Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: theatrevenus on November 05, 2012, 06:10:36 PM

Title: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: theatrevenus on November 05, 2012, 06:10:36 PM
So my 19 year old sister S is pregnant. She isn't married and neither she or her boyfriend can hold a job. We found out when she was 6 months along and immediately started preparing for the baby (what else could we do). Since none of her friends where in a good place to throw her a baby shower my other sister Cat agreed to. Cat made sure to invite baby daddy's family. His mother then decided to have her own shower a week after the one Cat was throwing. Ok fine. Well she refuses to invite any of S's family (including our mom) and also informed S that she will be keeping all the items from this shower.  To too it off BD's mom told all her relative's that were not to attend the first shower. Some had even RSVPed yes and have now canceled. Is it just me or is it tacky to not include us as her immediate family and to keep the gifts for herself?
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: MOM21SON on November 05, 2012, 06:13:28 PM
Well, it certainly isn't a good way to start off by alienating people that will love this child.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: WillyNilly on November 05, 2012, 06:27:27 PM
Not including S's family is acceptable if there are two showers.  its common to invite at least the 'grandma to be' but not required.

But keeping the gifts is, IMO, unacceptable - if they are given to S they belong to S and its straight up theft to take them from her.  I think your sister would be fine to not show up herself if none of the gifts are actually for her.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: JeanFromBNA on November 05, 2012, 06:28:44 PM
A baby shower is supposed to be for the mother to be, or the parents to be.  Yes, most items are for the baby, but since baby presumably still lacks the motor skills to open a box of diapers and warm his own bottles, Mom and Dad are usually responsible for these tasks and therefore can use the equipment. 

I have heard of "Grandparent showers," but I don't care for them, unless Grandma is planning to adopt.  Technically, a family only shower given by a relative is perfectly polite.  Determining who is related at this late date is rather a moot point, isn't it? 

At any rate, starting an inter-family war will not help anyone, as Mom21son, states.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: drzim on November 05, 2012, 06:29:48 PM
If I were S, I wouldn't even attend the second shower.   I mean, the mom made it clear that she was keeping all the gifts, so why does S even have to be there?

Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: Shoo on November 05, 2012, 06:43:30 PM
Who is this shower FOR, anyway?  It sounds like it's for the grandmother.  I think you should tell your sister she shouldn't go.  Her boyfriend's family sounds like a pack of real winners.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: JenJay on November 05, 2012, 06:48:39 PM
So she's going to basically steal half the gifts? Is the baby going to be living in her home? That's the only way this would make even a tiny bit of sense.

Unfortunately if baby's Granny wants to throw herself a shower and keep the gifts there's nothing your sis can do. Maybe the Father could contact his relatives and ask them to please give the items to him and not his mom?
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: theatrevenus on November 05, 2012, 07:03:39 PM
No the baby will not be living with the Grandma. She has throw a fit and demanded S let her have the baby on all her off days. S told her no but she still seems to think it will happen.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: pearls n purls on November 05, 2012, 07:30:26 PM
If your sister and her SO don't live together, I could see a shower being thrown for the father to have things for the baby when he takes care of him/her.  But if that is not the case and the grandmother plans on keeping everything herself - that doesn't sound right to me.  In case, if I were your sister, I wouldn't attend.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: strawbabies on November 05, 2012, 07:33:09 PM
Ohhh, boy.  I think the grandmother is rude, mean, bossy and should be kept far, far away from the baby. 
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 05, 2012, 07:42:40 PM
No the baby will not be living with the Grandma. She has throw a fit and demanded S let her have the baby on all her off days. S told her no but she still seems to think it will happen.

Has the father said anything about this?
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: snowdragon on November 05, 2012, 07:49:39 PM
No the baby will not be living with the Grandma. She has throw a fit and demanded S let her have the baby on all her off days. S told her no but she still seems to think it will happen.

This grandma needs to be put in her place in regards to who makes these decisions - grandma has a special place in a baby's life, but this kind of thing is hte province of the parents and only them. If they don't start right from the start with boundary enforcement, they will be sorry in the long run. After all the baby has two grandma's and two sides of the family - both of whom have the right to see and form relationships with this child.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: theatrevenus on November 05, 2012, 07:50:54 PM
no the father hasn't said anything. While they are still dating he has been pretty hands off in the pregnancy. He just wants to party all the time. He and his family walk all over S.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: JenJay on November 05, 2012, 08:17:01 PM
I feel bad for your sister. I think she's in for a whole lot or worse before anything gets better. Her boyfriend sounds like the type to say "Just let my mom do/have/say what she wants. It's easier that way." Yup. Easier for HIM.  :(
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: Hmmmmm on November 05, 2012, 08:28:05 PM
Not including S's family is acceptable if there are two showers.  its common to invite at least the 'grandma to be' but not required.

But keeping the gifts is, IMO, unacceptable - if they are given to S they belong to S and its straight up theft to take them from her.  I think your sister would be fine to not show up herself if none of the gifts are actually for her.

POD to this.  It seems grandma is throwing herself a grandma shower.

Or is the plan that the parents will have shared custody with the baby living part time at the grandmas?
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: Deetee on November 05, 2012, 08:57:31 PM
This is a shame. I'm wondering if there is any way to get past this. I can't predict the future, but it doesn't bode super well for the father to suddenly step up. However in situations with an absent father, the grandma can sometimes be a great source of support and stability. This grandma is not tending that way.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: theatrevenus on November 05, 2012, 10:54:59 PM
The father doesn't live with his mother. She kicked him out over a year ago do to his heavy partying and other misbehavior. He also has not expressed the desire to have partial custody of the baby. My parents even offered to let him stay at their house so he could be more hands on but he usually goes out with his friends at all hours instead.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: Charliebug on November 05, 2012, 11:22:57 PM
If the mother-to-be is only 19 it doesn't surprise me the boyfriend is still into heavy partying- that is the time to do it before settling down. Unfortunately the equipment is often operated before reading the owners manual thoroughly.

I have a feeling both sets of grandparents will be doing a lot more parenting than they thought they would and it would be in the best interests of everyone if the soon-to-be grandparents were acquinted a few times before the new arrival comes along and agree on what their roles will be. A baby shower might be a good place to start with the initial introduction and perhaps after that the paternal grandmother will see that she isn't the be all end all in grandparenthood (is that a word?) and arrangements can be made that are beneficial to all involved. Daddy doesn't seem to be willing to step up to the plate...perhaps his Mommy can?

Hope springs eternal though....I wish all the best for everyone in this situation.   
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: cicero on November 06, 2012, 05:33:21 AM
Not including S's family is acceptable if there are two showers.  its common to invite at least the 'grandma to be' but not required.

But keeping the gifts is, IMO, unacceptable - if they are given to S they belong to S and its straight up theft to take them from her.  I think your sister would be fine to not show up herself if none of the gifts are actually for her.
yes.

but seriously, the bigger picture here is that there will be a baby coming along in about 3 months! and the baby needs parents, and an extended loving family. both the grandma to be, her relatives, and her son/baby daddy as well as your sister are acting like infants. I hope your parents understand that most likely they will have to step in as parents or part time parents. and i hope someone will step in to protect this child and the child's best interests.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: Pen^2 on November 06, 2012, 05:43:32 AM
What a situation and a half!

If the grandma is going to keep the gifts (technically, we have a word for this: 'stealing'), then the shower is for her. Your sister has no reason or obligation to attend. In fact, it would be very much better if she didn't.

Often, we wait until the baby is born to see people's true colours. Fortunately, grandma here is giving everyone a heads-up. It's great that your sister has already told her 'no' to looking after the baby on her days off. But it's clear that grandma needs a clearer message, since she doesn't seem to want to hear it.

Grandma is preparing to walk all over your sister (moreso, anyway). That much is obvious. Your sister, unfortunately, is now in the position of being about to raise a child while being essentially a single mother, with an overbearing and ill-intentioned relative making things a hundred times harder than they need to be. It really sounds like grandma will give your sister more trouble than a newborn baby! She needs to very quickly get used to standing up for herself and, more importantly, her baby. It's good your sister has a family that is willing to help her out in these areas, but still, be strong! Don't show weakness or this woman will make life hell. I hope your sister is aware of what she'll have to do in this respect, in the interests of her baby.

It goes without saying that the baby should never be left in this woman's clutches. She'd probably go and get its ears pierced or give it whisky to stop it crying or something awful. It doesn't bear thinking about.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: BeagleMommy on November 06, 2012, 01:29:50 PM
OP, may I suggest somebody embroider a sampler with several ehell saying on it to be given to your sister.  The ones that come to mind are:

I'm afraid that won't be possible
How kind of you to take an interest
Why would I want to do that?
No
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: Mikayla on November 06, 2012, 01:57:21 PM
This is so off the rails I don't even know what to think.  But I'm not quite ready to hold Grandma's feet to the fire.

Her shower "plans" are ludicrous, but she's also reacting to a pretty scary situation.  This baby has 2 young parents who can't hold down a job, and neither of whom - especially her son - is ready for any of this.  She may feel she'll need to step in as a major support system, and in some weird way this "entitles" her to a shower.

It doesn't change the wrongness of how she's going about it, but it gives context as to why she's doing it.   And I agree with PPs saying the important thing is that everyone pull together on behalf of this baby.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: MurPl1 on November 06, 2012, 10:26:56 PM
No the baby will not be living with the Grandma. She has throw a fit and demanded S let her have the baby on all her off days. S told her no but she still seems to think it will happen.

This grandma needs to be put in her place in regards to who makes these decisions - grandma has a special place in a baby's life, but this kind of thing is hte province of the parents and only them. If they don't start right from the start with boundary enforcement, they will be sorry in the long run. After all the baby has two grandma's and two sides of the family - both of whom have the right to see and form relationships with this child.

Sadly, I think the boundaries will end up being set by a court order in the sooner rather than later future.  :(
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: kareng57 on November 06, 2012, 10:38:39 PM
This is so off the rails I don't even know what to think.  But I'm not quite ready to hold Grandma's feet to the fire.

Her shower "plans" are ludicrous, but she's also reacting to a pretty scary situation.  This baby has 2 young parents who can't hold down a job, and neither of whom - especially her son - is ready for any of this.  She may feel she'll need to step in as a major support system, and in some weird way this "entitles" her to a shower.

It doesn't change the wrongness of how she's going about it, but it gives context as to why she's doing it.   And I agree with PPs saying the important thing is that everyone pull together on behalf of this baby.


Sigh ....I have to agree. Grandma obviously is not going through this in the correct way, but it does sound as though she's realistic as to who will be raising the baby.  A sad situation, all around.
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: HermioneGranger on November 07, 2012, 08:54:26 AM
This is so off the rails I don't even know what to think.  But I'm not quite ready to hold Grandma's feet to the fire.

Her shower "plans" are ludicrous, but she's also reacting to a pretty scary situation.  This baby has 2 young parents who can't hold down a job, and neither of whom - especially her son - is ready for any of this.  She may feel she'll need to step in as a major support system, and in some weird way this "entitles" her to a shower.

It doesn't change the wrongness of how she's going about it, but it gives context as to why she's doing it.   And I agree with PPs saying the important thing is that everyone pull together on behalf of this baby.


Sigh ....I have to agree. Grandma obviously is not going through this in the correct way, but it does sound as though she's realistic as to who will be raising the baby.  A sad situation, all around.

I agree too. 
Title: Re: Your family isn't invited to the baby shower I am throwing!
Post by: katiescarlett on November 07, 2012, 10:02:36 PM
My niece was born to a teenage mother (18), and my brother, who at 23 wanted nothing to do with her.  In fact he never even held her until she was 4 months old.  Our situation was rather like the OP's, in that we did not know a baby was coming until the mother was 7 months pregnant.  My brother refused to tell my parents.  My parents found out when the mama sent them a baby shower invitation with a letter inside it telling them it was for the granddaughter they did not know existed.

We did not know this girl at all, but did our best to get to know her and her family.  Long story short, she lived with my parents until Ella was 8 weeks old, then left.  My parents have been raising Ella since (adopting her when she was 4). 

The point to my rather rambly story is that your sister needs to set boundaries now, before the baby is born, and stick to them.  She will need to rely on your family, and extended family if possible, but make sure other grandma knows who is in charge.  It's fine if other grandma wants baby things at her house, but don't throw a shower for sis and then keep her gifts.  They are not hers to keep, and I would not allow it if I was S.  I would simply pack them up.  Really, if I was your sis, I would not even go to the shower, as PPs have suggested.

Good luck and congrats on being an aunt.  Even if it is not the best situation, there will still be a precious little baby coming who will need lots of love, especially from an aunty!  That was one thing I had a hard time with.  While we were not thrilled with the whole situation, it was not Ella's fault, and I was rather excited about being an aunt.