2 Mommies and a Baby

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Monday, November 20, 2006

the baby shower debacle

Let me start off my saying, I know it’s just a baby shower. There are so many more important things to worry about in life and at this point, we really really wish that we weren’t having one. At all. Really.

I am trying to do some damage control this week.

We have always been very, very aware of Lois’ mother’s control issues and complete neurotic behavior. They didn’t speak to each other for 7 years, and something I think they might not have been a bad thing.

My mother-in-law likes to make issues out of seemingly nothing. In August, she told me that SHE is throwing Lois a baby shower.

I originally told her that I wanted to do 2 showers so it wasn’t overwhelming. She said it was a ridiculous idea.

I should have known problems were going to arise when I said “Let’s do it in January, at my parent’s country club and I will get the cake that Lois has been talking about for years.”

Her mother said, “No, we are doing it in November because any later, it will definitely snow and everything will be ruined. I am doing it at the firehouse and I will be making the food and Lois’ sister-in-law will be making the cake.”

OK. Well, at least I got her to move it from November into December. But that, it turns out, would be my only victory.

The biggest debacle came from the guest list.

Here’s the problem: Lois’ family is huge and, I’m not trying to toot our own horns, but we have a ton of friends. The friend thing is because we have groups of friends: the friends from my old job who are probably some of my closest friends now, our lesbian friends, my high school friends, my law school friends, college friends, other local friends, etc.

When you first create a baby shower list, you want an intimate crowd. I had 2 college friends, 5 local friends and 5 law school friends on my list. I figured that out of those 12, probably 6 could make it. Not a problem, right?

Our work friends, the R crowd, is about 17 people. This same group of friends do happy hour together, Super Bowl, housewarmings, and have all been to 4 baby showers in our group in the past 3 years. I cannot chose a handful of people from this group without inviting them all.

The lesbian friends, we have the same problem. Yes, we have 4 couples that we are closest with, but there are 4 more couples that you are pretty close with as well. And lesbian couples have 2 woman in the couple, so it doubles the invitees right there.

Our list of potential invitees was 76 people. I knew it was too big but we were just at a shower with 85 people, so I figured it could be done. Plus, my MIL decided to have the shower at a huge open place where we weren’t paying by the head, so I thought “what the hell?”

We are not looking for as many presents as possible. The problem is that we think a lot of people have shared this journey with us and would want to be there for a celebration of our baby. Hell, don’t bring presents, just come for a good time!!!

I must admit that my biggest mistake was not just deciding from the start to do 2 baby showers and never tell my MIL. I should have just given her a list with my family and a handful of friends and called it a day. What was I thinking?!?!?

My MIL apparently didn’t want to discuss very much with me and had me go through a friend with the invitee list. My biggest mistake was to give her the BIG list.

She flipped out. I went back and forth on the phone with my friend who was trying to resolve this and we started “cutting” people. That part sucked.

Finally, I started the push again for two separate showers. One Friday, my MIL called me and said “we just have to do two separate showers!”
YES!!! OK, FABULOUS!
I told Lois’ everything, so all surprises were ruined, but she is SO EXCITED to help do our baby shower planning. Our shower will be the FUN one!!

So, I sat down with my wife and we went through the guest list deciding who would be at the “family” shower and who would be at the “friend” shower.

We were very proud of our work and I emailed my friend who was the intermediary the final “family shower” guest list. Then I went about my business happy that we were going to have our own fun BBQ-jeans wearing baby shower where we could invite whomever we wanted and do whatever we wanted.

Then, on Wednesday, I got a phone call from an old work friend that went something like this, “I know I am not going to the family shower because we discussed this and I am helping you guys with your own shower, but why did I get an invitation?”

WHAT?!??!?!

After a few phone calls to several friends, I tried to piece together why some people got some invitations and others didn’t. Then, I called Lois’ sister-in-law.

Apparently, my MIL never got the “family shower” guest list and never asked me for any revised list either. Therefore, she decided to take to big list and go through inviting whomever she wanted.

Names she thought were familiar, she sent invites to. People she didn’t like, she didn’t. The result, my high school friends, who due to scheduling, definitely should have been invited to this shower, were not. And people who were probably on the fringe of the friend shower were invited.

She made up her own rules. No one under the age of 25 can come. No one outside of CT or Long Island was invited.

And, Lois’ sister-in-law was going to help with everything and had all kinds of cute ideas for the invitations. For every five invitations, she was going to suggest “if you buy any diapers or clothes, buy for [this age]” and do a children’s book wishing well (which I loved). My MIL was so anxious to get the invitations out, she did it all herself with nothing inside.

What a mess!!!!!

Now, my MIL has been hesitant about giving me the list of who she invited. And I can’t send out invitations to our shower until I fix this one.

So, I am going to sit down on Friday and call everyone on the list. Some people, I will have to invite verbally and some people I will have to explain that it was a mistake and they really should come to the second shower.

Then, I will have to somehow nicely and diplomatically explain to my MIL that some people who were invited aren’t coming, but I invited some other people so her numbers for food won’t be screwed up.

AND...

Since Lois is having the baby, and not me, my friends were not invited.

Now, many of you know that, especially in a lesbian relationship, when you have been together for a significant period of time, one person’s friends become the couple’s friends. How do you distinguish??

Her position is that when I have a baby, I can have a shower and invite my friends.

And I am not going to dwell on the fact right now that my MIL sees this only as Lois’ thing and that I have little to do with it. Sigh.

However, I do have a little evil smile in the back of my head when we tell this woman that we are using MY last name for the baby and she can’t do anything about it.

So, after this gargantuan ramble, I pose a few questions for the readers who actually read through this…

a. How do I un-invite people?
b. How do I approach my MIL after I correct everything?
c. Am I being ridiculous for just wanting just a fun party with our friends and no stress?
posted by Holly at 10:14 AM

5 Comments:

Wow! What a mess! We're doing the same thing as you're trying to do, 1 shower for family and 1 for friends. There is NOTHING wrong with that! Maybe you could revise the list with who you want at what party, make the phone calls, and get everything squared away, and then call the MIL to tell her there was some confusion, you've taken care of it, and give her the updates with RSVPs. Maybe she'll just be greatful you got all of the RSVPs and won't dwell on the issues that were caused. I'd have no problems calling people to tell them that there is another shower being planned for your friends and you'd rather them come to that one. Ultimately, this is your baby, your baby shower, and something you want to enjoy and not be stressed about. She needs to understand this is about you and a couple and this is how you'd like to handle it. Good luck!

11:10 AM  

Wow, crazy.

a. Easy. Just tell your friends that you are having a shower with all friends and that you'd like them to come to that one instead. I mean, it's not like your uninviting them totally--just inviting them to a different shower.

b. I would just tell her that you had made up the list as she had requested, so that you could have 2 showers. Since it was never confirmed with you who should be at each, you will go ahead and switch up who is invited to each from your friends.

c. No. Sounds like the MIL isn't very eager to work *with* you. I'd find it frustrating too.

Wow, 76 people?!!!

11:32 AM  

I thought my MIL was bad...doesn't Lois need to set her straight at this point and ref? I will actually have 3 showers; friends in another state, my side+friends, and MIL's guest list (A bunch of DH's relatives I hardly know at 34 weeks with twins, I might add. Maybe she doesn't want me there?). All I know is that I would be livid about that comment, "that when YOU have a baby, you can invite who you want." The shoe is on the other foot here, and I invited plenty of DH's friend's wives who might not have otherwise made my cut. Because that's what you do...both partner's friends. GL!

6:13 PM  

The biggest debacle is about the "guest list." I second that! I don't think people really understand this issue. But if your spouse's family is huge, this alone will put a serious dent in your baby shower preparations.

That being said, you can "Learn How To Make Invitations."

Your baby shower party invitations can be individualized with baby shower favors. All you need at prices you will love: invitations & greeting cards 20-30% off. Quiz the mom-to-be what her color theme or nursery theme is and then go with that for the shower. Ask the mother-to-be whom she would like to invite. Anyone can write and edit entries, so be for sure that the invitations on line are coming from a well known invitation establishment. Baby boy or girl, you can now add your baby's photo for no additional charge on the baby shower invitations. Asking friends and family to chip in is also a good way to throw an inexpensive baby shower. A lovely selection of baby shower invitations is good to have when trying to find one that matches your theme.

For more baby shower ideas, tips and info, please visit www.baby-shower-invitation-in-spanish.info

2:36 AM  

I think it is a mother inlaw thing mine copied our wedding invite and sent it to some people we had cut from the list then told us three days before the wedding they were coming. She also invited additional people to my bridal shower. The good news is my mom and i have her spirit pretty much broken now so the baby shower went much better! My advise is pretty much that of Stacey, friends are great just explain ask some to RSVP no thanks to MIL then have your own great party. Honestly (speaking from experience) your MIL wants it to be about her not you or Lois, all though she will never admit that! So give her what she really wants, and make your friends happy too!
My new favorite saying is God made friends to say sorry for relatives! So let your friends in and help you fix it. Good news you and lois will laugh about this for years!

10:10 AM  

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