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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baby Shower Blues....

I have been away from ICLW for a couple of months and it is great to be back in amongst it. Sorry all, I am not doing an ICLW post this month but welcome aboard and I hope that you stay and read a few posts to see where this blog is at. Sorry, this was not my ideal ICLW post but I really need to get this out.
**Disclaimer: Firstly, I just want to let you know that I am extremely grateful to be in the position of being able to plan a baby shower. I know I am having a whinge but I want you to know that I absolutely realise that there are many of you out there who are at various stages of TTC and running the gauntlet of friends and families baby showers - with your hearts yearning to have your own. My heart is with you gals as I do understand the difficult situation a baby shower is for the IF woman. I am begging you to forgive the self indulgence of the following vent.
Now, I need to have a bit of a vent because being an IF survivor, the baby shower has been very fraught for me over the years. I cannot count how many I have gone to and sobbed all the way home or felt physically sick trying to make myself get ready to go. So, when I found out that I was pregnant, after awhile I started to dream about my own shower and how lovely it would be. To be the one who was having the shower, who was having the baby, who was cooing over tiny little clothes and preparing for a baby to enter my life. It is a beautiful dream.
A couple of months ago, my Aunty very kindly asked if she could throw the baby shower for me and considering the situation that my mum is in at the moment, I thought that this would be a really good thing. After awhile (making sure that everything was going well) I picked out a date and left it at that.
In the meantime, I realised that there was a little issue with my friends. It seems that assimilation back into my group of friends was going to be harder than I thought and why did I need to assimiliate? Of course because of the journey through IF - as my journey progressed, I withdrew further and further into myself - I found it very hard to be in any social situations. The upshot being that because I didn't go to many gatherings last year, I was left off the list of invitees. Very disappointing and certainly of my own making. I have spoken about this before that I thought that once I was pregnant, I would go back to being myself. This was not really the case. I continued to worry all through the pregnancy and I still found it hard to be in social groups, though I did catch up with quite a few friends one on one.
The fact that I was being left off the list of invitees to any social gathering made me throw a bit of a childish tantrum - "I'm not having a baby shower" - mainly because deep down I was afraid that noone would come. I also must mention here - I am not a giver of parties, I have never been, I really don't like them and I do find them stressful, I find I am good with people one on one but a group scares the hell out of me basically. Anyway, I got over that and then last week, I started to think about the guest list. I realised that if I invited children to the shower it would be 26 adults and 28 children coming. Now, call me a selfish, diva, princess but I did not want my baby shower to be a children's party. This guest list was gotten to by thinking - if I ask this person, then this one has to be invited and even though I am not close to this person, I will invite them so that I won't hurt this person - in itself, just getting the list together was an arduous task because I don't want to hurt or offend anyone.
My Aunt had told me that her best friend was coming (I have met this woman about twice) and my MIL is inviting her best friend and I knew my mum would want to invite a couple of her friends. My aunt had said that her best friend wanted to do the invitations for me and honestly, I am not an invitation person, I was just going to send around an email. It seemed to me that more and more, the shower was becoming less about me and more about everyone else.
I discussed my dilemma with my bestie last week end and after a couple of hours of tossing the situation around with all sorts of different options, we hit on a plan of having 2 events, one at my Aunt's place with only close family (including my two nieces and my 3 nephews if my sister wanted to bring the boys) and then go to a cafe with my girlfriends on another day. It wasn't a perfect solution but I felt bad about asking people not to bring their kids.
I then had lunch with my older sister during the week. She has 3 boys and I thought she would be able to give some good advice about how offended people would be if I asked them not to bring their kids. She was excellent and provided wonderful advice. She basically said that 'it's my party and I can ask who the hell I want to'. That made me feel better, better that is until last night.
I went to the footy with my Aunty as usual last night and I was telling her the whole story about how I didn't want it to become a kids party and she was agreeing and everything (I am sure a lot because she didn't really want her house over run with kids), she also seemed a bit put out when I told that there would be about 28 people coming, to which I said no worries because Mum had said that she would have it if there were any problems. Now that was all fine but then she told me she had invited her son's fiance and two granddaughters and honestly I was floored. Mainly because this would mean that I am telling all of my friends and some family not to bring kids but there will be kids there which I think is not fair to them. It also means that I am being unfair to my aunt on the other side of the family and now have to invite my cousin's wife so as not to hurt my aunt. Honestly, I could have screamed (and poor old JourneyMan got vented on a treat when I got home - he has been extremely supportive in this and has not tried to make me feel guilty about inviting or not inviting anyone on his side of the family - he just let me choose).
The fact of the matter is now the shower has the gloss taken off it. It just does not seem to be about me anymore and the intimate, fun shower that I had imagined now will be filled with people who I barely know and me worrying that people are resenting me for being inconsistent on my invitation policy. I don't necessarily think that everything should be about me but I thought that this was one thing that pretty much should be. Now I don't even know for what purpose I would even be having it. My original purpose was just to celebrate quietly becoming a mum but at last count there are more than 30 people coming so it is certainly not intimate anymore. I am tasked with getting all the snail mail addresses of people and honestly, I can't be bothered, I feel like I have enough on my plate at the moment. I never wanted it to be a big deal, just an afternoon tea chatting with my mates.
Now I wonder if I cancel the shower altogether, would I regret it? Or should I just deal with the situation, grit my teeth and endure what the shower has become? I seem to change my mind in every minute. I barely slept last night and I am absolutely exhausted today. I know that there are so many other hardships in the world, I know that many of you girls are going through horrors that I cannot even imagine and I realise that this is not a huge problem. It is just annoying and disappointing because my dream of what my shower was supposed to be is not to be. In a fit of venting last night I said to JourneyMan that I might take my bestie out to a cafe for lunch and call it the baby shower. Maybe that's what I will do.


  1. I'm only 7 weeks now, but I've also realised that a baby shower is going to be a problem. I've been to so many over the past 20 years, but due to my infertlity I've been isolated from all those women. Those that I'm still close to have bigger children now and baby showers and anything baby related is not interesting to them anymore. They are way past that - So I'm thinking there will not really be any interest in a baby shower for me from friends and family... Love your blog! ICLW #50

  2. Is there a way you can have more than one shower? One for your family maybe and one for your friends? Or one with an invitee list that would give you your small intimate shower (and have that first) and another with a bigger group? I know these social things can be hard, as you said the list grows because you don't want to leave anythone out, but really truth be told this baby shower IS for you and your baby. If someone really wants to give you something (and not just attend a party), they will do it anyway if they are thinking about you and not themselves.

    Also, I think if you decide no kids, then that should apply to ALL attendees.

    I know that is all easy for me to say. If I were in your situation, I would be having a difficult time with it all, too.

  3. I am sorry you have to deal with all this crap. This is such a wonderful time in your life and you should be enjoying it as much as possible. I hope you can get it all worked out to where you can relax and have a great time.

    Happy ICLW!(#64)

  4. I totally get it! your experience of baby showers is similar to mine except only a few of my friends have has babies - but I have always fantasized about my own and it all being about me or me and Susan.
    We had a similar problem when choosing guests for our wedding in
    July, but fortunately hardly any family lives here so that takes the pressure off a lot!
    Could you ask your aunt to abide by the same rules as all the other invitees for the family party and then have a small one in a cafe with your friends? I think it seems like whenever there is a family involved in a party it's all about them and what they want! It really sucks! I think you should go ahead with it and try to stand up for what you want if you possibly can.
    Good luck - I feel for you!

  5. This is too much stress! There are happy things to think about here!

    I hope things all work out for you!

  6. Don't you hate it when something which is supposed to be a fun occasion for you becomes all 'political' and ends up being no fun at all?
    I think you need to be honest (but tactful) and just say that it is turning into something quite different to what you had imagined. Maybe emphasise that you are feeling very tired etc and a small intimate gathering without children would be much easier (and safer for your health). At the end of the day, most people will understand. Those who don't are the type of people who will get offended regardless of what you do, so to be honest there's not much point trying to keep them happy.
    Good luck!

  7. I'm sorry you are having to deal with all that stress. This is suppose to be the best time in your life! I hope your shower turns out great!
    Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!

    Happy ICLW!

  8. What a pain in the backside! I can totally empathize though. I didn't want a baby shower thrown by my church, but I ended up having one anyway. It was full of women I had never met, and I felt so stupid. "Thanks for giving my baby a gift. What was your name again?" I was so out of my element and uncomfortable. Coming from one who has been in a similar situation, I say grit your teeth and bear it. Just as with most major life celebrations, it isn't about the person for whom the event is being celebrated, it is about everyone else and their need to share in our joy. That's why we have big weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers.

    The upside is, it will only be a few hours in one day, and then it will all be behind you, and you will walk away with some new baby gear!

  9. Good luck on getting this all sorted out! Very sorry to hear that it isn't what YOU want it to be. You are the guest of honor, you should be happy. :D

  10. Wow, that sounds stressful. How about say, "screw it." and just show up and smile a lot. And try to have fun!

    When you've been through so much, it's hard to relax, isn't it?

    Happy ICLW

  11. I've learned that these parities (showers-baby or wedding) is not as much about the honoree. I typically grin and bear the family event for family and then have a private party with my besties. Although you started out with a point that now has me concerned. I, too, have moved away from my friends during this IF terror. I guess I should pay more attention to this thought next time I get an invite.

  12. So sorry your special day is becoming a chore. I hope that it all works out in the end.


  13. Enjoy the power of being a pregnant woman - apologise to the person holding it, and say that you're starting to get tired easily again, and while you'd would love to have everyone there, a small intimate event is all you can handle right now. And then relax, and just enjoy it. It's one afternoon, and you'll have fun once you're there. Happy ICLW!