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baby shower

(29 Posts)
AngelD Wed 13-Feb-19 21:44:31

My daughter-in-law and her mother kindly invited me to a "due date shower" for her preemie baby that came home a few weeks ago. All invites have gone to my DIL's friends and family only, because I agreed to host one for our side of the family as well. I prefer not going because
a) this is a "her side" party and I will feel awkward being there.
b) I barely know anyone which will make me feel very uncomfortable because I don't like crowd
c) I've showered them with tons of gifts already and would feel even more awkward not bringing anything
d) I think it would be more intimate for my DIL to have only her side of the family around and
e) I would prefer not having to invite her mother because I'd like my party to be more like an intimate "sip 'n see", that isn't focused on gift-giving but rather for our family and friends meet and greet the little guy because most haven't met the baby yet but have already given gifts while he was in the NICU.
I guess my question is: how do I turn down the invitation politely without offending my DIL and her mom and what do I say? I don't have a legitimate excuse like I'm away or something. And how to I explain to my DIL that I prefer only inviting my side of the family without her mom?

muffinthemoo Wed 13-Feb-19 21:50:46


There is no polite way to say "I'm not coming because I really don't want your mom to come to MY party."

Her mom invited you, you need to invite her mom. End of.

MissAdventure Wed 13-Feb-19 21:52:52

I'm not sure how this works.
Is it your daughter in laws baby shower, or yours?
Surely you can't tell her you don't want her mum there?
Who is paying the costs of the baby shower?

GrandmainOz Wed 13-Feb-19 21:56:14

AndelID I think maybe you should just go. Your DIL may be feeling a bit sensitive after all she's been through, having a preemie baby and all the worry that would go along with that.
She's obviously trying to be kind by inviting you, and you could hurt her feelings by refusing. Many MILs on this forum are very upset when they are "left out" of things by their DILs and causes troubled relationships. You clearly have a thoughtful DIL who wants you to be involved.
Could you just go for a short while? Just my opinion!
I find it best to take my lead from my DIL and so far it's paid off. We get on well, and I see plenty of little GS as a result because she feels valued. Good luck.

PECS Wed 13-Feb-19 21:59:37

Just go for a short time! You could claim an appointment or pre arranged meet up with a pal etc that means you cannot get there until later / have to leave early but say you would love to pop in, even for a short time! Take a little book of fairy tales or similar with a lovely inscription from you, It does not have to be expensive.

Not worth causing family rifts over small things!

Whether we like it or not when our children marry / have children our families become linked. We do not have to become best friends but we do need to make compromises and effort to create a harmonious family for the new child who has no choice about the families they are born into!

Grammaretto Wed 13-Feb-19 22:16:58

Good answeŕ PECS . You should go for a short time. You never know, it could be really nice and you may enjoy it. What's not to like when you have a new life to celebrate.
I've never been to a baby shower. It's not something I know about but cake and a glass of prosecco sounds acceptable.

Maggiemaybe Wed 13-Feb-19 22:24:29

Life’s too short to turn down invitations. I’d go, take another small gift, enjoy it, and invite her mum to your do. You might make a new friend, who knows. smile

Tangerine Wed 13-Feb-19 22:46:42

Go for a short time, as others have suggested.

You risk causing offence if you don't attend and I don't think you can tell your DIL that you don't wish her mother to attend your event without upsetting your DIL.

Jalima1108 Wed 13-Feb-19 23:28:07

My daughter-in-law and her mother kindly invited me to a "due date shower" for her preemie baby that came home a few weeks ago.
Is this not your son's baby too? confused

I barely know anyone
This is your chance to meet them. smile
A chance for both grandmas and both sides of the family to get together.

Go for a short time at least. .

Sorry, but this all seems rather odd to me, unless you live a long distance from each other.

grannyactivist Thu 14-Feb-19 00:02:15

How do I turn down the invitation politely without offending my DIL and her mom and what do I say? ...... And how to I explain to my DIL that I prefer only inviting my side of the family without her mom?

The answer to both questions is, you can't! It would be rude.

Please take the opportunity to show solidarity and get to know your daughter-in-law's family a little better, you may be pleasantly surprised. My own daughter-in-law's mother has become a treasured friend and attending the baby shower she hosted for her daughter was an absolute joy.

AngelD Thu 14-Feb-19 05:57:40

I appreciate all your feedback and valid points. And, I have accepted the invite after reading your feedbacks. But, I have met, held, cuddled, fed our little GS, so going there is only a formality that serves no purpose as we, her parents and us, have already celebrated our GS's homecoming 3 weeks ago.

My DIL and I get along very well. She has lived with us and joined us on many vacations. She is a wonderful mom and never seizes to amaze me!

And she isn't really the problem. My husband and I know her parents well, too, and, let's just say, in order for us to maintain an amicable relationship it's best if we keep our distance from them. I know she does not do them intentional, but, unfortunately can be quite domineering and condescending at the same time. It's virtually impossible to have a conversation with my DIL without her mom speaking on her behalf. Which exactly why I prefer not having her around when I host something for my son and his wife.
Here is another concern. I am old school, as are my friends and family members. We still have the believe that wedding/baby showers are a gift that's bestowed on them and a privilege and not a must/expectation. And we really struggle with the new trend of new parents/parents-to-be planning and organizing their own showers, telling people what to bring, and not bothering with "thank you" cards (for which I still embarrassed about that my son and her never sent out any thank you cards for the bridal shower--which I hosted--and wedding gifts). As soon as my DIL was pregnant, she started telling everyone how many showers she going to have/plan, who is going to give her a baby shower, etc. I was part of that picture and felt like I didn't have a choice. I was never asked. It just seemed to be expected of me. So instead, my family pooled together and bought them some of the more expensive necessities on their registries and gave those to the couple at Christmas when we were all together in lieu of an actual shower, which is what we told them.

Since then, many of our close family friends, whom my son grew up with, have passed on gifts through me to the couple, while they were in the hospital, to help them out. It is for that reason why I'm planning on hosting and paying for a "sip 'n see" (aka meet 'n greet) because they haven't had a chance meet our little GS yet and are dying to. That is why I don't really see a reason to have to invite her mom.

GrandmainOz Thu 14-Feb-19 08:07:31

It's hard when gifts and efforts and acknowledged, isn't it? And I agree, the trend now is to "expect" so much. We never had elaborate baby showers, or hen nights running into expensive weekends (or longer! That's another topic) But this is now the fashion and I guess you have to bite your tongue, go for DILs sake, stay for a short a time as you politely can, and hope you meet someone you can chat to other than the other grandmother! Other relatives could be nice people.
And then you can plan your "sip and see" which I'm sure will be lovely. And if you invite DILs mother out of good manners, there'll be so many of your own folk there, she'll just be one of many faces and you needn't stress

Urmstongran Thu 14-Feb-19 09:02:55

I’ve heard of baby showers. I think the trend started in America. I’ve never been to one nor heard of anyone I know hosting or going to one.
I don’t think we’re missing anything.

GrandmainOz Thu 14-Feb-19 09:09:33

Yes they've started here in Australia tooUrmonstangran
Everything seems to end up americanised.
Fortunately neither of my daughters wanted one, even though one had a friend who kept banging on about it.
We parents made gifts and contributions to the substance purchases, as we all do if we can afford to. My eldest daughter, heavy and nauseous, made the point "why on earth would I want to go to a party feeling like this"?!

GrandmainOz Thu 14-Feb-19 09:10:28

*substantial! We didn't buy them "substances"shock

Witzend Thu 14-Feb-19 09:11:04

I'd go, since it would seem churlish not to. You don't have to stay long. I'd take a small present, too.

You dil will probably be inundated with small-baby things. I'd take a board book for later - Peepo! and Each Peach Pear Plum are lovely ones that have gone down very well with little ones in this family.

Grammaretto Thu 14-Feb-19 09:28:22

Urmstongran hear hear!
We didn't have wedding present displays either. Is it in lieu of a Christening perhaps? Marking the entry into the world but somehow missing the point so it's more about the biggest or most original gift and less about the precious new baby.
We have been to a couple of naming ceremonies, one conducted in a Register office and both followed by a nice all age party.

Maggiemaybe Thu 14-Feb-19 09:33:25

We had a wedding present display - it was the done thing round here (Yorkshire) in the 70s. I’m not sure why, as we didn’t have anything impressive to display (think laundry baskets and tea towel sets), but most of our wedding guests dutifully traipsed round them on our spare room.

Grammaretto Thu 14-Feb-19 09:46:59

Maggiemaybe grin
I have been to weddings with gift displays. Toasters, ironing boards and towels!
At least it would have avoided the dreadful mistakes I made in thanking people for the wrong gift.

Jalima1108 Thu 14-Feb-19 14:20:29

Personally (and this is only my view and not advice Angel) I think this is becoming a mountain made out of a molehill. You may not be keen on your DD's parents but they are the other grandparents to your DGC - and surely it wouldn't hurt to go just for an hour, be pleasant, then make your excuses and go. You don't have to invite them all back to your house, just perhaps the immediate family and Keeping Smiling smile.

You don't have to become best friends but maintain a civil relationship.

Like grannyactivist, my DIL's mum has become a treasured friend.

sodapop Thu 14-Feb-19 17:19:43

I agree with Jalima you don't have to become bosom buddies with your daughter in law's mother, some times its best just to grin and bear it.

M0nica Fri 15-Feb-19 08:43:00

I am so glad I live this side of the pond where the bridal/baby showers have not taken over. Neither DH and I, nor DS and DDiL even bothered with stag/hen nights.

The wedding and christening/naming ceremony are quite sufficient.

BlueBelle Fri 15-Feb-19 09:01:07

A ‘due date’ shower never heard anything so daft the babies already here or have I read this all wrong
Thank the good lord none of thIs was around when I had babies and thankfully none of my children were caught up in thIs materialism

Nanawind Fri 15-Feb-19 09:25:10

And then people wonder why there are rifts in families. Please go to your DIl's who knows you might enjoy yourself. The birth of a child should bring families together. Invite her mother to your home. Stop making excuses.

PECS Fri 15-Feb-19 11:06:13

At work if a team member was leaving to have a baby we would have a special lunch celebration and all co workers would put a gift into a box. There was a price limit..the idea was to provide small essential like nappy pins, baby oil, cotton wool etc! Some might knit a pair of bootees or a bonnet... it was a different world and a different time!