Long Distance Baby Shower Question - Please Help! — The Bump
September 2017 Moms

Long Distance Baby Shower Question - Please Help!

So my husband is military and we are stationed abroad (in Japan). My friends on base are throwing me a baby shower, and I was going to invite my friends and family back home, even though I know they can't come, but so they get the cute invites and feel included (it's their first grandbaby on my side). I was going to include a cute little note saying we understand they won't be able to come, but wanted them to know we are thinking about them and wish they could be here. However, now my MIL has decided, without my previous knowledge, to host a baby shower when we travel home for the holidays after the baby is born. I don't want to send people two invitations, but she is very admit that I invite all my friends to her party as well (even though, most of them wouldn't be able to come to that party either, since she lives far away from my friends). My questions are - 1) should I even be inviting my friends and family to my "official" shower here in Japan when they all live stateside and include a little snippet and 2) would it be tacky to send them a second invite to my MIL's party? I don't want anyone to think we are just trying to get gifts - because I really just want my friends and my side of the family to feel included. 

Also - I am trying to get my MIL to just host a "Meet and Eat - Brunch" for us instead, so that gifts aren't necessary, but we'll see, since she doesn't really talk to me. :) 
BigBadWolf12

Re: Long Distance Baby Shower Question - Please Help!

  • OmSweetOmOmSweetOm member
    500 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Photogenic
    edited May 2017
    I would scrap the Japan invites. Regardless of your intentions I think it comes across as gift grabby considering you know none of the people would be able to actually attend a shower hosted in another country.  

    I would 100% invite everyone you wish to the MIL-hosted event. 

     image        


    BigBadWolf12tfrangul
  • A second shower AFTER the baby arrives feels wrong to me. Plus, if you're going to travel back to Japan, you have to bring allllll that stuff home with you. Tell her it needs to be a meet the baby event. Don't let her bulldoze you.

    I will be sending invites to a couple people I know won't be able to make it (my sister is in CA and my step mom/dad are in FL) because I want them to feel included. But I wouldn't send it to a ton of people, because that feels like, "I know you can't make it, but here's my shower info so you can send something."
    JNR6510coastalmomma2MrsVP614
  • My nephew was born in Japan when my brother and his wife were stationed there. They did not invite people who weren't also in Japan to their shower because they knew no one could travel that far. They did allow SIL's mother to host a small gathering at her home and SIL participated via FaceTime. It was no presents. Just stories about her as a little girl and a chance for the family to give her some advice. I'm not sure that it was a lot of fun for SIL, but her family loved it. They also had a larger party when they all came home for a visit (baby was 5 months old by then). Again, no request for presents. 

    I invited a few people, who I know can't come to town for a baby shower. But, only people that I know would have sent a gift even if I told them not to. I have spoken to all of them to let them know that I understand they can't come and that I just wanted them to know I missed them and they were welcome. I probably would not have invited anyone who would have to travel internationally except maybe immediate family. And I definitely wouldn't invite anyone if I wasn't absolutely sure that they would send a gift either way. I don't want anyone to feel compelled to send a gift just because they get an invite. 
    me: 33 DH: 33 DS#1: Sept 2017

    TTC#2 since January 2019
    PCOS diagnosed in 2016
    jena333-2
  • I also think you should not send invites to family in the states. Keep an extra or two for yourself and show them when you come back to visit. If anyone messages you asking where you're registered because they want to send you asking gift overseas, or keep it until you get back, that should be fine. But I'd worry they'd buy gifts that you may want immediately  (i.e. diaper bag, creams for breastfeeding..).

    As for MIL'S party... gifts after the baby is born is kinda weird because you already have the things you need.. they'd just be buying diapers wipes and clothes. Ask MIL to call it a "sip and see" as gifts are not normally brought to those and if anyone wants to bring a gift on their own, fine. But don't talk about where you're registered for that party.

    Me: 27 years old            DH: 27 years old
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    jena333-2Hopefulmommy1980
  • I hear ya about wanting to feel inclusive. I struggle with this a lot when it comes to the big events in my life (especially because a lot of my besties don't live close to me). I am an inviter and those that are in my life know that about me and like me just as I am so would not take me inviting them to something that they might not be able to attend (especially with a note about just wanting to include them even via a distance) as gift grabby. If you want to test the theory you could always ask a friend that you would invite but that can't attend there thoughts on it.

    However, I would choose either the Japan event or your Sip and See (back in the states) event to invite your friends to...not both. Also if you choose an event that people can't attend you might think about including a facetime or even (not sure what other options exist) go to meeting link as a way to stream the event out to those that might want to be "part" of your event but can't be there in person. 

    When it comes to gifts for the sip and see I think you will find that most people will want to bring a gift so if you want to give your host a registry of things that they can pass on if someone asks I think that is totally reasonable. Though do prepare that you likely will already have most of what you need (maybe add bigger size baby and toddler clothing if you haven't already done so to the registry). So if you don't need gifts you could always have the host suggest a well wishes for the baby (notes) or baby books as a simple gift for people to bring. 

    Good luck with whatever you do. :)
    Me: 37 DH: 32 TTGP Since 2014 INFERTILITY INFO (Medicated, IUI's, IVF/FET) IN SPOILER
    October 2014-April 2015: Without Medication or Doctor Guidance No Periods/No O BFN 
    Medicated April-December 2015: Clomid (didn't work) and so we tried Femera/Letrozole. Progesterone Met 1000 Not diagnosed PCOS but treating the same. Anovulatory. TI No US No O BFN 

    - TW - 
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    (7 Cancelled due to no mature follicles) (2 attempted IUI's with mature follicles)  

    IUI # 2 June 2016 and July 2016:  Met 1000, Estrogen (21 days), Progesterone (5 days) Femera 5m 6/28/16 Ultrasound CD14 = 25 follie. Pregnyl Trigger CD14 IUI 7/13 1stBeta (DPO 15): 7.6 (Surprise BFP...but Low #'s) 2ndBeta (DPO 17): 18 3rdBeta (DPO 19) 52.8 Progesterone Prescribed (spotting) 4thBeta (DPO 26) 6.9 Chemical Pregnancy BFN

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    5/5 19 Weeks 2 days going in for "20" week anatomy ultrasound got measurements but need to come back as wasn't able to get all the measurements
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    6/9 24 Weeks 2 days Glucose Test 1 hour (Failed) 190
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    THE AVERAGE GESTATIONAL AGE is 28 weeks 1 day +/- 14 days.

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    8/2 32 Weeks Ultrasound (not cooperative and still breech) and then weekly NST's
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    HC/AC 1.08 FL/AC 0.23 FL/BPD 0.78 Ceph Index 0.78 EFW (Ac/Fl/Hc) 1808 grams - 3 lbs 15 oz (29%)
    THE AVERAGE GESTATIONAL AGE is 31 weeks 6 days +/- 18 days.
    AMNIOTIC FLUID Q1: 3.4 Q2: 2.9 Q3: 2.9 Q4: 4.4 AFI Total = 13.6 cm Amniotic Fluid: Normal

    8/8 32w6d upped to 1:10 for dinner 
    8/11 Baby Shower
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    8/16 34 weeks NST good reading Upped to 8 at bed for fasting and 1:7 for dinner 
    8/18 Dr Appt

    8/24 35 weeks 1 day (was suppose to be scheduled for 36 weeks) Weeks Ultrasound/GD Dr Appt/OB Appt 
    Frank Breech
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    HC/AC 1.05 FL/AC 0.23 FL/BPD 0.78 Ceph Index 0.80 EFW (Ac/Fl/Hc) 2494 grams - 5 lbs 8 oz (39%)
    THE AVERAGE GESTATIONAL AGE is 35 weeks 1 day +/- 21 days.
    AMNIOTIC FLUID Q1: 3.3 Q2: 3.8 Q3: 2.4 Q4: 3.8 AFI Total = 13.4 cm Amniotic Fluid: Normal

    8/31 36 Weeks
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    9/10 Water broke...I got it tested at the emergency room it it showed it was negative. More water breaking and didn't go to the dr.
    9/11 37 weeks 4 days Called the Dr and got retested for water breaking...
    10:30pmish Baby Girl Born via Emergency C Section (Frank Breech Baby) 6lbs 3oz  -
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    9/22 39 Weeks 2 days C Section Scheduled for 10am (arrive at 8am) Equinox/Solstice
    EDD 9/27
  • @samantha.wilson

    Pre-birth showers are relatively new in the past generation (maybe 2) and In my circle it's not uncommon to have a shower after the baby is born so I wouldn't side eye that depending on how old the baby is .... tw:

    my parents had a full term loss of a healthy baby due to a cord accident, so she cringed a little inside whenever people have a shower early.

    That's a specific post-trauma thing though, and pre-birth showers are the norm whereas post-birth showers used to be since finding out gender accurately was less common then

    How old will the baby be? If he/she is super young then I think calling it a shower is fine, if he/she is older it might be a little weird, but it would probably end up being "like" a bday party in that people would give toys and bigger clothes instead of infant clothes and rattles..

    Another thing to think about is do you even want gifts? Are you going back to Japan? How will you transport things? I live overseas as well and I'm trying to convince the ils that we don't want anything called a shower where people will bring gifts because we have ONE suitcase each, so...... we're having a BBQ instead and I'm hoping people won't bring a lot and if they bring something hopefully it will be small :p


    TTGP history (*TW*):

    Started TTC Oct 2015
    BFP #1 June 2016: EDD 16 March 2017, MC July 2016
    Re-started TTC Aug 2016
    Started IF testing Nov 2016
    Spontaneous BFP #2 January 2017: Rainbow Baby Boy September 2017
    BFP #3 November 2018: Baby #2 expected August 2019


  • k8ywagsk8ywags member
    250 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    @BigBadWolf12 could you specifically request that on your invites? We went back to the UK to get married and explained that we didn't want gifts due to transport issues and requested money that we could spend on setting up our house in Australia. I'm sure people would understand. You could even get them to request what they want you to buy with their money if people are funny about it. We did that with my grandparents, who wanted us to have an item that they had bought us as a wedding present. I can see you getting lots of gifts if you don't say anything! 
  • k8ywagsk8ywags member
    250 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    @samantha.wilson I don't think MILs party is weird, I think it's a nice idea as you'll be away for your pregnancy and your friends and family won't be able to celebrate it with you. I wouldn't invite people to both though. I'm not inviting my UK friends and family to my Australian baby shower, and I haven't been invited to any UK baby showers since I moved here and it hasn't even crossed my mind to be offended. Normally I'd think it was weird to have a baby shower after the baby is born, but I think in your circumstances it's fine
    tfrangul
  • k8ywags said:
    @BigBadWolf12 could you specifically request that on your invites? We went back to the UK to get married and explained that we didn't want gifts due to transport issues and requested money that we could spend on setting up our house in Australia. I'm sure people would understand. You could even get them to request what they want you to buy with their money if people are funny about it. We did that with my grandparents, who wanted us to have an item that they had bought us as a wedding present. I can see you getting lots of gifts if you don't say anything! 
    That must have been tricky to word without blowing all the etiquette rules.
    kaylaakosuaJNR6510BigBadWolf12kgemkid
  • JNR6510JNR6510 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    k8ywags said:
    @BigBadWolf12 could you specifically request that on your invites? We went back to the UK to get married and explained that we didn't want gifts due to transport issues and requested money that we could spend on setting up our house in Australia. I'm sure people would understand. You could even get them to request what they want you to buy with their money if people are funny about it. We did that with my grandparents, who wanted us to have an item that they had bought us as a wedding present. I can see you getting lots of gifts if you don't say anything! 
    This is extremely rude and a huge etiquette no no. I would not recommend this to anyone. You can have fun gatherings or get togethers that are not a gift giving event, like a brunch or a meet the baby / welcome to the world party.
    MyNamesTakenOmSweetOmBigBadWolf12
  • @k8ywags it's DH's extended family so idk if there are formal invites or just a call on the phone. My ILs wanted to "find a way to word it" to say that we want money instead of gifts due to space and I shot it down immediately. I can't imagine a tactful way to say that, so I told them "I'm not comfortable with that. I'd rather you say we don't want/need gifts and let's just spend the afternoon together. Please do not call it a shower" it's in their hands now, but I really hope they don't try to "find a way"....

    TTGP history (*TW*):

    Started TTC Oct 2015
    BFP #1 June 2016: EDD 16 March 2017, MC July 2016
    Re-started TTC Aug 2016
    Started IF testing Nov 2016
    Spontaneous BFP #2 January 2017: Rainbow Baby Boy September 2017
    BFP #3 November 2018: Baby #2 expected August 2019


    jena333-2
  • @jena333-2 Yea it took me a long time and I got lots of 2nd opinions! I ended up writing a poem. No one took it the wrong way (or no one did to my face anyway :D) It's actually pretty common in the UK now to ask for money rather than gifts for a wedding. I don't see why it is more rude than asking for gifts personally but maybe it's a difference in culture between UK and USA. It wouldn't normally be the done thing for a baby shower but I'd be fine with it if one of my friends did it in the circumstances described. @BigBadWolf12 it sounds like you've got it under control and I'm sure you'll have a great time  :)
  • I wonder if OP has even come back to check out this advice, considering it's her only post ever.
    Just saying....

    But I also agree with @jena333-2 ;
    Do the Japan shower, but don't invite everyone you know who can't be there. Make sure stateside event isn't a standard shower, but more of a 'meet the baby' event.
    Me: 32 DH: 32
    Married: 10.15.16
    BFP: 12.24.16
    DS BD: 8.20.17

    BigBadWolf12JNR6510jena333-2
  • I would invite those who can make the Japan one to that one and then those who are stateside for the other one. 
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