Bee-autiful Baby Shower

by admin on September 19, 2013

My friend is having a baby and her due date is the first week of February. I gladly said I would host a baby shower for her and was planning a first week of January shower. I had a theme I was going to use… “What will it bee” and/or “Mother-To-Bee” using a cute bumblebee theme with black and yellow colors. Last night, her sister texts me and said she was hoping we could do the shower in my backyard because she loved my backyard and that she was thinking November since the baby is due first week of February. Then she said,

“I was looking up non gender themes. I know (her sister) doesn’t want animal themes so it’s pretty much down to kids story books. What do you think of either the giving tree or where the wild things are? It’s still a work in progress.”

I was rather taken aback by such forthright planning on her part… since I am hosting the shower. I, of course, want it to be nice and something my friend would approve, however, I thought I was planning the shower?  I replied,

“I was thinking about a bumble bee theme… ‘What’s it going to bee? Or Mother to Bee?'”

She said,

“Oh, that’s cute, too! Okay, I’ll look it up and get back to you.”

I’m stunned… should I be stunned or should I just go along with whatever she decides? I suggested we run it by her sister/my friend but she replied that she just wants to be surprised and that they really have no nursery theme other than painting the room light yellow with blue and having a tree painted on the wall….

Please HELP! I have a small home, too, and nowhere to really sit 15-20 people (I’m wondering if this is why she may have wanted it in my backyard). The weather is usually pretty nice in November in South Texas, however, you never know what Mother Nature is going to do…. I guess I could rent table and chairs for the backyard but was going to try to keep the shower within a budget since my husband is retired and I’m nearing retirement. And, it would be much easier to decorate a room than it would to get the backyard in tip-top shape and rent tables/chairs?

What would you do if you were presented with this set of circumstances? Time is of an essence and if there’s any possible way to received guidance soon, I would really appreciate the help!!!  0914-13

I’m completely confused.  Your house is not big enough to host 15-20 people? What does this number have to do with the differences of opinion on themes?  And why would guests need tables and chairs in the backyard but not in your house?    You’ve tossed in some details of this shower that make no sense in relation to the chosen theme of bees.

If this is merely a thematic difference of opinion, one must determine what standing the mother-to-be’s sister has in the hosting of the shower.   Just because she is related to the M2B does not give her carte blanche to hijack your party.   But don’t overlook the possibility that she is trying to help you, not usurp your choices.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Yasuragi September 18, 2013 at 8:41 am

I’m lost too. OP offered to host the shower and now she’s running into trouble because…it’s at her house? Well…yeah, she’s hosting. Seems to follow it would be held at her home. Especially as she wants to keep it in budget so renting a venue is out.

It feels like a paragraph in the middle got snipped out somehow.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that the shower was planned to be held at the sister’s house. Which is why the sister is taking such a large role in the planning. There was probably a lack of communication an both parties think they are the planner when they’re really co-planners or less.

Reply

Tanya September 18, 2013 at 8:47 am

I read the OP’s question in two parts: 1) Does she have to have the shower at her home at all, since the MTB’s sister wanted it in her backyard? Her house isn’t big enough to host, and doing it in her backyard might be more expensive than planned. I assume that the OP had a different location in mind that would be cheaper and roomier? 2) Does she have to use the shower theme approved by the MTB’s sister, since the OP herself is the host?

I think the answer to both of the questions is no. The OP does not need to follow any of the MTB’s sister’s suggestions, since the OP is hosting and it’s generally considered inappropriate for close family members to host a shower (or other gift-giving occasion). Since the sister isn’t a host, she doesn’t really get a say in what the OP is going to do for the party.

However, it might be considerate of the OP to take the sister’s suggestions into consideration, since the sister clearly would like to help out and be involved with a party celebrating the arrival of her new little niece or nephew. It’s not rude for the OP to ignore suggestions, but it would be nice if she could use some of them. (I direct this more at the “shower theme” issue than the “location” issue, since obviously no one gets input as to whether the OP hosts an event in her home)

Reply

badkitty September 18, 2013 at 8:49 am

I think the LW’s point is that there’s a whole lot of wrong happening here, all of it coming down to Person Who Is Not Hosting thinking that she gets to plan the shower and decide the details. Location, date, theme, all of these things should be decided by the hostess, either with approval from the guest of honor or not, by GoH’s choice. Ignore Sister’s interference; listen to her suggestions/comments and keep only the helpful information. If she wants to host an outdoor event in November with a Wild Things theme then she can put together her own party and leave your backyard and pocketbook out of it!

Reply

Cat September 19, 2013 at 3:28 am

If it was not understood that you are co-hosts, and it sounds as if you did not agree to that, I would be more definite, as in, “I am doing a bumble bee theme and I have decided to serve x and y. “when I spoke to her.
If Sis wants to have a family baby shower at her house, that would be fine. She can do as she wishes then. You might suggest that she do that.
It just sounds as if she is taking control, and I may be mis-reading her intentions, but I have been in situations where I was organizing and paying for the party and someone else decided to tell me what I was to do and to have me to pay the bills for what she wanted done.
Do not break your budget; just split the parties to a number of guests you can handle and with which you are comfortable.

Reply

Miss-E September 19, 2013 at 5:28 am

I really don’t think the sister is trying to hijack the party. Her response to the OP’s suggested bee theme doesn’t sound like that of a person trying to take over. I think she genuinely wanted to help. Perhaps MTB gave sis the impression she should help with planning? She might even be planning to offer to cover costs and help setup/cleanup so I wouldn’t write her off just yet.

As far as your house, I’m as confused as everyone else. OP: where were you planning on having the party if you are the host and your house is too small? Maybe sis was suggestion the garden because she, too, realized your house is too small?

Reply

Jazzgirl205 September 19, 2013 at 6:33 am

Something similar happened to me concerning a big family dinner for out of town relatives. People kept calling me and asking/telling “what about this?” “How are you going to do this?” etc… Just smile, thank the sister for her input, and keep saying, “I have it under control. You don’t have to worry about a thing.” If you say this enough times, sweetly and calmly, it will inspire confidence and the sister will eventually back off.

Reply

Charliesmum September 19, 2013 at 6:55 am

Yeah, the impression I got is that OP was going to plan a shower in January, probably hosting it somewhere other than her own home, and wanted to do a bee theme (which sounds adorable, by the way). Sister calls up and says ‘hey, plan the shower in November, not January, let’s have it in your backyard, not somewhere else, and I have theme ideas, here they are.’

So OP wants to know, should she go ahead with her own plans of January Bee Shower Elsewhere, or do what Sister wants which is November Children’s Book Backyard of OP.

The important question is ‘why does Sister think she’s part of the planning committee?’ Did she offer to help? Is she planning on splitting expenses, or is she just using you as a free venue/labour?

If you really don’t mind doing it her way, then make sure SHE pays for the things she wants that you cannot afford.

Reply

Jewel September 19, 2013 at 6:59 am

“Okay, I’ll look it up and get back to you”. What?! That would have been your cue to say, “No need to get back to me, the theme will work bee-utifully; see you at the shower!”

If you hear more “control” phrases from sis again, I second Jazzgirl’s suggested response. If sis keeps pushing, exclaim in an excited voice, ” You have such great ideas! Since this shower is buttoned up already, I think you should host a second shower using that very idea.” Or, simply, “That won’t be possible, but thank you for the suggestion.” Also, remember that caller I.D. is your friend.

Reply

Merrilee September 19, 2013 at 7:10 am

This is one of those situations where speaking up and talking openly and honestly will do you a great deal of good. Being direct does not equal rudeness and it would nip the awkward situation in the bud. “FriendSis, are you planning on co-hosting this shower with me? I was under the impression that I was hosting the shower for Friend, but if that is not the case, please let me know.”

You can also tell her straight up that you have a small home, and you were not planning to use it as the venue. And you can tell her you have budget constraints, as well.

From the OP, it doesn’t sound like the OP was planning on using her home as the venue. All she said was she offered to host – which could be at a restaurant or other venue. In that case, the sister was rather presumptious to assume she could commandeer the OP’s back yard.

I understand this is the friend’s sis and she probably wants to have a huge part in planning for her newly arrving niece or nephew, but a lot of the potential issues with this situation can be averted by upfront and honest communication.

Best of luck to you, OP.

Reply

AS September 19, 2013 at 7:59 am

Aunt -to-be said “what do you think”, which I would interpret as trying to help in planning and not “forthright planning” on her part. So as the admin said, you should not write her off as yet as she is probably trying to help.

Also, is there a reason that she suggested November rather than early January. Early January seems to be too late for an early February shower, because the last month often has a lot going on (people more experience with pregnancy can pitch in).

The letter definitely has a something missing.

Reply

Shannan September 19, 2013 at 8:15 am

Was the OP pkanning on having less than the 15-20 people she brought up & the sister just raised the number of invitees to that number? I’m confused as to why OP is concerned with space at her house if that’s how many guests she was planning for in the first place.

Reply

Alexis September 19, 2013 at 8:25 am

I think some benefit of the doubt needs to happen here. It doesn’t sound like the sister was trying to be out of line at all–she was offering suggestions but not being overly pushy or rude. It also sounds, OP, like you’re having second thoughts about hosting duty in general. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to turn over some hosting responsibility to the aunt-to-be (with the caveat that she help with expenses as well)? It seems like a decent compromise.

Reply

BH September 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

OP I had the reverse, where it was understood I wanted to throw a party for my SIL for her babyshower, and her BFF chimed in saying “the baby’s godmother” was SUPPOSED to be the one throwing it. Never gave her opinion on ANYTHING, liked most of what I said until we got to the wishingwell, she wanted to do a bookshelf INSTEAD – no compromise – no, let’s do both!
The BFF Hi-jacked the shower I put all of the effort and work into and my SIL mother gloated to everyone what a great job the BFF did. The BFF would not let anyone else help us – I come from a big family, so the guest list was up to 60 with JUST family members on my (and my brother’s) side. SIL had quite a few extended family members and friends to invite as well so we had to rent a place, and it was what SIL wanted. I would be blunt and up front with whom is throwing the shower, and not let the Aunt to be take over, especially if you had other plans, I would have gladly passed the reigns over to BFF if she actually did something for the party other than take credit.
I’m sure the Aunt to be is just trying to help though, not everyone is like the crazies I dealt with trying to make the Mom-to-be as comfortable and loved feeling as possible.

Reply

ferretrick September 19, 2013 at 8:40 am

I also feel like there’s something missing in there, where Sister is also adding more guests than OP had plans to invite and overwhelming her.

Regardless, OP needs to be more assertive and get a polite spine. “Thank you, but I really like what I have planned”; “I’m afraid my backyard won’t be possible”, “I can’t accommodate that many people” etc.

I will back Sister in one thing, though. Having a shower the first week of January is a really bad idea, when people are partied and gifted out from the Christmas and New Year’s season.

Reply

Lo September 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

I’m with Merrilee!

Be totally honest and ask her directly about the expectations. No point in being coy or overly sensitive or even assuming anything– after all you’re the host and you need to know what’s up.

I have to admit, and I’ll chalk it up to being childless and having very few acquaintances with children, but I don’t understand the point of having a “theme” for a shower. It’s a rare enough event that it seems that the theme is just “having a baby” and unlike a wedding it’s not a huge coordinated do where you might want to pick out colors or something like that. The idea that someone would call you up and have a conflicting idea about theme or even worry about it is weird to me, makes me think the sister is obsessing a bit much. Isn’t it just food, a few games, gifts, etc? I’ve been to a couple of baby showers and I didn’t notice any themed decor.

Reply

XH September 19, 2013 at 9:08 am

Is it possible that the sister was asked to help with decorations or food by the mother? Maybe she knew that OP is close to retiring and thought her sister could lend a hand to make the cost of hosting easier. It doesn’t really sound like she’s taking over, but being very unexpectedly helpful early on. Let it go, relax and see how far that help will extend. If she’s suggesting using the backyard, see if she’s also suggesting that she can rent outdoor furniture. :)

Reply

Abby September 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

Sister might be in the habit of taking over, but I would concede one thing, OP- if Mom to be is due the first week in Feb, I DO think having the shower in November is a better idea than January. Most babies are born between 37 and 42 weeks, and women generally like to have a few weeks to get things ready and return items or purchase last minute things. By my count, she’ll be between 36 and 37 weeks pregnant during the time frame you wanted, which in my opinion is kind of late in the pregnancy. I think 32-35 weeks is better, but you don’t want to try planning during the holidays. So, in that regard, I can see why sister would suggest November.

Reply

Mae September 19, 2013 at 9:38 am

I agree with Merrilee (comment #9). Speak up, talk honestly & openly about who is hosting, etc and get the situation under control *now* before it becomes a diaster.

Being honest, talking & asking questions is not rude. Letting this spiral out-of-control or letting your feeling gets trampled and/or going along with something you really don’t want/are not comfortable with is a sure fire way to make this a miserable experience for you and a bad memory for MTB.

Reply

Cady September 19, 2013 at 9:58 am

This is one of those times when I say, “Thanks, I’ve got it under control.” And if someone further tries to make plans, “I’ll let you know if I need any help.”

The hostess should be coordinating with the mother-to-be on the guest list, IMO, to convey how many people she is able to accommodate (based on whatever budgetary and space restrictions exist) and then, based on that number, get the list of people important to the mother-to-be whom she wants at the shower.

If the sister of the mother-to-be has suggestions the hostess is not opposed to implementing except for the cost/space constraints, she simply ought to say, “That sounds like a great idea, but I can only host 20 people/I can’t afford tents and tables for an outdoor party/whatever.” Then the sister can offer to help with the expense of renting tables/chairs/etc. or booking a different venue that will accommodate enough people.

And, finally, CALL this woman, for heaven’s sake! You’re never going to get anywhere doing this by text, regardless of whether the sister is trying to hijack the planning or simply help out.

Reply

Stacey Frith-Smith September 19, 2013 at 10:23 am

Your party planning will go more smoothly if you stick with your original theme and timing. If SIL wants to help with the ideas you already have underway, you can choose either to let her or to press forward. If you begin to second-guess yourself and change bits and pieces of your plan you will wind up with a mish-mash of conflicting and counterproductive planning dynamics that will frustrate you and the element of charm your theme was to communicate. So, firstly. Decide if you wish to allow this person any input. My advice would be not to, since her idea of communication is a text or two suggesting changes in your theme, schedule and the amount of work involved! Have her “handle” some specific small project if you wish, but press on, dear planner, press on. It will be a lovely party and an affordable one too.

Reply

Barbarian September 19, 2013 at 10:23 am

OP- since the invitee’s sister would like to be involved, you could make a list of things for her to do that you would be comfortable getting her help. You might even include items she could contribute like food, cake, or whatever you feel she could bring. I would give her the list and say, “I’m happy you’re interested in helping with this event. Would you like to do or bring anything on this list?
I’d appreciate anything you may want to help with”.

You did say time was of the essence and your resources are a bit strained, so you may want to get her sister to help so she will feel like she is a part of the shower.

Reply

Tracy September 19, 2013 at 11:21 am

It really sounds like the sister thinks she’s co-hosting the party. I think the OP missed the perfect opportunity to clarify, so now it’s going to be awkward, but she really does need to say “Look, I’m confused. I’m already planning a shower with a bee theme in January at X venue. Did Friend ask you to co-host?”

Reply

Sarah September 19, 2013 at 11:34 am

As I was reading it I thought the sister just plain didn’t know that the OP had already said she’d host a shower, and the sister had taken it upon herself to plan one. In any case it seems like just a misunderstanding that the OP should clear up.

Reply

Dee September 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

How did OP get to near-retirement age without knowing her own mind? And learning a bit, along the way, about handling those who show a propensity for “taking over”? OP needs to figure herself out first, because if I was SIL I would be confused as to the messages OP is sending out, nevermind the really confusing message we are getting from OP’s personal account. Until OP gets herself straight she will continue to cause confusion and disappointment in whatever communal project she involves herself in.

Reply

June First September 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I’m sorry, I just got distracted by BH’s comment: a WISHING WELL at a BABY SHOWER?! Please tell me I’m misinterpreting this, and it’s not for “donations” for the parents-to-be.

Anyway, I agree with Merrilee’s comment, although the phrase “I was under the impression” can often come out in a less-than-polite way.

I’m expecting my first baby, and my sisters are very excited. It’s the first baby on our side, and maybe that’s why OP’s sister is getting so into it, too. My sisters managed to tell *lots* of people I’m expecting, even though I had asked them not to tell anyone before the second trimester. That was a bit awkward, since I had to have a talk with them about sharing my news with people I hadn’t met, or people I hadn’t seen in several years…even before we told our aunts and grandmothers. My lesson is learned, I suppose.

Reply

Nina J. Hodgson September 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Use these words verbatim. “No, I think I’ll go with the bee theme.”

Reply

Teresa September 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm

OP, If you are the only hostess, then the decisions regarding location, date, and theme are yours to make. If the mother-to-be’s sister wants to make other arrangements, she is welcome to throw a shower on her own. She can’t force you to change your plans. Either tell her, “Oh, are you interested in co-hosting? If so, I’d be happy to discuss splitting the responsibilities and expenses?” or, “Thank you but I’ve got everything planned!”

Reply

lakey September 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Regarding the cost of renting chairs. Are there people from whom you can borrow folding chairs? This is what is often done at showers I’ve attended. A lot of people don’t have 20 chairs. Also, if you decide to hold it outside, there are stores where you can purchase relatively inexpensive folding tables. Once it’s covered with a table cloth no one can see what it looks like. K Mart and Big Lots have 6 foot tables advertised for just over $40. Or better yet, maybe someone has one you can borrow.

If you have a small house, an outdoor party may be better anyway, if you can borrow stuff instead of rent it. You can always move it inside if the weather is poor. Having it outdoors might save on decorations.

Reply

lakey September 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Also, it might be to your benefit to view the sister as helping hands. If she’s not too bossy, she could be used to take on some of the work. How about asking her to prepare some of the food, prepare some of the decorations, or put together some games? As you get closer to the date you may be glad to have some help.

Reply

Snowy September 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm

If it doesn’t make sense, it’s because there’s three overlapping issues here.

The core issue is that the sister-of-the-mom-to-be is starting to do some of the planning, without asking/realizing that the OP had intended to do the shower as a solo endeavour. What needs to happen here is to talk frankly with the sister and work it out–and, if this is just a misunderstanding and not a power grab by sis, accept her help. Planning a shower is no small (or cheap) task, and you could use the help.

This beget two other issues: one, location, and two, theme. On the first one, the OP needs to keep a polite spine. “I’m sorry, it won’t be possible to have it at my house, is there a restaurant/cafe/other location your sister would enjoy having the shower at?” If she chooses to give sis an opinion, simply be honest: “My back yard would require too much work to prepare, and if the weather went bad, I don’t have room to move everything inside. I’d rather plan more safely for this big day.”

And on the latter, the theme–“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you had wanted to be involved in the planning. I’ve already begun working on a ‘Bee’ theme. What do you think we could do with it?”

Reply

Reno September 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm

OP, how many guests were you expecting to host. 15-20 guests for a shower seems typical to me.

I think you need to be straightforward. To her last email, you can simply say “No need. I have it covered. I look forward to seeing you at the shower.”

Reply

ddwwylm September 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Did you actually tell the MTB any of your plans, specifically the date? It sounds a lot like you agreed to host the shower, but weren’t that far into the planning when sis contacted you. Sis could very well have asked MTB about the shower, MTB told her that you were planning one, but didn’t tell sis what the plans were (if she even knew) and so sis contacted you with her ideas not knowing that you already had stuff planned. A little overbearing maybe, she could have started by asking you for your ideas instead of ust spilling her own, but if she didn’t already know that you were planning a January Bee shower somewhere else, she can’t really be blamed for making her own suggestions in opposition to yours. Sounds like she didn’t know anything was planned yet and was starting from the beginning, but you’re thinking hey, I already started. Simple misunderstanding. Either way, I don’t see anything wrong with saying “I was planning on having the shower on this date at this location with this theme”. Unless there’s a serious scheduling conflictwith the MTB or important guests then there’s no reason not to state your original intent.

Reply

Kimberly September 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm

If she calls up again, “Susie, thank you so much for offering ideas, but I love the theme I came up with and will go with that. I also plan to have this shower in January. November does not work for me. If you wish to have a separate shower on your own, I am sure Sally would not mind”.

Reply

Gabriele September 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm

As far as having the shower outside, I can see that it could be a bit difficult…I’ve been to baby showers and they’re usually held in the largest room which already has a lot of seating…couches, chairs, benches…and other chairs can be brought in from other rooms. The food/refreshments are in the kitchen and people can fill their plates (or whatever) and take them back into the main room…while outside, there do need to be tables and chairs…and the atmosphere inside a nice house is one thing, a somewhat bare back yard is going to look just like that.
In the house, it’s all there. outside, everything would have to be carried out…and then back in again…just a lot more work. And if the backyard isn’t already level, it could make for less than stable seating….
I know tables can be bought but that’s an expense that the person hosting the party shouldn’t have to pay.
I’ve also observed that parties held in a living room or den tend to have general converstations (when a shower, etc) while a more open venue tends to have people breaking off into their own groups…

As far as the scheduling, etc., that’s beyond me….I can only wish the OP good luck and a great shower.

A friend of a friend at 35 weeks is going to have to have a C-section…so I can see that maybe waiting until the baby is closer to the due day could be a good idea. No one wants to consider there might be problems, but as with the FoF, things happen. A planned shower is cancelled, the gifts will be given without a party and once the mother and baby are both home and rested, a small ‘welcome baby’ party can be held…to show support for mom and baby and let everyone have a very brief look at the baby, then wait until invited to visit when mom and baby are really ready for company. Until then, prayers and cards…

Reply

Jenn50 September 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I wondered if the mom-to-be had gotten wind of some of OP’s ideas and asked her sister to steer the event in a direction she preferred?

Reply

Cammie September 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Your plans for a January Ba-bee shower sound adorable. So I don’t see why time is of the anything unless she wants you to throw a baby shower in your backyard FOR her in November.

When she replies giving you the “okay” or not for your theme, you should take the opportunity to reiterate your plans. You are throwing her sister a “ba-bee” shower in January, and add, regretfully, that it won’t be possible to host a(nother) party in your backyard in November. Thank her kindly for her offer to help and, if you wish, let her know you’ll contact her closer to the date to see if she’s still interested in helping out.

Reply

Kylynara September 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I want to add my voice to those saying an early January shower is too late for an early February baby. I have done that exact thing. My son was due 2/5 and the women’s ministry at my church held showers for all the pregnant ladies. They held mine 1/8. (My family shower was right before Thanksgiving.). I got the stuff from the shower, figured out what I still needed, ordered it Wednesday/Thursday after the shower (1/12, 1/13), then ended up having the baby Monday 1/17. I had major complications (unexpected) so I was in the hospital for 6 days and had to keep sending my husband and parents home to check for and bring the packages in. Then I got to go home from the hospital with a brand new baby and figure out how to eat low fat and I had to open packages, make sure everything was there, wash things, find always for them all at once. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not do this to the MTB.

Reply

NV September 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Ask the mother-to-be. You are planning this shower, but this situation is just full of potential for miscommunication, so I would suggest first clarifying with the mother-to-be that there will be one shower and you are running it. If she is under the impression that something else is happening, then you must take pains to clarify the situation. You are running this shower, it is up to you to decide the theme and what is happening. If her sister has no official involvement, then it is not for her to plan this shower unless you allow it. Good luck.

Reply

I suggest September 19, 2013 at 11:26 pm

I just want to say I think the “Bee” theme is really cute. I might borrow/steal that idea when I give a shower. I love it!

Reply

Bill September 20, 2013 at 2:35 am

I think this is a case of the OP transferring her lack-of-spine onto a third party. It sounds like the sister was trying to help and the OP was just sort of BLAH about the whole thing, when she could have easily just stated that the party was scheduled for X date with Y theme and did sister have any decorations/food/folding chairs she could bring?

Reply

Angel September 20, 2013 at 8:24 am

I would ask the mother-to-be what she wants. If you did not agree to co-host the shower with the sister, then I would let her know that this is what you are planning, you have already decided upon the theme and when it would be. If she would like to co-host, and change the terms of the party, then she needs to contribute financially to the party.

Personally I think it’s in very poor taste for a close relative to try and change the terms of a party that a friend has planned to host. It’s like taking back a gift for no real reason other than you don’t like it. Sure the party might not be exactly what the sister or the mother to be might have planned, but if the OP is gracious enough to host, just accept the party as a gift to the mother to be and don’t try to tweak it to your own standards. Either way the mother to be gets to spend time with family and friends, and will get gifts for her and the new baby. Isn’t that the entire purpose of a shower?

Reply

gramma dishes September 20, 2013 at 9:19 am

I’m not sure exactly what the problem is.

I see several issues:
1. timing of the shower
2. location of the shower
3. theme for the shower
4. number of guests
5. who’s paying what?

It sounds like the Aunt to Bee should host her own shower for her sister. Maybe that one could be a “relatives only” shower and the OP’s could be a “friends and coworkers” shower with each of the two showers having fewer guests. That would solve all five problems.

Reply

acr September 20, 2013 at 10:03 am

I’m going to make some assumptions here, and they may be very interesting ones!

The OP says she is “nearing retirement.” So I’m guessing her age is between 55 and 65? And I am guessing the sister is quite a bit younger than the OP? I wonder if this is a bit of an “age gap” situation? I get the impression that the OP may be a more reserved, formal and soft-spoken person, and that the sister is a product of a younger generation and is a bit more forthright and less formal?

OP, I think you may be making a tempest in a tea-cup here. The sister said your theme sounded cute. She said she was going to “look it up” – I’m thinking she’s going to check out Pinterest, etc, for bumble-bee decorating ideas.

Do you want to do this whole shower yourself? Or would you like some help? You may be able to channel sister’s enthusiasm. For example, you could ask her to purchase a cake or something. Is the sister local?

I am with the posters who are a bit confused – you are concerned about budget, but you can’t fit the shower in your home? Do you have a location in mind?

You aren’t rude for caving to Sister’s demands, but I don’t think Sister was at all rude either. Just tell her when and where the shower will bee. ;) If she starts to try to change your plans, THEN she is being rude. But if she says, “Great! I saw some super-cute bumble-bee napkins!” I think you should say thank you and accept her offer. Or say, “Oh, I already have some napkins purchased. Have you seen any nice looking bumblebee streamers/candies/etc?”

Reply

WillyNilly September 20, 2013 at 10:45 am

Here’s what I’m guessing happened. You offered to host a shower, and your friend was delighted and accepted. Then later in a totally different conversation her sister said “oh what about a shower? I want to give you one/help!” and the MTB said causally “oh yeah, [OP] said she’d throw me one, why not contact her and see if you can help?” And the sister, just being super excited to be an aunt sent OP a stream of consciousness text.

I think just a whole lot of communication needs to happen here and less assumptions. OP I recommend calling the sister (no more texting). And make sure you smile when you speak to her (it really changes one’s tone of voice for the better) and just say “hey I wanted to touch base. I was a bit confused by your text. I had offered to throw the shower and didn’t realize anyone else would be involved so I started planning. Now you come into the picture and it seems like you started planning too. Lets just figure out what going on.”

I will say though, like others, I think November is the better timing. I am actually pregnant right now, due Feb 4, and to me November is the only reasonable month for the shower. January is just cutting it too close. Sure the average pregnancy is 40 weeks, but plenty are only 36 or 37 weeks. And quite honestly, even if MTB does ‘go early’ as it were, the last month of pregnancy is often the most physically uncomfortable, the hardest to dress for, and the most likely to see a MTB put on bed rest. There are just too many variables to deal with in January, not to mention guests (and you, and the MTB, etc) will likely be “partied out” by January, and many guess will be getting in their holiday credit card bills and not want to shop much in January (or add to their perhaps already stretched December gift budget with shower gifts). Also the MTB’s family and friends are likely to want to give holiday gifts for the baby, which is just easier to have done after the shower gifts, rather then before.

Reply

schnickelfritz September 20, 2013 at 6:32 pm

OK. First, how can you be a woman, nearing retirement, and not realize / know, that a baby shower needs to be at least 2 months before delivery, as many of the above have mentioned various sound reasons. MTB needs to know, what she is lacking in baby needs, to wash the newborn clothes, take stock of carseat – check, t-shirts – check, socks-check. As noted above, babies can arrive within the 2 week period, early or later, than a due date. That is one big flag here. The OP does need help. I don’t know anyone that has ever hosted a shower, alone, for more than 10-15 people.

Second, I believe, when you told the MTB the date; although appreciative, the timing was so not fair.

@Teresa – although the OP is trying to be very gracious, MTB need an earlier shower. Stating it is the OP’s choice of the date, is so not cool. I read into this; MTB asked her sister to request November, and drop hints about venue, and offering her assistance. The sister was very open and volunteering her help, very nicely. The MTB is probably stressed out about the OP’s plan, for the exact reasons many PP sited above; let alone the holiday season. The sister was very nice about the “bee” theme, etc. I think MTB is worried about the date, venue and the headcount in regard to the OP’s plan. The MTB is really on the spot, to have OP, so clueless in the timing and venue (confused about the venue). Someone above posted something about all the decisions are the OPs choice. The only thing that OP is planning and suggesting that sounds workable, is the Bee theme. I don’t get that OP has no sense on what a MTB goes through in preparing her “nest” – is she supposed to go through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, worrying about what she will need to buy, and then rushing to prep her baby needs, with swollen ankles and achy back etc.?

Reply

Molly September 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Oh my gosh! Go to pinterest and search “bumble bee baby shower” and there are a million adorable ideas! Go for it!

I’m with the group that seems to think this is a big miscommunication between the two parties. Maybe the aunt is thinking you’d like some ideas and she was trying to be helpful. I guess you just won’t until you call her to straighten it out. Just tell her you were actually planning the party already and here is when it will be and why. If she doesn’t have kids she may not understand the time crunch and unwieldiness at the end. Then ask her if she’d like to co-host or just help. If you are on a tight budget it may work out great for both of you!

Reply

Enna September 21, 2013 at 3:54 am

I agree with Admin on this one – the story isn’t very clear in some parts but that doesn’t mean the sister of M2B can muscle in but yet the OP should consider she may be offering to help.

Reply

Angela September 21, 2013 at 7:34 am

If sister wants to help, give her something to do.
As for the timing, you definitely don’t want to cut it too close. My stepmom hosted a shower for her son and daughter-in-law pretty late in the pregnancy. DIL went into labor at the shower.

Reply

Angel September 21, 2013 at 11:40 am

As a mom with young kids I would agree–the timing of the shower, needs to be a little earlier. January may be cutting it a bit too close and also, weather could be a factor. November would probably be better.

Reply

BH September 23, 2013 at 6:50 am

June First – Wishing Wells at a baby shower are common where I am from – maybe it’s just a family thing, but it’s usually just more gifts for the baby (sometimes for the mom to be as well) – unwrapped sometimes, and anonymous. Pacifiers, bibs, sippy cups, packs of wipes, etc…
I bought a red wagon with an umbrella top, for the wishing well for this particular shower.
I don’t know what you mean by donations, I guess if you consider gifts- donations than yes, but to us a shower is used to ‘shower’ the parents-to-be with gifts for their new arrival. Monetary gifts aren’t tossed into the wishing well – if one chooses to give a monetary gift, it’s usually in a card.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: