Hosting Baby Shower - Handling Unappreciative Mom to Be
March 12, 2017
Hoping all someone can offer advice on how to handle baby shower dilemma?
I'm helping host a baby shower that's now a week out & I feel like mom to be taking control of shower & being inconsiderate of her guest’s convenience, comfort & enjoyment. I also feel I'm seeing a different side of this girl that I never knew she had; a bit entitled, selfish, unappreciative. Hoping this is all due to a combination of me overreacting & her mommy hormones & am asking for advice on how to approach this?
Here is how I got to this point- Stepped up to help host baby shower for close friend's daughter who I have become close with as well. The MTB (mom to be) decided at 5 months pregnant since no 1 had mentioned “baby shower" she wasn't "getting one". Without checking with anyone, (her mom had actually started planning one), on February 1st she posted on Facebook (FB) that "she - MTB was hosting her own shower on Friday, 03/17/17, 2:00 PM, in Caroline county, but no specific address.
I called her when I saw the FB post. She expressed that it was getting late in her pregnancy & she was worried about "no shower" as she needed to make certain she gets everything she needs before baby is born, (They are a young, recently married, struggling couple with small income).
I offered to help with shower & also gave her $250 to rent out the clubhouse in her private community for the shower. She told me Feb 18th, clubhouse is reserved for something else so we can't have it there. Her mother & I started looking at renting community centers in Fredericksburg, which is 25-30 miles from her house but MTB refuses to have it in Fredericksburg; doesn't want shower far from her house - doesn't want to have to "tote" anything far. Her mother & I told her she won't have to - just needs to show up but she refuses to come to a baby shower that she considers too far away.
She lives in rural area without much around but I spent days searching for a venue & found a church 14 miles from MTB's house with kitchen, hall & pavilion that they're willing to let us use for shower, FOR FREE & will also allow alcoholic punch. MTB & DTB, (dad to be), baby shower is coed, both told me early on that the shower guests "will" be having alcohol. But MTB refuses to have it at the church.
Now she insists on having shower at her small house. I expressed to her my concerns of: parking, enough room for guests in her house & possible septic tank issues with that many people using 2 toilets. There is also no parking allowed on her street & her driveway can only fit 3 cars. She insists it will be fine & finally admitted she wants it at her home so people come see the "new" house they bought. She also doesn't want much of any decorations since she wants everyone to have a good view of the house inside.
She has invited 40 FB friends but only 15 have committed to coming with 10 undecided & we’re a week out from the shower. 7 responded "not coming with regrets"; but understandably, since a weekday afternoon is not a convenient time for most to attend a baby shower or any party for that matter.
As soon as MTB 1st posted her FB shower announcement people began expressing to her their surprise if not dissatisfaction with the inconvenient time. She has reacted rather arrogantly. She adamantly refuses to budge with the time she set even by 2 hours later in the day. MTB has surprised me with her almost defiant attitude as well as her sense of entitlement that so many people should be greatly put out to bring her a gift at her convenience.
Both her mother & I expressed concerns to MTB about a baby shower on a weekday afternoon when people have to work. I immediately let MTB know that getting Fridays off at my job is difficult to impossible. I won't know if granted off until the day before. She showed no concern - said "it has to be then", "its best time for her & her 3 dearest friends". She, "only cares that they'll be there, they're who really matter". Only 1 of her 3 friends has offered any help with the shower.
I have been trying my best to get what I can prepared early for the shower on my weekends off - especially since no guarantee my employer will give me off , so I might not be able to get there until after done working that Friday. I'm a train conductor & work MON-FRI, 4AM till 7PM. I have frozen the crab dip which I promised to make so if I'm not there MTB's mother just has to warm it up.
More of my concerns as a host to this shower: After my many requests to MTB she 1) has still never given me a guest list or # of children coming. 2) I am in charge of decorations. She wants a Safari theme but still hasn't answered if blue/gold colors OK or what colors her cake is, (she's insisting on making that herself). 3) I never got requested contact list for invitations from her (says they don't do "that" in her family- they just send out word of mouth that there's a party & people just show up). 4) When tried to talk to her about planning how to arrange her house to fit people & food - she did not want to discuss, said I'm stressing too much. The only room for shower guests will be in her living room which has seating for 7 but also has a treadmill & weight bench in it. 5) She is not concerned that her grandmother & many of her relatives probably won't be able to come as have understandable time issues with making it on a weekday at 2PM - insists they just don't want "to come all the way out there, (35-40 miles to MTB's house)".
When I begged MTB in an email for help to get invitations to guests she responded that, “she doesn’t have time for that right now”. I finally just went ahead & designed shower invitations with her1 friend, her mom & I as the hosts 7 offered myself as a contact. I took the liberty of attaching this invite to the FB shower group she had created when she 1st posted that she was giving herself a baby shower. I was able to give actual physical invitations to her mom's friends.
I would also like opinions on her added posts on her shower FB group saying: "Don't bring diapers"; "Please bring a book as we are having a book raffle", "Registered at Target - here's the link if you want ideas for gifts". Some of what she said here is a little off-putting to me & I think possibly to others as well. Only one of the 152 items on her Target Registry has been purchased by anyone.
At this point I feel very frustrated & am regretting my decision. It's perplexing that the MTB has been so demanding on planning her shower's exact time & location to the exclusion of accommodating all but 3 people but then refuses to discuss any other details about planning the day. If I ask anything she shows no concern saying, "I just want the gifts".
The shower is now a week out; please tell me if I'm over-reacting to MTB's lack of concern about her guests convenience, parking and seating situation: I haven't given guests any information on how to get thru her neighborhoods private gate or where to park. She just keeps saying they can park in her yard & in a parking lot that she says isn't too far from her house but hasn’t offered any other instruction. I feel this could turn into an uncomfortable situation for all. Me, personally, would like people to feel that they can come & go easily; not have to find out who has them parked in or walk a ways to their car or try & find a ride to their car, especially after they also had to wait in line to get approved on entering at the private gate. MTB is also not worried about where people will sit saying, " there will probably only be about 20 people anyway". If you add the 4 chairs from her 5X10 kitchen, that makes seating for 11. She keeps talking about some of the people sitting outside. But I feel that is presumptuous without prior notice. We're also only supposed to hit a high of 50 degrees at 2:00 PM that day with temps continuing to drop to a low of 32.
Lastly, she has not said anything about returning the $250 I gave her earlier to rent the clubhouse. I haven't seen her in person this last week & she hasn't responded to my last email. I decided to approach the $$$ issue in a text saying that those $$ can be used for food or if she wants to buy a canopy or rent heaters for outside. I have received no response to this text as well.
Thank you all so much for reading - know it's late in the game but any advice on how to handle this would be so appreciated. B.
The ONLY thing I would do at this point, is talk to the MTB's mom. Tell her that you are sorry for any inconvenience upon her, but you are not willing to provide any additional help with her daughter's shower. If she asks why? I would say it's just not working for you. And she should consider the 250.00 you already gave her, as her gift
Honestly if it was me I would back out now, just let her know that due to the time she has chosen you can not make it and you hope her all the best and to please consider the $250 as a shower gift to spend as she needs and leave it at that. Sometimes it is important to know when to say enough is enough.
It sounds like MTB wanted to throw her own shower and she is. I would not do another thing except show up if possible but I wouldn't stress the least if I couldn't make it. (And I would only be there for my friend...not the MTB. Her feelings are clear. She doesn't care if you're there she just wants a gift.)
You care way more than she does. You're thinking about guests, she's thinking about gifts. Nobody obsesses about a shower at 5 months, at least not the point of putting it on FB. Showers are not given by the recipient, and should not be given by her mother either. And nobody puts their own registry on line for others - that's where word of mouth comes in!
But she wants to run the show, so let her. Let her manage parking, food, RSVPs, seating and everything else. It is not your party - it might have been at one time, but it's not now. And frankly, she's not your friend. She only wants her best friends to be there while she tears into 40 presents. You don't have to help with that.
You made the crab dip, you gave her $250 (which you won't ever see used for anything shower-related), you tried to help with the rest. She doesn't want it. Work your regular shift, don't beg your boss for the day off, and in fact, you might consider being grateful that you can't get the time off to attend this nightmare.
It sounds to me like she's counting on everyone feeling obligated to send a gift to an event she's worked hard to make sure they can't attend. So she doesn't need to feed them, face them, or make conversation with them. My guess is, she won't consider writing thank you notes to people, because she feels entitled to be on the receiving end.
Pull away, lest you be blamed for the rudeness and selfishness, and if asked by anyone, throw your hands in the air and plead innocent, while saying in your most innocent and sincere voice, "Gee, I have no idea what Nancy has in mind - I offered but wasn't needed, and I made some crab dip since the time got moved to a work day. Hope everyone has fun though!"
Don't send a gift. Wait until the baby is born and see if you are more inclined to be generous. If asked and really really pressed for an answer, say that you gave her $250 and that was all you could spare. You're sorry she didn't need your help but hope she has an awesome time. Trust your gut on this. You're done.
ETA: If your name is still on FB or anywhere else as co-host, take your name off! Okay, NOW you're done!
Here's the problem, from my perspective. You think you are hosting but she thinks she is hosting.
Step back, let her host, consider the $250 to be your (very generous) gift and be done with it. Take the invitation with your name as the host off of her FB event - that was an overstep on your part. From the beginning this was her event not yours. Your heart was in the right place but it's time to accept that she doesn't want your help.
And she's already said straight out that she doesn't care if you attend so no reason to try to get off of work to attend.
I agree with Erica. It sounds like she had this idea from the beginning and honestly, most people that plan their own shower have their own agenda as well.
I doubt very many people will show up, especially based on a FB invite, and I'm sorry to say, also based on her personality. (hopefully it's just hormones, but I'm not sure)
I think your money is gone and you need to consider that the gift.
What I would do at this point is tell her and her mom that the $250 is your gift to go towards costs for the shower or something she would like to purchase off her registry. I would communicate that you have the dip (and anything else you are planning to donate) and will either get it to the mother or bring it if you are able to get off. Don't expect a response and don't feel bad. You've done a lot.
I have nothing to offer beyond what the others have said... consider what you've done and spent (including the $250) a gift. You'll never be thanked, either, so don't be shocked when these gifts (financial and time/energy) are not acknowledged. Tell your friend, the MTB's mother, that you have done all that you can and just cannot do anything more. If you get the day off, you will see her there. If not, "we'll have to get together another time and you can tell me how it all went."
Ok, this is a shower. A shower is basically a celebration of an impending birth or wedding or new house moving-in, where gifts are given to the parents, or the bride/groom-to-be, or the new homeowners. It's supposed to be joyful, and an expression of friends and family of happiness over the upcoming event.
What you're describing is none of those things. This shower is inconvenient, unloving, controlling, unpleasant, demanding, and basically un-do-able (because of parking, seating, timing, and all the other problems you described).
Because it's a shower, which is not an essential thing, I would strongly encourage you to get out. NOW. Tell your friend (MTB's mother) that you can't get off work, you already paid $250 for a rental that MTB cancelled, and consider that your gift.
Now, if this were some sort of fund-raiser, my answer would be different. Say MTB's house had burned down or flooded out and she lost the crib and clothing she had stockpiled in anticipation of the birth. Or say she was seriously ill and hospitalized, and unable to shop for the things the baby needed. Or maybe the parents-to-be got news that their baby would be born with disabilities and their expenses would be astronomical for a long time to come. In that case, I'd say, put up with all the nonsense and trouble, and forge ahead. In any of those cases, it would be worth any amount of trouble to help a deserving family get back on their feet, even if they acted unappreciative.
But, this is a regular shower for an annoying, spoiled, arrogant young MTB, who lives in a new house, who publicly declared that no one was going to give her a shower, who is unappreciative, and wants to show off her new house, while completely inconveniencing her friends.
A shower is not a necessity. It's not a right. It's an expression of love. There's nothing loving about this.
Throw in your cards and walk away. Take your friend (MLB's mom) out to dinner. Share in her joy about becoming a grandmother. Celebrate her. Give her a Grandma's photo frame, or a book for her to write memories in. Give her something to use when she's taking care of the baby (a beautiful blanket, maybe).
No good deed goes unpunished. Get out now while you still can. Anyone who posts that they are throwing their own baby shower is showing you that they are just looking for hand outs.
If money is an issue you can always pick up good used things or borrow them from friends. Tons of used baby stuff out there. But nope this girl wants what she wants but wants others to foot the bill.
I'd let them all know that something has come up and you can't participate in this shower at this time. Let them know that the $250 is your gift and they can use it for whatever they choose. If they ask what came up say you don't wish to talk about it and leave it at that.
Go to work and earn some money on that day. Or take it off and throw your feet up with a nice glass of wine because after the whining you've seen first hand you deserve it.
What a handful.
Run - do not walk - to the nearest exit and get out and away from this mess.
Just bow out, say something important came up - like you need a root canal - and you can no longer be involved.
Where I come from - showers happen in the last month or two.
NO ONE I ever heard of got to month 5 of their pregnancy and was worried about a shower.
Also - a dozen or so close lady friends and family is enough.
For the crowd of people she wants to show up - she might actually have to apply for a special events permit - the local police might have something to say about the safety hazard of cramming in that many people/cars into a small area.
Heaven forbid if a fire truck or ambulance has to get through for an emergency.
No one I know would bring kids to a baby shower.
If it's more than that - then this is becoming a gift grab and I don't get involved with all that.
152 items on her gift registry?
Yep - gift grab this is.
You might have to consider that your money is gone and she'll never give it back to you.
She'll just consider it your gift to her - she'll not think of paying it back.
I'm really sorry but I really would not consider continuing being friends with this person.
This is around the bend WAY more drama than I can put up with in any sort of a relationship.
You deserve better than this.
Just get out now.
you sound like a very nice person. but I think you crossed a line when you made invitations and gave them out. She announced that SHE was having a shower. i know that isn't the right thing to do and taht you were being kind by stepping up but she doesn't see it like that. It doesn't sound like she actually wants a real shower. I think she thought her facebook post was enough to elicit people sending her gifts with out her having to host at all. Not only would i distance myself from this MTB i would probably not want much to do with her mother who I feel should be running interference in this and if nothing else, telling you to stop trying so hard. I"m sure there are more people in the world that need an appreciate you.
Some people really show true colors at the most inconvenient time.
I would just step back and remove myself from the situation. If anything were said I would simply state that I have not been given info, met with strict guidelines, already donated $250 to the cause. You should not be expected to read their minds and the behavior of the MTB is disgusting.
Let them use the $250, you'll never see that again and let it go. Make it known that was your gift.
I have no use for people to attempt to use me and the MTB sounds like she just wants a gift grab and nothing sincere for her soon to be newborn. Sad situation.
You seem way too involved to me. Who asked you to help host...the daughter or the mom? You are friends with the mom so I am assuming it was the mom. But it sounds like she is not hosting this party...her daughter is. I would just politely back off. Tell your friend that you are working that day so you cannot be there. (RSVP to the daughter the same thing).Tell her the $250 you gave her daughter to rent a location is now you VERY generous gift (unless you want part of it back...then say that). Tell her you will drop off the crab dip at her house the night before and ask if she can bring it for you. Then walk away. Don't give it another thought. You don't really want to spend time with this selfish woman (the daughter) anyway...she sounds annoying.
Personally, I wouldn't do any more. You have done what you said you would do. Leave the rest to MTB and her mom. If you get the day off, go to the shower with a small gift. I personally would consider the money you gave her the baby gift if it isn't used for the shower. If you can't get the day off, call her with your regrets and tell her that you will drop off a gift when you have a chance. I think you have gone above and beyond already. I don't have a lot of patience for ungrateful people. I would probably skip the shower even if I did get the day off!
It's her shower, and you just have to let it be her shower and her way. You do have valid concerns. She made it clear from the beginning what she wanted, and nothing has changed. Despite all your efforts, nothing has changed.
She wanted to have a party at her house, on Friday at 2:00, and she said all this on Facebook. She has not changed her mind about anything.
Everything you wrote is about the things you have said and done to try and change the party that she has always wanted to have. She has made it very, very clear that she has no intention of changing anything.
I don't want to make you feel bad. I know your heart was in the right place. You're going to have to let this one go. She is going to have the party that she wants to have, and there's nothing you can do to change her mind.
Wow. What a selfish person. I would ask MTB' s mother to handle the issues you are hitting a wall on with her. You have done your absolute best and how very kind of you! And I would also "unfortunately" have to work that day. She could care less about celebrating a new life with the people she loves. She just wants the gifts. Her mom raised her. Let her mom deal with the discomfort of the guests.
all she wants is gifts.. but is making it hard if not impossible for people to want to be there. so she will get next to nothing in the line of gifts. and she will have had her party her way.. and you will get to sit back and know that had you done it a different easier to get to way she possibly could of gotten more than a handful of gifts.
let it go then watch the disaster unfold when shes does not get the end result shes looking for.
wash your hands of the planning. back out of it all kiss your 250$ goodbye and consider it your gift. bring a book to the shower and leave it at that. shes ungrateful and impossible to work so stop working. stop helping and let her do it her way.
Here's what's going to happen. She is going to have a sucky shower and it's because she's a juvenile.
Tell her that you have tried to help her in every way that you can but you have found out
you won't be able to attend. Don't take off work for this "train wreck" of a baby shower. Just don't go. You'll only be one more person that is sitting in the floor at her feet.
She is greedy, she's young and wants everything given to her but that's okay, you get to be that way a few times in your life. A baby shower and a wedding shower are great examples of that.
She has no sense of right and wrong and she's going to be completely pissed off at you and her mom because her shower is going to be a failure. I seriously think she is in for a huge disappointment. What is really sad is that she has planned this all herself.
If you feel you should go then stop with everything else. She doesn't want to hear you speak at all.
Sorry. She is determined and wants what she wants. So either do it her way and do whatever she wants you to do or stop, don't participate anymore. Be nice. She will look back on this after she's had a few more kids and grows up a bit then she'll probably understand what a pain she was.
I would take a gift to her at the hospital and be done with it. I wouldn't go to this shower, she's already told you who she wants there, her 3 friends. They are the ones that should have had this shower to begin with.
I will also say that showers like this are a mess and should never be done like this.
I'm not half as nice as you are. I'd have a hard time with her. I'd tell her off most likely and that her shower is her shower, done by her, planned by her, etc...the results are all on her.
Oy vey. Since you probably won't get a thanks for your effort from MTB. Thanks you for all you tried to do. So far all the advice and answers I read were spot on. Reread Diane's. Consider your $250 to MTB your gift, you may not get any of that back.
I have been in your shoes. What you wanted to do was a great thing. I have learned pull way back.
Consider the $250 gone. Go to work. Have her use the $250 towards the crab salad. Your friendship is over. The friend is her mother, she will chose her daughter over you--and should. Move on. It is over.
She isn't entitled to a shower just because she is pregnant and can't afford everything she wants/needs for the baby.
Your $250 is gone. You can ask for it back, but don't hold your breath unless you look smashing in purple. Call it your shower gift and then wash your hands of the whole mess.