Etiquette question on expectations in a tough situation — The Bump
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Etiquette question on expectations in a tough situation

We're having a slightly awkward situation in the family and aren't sure what to do about it... My BIL and his gf got pregnant, not intentionally. Family has since met the gf once and there's been no indication made that we will be a part of this child's life. Prior to this, BIL was planning to break up with her and was not taking the relationship seriously, just some background. 

I love, love, love, my nephews and would do anything for them but I don't know this woman. I want to be the same aunt to her child as I am for my current nephews. Question is- what should I/ we (family) expect? Do we need to push or ask to be included in the baby's life or is it up to mom? 

Case in point, it's been made clear that BIL is expecting gifts for the baby shower but neither my SIL, MIL, or myself were invited. (why I'm asking on the shower board) When we ask how mommy-to-be is, we get nothing back. I've already gotten baby gifts for them for Christmas and will send lots of diapers or something similar once baby arrives. DH and I will visit once the baby comes, which is a $1500+ trip... Do I need to send anything extra for the shower? Am I doing enough? Do I acknowledge that they are having a shower even though I haven't been invited? Don't know what to do here!!!! Any advice is appreciated. 

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Answers

  • Thanks for the advice. I'm not too crazy about the trip either! It's a whole family thing which is going to be very overwhelming for the girlfriend. Basically, the only way we can afford to go where they live is to get a place together- unfortunate but we can't change it. 

    I'm just hoping they don't feel slighted that we aren't doing more. 
  • dms030011 said:
    Thanks for the advice. I'm not too crazy about the trip either! It's a whole family thing which is going to be very overwhelming for the girlfriend. Basically, the only way we can afford to go where they live is to get a place together- unfortunate but we can't change it. 

    I'm just hoping they don't feel slighted that we aren't doing more. 
    They better not be! Anything you do is out of the kindness of your heart. It is their child and they are the ones that need to provide for it.

     

  • dufferoodufferoo
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    member
    edited November 2015
    Eh, I agree that there should be no gift expectation whatsoever, but if you honestly want to have a relationship with this child, you should reach out to the mother-to-be. She's probably feeling super awkward about the situation too, but would probably appreciate your congratulations and well wishes. And I wouldn't stress too much about not being invited to the shower. You're not close with her yet, plus you live out of town. No biggie.
    BigboobsmcgeeDrillSergeantCatjenniferamcooper
  • I would be very, very careful about traveling to see the mother and baby under these circumstances. 

    Obviously, this is not your intention (although it may be that of your brother and your parents), it will probably seem to the mother like your family is ambushing her, swarming in on her uninvited at a very vulnerable time, when she has not invited you.

    Proceed with extreme caution.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
    VOR
  • You say there is no choice to go, but you DO have a choice.  You really do.  And I agree- be VERY careful about going.  You want a relationship w/ this child, right?  If the MTB isn't sure about the future, with BIL, with his family, how to involve you all, etc, you all coming en mass right after the baby is born may NOT be the best approach.  SHe may feel overwhelmed and may also get upset and, in turn, put up walls and distance herself from you all. 


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