I need to hear what some other mamas think about this situation I am in.
My sister and mom offered to throw me a baby shower and we all agreed it would be after the baby was born - I guess we were all assuming he would be on time and the shower would be happening early December, though we never really talked about a date early on, which was obviously a big mistake.
I just assumed the shower would be three weeks or so after Desmond's arrival, as that is how most of my friends have had their post-birth showers. My mom is adamant that the shower happens in mid to late January, and I am crestfallen that she wants to wait that long. My sister is caught in the middle. Her reasoning is that December is a busy time, particularly for her, and she has so much to do to prepare for Christmas that having the shower (the day I proposed was the 11th) would just completely put her out. She also claims that no one will come because they, too, will all be busy with Christmas stuff.
My reasons for wanting the shower before the holidays are that I really wanted the shower to be a welcoming for my baby, to introduce him to a supportive community and welcome him into the world when he was really tiny. I feel as though if everyone meets him over the holidays, his shower will be less special, in a been-there-done-that kind of way. Plus, everyone loves meeting and holding tiny babies. I am also collecting items for local shelters for women who have experienced domestic violence and wanted to donate the items before Christmas. Lastly, we are not very flush with cash, we are just a young family and I was kind of counting on all my established older family members to help get us started and held off buying a lot of things we needed but couldn't afford because I know they would be more than happy to support us in this way. We need things like a wrap or sling, a stroller, clothing, diaper covers, etc. I guess that sounds selfish, and she has called me on that which only makes me feel really guilty for needing so much help.
The only good reason I can think of to have the shower later is that this is cold and flu season and my baby will be so young, but my mom hasn't mentioned it and I didn't want to add fuel to her fire, but I have considered that point as well.
We have offered to ease the stress for her by having the shower here so she wouldn't have to clean her place top to bottom, offered to help with cooking food, but she refused saying "This was her gift" but I feel like this is a conditional gift and my feelings are very hurt that she won't take the time to listen to my reasoning. She just says "you don't know anything, you're just new to this, trust me." My MIL has even offered to hold the shower at her place but I know that would make my mom so angry, and even though she is completely disregarding my feelings, I do want to spare hers. We became so close during this pregnancy, I just feel as though we are losing it all over this stupid shower.
TL;DR I want the shower this month, my mom wants it in mid-January. Should I just trust that she knows what she is talking about? Are my hormones affecting my desires here? Should I just shut up and accept her "gift"? I have been crying about this for days now, and every day that passes makes it harder and harder to have the shower on the day I want because soon people WILL be busy if we don't get the word out.
Help, MDC, am I being ridiculous?
farren, i think you are totally justified in wanting the shower this month. i think that if your family doesn't want to throw it for you in a reasonable amount of time (BEFORE christmas), then you should let dimitri's family throw it. and that whole "you don't know anything, you're just new to this" comment would make me livid! i would BAWL if someone said that to me. it's your baby and it's his shower. you aren't selfish for needing your family to support you with items you can't afford. that is ridiculous that you were called out on that. sheesh. don't people know not to mess with pregnant/post-partum ladies?!?!
Could you have 2 showers? If different people are invited, there's no reason your mom and mil can't each do their own thing.
I would want to have the shower in Dec, too.
Your mom's comment about you being new to this makes no sense to me.
I'm on your side too, Farren. I didn't have a shower before my baby arrived either and am wanting to at least have a meet-the-baby open house and definitely want to do it before Christmas rolls around and baby isn't so new anymore. I don't need a bunch of stuff, since this is my 2nd baby, but if I did, that would be another reason to have it sooner rather than later! It's not selfish at all to rely on getting some needed items at our baby shower. People love to buy baby things and it doesn't make sense for you to go out and buy a bunch of stuff if you think people will gift them to you in a few weeks. It's silly of your mom to not understand that and thoughtless of her to make you feel bad about it! Is your partner comfortable talking to your mom about it? If so, maybe he can more objectively share how upset you are about this and why you want to have the shower earlier? I've made my husband talk to some people on the phone and give the "my wife just had a baby a few days ago and this is really upsetting her right now. Is there any way we can do things differently to make her feel better about this?" spiel.
If your mom won't budge, I suggest letting your mil host a shower for you in December. Even if it's just for her side of the family/her friends it'll be nice for you to show off your baby and get some needed gifts from a few people earlier. I'm sorry you're having this conflict now. After having a baby, you deserve to be pampered!
I 100% agree with you because I've been down that line of thinking on my own behalf. This is our fourth and no one has hosted a shower for us since the first, but a friend of the family offered to host one back before baby came (and baby's gender was a surprise to all so that wasn't a factor at the time). We agreed it would be fun to be able to show off the baby and have a post-baby shower, and then if it WAS a girl (our first) people might want to bring girl things, so it would work well.
My strong desire for a shower is exactly yours - to celebrate this new baby and give people a chance to meet her and see her for more than the minute or two we get at church or other places. While we definitely could use a few things (and I expect many people will think of bringing clothes because it's our first girl), that's not the point and I'd be totally thrilled if ALL we ended up with was a happy party to celebrate.
I had originally suggested this next weekend and two weeks after she was born I still hadn't heard anything more about the shower. :( I finally called my mom and told her I was really concerned and needed to know what was going on because, just like you, I'm really worried about missing out on the window of time when she's still tiny and new to everyone. Add to that the holiday crunch and I'm panicked! I felt like this weekend was the best time because it was past Thanksgiving (US) and not so far into Christmas that everyone would necessarily be swamped. We might be able to pull of the next weekend but my MIL will be here (not necessarily a bonus but we'll see) and the big kids Christmas musical is that Saturday. We're down to the 12th or a weekday when my sister comes in town that week.
ANYWAY... This is fresh on my mind as I've spent several days and all of this evening worrying about it. I *do* think it's legitimate to want to have it when the baby is little. That's the whole point! And I think it's entirely reasonable for you, as a first-time parent, to have put off purchases in hopes of shower gifts. There's nothing wrong with that.
Do you have friends who would be interested in helping put on a shower? While I love that your family wants to help, you might be better off with good friends. In theory, aren't family members NOT supposed to host showers, anyway? Not that it really matters at all but if it helps your case, there ya go... :lol
Mostly, I'm sending big hugs and prayers that it all works out! I really hate that kind of quandary and stress, and yet seem to run into it with EVERY child. :eyesroll Keep us posted!
HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
AP Mom to 5
I don't think you're being ridiculous at all. All your reasons make perfect sense, and it's a bit rude of your family to ignore your wishes, even if they are the ones throwing the party. If you were talking later in December, that would be different, because people are likely to have trips planned and so forth that would really interfere. But I agree that early-mid December isn't so busy that people would be likely to miss a baby welcoming.
However, keep in mind that there's a lot of expensive stuff that can easily wait until a bit later - stroller, convertible car seat, carriers more appropriate for higher weight ranges, larger clothing and diapers, and things like that. So, from a getting stuff standpoint, it shouldn't be a total bust if you end up having to wait!
DS born 6/03, DD1 born 9/06, DD2 born 10/10, DD3 born 4/14.
I am pregnant, in final exams and projects, Derek works nights and goes to school full-time, we are moving in a couple weeks and I am packing like crazy AND I have all my Christmas gifts to make...and you KNOW I wouldn't miss it for the world if I lived closer than 12 hours away!!!!!
Thanks for all the opinions and support. My mother would not relent. Her "gift" of a baby shower has really just turned into her own chance to show off her grandson to her own friends and a few of my aunts and very obviously has little to do with me at all. My sister and I are now throwing our own baby shower at my place in the next two weeks instead.
I've decided to just accept that she won't choose to really support me in this way and move on.