What is your MIL's involvement in your shower? — The Bump
Baby Showers

What is your MIL's involvement in your shower?

DH's family opted not to have any kind of shower for our wedding and since they are from East Coast, his mom advised not to invite anyone from his side to our shower that my side threw in Michigan. MIL did attend, however.

Now with the baby, my side is once again going to the trouble to throw us a baby shower.  MIL told us that she isn't going to have any kind of shower or party for us because none of their family or friends really knows me on my own (other than as DH's wife), she's not sure who she would invite, etc., but she again wants to attend the shower my side is throwing.

Her reasoning seems reasonable, and maybe it's hormones, but I can't quite put my finger on why I am a little hurt. It made me curious, what has your MIL's involvement been with your shower? It it "normal" to only have my side of the family participate in both our wedding and baby shower?  

Re: What is your MIL's involvement in your shower?

  • I would be pissed off too if I were you. They should make the effort to be accepting you into their family!
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  • I think you can't fault her (or anyone) for not throwing one - but to say that nobody from her side should even be INVITED to your shower seems off to me.

    To answer your question, my MIL did not throw/plan/help with/attend my bridal shower, and the same is true of our (co-ed, so her son will absolutely be there) baby shower.  She and the rest of her family have been invited to both.  They have opted not to attend.  I'm hurt, but really only because it hurts DH's feelings.

    In your situation, I would invite whoever you feel close enough to invite.  If that includes your MIL or others from your DH's family, great.  If not, don't feel obligated.  There really is no "supposed to."

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  • Eh, I get her point.  They may be "family", but you don't know them.  I don't see showers (as they are about giving gifts) as events to meet people for the first time.  I see them as for people you are close to.

     You want to know DH's family and friends of the family?  Then go visit them, have a "meet the baby" party and get to know his family.

    My MIL had no involvement in either of my showers, didn't have anyone she wanted to invite, oh, and yeah, she didn't come to either of them! (and she's local).

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    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • image EastCoastBride:

    Eh, I get her point.  They may be "family", but you don't know them.  I don't see showers (as they are about giving gifts) as events to meet people for the first time.  I see them as for people you are close to.

     You want to know DH's family and friends of the family?  Then go visit them, have a "meet the baby" party and get to know his family.

    I agree with all of ECB's comments above.

    Neither my family nor my ILs threw me a shower (it isn't done here), friends did, but both my mom and MIL came to the shower.  

  • It it "normal" to only have my side of the family participate in both our wedding and baby shower?

    Depends... we didn't have any wedding showers when we got married, so I suppose everyone "participated" equally.

    What has your MIL's involvement been with your shower?

    She's doing the exact same thing as my family... absolutely nothing.

  • My MIL and Mom and throwing mine together jointly, while mine is not co-ed, MH has friends who are female that are invited because he wanted them to be. I know them we're been out to dinner together but they are not close to me. There are also close friends of my mom and MIL that are invited because they want to be there to celebrate for our mothers. I don't think you need to know people on your own separate from YH or parents for them to be invited. A baby to me is a family celebration.
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  • I would personally be hurt and offended, but that is just based off of our family situations and the "way things are done" here. 

    Obviously you can't fault someone for not showering you with the gift of a shower, but I still find it a bit rude. I'd think simply being DH's wife would be enough. It is his child too, and you would think they would want to shower his child with gifts and love. JMO of course. 

  • image Mlatch:

    Obviously you can't fault someone for not showering you with the gift of a shower, but I still find it a bit rude.

    I'm sorry, but this kind of attitude drives me bonkers. It really does.

    Why does celebrating a big life event need to be about gifts?!  Sure you threw in the word "love", but most of this is about a shower and gifts.

    People can be excited for you and celebrate w/o having to spend money.  What is it about the outlay of cash that proves anything to you?

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • My MIL had nothing to do with any of my showers.  They live halfway across the country and it never occurred to me that they would throw me a shower.  I never even met my ILs personally till a few days before the  wedding.  I had only talked to them on the phone beforehand.  I don't even know if my MIL threw my SILs showers.  She doesn't have a lot of money and her home is so cluttered that I don't see her doing it. 

    I also didn't invite anyone on my husband's side of the family to my shower unless they specifically asked for invitations.  Like ECB said, I believe that showers should be small intimate events shared with those close to you and not an opportunity to invite every single female relative.  If I KNEW they wouldn't attend, I didn't invite them.  It would make me feel too uncomfortable and like I was only sending them an invitation because I was fishing for  gifts. 

    I say give your MIL a break.  She knows her friends and family better than you do and perhaps she doesn't want them to think you are being tacky. 

  • image EastCoastBride:

    Eh, I get her point.  They may be "family", but you don't know them.  I don't see showers (as they are about giving gifts) as events to meet people for the first time.  I see them as for people you are close to.

     You want to know DH's family and friends of the family?  Then go visit them, have a "meet the baby" party and get to know his family.

    This.

    That being said, my MIL threw my shower. It was my own family who could hardly be bothered.

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  • My MIL wants to be too involved! ugh lol

    I see her point. I dont see showers as the time or place to meet some for the first time. How would you feel to be invited to a shower of a relative from out of town that you had never met? It feels awkward to me.

    I wouldnt get too upset.

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  • My step-MIL (husband's step mother) wanted to start planning right after we told about the baby.  She had my mom call her to try to plan and my mother told her to hold off at least until after January since I'm due in June
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  • She's not obligated to throw you a shower. With that said, I am scoffing at her. I didn't know anyone when DH and I got engaged yet MIL threw me a really nice shower- a welcome to the ladies side of the family party, if you will.

    This baby isn't just about you. His cousins, aunts, and his mother's friends should want to celebrate DH's baby with you. I know I don't KNOW certain married in females in our family, but you can sure bet I send a shower gift to help them celebrate- even though I don't know her, I know the father! 

    And ECB, I am scoffing at your MIL for not attending a local shower for you. How rude. My MIL threw a shower up north for us late summer, and is not coming to my shower this weekend, but that is because it would involve a flight and time off from work for her, both of which I know she'd rather save for when baby is born. 

     

     

  • My MIL is actually hosting my shower and inviting more people than I am.   We all live relatively close though, so the guests are both mine and hers.  While I don't necessarily know all of her guests that well, I appreciate that they are taking the time to attend.  

    I can sort of see where your MIL is coming from though.   Sure she could host a shower, but you'd be there with a bunch of strangers.  And I don't really see people traveling to another state for a shower.  

     
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  • image PunkyBooster:

    And ECB, I am scoffing at your MIL for not attending a local shower for you. How rude.

    I scoffed about the wedding shower.  By the time the baby shower came along (6 years later), I KNEW she wouldn't come and I was right. IT's a long story - kidney transplant, depression as a result, etc etc etc.  I started taking my own advice years ago - it's how she is, being pissed isn't going to change it, so I work w/ it now.  Other people scoffed too over the baby shower (esp as she's talked for YEARS how she couldn't wait for a grandson), but I knew it would happen, and I just wasn't going to let it ruin anything for me.
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • image EastCoastBride:
    image Mlatch:

    Obviously you can't fault someone for not showering you with the gift of a shower, but I still find it a bit rude.

    I'm sorry, but this kind of attitude drives me bonkers. It really does.

    Why does celebrating a big life event need to be about gifts?!  Sure you threw in the word "love", but most of this is about a shower and gifts.

    People can be excited for you and celebrate w/o having to spend money.  What is it about the outlay of cash that proves anything to you?

    Wait, I'm confused. I said you can't fault someone for not throwing you a shower, but I found her MIL rude. I don't see what is wrong with that?

    I'm just basing my feelings off of how *I* think things should be. I think the fact that she is her husbands wife ought to be enough of a reason for her DH's family to want to attened and celebrate with her. Even if they didn't bring a gift. That isn't the point. The point is that the MIL had the nerve to even say not to invite DH's family. I find that rude.

    But maybe that is just because of how things work with my friends/family. 

  • Due to geography, I didn't have a wedding shower and won't have a baby shower.

    My first thought on your MIL's situation is that it seems unfortunate (and would hurt my feelings too) that she seems to be implying no one on that side wants to bother to get to know you. But on the other hand, several people have already made excellent points about how the structure of a shower really doesn't lend itself to getting acquainted anyway. 

    Is there a way between now and the birth to simply have a family get-together with that side? She shouldn't be the gatekeeper for the rest of them. It's unclear to me from the initial post how much travel and expense is involved or how spread out they are. 

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  • image EastCoastBride:
    image PunkyBooster:

    And ECB, I am scoffing at your MIL for not attending a local shower for you. How rude.

    I scoffed about the wedding shower.  By the time the baby shower came along (6 years later), I KNEW she wouldn't come and I was right. IT's a long story - kidney transplant, depression as a result, etc etc etc.  I started taking my own advice years ago - it's how she is, being pissed isn't going to change it, so I work w/ it now.  Other people scoffed too over the baby shower (esp as she's talked for YEARS how she couldn't wait for a grandson), but I knew it would happen, and I just wasn't going to let it ruin anything for me.

    I am glad you recognized that early on.

    I know there is a history there, but I still find it eyeroll worthy that she didn't bother to go and she's local! 

  • I understand why you are a little hurt....I am also a little hurt that my MIL doesn't want to do anything....I would never expect a big party or anything, but maybe just a small get together at their house for my DH's side of the family.  I guess I just don't get why they expect to be invited to the shower my mom is throwing, but don't want to do anything for their side or do anything to help my mom/sister...I mean the baby is just as much their grandchild as my parents...

  • I would be upset in your situation. It seems like she is shunning you. To answer your question, my MIL is not participating in any part of the shower because she can't. She lives in Italy so she can't help with the planning or attend the shower. However, she is super excited about the arrival of her grandson and has already bought him a lot of things from our registry as well clothes.
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  • Ok...I'm confused...Isn't a marriage a joining of families?  Isn't a baby made with both husband and wife???  I know there are co-ed showers now and diaper parties for the dads-to-be...but in my experience showers are a joining of families.  A chance for both sides to show excitement, congratulations and yes gifts.  If it is your personal decision not to have one, then fine...but I don't think anyone, mother in law or not, can tell you who to invite and not invite.  If they don't want to come, can't come...then they can respectfully decline. 
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  • My MIL was a guest only at both my wedding and baby showers.  She is antisocial and, other than family, has no one else she would like to invite on her own.  DH's family has a lot of drama, but he is the peacemaker and everyone loves him even if they have issues with each other.  My family (aunts and sister) who threw my showers invited DH's aunts, female cousins and grandmas.  It worked out just fine.  Out of state family sent gifts, local family attended.


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  • While I understand your hurt feelings, I see where your MIL's reasoning is comming from. 

    Back in your MIL's day, showers were female only, right??  And the point of showers is to surround you with close family/friends.  If they don't know you, then you aren't close.  It isn't good or bad, it is the way it is.

    I think that the fact that she is will to come to your baby shower says a lot.  If she was refusing to go, then I think that you have the right to be pissed.

    To answer your last question - for my wedding shower, I thought that it would be fun to introduce my family/friends to DH's family and friends and have a joint shower.  Both sides were agreeable.  However, it was short of a disaster.  This time around if both sides offer to do a shower, then it will be done seperately. 

     

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  • My MIL has more to do with my "Surprise Shower" than my mom.  My mom lives in NM and my MIL lives less than an hour away.  My mom was kind of annoying about inviting people, she was inviting facebook friends I had never met!  I had tp pretend i knew nothing about this (DH Vented to me after his mom vented to him) and I told my mom, i fthere was a shower, please don't go overboard.  I asked her for family and only close friends that were also invited to our wedding but no one outside of that.

    Not sure if my mom is even coming to the shower or when it is, all i know is there is one in the works and thankfully my MIL is amazing and is hosting it 100%.  (My mom does not have much money to help).

    I did not have a bridal shower, we had an engagement party instead and I don't like having events just to get gifts.  MY DH family is HUGE and they have parties and events several times a year so I know 98% of the women in the family and see them regularly. so I am thankful that hopefully they will all be able to attend.  My family on the other hand lives out of state.  They will be invited, but I am sure none will come until after the baby is born.

  • My MIL is hosting the baby shower for her side of the family.  I don't really know them all that well either.  However, that is why DH will be attending with me.  :)  It's his baby and his family too!  Even if they don't know you they may want to come and celebrate you and your husband's baby and get to meet you and know you better!  I would be irritated if my MIL rationalized it all like that.  I'd rather just have someone say I don't have the energy/time/desire to host a shower or whatever.
  • My mother flew in from out of town for my wedding, (her and my dad are seperated and have been for 7 years) not only was my mother trying to invite people to my wedding that I didnt know, but she also tried to invite a man she had an affair with on my father!!! I would much rather FB friends!!!LOL!!!!~
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