Post # 1
My mom and I are throwing a baby shower for my sister in law (we’ll call her H). The wife of one of my cousins (we’ll call her J) is very close with my sister in law, and she is co-hosting with us.
J just sent me H’s guest list. We have a huge family, and everyone lives in the same town, most of us within a mile of each other. H wants to keep the shower smaller and has chosen to leave several family members off the list (inviting one aunt and that aunt’s daughter in law, but leaving off that aunt’s adult daughters, etc.). J sent a long note saying that she hope’s we can respect H’s wishes because being part of such a big family is overwhelming.
I understand H’s feelings, BUT since we are throwing the shower at my mom’s house, the family members who are left out will direct their hurt feelings at my mom. I really don’t want to do that to my mom. But I also don’t want to put H’s feelings last since it is her shower after all.
I see 2 alternatives:
1. Invite ALL the family members to the shower at my mom’s house, and let J throw a seperate shower and invite all H’s friends to that shower. That way, both showers will be smaller and no one has hurt feelings.
2. Let J host the shower alone (we would still help) and keep H’s guest list as is. That way, any hurt feelings will be directed at J. No one in the family will confront J about it because she is an in-law, so nobody has to deal with the confrontation.
What do you think? Is there another alternative I’m missing? What do you think the best option is? Pregnant ladies, chime in please!
Post # 3
Sorry about the spacing! For some reason it won’t let me put spaces between the paragraphs.
Post # 4
Yikes. The whole inviting the daughter in law of the aunt but not her own children seems super odd. I would go with option 1 and have two smaller showers instead of one large one.
Post # 5
I was in a similar situation, except I’m the one the shower is for. We ended up just having one huge one because I don’t have time to have four separate showers (two for one side of the family, one for the other, one with work) and it wasn’t worth the hurt feelings coming from people who weren’t invited to one they thought maybe they should be invited to. We’d considered only inviting “my generation” family members, like cousins I’m really close with and count as my friends, but with my own sister hosting and my mom helping out, though not officially hosting, we knew it’d be hell to pay for my mom with the aunts who weren’t invited. Not worth the headache. If you can fit the people, invite them!
Post # 6
Yeah, I think it would be one thing if H wanted to invite “only aunts” or “only cousins”, but she really just picked who she liked and who she didn’t… making it super awkward for us. I get it, but that’s just not something you can do in our family.
Space isn’t an issue at all. it’s just trying to navigate everyone’s feelings : ). Thanks for the input so far!
Post # 7
Here’s what I’m thinking:
My mom and I CAN’T host the shower and exclude any family members. However, if J wants to host the shower, she can include and exclude whoever she wants.
Does that make it look like my mom and I are choosing our family’s feelings over my sister-in-laws feelings?
I can see both sides of it, but I know what it feels like to be excluded from things, and I refuse to do that to family members. I think my sister-in-law is in the wrong here, and I don’t feel right going along wiht her guest list. Excluding people will make SIL feel comfortable for 2-3 hours, but my mom and I could potentially deal with hurt feelings for months or even years. I just simply refuse to do that.
Family is family, and you marry into a whole family not just select members whom you like. Am I off base?
Post # 8
@Mrs. Boots: OPTION 2! Honestly, this is for H and the most important this is honoring her feelings. It is, afterall, for HER, right?
I am super pregnant and not a baby shower person, so I flat out had to ask for what I wanted (a meet and greet after the baby comes with men and women and drinks and food – like a party). I think H and her wishes should come first during this sensitive time. Having J host will solve the problem you are describing of “hey, Mrs.(your mom), why weren’t we invited?!” I would suggest keeping to H’s list even if that means hosting it at J’s, or having it at a restaurant or other location. Otherwise, other people’s needs are being put before H’s, and that just isn’t good.
ETA: I don’t see how two showers is an option- the point is that H doesn’t want those extra people at the shower.
Post # 9
I vote number 1- two showers.
Post # 10
@Mrs. Boots: I agree with you – and I think the host of the party generally gets to pick the invite list. If H isn’t comfortable with all of the guests your mom would like to invite, she’s free to decline your mom’s offer to throw the shower. The shower can be hosted by J, and your mom’s off the hook with her family members who might be hurt by being excluded.
Post # 11
I would respect her guest list. She doesn’t want these people there or their potential gifts.
i didn’t invite everyone to my wedding shower, wedding, and definitely trimmed the fat on family. Maybe call H and step down from hosting at your home?
Post # 12
I vote option 1. I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said. If J wants to host an H approved guest list than that lets your mom off the hook. I think it’s really unfair to ask your mom to take the heat for all this.
Post # 13
Vote for #1. I understand sis-in-law H’s feelings, but really that is such a hard position to put others in who are throwing you the shower.
Also, OP, does your brother know about this? Can you mention what H wants to him and see if he can *gently* explain the family dynamics? DH has a very large family that invites everyone to everything. I hadn’t met many of them before my bridal shower and was uber intimidated/anxious about the day. But, I know DH would’ve talked to me about trying to disclude people if I would’ve suggested that (although, I personally would never be able to do that to people graciously throwing me a shower).
Post # 14
@MadTownGirl: My brother probably doesn’t know about this. But even if he did, he would say, “Do what H wants.” Which I support, because his first loyalty should be to his wife’s feelings.
I DO think that H’s feelings are the most important and that the shower is FOR her. But I also think that’s it’s really rude of her to ask my me and my mom to exclude our family to a party at my mom’s house.
It’s not like H doesn’t know the family. She’s been with my brother for 15 years, and married for 7. I think that’s part of the reason she’s willing to be so ballsy about this. And I think she expected me to be “on her side.”
As to another poster’s comments, J framed the exclusion of family members as “H wants to keep the shower smaller” so I think based on that, 2 showers would be an option. I’m 99% sure though that the motivation is NOT to keep the shower small though–it’s really to exclude the people she doesn’t like.
All that being said, I think I’m going to send J a very civil email stating that my mom and I cannot in good conscience host a shower that excludes certain family members. Therefore, there are really 3 options:
1. We all co-host one big shower that includes EVERYONE, which I understand is probaly not the best option because it’s not what H wants.
2. We all co-host two seperate showers, one for friends and one for family. This keeps both showers small but still includes everyone.
3. J hosts the shower and invites whoever H wants! That way, J takes any flack for excluding people.
I really think that’s the only thing I can do…. Any other thoughts?
Post # 15
Let us know what j says because she might be willing to host and then you won’t have to worry about it.
Post # 16
@Captain013: I will keep you updated. I just sent J an email after fretting about it all day. Hopefully it all works out and everyone is happy : )