I'm editing most of my posts that contain personal information; thanks for the responses to this one!
Edited by MrsSlocombe - 3/25/12 at 8:45am
Honestly, I think you are overthinking this one. I have a large extended family too, so I have to say, I have no doubt your MIL knew what she was getting into. Once you're up to a certain number, 4 or 5 more people don't make any difference. It's sweet of you to worry about helping but I'm going to guess that MIL is pretty excited to do this for you and your first baby, so I think you just need to be very appreciative of her efforts and don't worry about it too much!
I wouldn't worry about your friends being hurt. If anyone says anything just explain that you didn't want to overwhelm your MIL. Any reasonable person would understand!
Thanks. I get a little nervous around big events. I still think we should have invited more cousins to our wedding, used a different caterer, and that I should have made sure that my husband knew that tip jars at weddings are rude. (I thought he knew this, but he saw them as a way for us to save money, and made the decision without my knowing until the wedding was over.) Of course, a baby shower isn't quite as big, and I'm lucky I get any say in planning it at all. None of my friends were invited to my wedding shower, because it was a surprise.
I don't know this one. It probably would not work for me because I'm not religious, but can you share what it is? Is it something a pregnant woman throws, herself?
Nothing religious about it. This is what I'm planning (for myself) this time around. It's a gathering of women who are getting together to celebrate motherhood. It's a celebration of the mother, whereas the traditional "baby shower" is a celebration of the baby. If there are gifts involved, they are usually aimed more at pampering the mama. Instead of cheesy shower games, there are usually more crafty things going on - each attendee may bring a bead for a bracelet and help string it for mom to wear during labor. Each participant may take a candle home to light during labor so mama can know she's being thought of. Each one may make a scrapbook page for the baby's scrapbook. Or any number of other crafty ideas that can help mama feel supported during late pregnancy and labor. Often a meal train is organized at this point.