Yeesh! Please help! My brother and his wife are having a baby soon enough and my sister is hosting a baby shower for her. My SIL told me that she only wants bigger items, like furniture, stroller, etc. (Basically she wants everyone else to purchase the expensive stuff so that her and my brother don’t have to.) She said that if people don’t want to pool together for bigger items, then they’re asking for gift cards. Um, help? She wants to put the registry information in the invite too. I’m just concerned because when people go to showers, they usually gift the expecting parents with clothes, diapers, smaller items like that. VERY few people are going to pool together for large items. My SIL is one to make comments out loud too if she is gifted with something she doesn’t want. Any way to diffuse this all before it gets so worthy of E Hell that I have to make another entry after the shower? 0925-12
Whenever I hear such stories, I never understand why the family just doesn’t step up and provide the necessary big items for the new parents. When my daughter became pregnant with the first grandchild on both sides of the family, she and I went to a huge children’s consignment sale and I bought her many of those large items at a reduced price. Her MIL provided the nice but used bassinet and crib. At her shower, friends gave her lovely outfits and diapers and other small items. I view it as shameful to pass off to outsiders the burden of providing the large items such as cribs, high chairs, car seats, swing and strollers. Are we as a family so poor we cannot take care of our own and have to expect that others will be more generous? Hmmmm….
I don’t see where you have much say in this matter seeing that you are not the hostess of the shower but rather your sister is. But your sister taking on the role of shower hostess is merely window dressing while your sister-in-law basically is running the show behind the scenes. That is why family hosted showers are considered tacky or at best questionable because the temptation is quite strong for the recipient/guest of honor to manipulate the shower dynamics to get exactly what they want out of it while the hostess is nothing more than a willing puppet.
It is common and acceptable to put registry information on a shower invitation but the fact that the mother-to-be is the one insisting it be there does reveal that she has invested far too much interest in making sure shower guests get her exactly what she wants.
Your best action is to excuse yourself from any further hostessing duties associated with the shower, personally decline to pass on Mom’s wishes to others and get her what you feel the baby needs, not what Mom wants.