Hurt Feelings over Baby Shower

Updated on May 03, 2012
H.M. asks from Boulder, CO
26 answers

So I live in CO and all my family live in NY. I don't get home very often (maybe once every 6 months) because it's really expensive to fly and we have 2 kids - so it's even more costly. We did manage to book a flight to NY for the summer (First time in almost 5 years) and I found out shortly after that my youngest sister is having a baby and will be due in September. Her pregnancy has been very touch and go and they just got confirmation that everything is ok with the baby's chromosomes and my sister is finally able to relax a bit and enjoy her pregnancy - she's almost 20 weeks.

Our flight comes in on June 26 and we leave on July 3rd. Not a great time with the 4th of July holiday - but I thought we could try to have the baby shower on the morning of July 1st (Sunday - no one in my family is religious so it won't interfere with church,etc) but for some reason my sister (not the pregnant one) is just like "I don't think it's going to work". She hasn't looked at any places, hasn't asked any family if they will be around - hasn't done any footwork at all. Just a big old "NO".

I'm terribly hurt by this. My sister (the pregant one) will have at least 4 showers between my family, her husband's family, work and friends - and I won't be in NY to attend any of them. They on the other hand (the rest of my family and siblings) will be able to go to all of them without trouble since they all live in the same town.

This is my youngest sibling and we've always been very close. I can't stand the thought of not being at her shower - I'm totally crying about it which I know is ridiculous - but I don't have the flexibility they all have.

Should I be upset? They of course will still expect me to pay for the shower they have while I"m not there (pitch in) which is even more hurtful - I can see what my money bought and pictures of them all having a great time without me.

And yes - I could do something with my sister (the pregnant one) alone but I want to have the experience with her.

What can I do next?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I think you should talk to Debbie Downer and explain it just the way you've said it here. Clearly--she's not thinking.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

Maybe I'm a bit more harsh than others but to me I find it EXTREMELY rude of your sister to not agree to do the shower while you are in town. I would be very hurt as well as pretty ticked off. can't seem to meet me in the middle and plan the shower for a time that I'll be in town and able to attend...then you won't be needing my money to help you pay for YOUR shower. Clearly you are not responsible to pay for a shower that you have no say what-so-ever in. Let Sis pay for HER shower by herself. You use the money you had allocated for the shower to take your prego sister out with while you're home. Make it a day for just the two of you to enjoy. Treat her to a spa day, nice lunch, take her shopping for the baby, etc. Enjoy your time with your sister and let your other sister enjoy planning and paying for her shower on her own.

Peace and Blessings,
T. B

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

I would talk to your pregnant sis and tell her what you want to do. Let her decide. If other sis isn't there when it all comes together, then pooh on her. It's not for her, it's for your little sis.

Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You can't make people do what they don't want to do...and likewise you don't have to put up with their demands either.

I say forget trying to organize a shower in July, and just do something special with just you and your sister AND kindly let family know that you already did something special when they come around asking for money in the coming months for the shower you won't be attending.

If you insist on trying to have the "shower" experience you're only going to create a TERRIBLE family war in the end. Putting it on your sister to decide is horrible...she'll have to choose between siblings. Yuck. And going behind everyone's back may put sis on the spot and she'll get the brunt of the heat long after you're gone. Believe me. This isn't worth it. The fall out will go far beyond the birth of the baby and possiblity spill into other future family affairs. Not worth it...un way. Just let it go. Afterall, is this shower really about you, or for sis?

If it's truly for sis, then having a slamming great pregnancy massage for two, a great lunch, a pregnancy photo shoot, a professional pedicure to get those tootsies look good for delivery day (or if its too far off a gift certificate so she can have it done before delivery is cool) and showering her with gifts from you will trump any stressful shower any day in my book. It's all how you look at it. You don't need a big party to celebrate something so special. I think one on one time will make more of an impression than a big party where it's hard to remember who gave what and why. This can be an advantage and a great memory in the making if you put your mind to it. Cut out the naysayers...they'll just put limits on the fun.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Well I've missed Dad On Purposes' answers lately, I ditto what he said. I would speak one last time to non-preg sister and let her know you are really hurt by this and really want to participate in a shower when you're there.

If she says no, then move on by going to preg sister and as others mentioned, you plan it. Ask her for the names of those to invite, and go to town. Plan a brunch at a local restaurant, that way you won't have to shop/cook. You can plan a relatively inexpensive shower on your own.

If you don't feel like rocking the boat that much, then try to move past it (I know, easier said than done), and plan a special day with preg sis. Mani/pedis, brunch or lunch, massages, baby shopping, whatever. If the showers are beyond your control, so be it. But the memories you make with your sis ARE in your control, so grab hold.

And as for them asking you to chip in for a shower you a) can't attend and b) tried to help with while you were there--- HELL NO. No freaking way. Let us know what happens, hoping for the best for you (and sis!!).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Do you need the "No no sister" to really help?

I would just start doing it on my own. Ask Pregnant sister to send you some names of close friends.. maybe not many, make it more intimate than a typical shower.. maybe like a "Sunday Brunch Baby Shower " at a beautiful restaurant, maybe in an outdoor space. .. Mimosas for the guest.. etc. Encourage beautiful hats be worn..

OOo, I can envision the beautiful flowers now.. And all of the green in the photos!

You do not even have to play games, but instead glamorous and beautiful..
Still invite "No, No" but just let this be a gift from you to Pregnant sister.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Just host a family brunch where you happen to reveal your baby shower gift and move on. I am sorry but all of this seems so petty to me. I would be more concerned with being able to fly out to MEET THE BABY vs having a frivilous one of FOUR showers held when you are in town. Yes, this is one of my more blunt and harsh replies, but I honestly have no other words than relax, enjoy your family and pregnant sister and then make arrangements for you to fly back to NY to meet the baby - that is WAYYYY more important than a baby shower.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would find time to spend an afternoon or meal with her personally instead of wishing I was at the shower. I had 3 showers (none planned by me) and there were still people left out. I didn't think any less of anybody who couldn't make one, though some of the friends felt badly. Everyone assumed someone else was going to do it...sigh. I think that if you can't attend then you need to find a way to be positive about it. You may consider that paying for it (if this is what you want vs they just have their hand out) is part of your gift. It sounds like the bigger issue, really, is that you are far from family and missing events you wish you did not.

Personally, after the 3 showers, I was drained. Four showers is a lot. I wouldn't expect anybody, not even my sister, to attend all of them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

with you flying back home on July 3rd....& asking for the shower to be on the Sunday of a holiday wkend.....then, yes, you are asking a lot. My family....& all of our friends....make plans for each & every holiday wkend. We HATE feeling obligated to give up our holidays!

For all of us, holiday wkends mean playing on the water....not breaking up the wkend to attend events. At this point, 1/2 of our group has taken the Mon/Tues of that week as vacation....that's how serious we are about our holidays! Does your family follow this pattern? That might be part of the issue....

& one more thought: you are one person. You cannot expect the entire family to cater to your individual needs. We learned that lesson the very, very hard way with my ILs whenever family events came up thru the years. They refused to deviate from their plans...regardless of my son's physical handicap/needs. (at times, he was in a wheelchair & could not manuever their bathrooms.) We missed out on a lot simply because the family would not move the venue to another home or to our house. Totally sucked self-centered they all were. :) & of course, they said we were the problem.....hmmm, excuse me, our son was in a wheelchair which wouldn't fit thru the bathroom doorway! Oh, well....

As for you being hurt, again....this goes back to the fact that it is not all about you & your situation. It's up to you make the best of this situation. It's up to you to do all the planning/work/etc.....don't let Negative Nelly (your other sis) pull you down. If you can't pull it off, then as others have said....make it a nice day for just the two of you. Memories in the making!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I agree with Therese. I would tell her that since your not going to be able to attend the shower then you will be shipping her gift. and leave it at that. not sure why they would assume you would be footing the bill for that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't blame you for being hurt. She should have all along planned to have it while you were there. That's so inconsiderate.

So sorry that she is being selfish and not considering your feelings and situation.

To answer your question- you have every right to be upset. I don't have a solution to offer, but I don't think you should feel guilty at all for being sad about this.

Hugs to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Added: Please don't pay a penny towards this shower your sisters want to hog all to themselves. I agree with the others to take her out for a special lunch and give her a gift - THAT is your contribution. I would not for all the tea in China let your sister's run roughshod over you in this way. You have the power to say NO to them, and I really think you'd be nuts to allow them to push you into funding their rudeness.

I agree to talk to the pregnant sis - ask HER to get this worked out with the other sister. What's she going to say to the pregnant one, No?

Is she usually passive/aggressive, or does she just not "get" it?


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I'm with Theresa B. ALL THE WAY. Let other sister have it. Don't tell her, either. Just have one-on-one time with the pregnant sister (no one else is invited) and "shower" her all by yourself. Spend time with family as you had planned to do, and go home. When your other sister comes to you with "your share" for the shower, tell her that you already contributed directly to your sister. Don't have a fight about it, and don't talk to anybody about it. Just do it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Lucky you. I am jealous. I find little more tedious than showers, baby, wedding, or otherwise. The recipient has likely registered. They have got to sit there and ooh and aah at the gifts that they already know are coming, and you have had a sneak peak at online, or in the store.

I think they have done you the favor of making it impossible to attend. :)

Go for the mocktails, the mani pedi, the pre-baby bikini wax, the spa day, the waddle along the high line. whatever. It will be great.

Best to you and yours,
F. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Oh gosh. Sister drama. Have you read my post? LOL! Anyway, I know the intricacies of sister relationships all too well, so here is my opinion. Scenario one is that you figure out a way to host SOMETHING while you are there. Be it a "Sprinkle" for her or whatever, show the pregnant sister you are supportive and want to celebrate with her. Have a brunch at a restaurant for your mom and sisters, etc, and put a particular theme on it, like "baby books" or "bottles and pacifiers", so the gifts are small and specific from everyone else, but your gift can be whatever "bigger" thing you wanted to get her. You can make it plainly clear that this is YOUR monetary contribution to her shower. You can just let your non-pg sister know that since you are planning to host something when you come, that you won't be chipping in on the shower you aren't being included in.
Scenario 2 is just send your gift, (or leave your gift on your vacation; may be cheaper than shipping), and tell your non-pg sister that in order to be able to come home to actually SEE the new baby sometime, you won't be able to financially contribute to the shower. Personally I would do scenario 1, b/c it shows you helped, and you didn't ask the other sister to pay for anything at the brunch, so it should be clear that you aren't paying anything at the shower she throws.
I'm so sympathetic to sister drama. I myself am pregnant with my 5th. My sisters and I don't always do things the same way (me being the different one most of the time), and the latest is their anger at me for waiting to tell the pg news until I was 3 months along. Now they are mad that I won't find out the sex (we never do), and my mom, just today, suggested that I seriously reconsider finding out the sex so my sisters can feel more connected to the pregnancy. As if its their decision to make, or its their baby. They've all had babies, and I never once suggested that they NOT find out because WE would prefer it that way! Unbelieveable. Good luck to you :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Why are you asking the non-preg sister? No offense, but who cares what she says?

As to the money - that's on you. A) you cannot predict if you will be asked for a contribution; B) you're a grown woman - "no" should be a key word in your vocabulary.

Stay strong!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

They should be able to accommodate you! My sis lives in NC and I live in KS. I just planned and hosted her FL shower ( that is where we are both from). Tell your sis you want it that have plenty of time to plan it. Also, maybe you could fly out alone if it is going to be a different weekend!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Wow, sorry. I read it fast & didn't realize there was more than one sister, which you made perfectly clear. Yes, it's okay to be upset about this. Theres still time to talk to the pregnant sister to see if she minds changing the date but your other sister is probably going to be mad. There is no way you should help pay for it if you aren't there to help host. Maybe you can attend via Skype if it doesn't work out? That's how we did my cousin's bridal shower when she was overseas in the military.

Hope you get it worked out.



answers from Philadelphia on

Do something special with your sister while you there, maybe brunch and baby shopping. Give her a gift then.
Don't contribute to the actual shower, no one can force you to.



answers from Boston on

WHAT! why cant they have the shower when your home?? I would tell her to make that happen. If your putting money into the shower they should have it when your home. What the heck is your non pregnant sister thinking....does she want all the glory of having the shower?? I would be so hurt!



answers from Billings on

Perhaps your sister wants all the glory and for you not to have anywith your sister? Just a thought. That is how things are done in my family sadly.

I would throw a little something together if possible. I would have a friend from there get you any detailed things and then just do it. I would let your other sister know you are planning something and she can co host or just attend. GL!



answers from Philadelphia on

When you brought this idea to your sister,she simply said "no?"I don't really have an answer to rectify your problem,but I would be hurt too and I agree that your sister does not understand what its like to have to plan,save money,take off work ect..just to be with her family.I have one sister but in your situation,I would ask her how she would feel if the shoe was on the other foot and if you didn't already,tell her how much it means to you,especially with your (other)sister's pregnancy being so uncertain.If it doesnt work out for the shower,go be with your sister when you can,the most important thing IS being there for her.Most important ,that baby neice or nephew of yours is healthy as can be!!!!!Good luck girl.



answers from Dallas on

If she'd like a spa day or something that she'd love, you and your preggo sis do something just the two of you cause you're in town. It's your baby "sprinkle" like someone else said. And you don't need to contribute to the shower you're not attending - that's just stupid - maybe put in 20 bucks towards decorations or something, but to expect more than that from you is rude.



answers from Amarillo on

You are doing something special for preggo sis, you are coming home this summer. Spend some special time between the two of you at the spa or mani/pedi place. Have a great lunch together and laugh. Give her a gift certificate for the baby.

It sounds as if you are as stressed out over this as she is pregnant. Let's just forget about the big shower mess and enjoy a quiet time together. As for chipping in I wouldn't. You chipped in when you came home and went out with sis.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. So spend what you can and if you don't have it don't worry about it. You are not under any obligation to give. Do you give to your own children every time they want something? No and that should be the same with family members.

It's hard to be the one away from home but it is a blessing is disguise when all the drama goes on. So let this be a lesson about less drama and peace of mind. Plan your trips when you can but don't overboard on the cost of flights. Heck go somewhere they aren't and enjoy yourselves. Colorado is nice and I want to spend more time there than in New York (born in NJ) and see the actual stars at night in the sky.

Do keep us posted.

The other S.


answers from Phoenix on

I agree with you. I think its terribly rude to know WHEN you guys are going to be there and not plan to have the shower then. I mean, I guess I could understand if it was already planned, invites sent out, etc, but not when NO plans have been made and its completely open. I don't have any siblings so maybe I just don't get the "dynamic" but why can't pregnant sister tell your other sister that its HER shower, she wants you there and it WILL be on 7/1 and to start making plans for it? I just don't get it and I feel bad for you. Who cares if you are the only one out of town? Yes, that is a reason to cater to you. Everyone else local can get together whenever they want so they should be making special allowances while you are there. I hope it gets worked out. In the very least, spend some quality time with her while you are there and send a nice gift or cash after she has the baby. Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

It would be really nice if they could plan it when you were in town, but maybe she isn't trying to be inconsiderate, maybe she just can't. It is a holiday weekend, maybe a lot other people wouldn't be available to come. Did you talk to your non-pregnant sister about why that date wouldn't work? Would she really purposely just say nah to having it July 1st just to be mean and controlling? Or is there a valid reason. I think you need to try to have a conversation with the non-pregnant sister in a trying-to-understand-because-I-would-REALLY-would-like-to-be-there way. But you have to be willing to see it from the other point of view as well. Other people's conflicts merit just as much consideration as yours. If it really won't work to have the shower July 1, I'd see if they could opt for you not spending money to "pitch in" and instead buy yourself a plane ticket to attend. Would they not understand if you told them money is tight, but you really, really want to be there?

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