Author Topic: Baby Shower Advice needed  (Read 2612 times)

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livluvlaf

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Baby Shower Advice needed
« on: November 02, 2012, 12:04:51 PM »
I have 2 close girlfriends whom I love dearly. The 3 of us have been close since high school - +20yrs ago.

GF1 - lives about 40 min away, we don't get to spend much time together now that we've all got kids with different schedules. But we stay in touch by txt, email & phone.

GF2 - lives about 20 min away but is moving to a new home about 3 blocks away from us. Her DH & my DH are best friends and see each other alot due to work issues ... but really GF2 & I only really communicate by txt & email also.  I realize that's about to change due to her new proximity, once they've moved.

Background: GF2 announced last summer that she is expecting twins next January. This will be baby 2 & 3 for her ... lots of work! She hasn't been as well during this preg, so I am making 2-3 meals for her per week, as they are also busy packing up for this move. I can only expect this will increase when they do move & after the twins are born. I'm budgeting for an extra $100 - 150/mo for the next 6 - 9mo. At the moment, DH has been bringing the meals with him as he goes over to help her DH work on the old home (minor renos) and prepare the new home to move in (new kitchen, bathroom, painting & new flooring).

When GF1 heard the news about the twins, she spontaneously offered to host a baby shower for GF2. I think she was caught up in the moment, plus she just feels left out, and wanted to find a way to be involved, contribute. Important point: GF1 hosted GF2's babyshower about 2yrs ago for her first child, for about 25 people. But since she made the offer - they have begun major renovations on their own home, and it wont be completed anytime before Xmas (gutted the main floor, and new addition upstairs. Plus their finances have changed since she made the offer (switched jobs). She has re-evaluated and can host something nice for about 10 people, but GF2 wants to invite 30people. Plus GF2 wants to have it soon, she's nervous about her babies arriving early. And she doesn't want to wait until after the twins are born, she will bee too tired & busy to enjoy (and she likes to be organized, so she wants to have her supplies organized prior to baby's arrival. And she can't host it in her new home yet - it will be chaos and incomplete for another several weeks.

So I got a call from GF1 for help, but 1) We are already contributing a lot to help GF2's situation, I don't think I can find room in my budget for that also. 2) My home cannot accommodate 30 people inside (had it been during the summer - we could easily do it in our yard).

My thoughts are that GF1 already hosted a shower for GF2 - GF2 should have realized this and declined her offer. It's a 2nd child shower, so she also should have declined.  But this didn't happen - so I think GF1 should speak to GF2 and be honest about her situation ... she is really stressed about it, and calls me every other day, I can tell she's overtired from other things going on in her own life. I know she hates confrontation, and she would also feel bad about going back on her commitment. I also know that GF2 would hate that she's putting GF1 though this stress ... if only she knew the whole situation.

Is there anything else I can do to help GF1 with this shower that perhaps I'm not thinking about?

Can I help GF1 negotiate with GF2?

My thoughts are that if 30 guests have voiced that they want to attend a shower, perhaps there was someone else who offered to host also?

Judah

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 12:15:21 PM »
Since what is being offered is a shower for 10, GF2 should invite ten people or decline the gift of the shower.  If she has her heart set on 30 guests, she should have someone else host it for her. 
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

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Roses

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 01:17:41 PM »
GF2 should have declined the shower since it was the 2nd one, that would have been the correct thing to do from an etiquette point of view.  Since she didn't do that, I think this is between GF1 and GF2 and they need to work it out amongst themselves.  YOU are not required to take over shower hosting, you are already helping her in a very generous way.

NyaChan

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 07:04:15 PM »
I think you are already going above and beyond with your gift of $150/month + labor for the food.  GF1 needs to step up and be honest that the shower she can provide is limited to 10 people.  I would just stay out of it.  I really don't understand how GF2 hasn't offered to help you with money for the groceries when you are cooking for them so often.  I would be sorely tempted to say, "Hey, I know you are probably going to have a hard time shopping and cooking when you get closer to your due date.  If give me your list, I'm happy to help out.  I'll bring you a receipt so we can settle up afterwards."  Or something like that, I'm not really feeling the wording today, sorry :) 

jpcher

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 07:30:25 PM »
Since what is being offered is a shower for 10, GF2 should invite ten people or decline the gift of the shower.  If she has her heart set on 30 guests, she should have someone else host it for her.

Agreed.

I think GF2 is entering gimme-pig stage by requesting specific #of guests, date of party, etc.


You can encourage GF1 to talk to GF2 with something like "You know, when I offered to host a shower for you, I was thinking something on a much smaller scale than what you're looking for since it's your second shower and all. 30 people is way more than what I can accommodate due to renovations and all. Any chance we can trim the invite list down to immediate family only? (Mother/MIL/Sisters/SILs)"

IF and only IF GF2 agrees to this sort of shower, you could offer your place for GF1 to host (whatever number is comfortable to you) on a date that works for you . . . note that I said GF1 to host.

Offering your place might take some of the stress off of GF1, but make her understand that you are not sharing hostessing duties (cost) you're only providing a location.



I think that you are already going above and beyond.



Question -- How has GF2 reciprocated your and GF1's generosity in the past?





livluvlaf

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 08:44:51 PM »
Since what is being offered is a shower for 10, GF2 should invite ten people or decline the gift of the shower.  If she has her heart set on 30 guests, she should have someone else host it for her.

Agreed.

I think GF2 is entering gimme-pig stage by requesting specific #of guests, date of party, etc.


This is how I felt when GF1 told me - but I wasn't present for the conversation between them ... so its hard for me to judge. GF2 is usually VERY etiquette conscious (so I'm really confused how it even got to this point!) ... and why I think GF2 would take a different position if she knew the whole story.

Quote
Question -- How has GF2 reciprocated your and GF1's generosity in the past?

she is very generous and kind, which is why I'm willing to overlook 2nd shower issue. She was supportive morally when my son had a difficult birth and stayed in the hospital for a month .. but her first child was barely 3mo old at that time - so I completely understood that she wasn't making meals, etc!

I really don't understand how GF2 hasn't offered to help you with money for the groceries when you are cooking for them so often.  I would be sorely tempted to say, "Hey, I know you are probably going to have a hard time shopping and cooking when you get closer to your due date.  If give me your list, I'm happy to help out.  I'll bring you a receipt so we can settle up afterwards." 

About a month ago I learned she was too tired to do her own cooking, and she was constantly bringing home take-out. So I started making some meals ... they have offered money, I just haven't received any yet. So until I do, (and in case I don't) I can't scratch it out of my budget. But I'm not really worried about that aspect of it ... I didn't feel obligated - I offered. I want her to eat properly for the babies. When they move into the neighbourhood, I'll invited them over eat dinner with us, rather than having to prepare & send over an extra casserole.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 10:29:02 PM by livluvlaf »

laceandbits

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 08:14:59 AM »
"About a month ago I learned she was too tired to do her own cooking, and she was constantly bringing home take-out. So I started making some meals ... they have offered money, I just haven't received any yet."

I felt so strongly about this that I have signed up to EH to be able to reply, after lurking and reading for a couple of years!

In your original post you said that you were cooking etc for her as she is having a difficult pregnancy.  I read it and re-read it looking for clues that they were moving because they are downsizing, or that they had lost their jobs or were in any sort of financial difficulty.  Nothing.  And now you say you have stepped in because she was getting take-away food all the time, so they are obviously not too hard up.

Well, sorry, however good friends you are and however much you may feel you owe her for past help, they are seriously taking advantage of you.  Just to be doing all the cooking and shopping is surely enough to be repaying any debts, real or perceived, and it sounds as if you be doing it for the rest of the pregnancy and for the first weeks after, even if by then they are more local.  Being more local may make the logistics a bit easier but the food cost will still be much the same.

The fact that you offered makes no difference to anything unless your offer specified that you were not only offering to do all that work, you were also offering to fund it.  That obviously isn't the case as you now make clear.

I can't comment about the original etiquette question as I am in the UK and we don't make such a big deal about "showers" of any sort and therefore there is no accepted correct behaviour for them.


camlan

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2012, 09:25:16 AM »
I would back out of any discussion about the shower. "Gee, I'm sorry about that." Then offer huge helpings of bean dip. It is not your worry; don't make it yours by trying to make everything all right. Well, you might tell GF1 that she absolutely does not have to agree to host a shower bigger or more expensive than what she originally planned.

The mom-to-be either accepts her friend's offer of a 10 person shower or she doesn't. She does not get to determine the size of the shower, where it is held or any of the other details. She can't make a friend rent a hall or buy food for a party three times the size of the original plan.

If Mom-to-be isn't careful, she's going to lose the friends she's probably counting on to help her through the first, chaotic months of having twins and a older child.

If she wants a shower for 30 people, then she needs to find a way to make that happen without bullying her friends into doing it.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


livluvlaf

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 10:07:48 PM »
thank you to everyone who replied.

I spoke to mother-to-be last night, and she is not doing well emotionally. She is in serious discomfort, she has had 2 cases of false contractions (dr wants her to start her mat leave already) ... she is temp staying at her in-laws (which is a chilly relationship at best) while trying to keep her 2yr old happy (which is exhausting on a good day) and her belongings are completely packed away. She isn't complaining in a "poor me" kind of way ... she's upset because she doesn't know how she can cope with the upheaval & the discomfort anymore.

It did strike me that GF2's requests about her shower seemed "demanding" ... but (to be fair) I was only receiving the info 2nd hand. I don't know how she presented her information, and this is really unlike her nature. No, she has never prepared meals for me (other than having me over for dinner) but she is loyal, honest and very kind. It is very unlike her to be demanding in any way ... she usually goes out of her way to make certain she isn't imposing on anyone. In fact, I'm sure she's had many people tell her "I'm so happy about your news, please invite me to your shower" she's worried about offending someone if they aren't invited.

She was too tired to do her own cooking, and grabbing take out ... which is financially and nutritionally unhealthy. No, they don't have a lot of money, but at the end of the day she has to feed her family something. She would never ask for help, let alone take an inch more than she really needs to, so I have no worries about being taken advantage of. And if needed, I would feed her every day until things got better ... although she will get really tired of my cooking! ;D

So in conclusion about the shower: the date has been chosen, and I have prior commitments. And I'm hoping a Dr orders GF2 to bedrest by then anyhow. But if the shower proceeds, then I will prepare some desserts or a cheese platter for the venue.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 12:26:36 PM »
livluvlaf, it's unclear to me whether or not GF1 actually told GF2 that she can only host 10 people?  If she did and GF2 still insisted on 30, then that's rude.  If GF1 was just wishy washy and/or GF2 is normally not like that, then I think it's just a miscommunication and GF1 should be more clear.  I don't think this is your problem, though.  You have done a lot, and it's really nice of you to even do desserts or a cheese platter. 

livluvlaf

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2012, 12:14:16 PM »
livluvlaf, it's unclear to me whether or not GF1 actually told GF2 that she can only host 10 people?  If she did and GF2 still insisted on 30, then that's rude.  If GF1 was just wishy washy and/or GF2 is normally not like that, then I think it's just a miscommunication and GF1 should be more clear.  I don't think this is your problem, though.  You have done a lot, and it's really nice of you to even do desserts or a cheese platter. 

Usually both GFs are afraid to impose on each other. So its likely that the exchange of info was wishy-washy from both sides ... but GF1 has walked away from the conversation with the expectation that she host a shower for 30 guests. She has just received the guest list - she's pretty certain its the same list as the last shower ... we're skeptical that many of the out of town guests will be able to attend, so it may reduce that number significantly.


wolfie

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2012, 01:34:52 PM »

She was too tired to do her own cooking, and grabbing take out ... which is financially and nutritionally unhealthy. No, they don't have a lot of money, but at the end of the day she has to feed her family something.

Does she not have a partner? I would expect him to step up to the plate and take care of dinner before going to someone outside the family to provide this type of support.

livluvlaf

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2012, 03:20:59 PM »
actually, he is very busy on a regular day ... works a full time job with a business on the side. Plus as soon as they discovered they were expecting, he's been prepping his current home for sale and now renovating the new one to move into.

I appreciate everyone looking out for me, but please understand that I began to prepare meals for them on my own volition. I wasn't asked, and I have been verbally thanked profusely. I've known them for more than 20yrs and they would be the first to say "wow, thank you - but this is really unnecessary" or "thank you, but we're ok for now ... although we may appreciate a meal or two after the twins arrive ..."

Again, I have no worries of being taken advantage. None.

Deetee

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2012, 04:02:27 PM »
Before livluflaf even posted, I wanted to post something similiar saying that the thread is ascribing some motives to the people on the thread that are not terribly nice.

Helping out friends is a great thing thing to do and should be applauded. It's different if someone is pushed into something but livluvlaf seems to have no problems with her contribution. She is also comfortable with her contribution not extending to the shower. That strikes me as the perfect balance of generosity and backbone.

The shower thing is tricky because it sounds like poor communication rather than anyone wanting to be pushy.

Best to all!

Mikayla

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Re: Baby Shower Advice needed
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2012, 05:10:20 PM »
At worst, this is gimme piglet by proxy.  It's obvious GF2 is a caring, good person and may be too rattled with everything going on to stop and think.  I also agree with the comment upthread that she may have gotten a lot of "let me know when your shower is".   If she has a lot of people who love and care about this, this isn't sutprising.

It's clearly an etiquette no-no, but part of etiquette is that gray area when there are bigger issues.  I hope she enjoys her shower and, of course, her new twins.