MIL and Baby Shower Rant - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-15-2008, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I know this might sound petty, but I am 34wks, been on bedrest for a month and need to vent. My mother gave me a baby shower about a month ago. She was lovely about it. It was great. People looked at the registries and actually bought off them. I spent countless hours going through the registries (Babys R Us and Target) and researched every product, got reviews, and vetted everything. We are going organic for all bedding and as much clothing as possible. We are using only organic, toxin-free soaps, shampoos, etc...glass bottles...cloth diapers, etc. I was very clear in the registries as to what and why.

My MIL decided she wanted to throw us a shower too (thank everything that is good and holy DH's family lives 2 hours away.) My MIL and I come from different planets. She treats my DH like a 2nd class citizen and pampers her other 2 (DH is 1st born of 3.) She wasn't even excited (that she showed) that we were expecting her first grandchild. She always makes little jabs about our natural parenting...for instance, at my mom's shower I was talking about the BPA in plastics and our selective vax plans. She just rolled her eyes and told my mom - it's amazing our kids are still alive. (My DH is the only normal person in that family. Everyone else is grossly overweight with health and emotional issues.) Plus, I don't think she likes me. She refuses to talk to me directly after I told her I wasn't doing Lamaze and planned a natural birth using Hypnobabies.

Anyway, I am not going to dig into that dysfunctionality anymore. She is hosting a shower this weekend and NO ONE has gotten anything off the registry (and my husband said she invited a LOT of people - none of whom I will know.) I don't want to seem ungrateful, but I am on bedrest with very limited ability to go out. I dread sitting through their "disapprovingness" and coming home with a boatload of CRAP that we won't use. It just seems like such a waste. There is a local crisis pregnancy center I can donate unwanted items to, but there is still a lot we NEED (not want) on that registry (items ranging from $1.99 to $49.99 - we aren't talking big $$$ here.) So basically this is about her instead of about the baby and it is just going to make a ton of work for me at a time when I can't do it. I can't store a bunch of junk in my house, I still need to purchase a bunch of stuff, and I am not able to go and return things.

It makes me so grateful for my own family and my DH. I dread exposing this child to his family (where my DH doesn't see it as big of a problem as I do). My family may not agree with everything I am doing, but the support me and realize that it is right for me and my child.

Sorry, I just needed to vent. His family is SO DRAINING and I don't really want to drive all the way down there tomorrow just to have them roll their eyes and talk down to me. (At least the event isn't at their icky dirty house with food and cat doo all over the floor.) Wish me luck.

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Old 02-15-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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I am hoping it will go better than you expect

But I am sorry you have to deal with a draining family. My side of the family is the draining side here. In a way it is easier, they have known me forever and get me even if they don't "get" me.

I think dropping the stuff you don't want off right at the crisis center is a great plan. Just buy some super generic thank you cards and be done with it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:56 PM
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Return what you can to BRU and Target so you can put that money towards what you need. Sorry your MIL is such a pita.

Kara, single mom of 4 girls (5, 8, 16 and 19) crochetsmilie.gif
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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I'm sorry! It might go better than you think. Sometimes people buy from the registry and just don't hand it back at the checkout so it doesn't look like it's been purchased (I got lot's of doubles & triples this way). But you can always return what you don't want/need and apply it towards what you do need. It just sucks that you're on bedrest and will have all that extra work to do. Maybe the returns aspect can be a chore your mom, sister or dh could do for you? Then you can go in a seperate (shorter) trip and select what you need?

Hope it works out for you!

me, wife to dh, the movie geek (7/01), mama to ds1, budding Star Wars geek (10/05), dd, budding princess of the dirt (03/08) and ds2, budding extrovert. watch out! (8/10).
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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At my shower I got lots of gift reciepts,so hopefully you will get the same!! Then you can choose what you would like.

My co-workers had a little shower for me and got a bag of stuff I will not be using due and intend to pass on to a local domestic violence shelter!
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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It is amazing how similar your situation is to mine... My MIL is slightly more respectful of wishes... but insisted we register at Walmart... (We shop at Walmart occasionally for ourselves, but this baby is a different story.) I totally hear you on it making more work for you - we're just going to have to return everything. On top of that, so many pink clothes... yes, we think it's a girl but we've asked for gender neutral.

Anyway, hugs to you mama. I feel I should be so grateful, and I am, but it's hard when people second guess everything you do.
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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On top of that, so many pink clothes... yes, we think it's a girl but we've asked for gender neutral.
Same here. We have a huge pile of pink clothes, all unasked-for, waiting alongside the receipts. It's driving me crazy not to be able to wash things and put them away...

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Old 02-15-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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So similar to what happened with me. Our finances are zero for buying baby stuff, so I was really counting on a successful shower to get the bulk of what we need. Only 8 people came out of 50 invitations sent out! Only 2 of those bought anything off of the registry! We didn't need clothes, but did get those with no gift receipt or tags to know what store they came from. DH's SMom gave us an entire bag of Dollar Store baby stuff (shampoo, baby lotion, wash, sippy cups, baby toys, etc...) nothing we will use. We did end up with $70, so I am stretching that as far as I can...
Hang in there Momma... this to shall pass and we will have the main things we need for our babies...
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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Perhaps your dh can take it all back and return it for gift cards and then you can buy the things you actually want.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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Hopefully it won't go too bad - even people with vastly different view just want to celebrate the new baby and hang out with the very pregnant person.
You can practice your:
"That's interesting..."
"Thank you for your opinion, I appreciate you sharing it with me..."
"Hmm...good to know that worked for you..."
and
"Gosh, I can't reach, can you pass the bean dip?"

Don't forget that you can return stuff for gift cards. It's nice to have a few giftcards for after the baby is born - in case you decide you need more onesies or a swing on a moment's notice.

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Old 02-15-2008, 05:32 PM
 
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even people with vastly different view just want to celebrate the new baby and hang out with the very pregnant person.
:

It sounds like they are trying to be nice. Accept the sentiment of the occasion, and try not to let the actual stuff bother you too much. Part of being a parent is being a filter for all kinds of weird crap and ugly clothes you don't want your kids to have. Try to let go of the idea that you wish someone had spent money on something you wanted. I know that's hard, especially when there are things that you need and you don't have a big budget for spending. Then make the best you can of the situation.

Take the stuff you get and sort it into piles:
Things you can easily return and trade in for things you want
Crisis center that you mentioned
E-Bay (then you can buy more stuff you like, for cheap)
Save a small pile to give away as baby presents in the future.

If you can't return stuff, find a pal who won't blab to the family who will do returns for you. If you sell stuff on ebay, you can use priority mail, and request carrier pickup, so you don't even have to leave your house.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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I don't think it's at ALL "ungrateful." I would NEVER want to endure a shower with my inlaws! I shudder to think...but mine are worse than most!

In any event, I hope it goes fast & goes well!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:53 AM
 
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So, mine's over. It went better than expected - lots of pink MIL insists that DH and I never told her we weren't sure... Yes, we both have and have witnessed each other telling you... but that's a whole other story since you can't seem to help but embellish the truth.

Overall, people were simply excited about a baby - which is really nice. Not too many hands on my tummy (thank goodness) and not too much advice. Of course, no one bought from the Walmart registry (or any registry). But, I am tremendously grateful for people's generosity (in whatever form) and well-meant gifts. Now, after our MW appointment tomorrow morning we're off to do some returns.
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all. It did go better than I thought. My MIL was pissed that we ate before we got there. The shower started at 2pm and she never said they were having food - I can't go that long without eating and by the time we got there I wasn't hungry. DH ate some (and I had to ask him to move to another table because it smeeeellled!) People were mostly nice. The most popular question was, "What are you having." I just told everyone we were having a puppy b/c I was done with that line of inquiry. (Causing his grandma to get pissed. She doesn't like our dogs - the 2 most gorgeous and sweet Pomeranians on the planet. I think she is still mad b/c we have always considered the dogs our kids as well.) His crazy aunt drove me nuts. She kept telling hospital horror stories (worse b/c I suffer from health-related panic attacks) and kept telling me she wanted me to deliver early - before Easter - for what reason I don't know. I had to remind her that I have been on bedrest for a month to prevent an early delivery, but she said she didn't care. Gotta love it. Anyway, I have separated all the stuff that needs to be returned (including all the pink and blue crap people insisted on anyway.) All the thank you notes are done. And my biggest issue now is that I ordered everything else we needed off the registry that we didn't get and it looks like I won't get most of it in time. Oh joy. The best thing about the whole day was that my mom was there so I had a partner in crime and the cake was GOOOD.

And hey, since DH and I have not been able to DTD in forever, GOOOOD cake fills a certain void, ya know??

goorganic.jpgwife to footinmouth.gif, currently WOH and geek.gif on my doctorate. (I'm dissertating!) We: novaxnocirc.giftoddler.gifgd.giffamilybed1.gif  with DS (4/09)!
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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And hey, since DH and I have not been able to DTD in forever, GOOOOD cake fills a certain void, ya know??


Glad to hear you survived

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