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Semi-sticky in-law situation

charbie

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 16, 2008
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This may come across as a bit strange, but I'm sort of at a loss and not sure how to handle this situation.
Basically, my mom and friend are planning a baby shower for me. DH's mom never discussed having one until I was over 20 weeks along, after DH tactfully :rolleyes: says in front of both her and I, "Mom, are you having a baby shower for us?" - she sort of said, "well, probably, I hadn't thought about it yet." So DH said, "Well, charbie's mom is going to have one, and wanted to figure out a date. Will July 30th work for you?" And she says, "Well I guess I'll have to check and see."- no other mention of a baby shower. I then said I preferred 1 shower to multiple ones- it was just easier that way since I have a smallish family. and I honestly didn't want multiple showers given the busy summer we have going on. So I told DH to tell her she can talk with my mom if she wants to help plan the shower- she never called/emailed/contacted my mom. She apparently then told DH she wanted to have her own shower because wanted to invite some of her friends and family to it. I told DH it was fine for her to invite her friends and family to the one my mom and friend were hosting, since that was the point of having ONE shower- everyone could just be there together, it never was meant to be an event that didn't include her family.

SO now DH gets the list of people his mom wants to invite. Ladies, this list has over 50 people on it. Between my friends and my side of the family, I have MAYBE 20 people I invited. Many are family, who I've met, but she's also included some of her friends/cousins who I never have heard of or met in the 4.5 years I've been with my husband. Why would she invite these people I have NO clue who they are? I feel like it makes the shower look like a gift grab. I doubt she even sees some of these people or talks to them regularly. Also, if she was the one who was throwing the shower, I KNOW she would have no room to host a party with over 50 people!! DH said not to worry, a lot of the people I don't know won't come. Ok, so then WHY INVITE THEM??

DH now says I never should have said I didn't want 2 showers if I didn't want his mom inviting all of these people, and if she was hosting the shower she would have included all of them. I said I had no clue she was going to invite everyone she's ever met, and I think it's also kind of rude to invite all of these people if she isn't planning on helping host the shower at all. In fact, I think it's just rude period to invite people who don't know me or my husband well AT ALL.

What would you do? Is it too late to ask her to cut her list? Is it rude to have her cut her list? Was it rude for me to suggest 1 shower- given we were moving, DH was having surgery, and nothing was even discussed until I was over 20 weeks along, meaning at minimum I'd have been 30 weeks by the first baby shower and had weekends booked with their family golf outing, family reunion, and baby classes already at the ~30 week mark?

Sorry- this is half vent/half WTF do I do post.
 

Haven

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Feb 15, 2007
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Okay, we don't have baby showers in my culture so this is all from an outsider perspective, however:

I'm assuming your DH didn't give her a number of people she could invite, is that right? If so, he should call her back and say "I'm sorry I didn't tell you this originally, but Charbie's mom and friend can accommodate 20 guests of yours at the shower." She can be mad all she wants, but she isn't hosting the shower so it isn't her place to invite any number of people she wants to invite as long as that's made clear to her.

I'm with you--I'd be really uncomfortable inviting people I don't know to a baby shower. That definitely looks like a gift grab. If I was invited to the baby shower of someone I've never met I would think they were gift grabbing, for sure.

ETA: As for requesting one shower in total, I don't think it was rude but I can understand that she might be upset by it. It doesn't sound like she was on top of actually hosting a shower for you, though, so who knows? I hope you can work it out!
 

Guilty Pleasure

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May 16, 2008
Messages
1,114
Tell her that the place won't hold that many people and you're not comfortable inviting people you've never met. Do it sweetly. Any rational person would understand that increasing a guest list by 250% is not possible. I guess this is the sort of thing that just depends on your relationship with your mother-in-law. When my MIL put random people on our wedding guest list - for example, the guy who sold my husband his car and was a social acquaintance at best with my in-laws - I simply showed her the guest list as it was, broken down into groups according to groom's family, groom's friends, bride's family, bride's friends, mother of the groom list, mother of the bride list, etc. Seeing the current list helped her see what the standard was and that we were too tight on space to invite the random people, and it wasn't a big deal. My mother-in-law is awesome though!
 

diamondseeker2006

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Jan 11, 2006
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56,136
I really think you should have let her host the shower herself. Those who think it is ridiculous that she invited them won't come or send a gift. I'd tell your husband to tell her that the location of your mom's shower won't accommodate that many people, and if she'd like, she can have a separate shower or invite the same number of people your mother is inviting.
 

Laila619

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Apr 28, 2008
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Charbie,

I have a different opinion. She wanted to have her own shower so she could invite all her friends and family...but you told her she could just invite them to your mom's shower. So now I think you kind of have to allow her to have all these people. Sorry, I know it's annoying. BUT you did say it was okay, without giving her a guest limit. So I don't think it would be fair to now say she has to cut her list. You either 1) have to allow her the guests or 2) agree to her having her own shower after all. Good luck! Believe me, I know MIL situations can be tricky! :rodent:
 

Skippy123

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Nov 24, 2006
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24,299
Laila619|1309010668|2954752 said:
Charbie,

I have a different opinion. She wanted to have her own shower so she could invite all her friends and family...but you told her she could just invite them to your mom's shower. So now I think you kind of have to allow her to have all these people. Sorry, I know it's annoying. BUT you did say it was okay, without giving her a guest limit. So I don't think it would be fair to now say she has to cut her list. You either 1) have to allow her the guests or 2) agree to her having her own shower after all. Good luck! Believe me, I know MIL situations can be tricky! :rodent:
ditto, I think this is what happened. I am so sorry; showers are so tough. I have been in the middle of some drama w/baby showers. Also Moms have their own idea on how showers should be so it is tough not to do 2 different showers.

eta: I agree, not your fault at all. hugs!
 

Anastasia

Shiny_Rock
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Mar 23, 2005
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451
Charbie -

I can see why you told her you only wanted one shower. I felt the same way. I also think that considering her lack of interest and communication about the shower would lead you to believe that she wasn't planning on doing much/inviting a lot of people.

I think the best tactic at this point is to have your husband tell her that your family can't accomodate 50 people, and give her a definite number of people she can invite. If she insists on the larger guest list, he should then tell her that she should host her own shower. I know it sounds like you are flip flopping, but I think she should have asked how many guests she could invite before adding 50 people to the guest list. A reasonable person shouldn't have a difficult time understanding this.

Don't let yourself get stressed by this. These showers are being hosted in your honor, and you shouldn't have to worry about these details. If you end up having two showers, even though you only wanted one, think about the fact that you have enough people who care about you to have two showers. (Even if you don't know some of them!)
 

Puppmom

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Jun 25, 2007
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I had a similar situation with my shower. A friend of mine put it together and MIL hosted at her house. My friend contacted my mom to see who see wanted to invite and my mom gave a lengthy list and many of the people were people I haven't seen in years and weren't invited to our wedding. I was really stressed about it because I hate being the center of attention and having people there I didn't really know would just make it worse. I too was worried that they would see the shower as a *fund raiser* since I barely knew some of them. I talked to DH and my friend and ultimately sucked it up and asked that my friend invite whoever my mom requested. In the end, only a handful ended up coming.

IMHO, it's very hard to make requests when someone is throwing something for you without coming off as ungrateful. I think one way to lessen your stress at this point is to just stay out of it. I would just let your mom deal with MIL. I got to the point that I knew everyone had my best interest at heart so I just backed off and showed up when they told me too. :bigsmile: It ended up being fine and yours will too!
 

fieryred33143

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May 18, 2008
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6,689
Let her host her own shower. Nothing to get worked up over. That way she can invite whomever she wants and you get gifts for the baby. Win-win. And DH doesn't have to go in between you two figuring stuff out. Win-win-win.

ETA: my mom an MIL hoste separate showers but they both attended each shower and helped with both. My MIL had about 55 people there, I knew the majority. My mom had 60+ but I only knew a handful. This is completely selfish but we were loaded with gifts. I didn't have to buy diapers for 5 months or clothes for 6. And both showers were a lot of fun!
 

somethingshiny

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At this point I don't think you have much of a choice. You told her what you wanted, you gave her an opportunity for invitees, the end.


As an aside, I've never heard of a mother doing a baby shower. In this area, that's for friends and sisters to do. Also, the guest list is ONLY the guest of honor's responsibility. We ask the bride or mom-to-be for a guest list and those are the people invited.
 

MichelleCarmen

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15,880
That's too many people for one shower. You gotta have two...even though you don't want to. Keep the MIL happy. At this point, that's what it's all about.

FWIW, there were people at my shower I barely knew and ALL of them showed up. In fact, the only two who couldn't make it were friends of mine! lol I can't remember how many people were there, but it wasn't anywhere near as many people and still it was chaos!

Oh, and where have these people come from? Does your MIL attend church? A friend of mine ended up having an extra 100 people at her wedding b/c of her future inlaws inviting everyone from her church.
 

MichelleCarmen

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somethingshiny|1309021119|2954833 said:
At this point I don't think you have much of a choice. You told her what you wanted, you gave her an opportunity for invitees, the end.


As an aside, I've never heard of a mother doing a baby shower. In this area, that's for friends and sisters to do. Also, the guest list is ONLY the guest of honor's responsibility. We ask the bride or mom-to-be for a guest list and those are the people invited.
Yeah, that is tradition - friends host the showers. I guess times have changed though and not as many friends can afford to host the showers or are too busy (or something!). Over 1/2 the showers I've attended have been hosted by moms.
 

charbie

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Nov 16, 2008
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Ya know, im pretty sure I knew the answer before I posted, and you guys confirmed what I was already sure of (damn.)

Haven: Life would be easier without showers :rodent: There was no communication as to the number of invites, which I should have made clear earlier, now looking back. At least im not the only one who thinks inviting people who know MIL but not my DH or me is koookoooo!

GP: my MIL is nice, somewhat reserved yet can be hard to read. She has her way of thinking and doesn't express anything to me, and I can't read her mind. Im not sure how well she would take sitting down and talking about it....but I like the suggestion. She just doesn't talk!

Skippy and Laila: I know....I know...and you guys are totally right. And it does suck, and I should have remembered when for our wedding (which she didn't contribute to) she insisted we invite every cousin, friend, DHs grandmas friends, etc. I just didn't think she would think her cousins who we will haven't met in the two yrs since the wedding suddenly would want to come to a baby shower!

Anastasia: um, I think I love you. You and I are on the same wave length....reasonable people DO get these things. And I know she is wanting to have everyone there bc she is excited, and I need to embrace that. DH is her oldest, so this was the first wedding, first baby, etc. At 29 weeks pregnant, I probably need to suck it up and just cross my fingers that people wont all come.

Pupp: im very similar in the fact that I hate being the center of attention for things like this. Im glad this will be the last "shower" in my honor. I need to remeber I never see these people anyways, so if gift grabby is how it seems....at least it isn't around people I know! :bigsmile: and I guess it is more of a reflection on MIL than me, so I need to just relax about it.

Fiery: it isn't something to stress over it will work out. Thank you for reminding me, bc I do lose sight of this. And gifts are great, you're right. I have next to nothing prepared for the baby so far, so it'll be nice.

SS/MC: oh how life would be grand if I got to make the guest list. I made the guest list for my mom's side with her help. Then again, she didn't invite anyone outside of family. One of my friends is cohosting with my mom. We recently moved to the area we live now and I only have a few close friends here. My best girlfriends actually live out of state, so I wouldn't imagine them hosting one. My aunt also offered to host one. And my sisters...well....they aren't really the shower planning type....probably bc my mom just would take over ;-)

I really thought having only 1 shower would make life easier. Oops. And I didn't forbid MIL from having one, it was just something DH and I both sort of figured would make more sense. Our families live 4 hrs apart, and since his mom showed no interest in planning anything until DH brought it up, so I honestly had no idea she wanted to until afterwards. And to be honest, she would have" hosted" it but made my SIL do everything. My mom lives for party planning. She gets the biggest kick out of it. I just don't know where MIL was planning on having a shower with her 50+ guests if she was having her own!

Woooosaaaaa....it'll all be ok.
 

Laila619

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Charb, if you end up having two showers, it won't be the worst thing in the world. ;-) :) Think of all the adorable baby girl clothes!
 

Pandora II

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I think I'm rather glad that baby showers are very much the exception still in the UK!

My feeling is to just let go and what will be will be. You won't seem like a gift-grabber... after all, it's not as if YOU invited these people (you can hardly invite someone you don't know). If they come it's because they want to and some people like any excuse to buy cute baby clothes.
 

charbie

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Laila619|1309036018|2954983 said:
Charb, if you end up having two showers, it won't be the worst thing in the world. ;-) :)
Oh i agree- I guess I just wish if she was actually planning to have one, she would have said so from the beginning. She never once mentioned it until DH brought it up. And even then she wasn't sure on the date DH suggested, even though we told her we had things we needed to be at for almost every weekend in July and August, and this was one of the only weekends that would work. So it wasn't like she approached us and asked if there was a date she could have one for her family and I said I didn't want a second shower- it was after we hadn't heard anything about her doing a shower that I just said I would just prefer to do one, since invites needed to get printed and sent out.

I guess living so close to my MIL for the past 10 months has just worn on me. This probably has more to do with the fact that she is getting on my very last nerve than anything else. My family believes in quality over quantity, in every sense of the word, and she is the total opposite. So accepting that has just been difficult for me, but I'm trying to just be gracious and just let her be.

So the shower is being hosted at my new home (we have lots of open spaces)- but I'm just going to pray it doesn't rain that day so we can also have people enjoy the deck. I need to just be comfortable with the idea of people celebrating our beautiful baby girl who happens to still be inside of me :cheeky: and simply let go. It is what it is. And I can't wait to show our new home to the people who do come- it will be a lot of fun for whomever shows up.
 

charbie

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Pandora|1309037793|2955001 said:
I think I'm rather glad that baby showers are very much the exception still in the UK!

My feeling is to just let go and what will be will be. You won't seem like a gift-grabber... after all, it's not as if YOU invited these people (you can hardly invite someone you don't know). If they come it's because they want to and some people like any excuse to buy cute baby clothes.
I'm so glad that this is the last "shower" event being planned in my honor...I love throwing parties for other people but just hate being in the middle like this!!! I appreciate the words tho- it helps to hear it from other people.
 

Haven

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That's the spirit, Charbie!

It sounds like it's going to be a lovely shower, and here's lots of DUST DUST DUST for clear skies the day of! Have fun!
 

packrat

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Have a good time at your shower(s) Charbs-ohh the fun of little teensy girl clothes! Maybe some of the people MIL invited to hers will turn out to be super cool and you'll expand your circle of family you have fun with.
 

fleur-de-lis

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Apr 25, 2007
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At this point it seems you having to attend two showers is far, far less of an imposition than your mother having to host *70* people instead of 20.

You've also earned the right to roll your eyes about this as much as you darn please.
 
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