For the record, I have a few friends that are closer to me than blood relatives so a family only event would include them.Me too! I just had two weeks with mine! And to be fair, this may be the case. I'm mostly concerned at this point that I will disappoint my mother because in every other way she is really great. I think the way she was brought up and her circumstances up until we all left home have left her with the idea that it's everyone's responsibility to pay for New Baby. I want to help out but hate being made to feel like it's my duty somehow. I raised my three with no financial support from my family because I have a good job. I have had LOTS of moral support and my mother is always looking for excuses to have my children over because she likes to spend time with them. I think that's what is burning me most, I was really looking forward to being a very involved Auntie and this has kind of put a damper on that.
Why? You're fine not to want to go to the shower, not to buy the stroller, etc....but why would a party that your mother is throwing and a gift that she asked you to buy have any effect on your relationship with your new neice/nephew? I don't get it.
What I took from that is that the OP is feeling pressured to help support this child and she does not want to - if she forms a relationship with this child it will be taken as a sign that she acquiesces to this monetary support and more demands will be made. Or she could feel that since she is already comparing what she got from mom and what the brother is getting, couple with what she is being expected to give ( mom's idea that "her circumstances up until we all left home have left her with the idea that it's everyone's responsibility to pay for New Baby" ) and finding she's not comfortable with the differences - that is not the basis for a good relationship with anyone involved ( her brother, SIL or the new baby) - but the OP might have a different explanation.
I would be interested to get the OP's explanation, because I do think this reasoning is a bit of a stretch. I consider myself to be a very involved Aunt to my neices and nephews (especially those that are local), but in no way to I support them financially. I don't think that involvement, which I define as a lot of emotional support and time, is in any way tied to an expecatation of supporting them financially, nor do I think it has anything to do with weather or not a shower was thrown in their honor before they were born.
This is a baby shower. It is being thrown by the OP's mother. And it was the OP's mother that suggested that she buy the stroller. I don't see either of those as being pressured to support the child...especially not by the parents of the child, which to me, matter much more than what the grandmother wants/thinks. And since I don't equate a baby shower (or a shower of any kind) as any kind of commitment for furture financial support, I'm having a hard time drawing the line between "My mom suggested I buy a stroller off the registry" to "Dang it! That means I can't be involved in the child's life now!" Personally, I think this attitude is, at best, premature. I would hope the OP wouldn't let some disapproval of her mother's actions, spill over to her SIL and cloud the relationship
with her neice or nephew.
Also, and I hestitate to say this, I'm wondering how the mother treated the OP when she was expecting her first child. It seems that the OP is accusing her mother of expecting everyone to step up for this child , but that she didn't receive any financial support herself. Was this because she refused the offer (made by her mom or otherwise) or because it was never offered to begin with? Because I can definitely see reacting to a perceived inequality. The OP has a good job so her mom didn't gush over the shower, the SIL and brother, maybe don't, so they get more attention. I don't know if that's the case, but it would bother me on a personal level too. (Mainly because showers do not equal financial support nor should be tied to a family's finances).
FWIW, I registered for just about everything I needed when I was pregnant. And it wasn't because I expected anyone to buy me anything. But, if I bought something off my registry, I got a store discount. It only made sense for me to include the big ticket items to get that discount. So, just because there are big items on the registry, doesn't necessarily mean that the OP's SIL is expecting that people purchase it for her.