baby shower dilemma

26 Aug

So, my 18 year old cousin (hell, maybe she’s 19 by now I can’t keep track of all of them) emailed me the other day to get my address.  She was requesting it as she is planning her baby shower.  I gave it to her and fully expect to receive one in the mail any day now.  I called my mom after receiving said email and told her I wasn’t sure I could go, her response “well why not?  You need to go, she’s family.” Grumble freaking grumble.  Should I put on my big girl panties and deal?  Should I send a card and a gift with my mother knowing that I’m going to have to deal with a speech?  It’s very frustrating – there is a part of me that is happy for her but on the same token there is a part that just wants to scream then cry.  The last baby shower I went to was about two years ago, I left early and bawled the entire way home – and that was for someone who had been trying for years to have a baby and who I was genuinely happy about.  In my mother’s world I’m being selfish, in my world I’m being honest.  This is how I feel – I can’t magically change it.  How do you guys deal with shower invites?  Do you show up and deal?  Does it not bother you?  Do you skip out on them?  If you skip out on them any magical excuse you can give me?  Since I stay home (and my family knows that) I can’t use the magical “oh I have to work” excuse.  Is there something I could say to my mother to have her “get it” – for the most part she has been incredibly supportive and understanding about our infertility issues – but the things that  she has never been able to understand is why I hate to attend events like this or how I can’t be around other peoples kids at the moment.  ugh.

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7 Responses to “baby shower dilemma”

  1. Katrina August 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Call her beforehand and say you have a prior engagement and you won’t be able to come to the party, and offer to meet her for a cup of tea some time before the birth so that you can give her your gift and card in person. Don’t give details about the other appointment -she probably won’t ask anyway. If she knows about your situation you could just discreetly say something like, “Baby showers can be hard for me at the moment, but I want you to know how happy I am for you.” she’ll only push you if she’s a total dick, in which case you wouldn’t want to go to her party anyway!

  2. JustHeather August 27, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    Baby showers aren’t a big thing here (but getting more common), so I’ve not had to deal with too many of them. But for other family events that deal with kids, I’ve just had to suck it up and attend. I do end up in the bathroom crying at times and/or we just don’t stay long.

    I think you should do what you feel comfortable with. If sending a card and gift is what you can manage, do it and deal with the consequences of a speech. Sometimes we just need to focus on ourselves and do what we can manage.
    Wish I had better advice. *hugs*

  3. bornbyariver August 27, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    I hate baby showers. Being unable to get pregnant hasn’t made them any more enjoyable. I only attend those for whom I am very close, and I make some time to exercise, take care of myself before I go so I’m in a better head space. Its always okay to send a gift and not attend…

  4. auntmimi August 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    I think it depends on who the baby shower is for. If it’s for someone who you could ask why you were really even invited and if it’s someone you are not very close to, I’d say skip it. If it’s for someone that is close to you and would attend the shower if it’s your shower, I say go. They’re so hard to go to at times, but I’m trying not to isolate myself from the rest of the world that is moving forward. You can always limit the amount of time spent there. Try to find something positive about the event, and it’s totally ok to cry and feel bad too. For me, either way I feel crappy about it (going or not) and I don’t want to bring anyone else down with me so I choose to go and make the most of it.

  5. Mel August 29, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    We don’t have baby showers in Judaism, but we have the bris or simchat bat after the birth, so the baby is there. I don’t know if that makes it easier or harder.

    When I can attend, I attend, just because it feels like more work, more effort, more clean-up to deal with not going than it does to go, cry in the bathroom, and go home. That said, when I’m just not up to attending, I usually do the last minute “I’m sick” thing (though there have been times when I haven’t gone but I’ve been genuinely sick, so it sucks if someone thinks I just ducked out every time I say that). Mostly because it gives me a chance to get in the right frame of mind. And if I can’t do it, I can’t do it.

  6. Erin August 30, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    I agree with Katrina. I would try to get out of it. Your Mom may not understand just how hard this is for you, and ultimately you have to listen to your own heart. We all know what we can handle without it upsetting us, and if your cousin knew, really knew how hard it would be, I’m sure she wouldn’t want you to come. I think sometimes we forget as women to take care of ourselves, truly take care of ourselves, and that means not always putting others feelings before our own.

  7. Emily @ablanket2keep September 4, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    If you don’t think you can handle it then don’t go. Let her know how you are feeling and that you wish you could, but at this moment it’s too difficult. I always had to go because it was always close family and friends. They all knew my situation and didn’t say a word when I needed to slip off into the bathroom to have a cry. Which I did at every one. Take care of you and do what you need to do to be comfortable.

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