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Baby Shower- feeling weird about it

Posted by dabunch (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 5, 08 at 0:04

Is it just me, or is there a problem with the following baby shower?

I just found out that the mother to be will NOT attend the shower because she is not feeling well. Per her dr. she's to stay off her feet but is ok. She knew this several days ago. She lives out of state so she doesn't want to travel. However, she insisted that her mother throw her the get-together so she can get gifts. She said it just that way. Basically it will just be 15 family & ONE friend attending. She told her mother that "they do it that way nowadays"-without the guest of honor. Really? Maybe I'm old fashioned & don't understand the new etiquette rules. Whaaa...?

I realize that baby showers are all about the gifts, but knowing that she said that she just wants the gifts sounds crude.

Further, I feel like she's being disrespectful to everyone including her mother, the shower giver (currently going thru an ugly divorce with the baby's mother's dad, but her in-laws will be there). This will be a very uncomfortable situation, with no guest of honor. Many people will not be speaking to eachother at the tables, because of various acrimony in between & among family members-ouch.

Am I wrong in thinking that the shower should have been cancelled since the mother to be won't be there? Maybe it can be rescheduled after the baby is born & after the shower givers divorce? Am I too sensitive? I really don't want to attend.
Should I go to the restaurant early, leave the gift, eat quickly & leave so my stomach doesn't get upset?

I've never heard of a party without the guest of honor, who knew she wasn't going to be there way in advance, but wants the gifts, and is willing to subject both sides of the family to humiliation just so she gets presents.
Can anyone shed some light on this weird situation?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Baby Shower- feeling weird about it

Nope, I'd suddenly have a subsequent engagement and decline with best wishes.


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RE: Baby Shower- feeling weird about it

That's disaster on many levels....and the absence of the Mother to be is the least of them!
Family members NEVER throw a shower for another member of the family....and certainly not the grandmother of the UNBORN BABE. It's seen as asking for gifts whice is rude....but then you knew it was asking for gifts....the baby's mom said so.
And at ar estraunt? is there a hostess or do you all just get together, pay for your owm meal and bring stuff for the mom who won't be there?
Oh and by the way..."I'm divorcing you....but will invite your sister and your brother's wife to a shower that DD asked me to throw for her..."
Nope....I'm aftaid I would send the new mother a pair of booties for the baby and skip the party!
Linda C


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RE: Baby Shower- feeling weird about it

I agree with everyone, including the OP, on all the gaffes here. I would cut them a little slack; the mom-to-be is pregnant and not feeling well, there is a divorce going on, and maybe more we don't know about -- etiquette probably seems relatively unimportant right now to this family. But still, the point here isn't that they didn't do anything wrong; they did.

What the OP does about it, though, is another thing. I don't blame her for not wanting to attend -- it sounds like it will be very tense, and of who wouldn't feel like a chump with the information about the greediness?

But I wouldn't withhold my presence as punishment for bad manners. It isn't the guests' place to teach the host and guest of honor manners, even if they are wrong (and it wouldn't work anyway). Leaving early in an obvious show of disapproval would be very rude (and mean). Certainly don't suggest cancellation or rescheduling -- of course they have already thought of those options, so it would not really be a suggestion, just a criticism.

I assume that the OP is close to these people, either a relative or the one friend attending. I would let that be the guiding factor here, not their behavior.

I think it kind of boils down to how you feel about making this family happy, dabunch. Suppose they hadn't violated any etiquette rules -- a friend gave the shower, the mom was to be there, no comment about wanting gifts -- would you be wanting to gladden their hearts and celebrate with them? Then do it anyway. Your presence and good wishes should be offered or withheld not on a merit system of how they are behaving, but on how you want to make them feel.

So if you love these people, I would go to this awful party and do it with a smile. We would all want our friends and relatives to do that for us if we made a mistake, I'm sure. Stay away only if you think you cannot be gracious the whole time -- no snarky whispers to other guests, tempting though it would be! Perhaps all the other guests feel as you do and will NOT hold back. It would be a real kindness to the hostess to be a supportive guest -- maybe the only one.

Good luck! Take public transportation so that if there is wine, you can use that to get through the party ....


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RE: Baby Shower- feeling weird about it

Have the USPS show up at the shower instead of you. Really, I'd not attend, but would certainly send a gift. I'm not sure that there could be enough wine to entice me to that party, lol.


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RE: Baby Shower- feeling weird about it

I'm going to side with gellchom on this one. Mainly because it seems to me that the shower is what it is, and would be, even if the mom were going to be in attendance. So, somewhat similar to gellchom's question, I'd like to know if you would you be going if Mom were going to be in attendance. After all, a baby shower IS a request for gifts, and the fact that mom isn't going to be there doesn't make that fact more true.

Yeah, the whole thing does kind of leave a bad taste in one's mouth. But as gellchom says, "if you love these people, I would go to this awful party and do it with a smile." I think we've all attended some "awful parties...with a amile" for the sake of the one(s) we love.


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RE: Baby Shower- feeling weird about it

I guess my question is how do you know the mother to be has said all this? Who passes along that type of info? Why is her mother passing along her so called comments; really that's the tackiest part about all of this, IMHO. And, why is her own mother throwing a shower for her to begin with? The whole story is sad.

But, ok, I'll say it. I was on bedrest and I know what it's like; it's not fun. Not being able to not have a shower because of it would only add to the disappointment of not being able to enjoy a pregancy. If I was giving a shower for a friend or relative who became bedridden of course I would still throw the shower! Why wouldn't I? This mom probably needs this stuff more than ever and unlike healthly moms probably isn't able to go out herself to get stuff. This is where family and friends really should and can help pitch in. Someone gets sick so they don't get to have a shower? Gesh, I'd hate to see how they treat their friends and family members with cancer. How would you feel if you were the sick mother to be?

Go to the shower. And the gossiping about a sick pregnant woman amoung "so called" family and friends really needs to stop; try to put an end to it if you can. This really should have been discussed more along the lines of... oh gosh, poor Susie, she can't even go to her own baby shower. I hope she's ok. I think I'll pick her up some extra diapers to go along with the present I got her. I know she probably won't be able to get out before the baby comes. Poor dear; missing her own shower.


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RE: Baby Shower- feeling weird about it

I'm in agreement with Carla--who passes along this kind of information? I recently went to a shower where the mother to be was not present as she is bleeding and confined to home. We talked by phone, took photos, etc. She is going to be opening the gifts one at a time at home. She says it will keep her sane.
A shower is one time where the guest of honor might not be able to attend--sometimes they have just had the baby the night before. The only time I have seen them called off is when something tragic happens.
Her Mom seems like a bitter lady--she's having it at a restaurant, bad mouthing the mother to be and is in the middle of her own divorce. The mother2B is in a different state and may not have made friends there yet. If she is very lucky --Mom won't come out to visit her very soon.
I fail to see how this is humiliating for you.
Boring maybe--especially if they play those awful games.
Go--be a good, cheerful person. If it makes this young mom 2B happy to get little tiny baby clothes its worth it, and not that expensive for you. Since I just went through two problem pregnancies with DDand DIL, I can tell you that when they felt bad, worried, they went in and looked at the baby stuff. It was like spring flowers to them they said.


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RE: Baby Shower- feeling weird about it

If the mother is not feeling well could you take a gift TO her?

I would skip it. All of our time is valuable, why spend it in the presence of this group? Get a massage, work out, have a glass of wine, read...just something else that does not involve this motley crew.


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