Baby Shower Rant (warning: long) — The Bump
November 2014 Moms

Baby Shower Rant (warning: long)

JamieK1882JamieK1882 member
Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Photogenic
edited April 2014 in November 2014 Moms
I know it's early to be this worked up over this, but I'm already fired up over my baby shower.

My mother and MIL are going to throw one for me and we've already talked in general about what I'd like (general location that would be easiest for people to get to, month, brunch vs lunch, etc). Nothing formal yet. For some reason DH is ALL ABOUT this shower and convinced me that the two mothers don't really know how to plan and that I should help them out by starting to call some places. I feel like that is rude to plan a shower and then ask others to pay for it, but he said well just to give them some ideas on prices.

I agreed and yesterday called some of my top spots. I called 5 places, 3 of which have emailed me menus. Yesterday we picked up my new car and the dealer is right next to my parent's house, so we picked them up and the 4 of us went to dinner. I mentioned to my mom how I started calling some places, and some of the ones I like are already booking spots in the months we had talked about. She wasn't offended AT ALL and laughed because she knows I like to plan things far in advance and actually thanked me for the help. I told her that I am fine with wherever they pick, but here is some ideas just to get started and I'll be as involved/uninvolved as they want.

So here is where the problem lies. My mom likes to invite EVERYONE she knows to stuff like this. Our wedding guest list was a HUGE fight. We held our wedding at a hotel downtown and it cost approx $100 per person for dinner. We had approx 300 people there. Each set of parents gave us a very generous gift towards paying for the wedding, but then DH and I footed the rest of the bill. It got so bad at one point that I had to tell my mom that her list was cut, and for any additional person she wanted she had to pay. She did. She gave me a list of extra people she wanted and a check. I felt bad, but it was getting out of control. My bridal shower likewise was huge; however, I had 10 bridesmaids that pitched in so it was manageable.

DH is already flipping out about how I need to have a serious convo with my mom about how many people she can invite and we can't have a big shower, etc. He says its ridiculous and she needs to significantly cut her guest list. I agree with him, but when I tried to approach this to my mom yesterday she got really upset. She is the type of person that wants everyone there and is afraid of hurting anyone's feelings. I worry about my parents because I want them to be able to afford to retire one day and I'm worried that will never happen. My mom has worked at the same job her entire life, so she feels like she needs to invite every single co-worker. Its crazy, but how do I tell her who to invite when she is the one footing the bill?

In a similar fashion, she wants me to invite all of my female neighbors. I barely know them but she tells me I'll regret it if I don't. I will def draw the line there, but that's the type of person she is--she wants to invite all the people. I just pulled up my bridal shower guest l had saved on my computer and my mom's portion of the list was 68 people. That doesn't include my friends, co-workers, etc.

I'm just frustrated because I feel like I am stuck between my DH and mother. I want to make both happy, but someone will be upset. Is DH being unreasonable or my mom? How would you handle? Looking for any input here... (sorry so long!)

Re: Baby Shower Rant (warning: long)

  • I would say if Momma is footing the bill,  let her have at it.   If there is a cost per person involved,  I would hope that she would take that into consideration.    Just let her know how you and DH feel about it,  that you don't want her spending her whole retirement fund on a baby shower....but you don't want to tell her she has to limit the invites if you and DH are paying,  then she needs to respect your wishes 100%

    We will just be doing a firehall or sportsmans club.   Hoping to pay around $150 for the rental and food will be pot luck.    Thats how my family does big parties though,  so it won't be anything over the top or out of the ordinary.   I will probably choose the theme, and be the main planner for games and such.   I will probably get some help from my sis or cousins. 

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  • I can understand why you're upset and I'm sorry you're in this position! A big wedding and such really doesn't surprise me and they are typical and most people feel that it's a "come one, come all" event. But, a baby shower should be YOUR closest friends, IMHO. I've never been to a baby shower that wasn't small with family and the closest friends, except of course the work time ones where it's only co-workers.

    I say, if you want a small baby shower, that's what you should have. Besides at that time in your pregnancy, who wants to deal with a whole bunch of people?

  • @ExcitedKJ--thats where I'm torn. I honestly do like a big shin-dig, I just feel bad at the cost for these 2 women. I don't want my mom to have to pay a lot, but I also don't want to cut MY friends (it is MY shower, right?) so that my mom can invite my grandma's old next door neighbor who my mom doesn't talk to anymore except on facebook. Its hard because my mom gets so offended!
  • I would tell her that this isn't a bridal shower 2.0.  You are envisioning a more intimate party with women who will actually be a part of the baby's life.  I'd then give her my guest list and say something along the lines of, "I'd be comfortable if you add X amount of your friends, but please, no more."

    Good luck.  I cannot imagine a bridal shower where 68 people are just the friends of the MOH!  I didn't even have 68 people total at my shower!





  • mb314mb314 member
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    I'll start off by saying that I sympathize.  For my bridal and baby showers, it was 90% my mom's friends and coworkers, most of whom were my high school teachers and most of whom I don't really care for.  And I got annoyed with my mom and dad when planning our wedding because they wanted to invite EVERYONE they know.  In the end, I decided to pick my battles, and I decided to let them invite all their friends (they footed about 1/2 the bill, so that factored in my decision).  For my showers, even though I was annoyed by it, it was a party not planned by me, so I didn't feel right telling my mom not to invite her friends.

    For you, the shower is being planned by and presumably paid for by your mom, so I don't think you can dictate the invite list, particularly if they're her friends.  In terms of your neighbors, I would put my foot down on those since you don't know them.  Your friends and coworkers don't necessarily NEED to be invited to a shower hosted by your mom.  That is her choice if she wants to invite them.  It is not unheard of for friends to plan a separate shower from the family shower. 

    Will this be a co-ed shower?  Will your DH be there?  In that case, you could say to your mom something like "DH and I want to make sure we know everyone at the shower and can have the opportunity to speak to everyone, so please limit the guest list to people we know."  If DH isn't going to be there, I'm sorry, but I don't think his opinion matters as much.

    In the end, the shower should be planned by the hosts, not the parents-to-be.  Give your opinion/thoughts/concerns, but you may need to back off and give in. 
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  • Remember, that this shower is a little different from your wedding when it comes to guests. The point of a shower is to give gifts, unlike a wedding where gifts are an extra. People are less likely to come to a shower if they feel they don't really know you. I say, let your mom do what she will. If your mil has a problem with the # then say something. Don't change the people you want to invite. Anyone who doesn't want to give you a gift won't come, and really your mom and mil can change what they do at the shower to accommodate for more people if it's not budget friendly. Just sit back, let her know you care about her budget (or whatever it is that makes you concerned about inviting too many people) and accept her gift of a shower to you.

    My MIL is the same way. DH and I were married in my home state and didn't expect many people from his state to come, but MIL had me send out, seriously, two hundred invites to people she wanted to come. I kept freaking out that we'd have 400 people at the wedding! Only 50 came from out-of-state, and nothing was ruined by it. For my baby shower we invited every woman at our church and over 40 people came. It was busy, but my hosts asked people to help with food and it worked awesome! I felt really cared for and we got a TON of our baby needs taken care of.
  • I sympathize with you too. I had the invite wars with my wedding as well. It sucked and I was totally caught in the middle. Unfortunately, this is a party that your moms are throwing for you. It's a gift they are giving you and you need to let them pick it out. It is sweet that you are concerned about your parent's retirement, but you need to give them the benefit of the doubt that they know what they can and cannot afford. IMHO, you're blessed to have parents that realize that these special moments in life are what money is for. I'm also not really sure why DH is getting in the middle of it since it doesn't really involve him. I don't know. Maybe I missed something there. Here's some good news. You will probably have a good friend volunteer to throw you a shower. Most women our age are happy to keep it small, intimate and affordable and will be happy to have you hand them a list of invitees! Whatever happens, I hope you can enjoy it and soak up every moment and memory! GL!
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  • Ok I think you need to take a step back on this. Your mom is hosting so ultimately she has the say in who she invites. You can request a smaller more intimate shower but if she wants to pay for 100 people, than that's her choice. You also should not be involved in the planning of locations, etc. The one thing I do think is that if your mom is going to throw a really big shower, maybe it is better if your mom and mil throw separate showers. That would split up the guest list so it's not so overwhelming. It also avoids the issue of your MIL having to pay towards your moms out of control guest list.
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  • ccamccam member
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    edited April 2014

    If your Mom has offered to throw you a shower, than the guest list and location are up to her.  Give her your guest list, offer up suggestions if she asks and show up - that's about it! ETA: This is coming from someone who had 2 bridal showers, one of which had 90 guests, so I get it!


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  • A lot of great advice already here. All I can say is tell DH that you're just going to stay out of it and show up when and where you're told. And then tell him to stay out of it too. You have enough to plan to prep for this baby. Take it easy!

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  • I'm a type A planner also, but my take on this would be to butt out (and tell your husband to do likewise).  This is a party thrown for you, not by you.  Give her a list of your must invites and then show up.  If there are 80 people there to shower you with gifts, then so be it.  

    I'm honestly surprised your husband cares so much.  Makes me wonder if his mom isn't freaking out a bit and he's trying to fix the problem.  If that is the case, then separate showers would probably be best.  That's how our families have always done that stuff anyways.  I kind of prefer it :)

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  • Technically, you can either accept what she offers or turn down the shower, since it's a gift and you're not supposed to dictate the terms, but if it were my mother, I'd sit down and have a serious discussion about what type of shower I really wanted. Unfortunately, after what you went through with your wedding, it doesn't sound like you'd get very far. I also agree about potentially having your mother and MIL host separate showers so your MIL doesn't get stuck footing the bill for the huge event your mother has in mind (assuming your MIL is looking to host something much smaller/less extravagant). Good luck!
  • edited April 2014
    I must be the jerk here.  I feel like even though the mom is throwing the shower, she needs to recognize that it's not a party for her and her friends.  It's to shower the Mom-to-Be and therefore should really be about who SHE wants there. 

    ETA: I recognize that it's a gift and the grandma to be should have some freedoms, but I really think there ought to be a limit.  I know I'd be uncomfortable if my mother invited a bunch of women to my baby shower that I wasn't close to. 





    Maelara[Deleted User]
  • Is your husband being so adamant about not having a big shower on behalf of his mom, the other cohost? He could be worried that your mom (and you, since you have inserted yourself into the planning) are leaving her out of some important decisions and she doesn't know what her responsibilities are, both in terms of planning and footing the bill. You didn't mention how she fits into this other than the fact that she is a cohost.

    I suggest take a step back and let your mom an the shower she wants to throw for you.

    And depending in the dynamic between your mom and MIL, it may be necessary to tell your MIL to either step down as co-host or throw a second shower.

  • I wouldn't say anything. She is paying for it so I don't think it should be up to you. Sit back and let her have fun.

  • I agree with @missnacholover.  

    I would be super uncomfortable with a bunch of people that I hardly know or don't know at a shower for me and my baby. I understand that she is footing the bill BUT it isn't HER baby shower it's YOURS. You should at least be comfortable with all the guests that are in attendance. 

    My mom did invite her co workers to my baby shower but it was two women who I have known my entire life since she has worked for a small company for over 35 years. 

    That being said I would butt out of planning it at all. Give her your list of invitees and that's it. Maybe compromise and tell her she can invite X amount of people but that's it. 

    Separate showers may also be in order to avoid having 100 people at your shower. Have DH ask MIL if she would rather do his side shower since he wants to be involved. 

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  • I say have two showers. Let your mom throw you one and invite everyone she wants. Then maybe one of your friends can hold a small, intimate gathering - maybe even a BBQ (if that's your style). This way your mom can have the shower she feels *she* wants and then you get the intimate gathering you want :)
  • If you only have one shower give her your list of people who 100% must be invited. Maybe you can ask her to keep her list to the same number so it's 50/50. My friends shower was all her moms friends and she didn't even know where to look to thank the person because she had no idea who they were. That part was fairly awkward. Definitely not about her at all. More about her mom. On the other hand their entire registry was purchased and they were super thankful about that. We did a seperate close friend party afterwards.
    Good luck navigating that!
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