I felt like I was snubbed by a lot of the females at church because me and dh lived together for 4 years before marriage. People (mostly old ladies)  often ignored me or shot me dirty looks over dhs shoulder when they would hug him. Im also his 2nd wife, hes divorced,  but him and his first wife had been split up almost 5 years before I even met him. 
 So anyway, after mil prompts me to have the shower open to whole church, then tells me a lot people might not attend, then says well, maybe they will cause they know her so well and its her grandchild. 
 I tell my mother my mil's reaction to the catering idea and my moms all like 'oh the church will put on the food for free? Just have them do it'. I told her it made me uncomfortable because I already said I was having it catered and feel like the old ladies who typical do the food dont like me. My mother insisted that wasnt about me, they would be doing it for my inlaws and im just 'the vessel'. ( Aw, thanks mom). She insisted I call mil and ask for food. I feel stupid having to ask, especially after saying it would be catered.
 The next night I had a dream I served dog kibble at the shower. After doing a bit of google research I learned that traditionally the shower is supposed to be a time for the mother to be to relax and be 'showered with gifts'. Shes not supposed to plan her whole party. They got me thinking it was all on my shoulders. I felt personally responsible for decorations,  party favors, and made to feel like I had to ask people who I am already uncomfortable with to cook the food. How embarrassing!  I told my mom how stressed I was and how traditionally the guest of honor (me) doesnt have to plan her own party and shouldnt have to ask for help, that people should offer! I gave her mil's number and told her since she offered with food in the first place, but now wants to revoke her offer, she can call my mil herself and ask the church to do it, I shouldnt have to.
  So my mom calls mil, and apparently my mil 'has thrown lots of showers' and 'its no big deal'.  now they are going to take care of everything, put on a nice shower for me and I dont have to do anything now. Mil is going to write  menu and assign a dish to various relatives who are members, has some decorations,  and games in mind. I should feel happy right? But I cant stop crying and feeling like why didnt she offer this before? Why was I made to feel like I had to plan my own party? Why did mil ask me so many questions in a manner like she assumed I was responsible for everything?  She never said she had decorations or told me how the food prep actually is delgated. And when I said I wasnt sure or had to think, she never offered these plans she has come up with now, even though she told my mom shes put on lots of church baby showers? My own mom too, except she offered tangible help, before she decided that the church should do what she had already offered.  Would you be upset? Are women supposed to have to ask for a shower, or made to feel like there just on there own? Its nice they're stepping up now, but I cant help but to feel like nobody cared enough about me to offer what there now doing in the first place.

Re: Mom and or mother-in-law make you feel like throwing a baby shower was your responsibility?

  • I understand why you felt stressed and like you were being forced to make decisions regarding your shower that really should be in the hostess' domain, and I'm sorry you felt that way. However, I think the issue is now resolved and it's time to breathe and let it go. You can't let it get to you to the point that you end up not being able to enjoy a lovely shower thrown for you because there was some confusion and stress at the very beginning of the planning.
  • You already discovered on your own how showers work, and you know from that and from previous replies why things have gotten awkward with the planning of your shower.  

    Here's what I think you should do moving forward:

    --Let your mil coordinate with the church ladies in throwing a church shower.  Some people will come because they want to celebrate with you and welcome you to motherhood.  Others will come, not for your sake, but for your MIL's -- fine.  Others won't come, and you won't know whether it's because they're old biddies who disapprove of you or because they had other plans that day -- who cares.  If it's normal in your church for showers to be potluck with an open invitation, just roll with it.  Who knows?  Your shower may be a great opportunity to mend the fences with some of the older generation who disapproved of your living arrangements before you got married.

    --If your own mom doesn't want to play "second fiddle" to your MIL at the church shower, and she wants to host her own shower for your side of the family, that's also fine.  Just be sure that guests are invited to one or the other and not both.  In fact, if you have friends or relatives who are not members of that church, your mom may want to do something separate.

    Relax, enjoy, and let grandmas do their thing.  If your are asked your opinion, give it, but be open to their suggestions as well, since they are throwing the shower in your honor. Be gracious at the church shower and don't constantly assume people are judging you.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • I think the previous posters have pretty well covered the cause of this issue - you TOLD your mil that you were having a shower, rather than waiting for someone to offer so you could accept. As pregnant women, that's not just something we decide is going to happen and then look around to see who's willing to pick up the burden. Showers are a gift from the host.

    If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't go through with the church shower at this point. I'd apologize for any confusion, thank your mil, and bow out. Aside from the fact that the planning got off to a rocky start, it doesn't seem like you care too much for these women and, to me, it would be odd to accept a shower and gifts from people that don't respect you.

    If you do go through with it, make sure you write prompt thank you notes to those who provide refreshments and give you gifts.
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