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Long, horribly tacky story/vent and flameful question inside

Ok, I was going back and forth about whether I was even going to ask you all about this, because I'm pretty embarassed about it, but I really want to know what you think so I hope someone can help me out.

Most of my family lives in Chicago (sister, grandmother, cousins, aunt, uncle, etc.)  I live 2000 miles away.  My parents live in Vermont.  I am the oldest sibling/cousin, the first to get married and the first to have a child.  I usually get to Chicago every 2-3 years and we go to Vermont maybe 1x a year.  So we don't see my family often.

DH and I are flying to Chicago (and my parents are coming in, too).  We're all renting a condo together and had planned to have just a little Thanksgiving get-together with my sister.  Then the rest of the family (grandmother, great-aunt, cousins, second cousins, second cousins once-removed, etc.) found out and we are all having a big family celebration together, which I am thrilled about!  My mom suggested that we (her and dad, me and DH), instead, host some other family get-together like a brunch or something (instead of hosting Thanksgiving, which my great-aunt will host).

So I, tacktastically I know, emailed her and Dad asked if maybe, possibly, it could be a family baby shower (no family member has asked to throw a shower for me, though my best friend out here has.  Because of the distance, not one family member will come to the shower out here.)  I told my mom right off the bat I don't want gifts--I just want the whole family to get together to celebrate this coming baby.  We could do a memory shower--where everyone writes down wishes for the baby, we could decorate onesies or something, play baby-themed charades (a favorite family game), take pictures for baby's scrapbook and eat cake, etc.

Dad thought it was a good idea.  Mom said under no circumstances is the grandmother-to-be ever supposed to host a baby shower.  It is bad manners.  I was really hurt.  But I also feel like I tried, she said no, what can I do about it?  Let it go.  Bringing up the fact that nearly every baby shower I've been to (which, granted, is about 4) was hosted by the grandmother-to-be makes me sound like an entitled brat demanding a shower, and I already made the faux pas of asking for one.  I should suck it up.

I told my best friend and she sort of "sided" with me, saying she's never heard of this no-grandmother rule and the fact that this is the only chance I have to get together with the extended family is too good to pass up (the only living grandparent either DH or I have will be there, for goodness sakes).  She thinks I should ask my sister to host.  I feel icky about that.  It was one thing to ask my mom, besides we're renting a three-bedroom condo which would have been perfect, but I feel like asking my sister to cram the whole extended fam into her one-bedroom apartment, when she didn't even offer, is beyond the level of tackiness I feel comfortable being.

So, what do you think?  Suck it up and get over it?  Suck it up and ask my sister?  For the record, no one (family or friend) threw me a bridal shower.  It's not like I have a history of demanding or even getting showers.



Reading over, this, I realize I know my answer.  I need to just get over it.  So I guess this turned out sort of a vent.  I am really sad my mom didn't want to be there for me at this special time.

And, here's your reward for reading all that, DH and I in our Halloween costumes (I am the road, with a "speed bump," and DH is a road crew worker):

Re: Long, horribly tacky story/vent and flameful question inside

  • Hmmm my mom and sister threw my baby shower. So yeah maybe its tacky but it was for family and a few friends anyway the only other shower we had was a work shower.
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  • I dont have a reply because I didnt know grandparent showers were against the rules. My MIL along with Alex's godmother hosted a shower and no one seemed offended by the idea. 

     Cute costume :-)


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  • my mom and sister were thrilled to throw my shower, and I think your mother needs to get over herself.

    AND my mother is jewish - so showers are typically a BIG nono - but she knew I wanted one and put her personal feelings and superstitions aside to celebrate the baby.

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  • 1. I don't think it's a huge deal for a Grandmother-to-be to throw the shower. Yes, it's probably not proper etiquette, but this is the 21st century.

    2. I do, however, think that you shouldn't push the issue. My guess is that everyone will want to celebrate the new baby with you over Thanksgiving whether or not the event is called a "shower". Take plenty of pictures with family members and your bump and put those in the baby book.

    3. I know you didn't want gifts at the "shower", but my guess is that family members will be sending plenty of gifts for you to open at the shower or when the baby comes.

    4. Don't get your hopes up... but is it possible that they are planning on surprising you in some way? 

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  • Well, there are two answers to this.

    The first, strictly Miss Mannerly answer is that technically NO immediate family should be hosting a shower, bridal or baby, because it's considered asking for gifts on your behalf, and that in a backhanded fashion benefits them as they do not have to provide said gifts for you now.

    However... That's only the really strict version, and hardly anyone follows that rule anymore. So, in a way your mom is right, but knowing that you won't make it back before the baby is born that that your family or local-to-them friends do not have a history of throwing showers, it would have been perfectly fine for her to throw something for you. If she was scared off by the "shower" title, a Pre-Baby Welcoming Party or something of that nature would have been fine.

    So, frankly, I would just advise that you throw it yourself. When you host the brunch or whatever (I love hosting a Thanksgiving Leftovers party), just tell everyone that since you won't be back before baby, you're going to have a little table set up for a memory book for your baby and that you'd love for them to take a pic or share a story in it. Put little favors on the table to thank them and maybe a set of tiered cupcakes, some onesies to decorate, framed pix of the ultrasounds, etc. Then it's very low key and people can participate or bring gifts if they want without you having to ask for it and it's not really a shower. And if your mom has a hissy, tough noogs. My guess is, people will be happy that you included them.

    Just an idea :)

  • Thank you all so much for your support.  After the rejection email from my mom, I was so sad at the thought of my family not celebrating the baby and the sort of condescending way my mom wrote it (I cried a big, ugly cry and DH told me he would throw me a shower if I wanted which was sweet).  I felt like I was making myself a tacky momzilla who thinks the whole world should revolve around her.  I'm just so...relieved you all don't think I'm a horrible person.

    I don't know if I have the cojones to set up my own table at the brunch, though I LOVE the idea of bringing my own memory book.  Maybe we could just pass it around at some point.  I think I could definitely do that.  Maybe I'll try to talk to my mom one more time.  I got the email on Monday and haven't felt like calling her since.  I guess I still have to think about things.

    And I also thought my extended family would be happy I/we included them.  I don't get to see them often.  I thought it would be a fun, family thing.  We're already having the brunch anyway!  And, though I wish, I doubt there's any surprise coming.  I can't think of any surprise party we've ever had in the family--birthday, anniversary, you name it.  We're not very surprising people.

  • No grandma to be shower idea is lame in my eyes. I didn't ask for either to throw a shower...they are both doing so to celebrate their first grandchild with family. My mom will have one here and DH's mom is having one back in OH. No one has seemed to be offended at all! What if people do not have sisters? The mom would step in then to organize it, I would think!

    Although it sucks, if she is not comfortable with the idea, don't push it. If you are all together anyways, there will be celebration for the coming baby without an official title. 

    Glad you're able to get together with family before baby!! Sounds like a great holiday!

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  • I don't think that this is tacky at all. I might if there were going to be gifts and people other than family there, but just a get together to celebrate the coming of a new baby and playing some games and such I think is a really great idea since you won't have the chance to see everyone again before the baby is here. I don't know why your mom reacted that way, really all she had to say was that she was worried about the way it would look, and could talk to your sister for you so that it would make her feel better. There was no reason for her to make you feel awkward about it.  Hopefully she will change her mind.
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