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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Baby Shower Perspective/Etiquette

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  • This topic has 10 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Phoebe.
Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #1097359 Reply
    Mireya
    Guest

    Hi all
    Need some perspective here desperately. I reached out to a friend (she is more of an acquaintance at this point) who is expecting a baby in December, wished her well, asked her if she needed any help, gave her some tips since I already have a kid, and then asked her if she was having a baby shower. Also that I would love to join. She politely said that due to covid her friends were giving her showers in small groups and it would be difficult to ask them. I know some of these friends of hers, they have kinda snubbed me in the past, come to my place but never returned the invite etc etc. They do meet each other regularly. They have unvaccinated people in their homes or meet regularly with invaccinated people (kids etc) so I dont think Covid is the excuse. You guys may be thinking that I shd not try to be friends with these people but part of me thinks that if I reach out multiple times and am nice they might respond. I am newish here and these are literally they only people my age in my community. But I might be wrong. I asked this girl if she wanted me to directly ask her friends, otherwise I could meet her separately too if she was okay with that. I instantly regretted saying that coz she immediately said that she was good with meeting me separately. For our community a baby shower mostly means cooking a meal for the mom to be, nothing too fancy. But now I am stuck with having to invite her home and cooking for her, which my husband thinks is totally unnecessary since she has come to my place before but never invited me back (it could be because of covid, who knows). What should I do? Can I do something other than cooking for her? If I dont invite her , I’m sure ties will be severed for ever. super confused. Also, forgot to mention, I am expecting as well. That is besides the point but thought I’d mention it.

    #1097367 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Oof. Ok, cultural considerations aside, it sounds like you simply wanted to pursue a friendship with this woman, and do something social with her friend group. That’s fine. I do think it’s impolite though to ask for an invitation to a party. That was a bit of a breach of etiquette, and it put her in an awkward situation which led to you basically having to invite her to your house. I think you should just follow through with your offer to “meet her separately,” whatever that means. In the US, it could be going out for brunch and giving her a baby gift. And it’d be your treat. In your culture it sounds like the only real option is inviting her over and cooking. I would say just do whatever the normal expected thing is, since you offered, and don’t even expect anything to come of it. If she thanks you and reciprocates with an invitation to her place, great. If she doesn’t, that tells you you can stop trying to pursue a friendship. And really do think about whether there’s something polite you can do for her that doesn’t require inviting her over and cooking a meal. Something more like coffee and cake at a cafe, and a little gift.

    But yeah, in the future, just don’t offer anything you don’t want to do. I’m not trying to be mean, but you did bring this on yourself.

    #1097368 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    I think you can also just do nothing, or just send her a baby gift. The thing is, you gave her a choice of you asking her friends directly for an invite, or meeting her separately. She chose the least problematic of the two, but that doesn’t mean she wants to do it, and neither do you really.

    You probably do need to let go of the idea of being friends with these women, and think about getting involved in things outside the community where you can meet other young moms.

    #1097371 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Agree with Kate here. I think, if you want to be friends with this woman and it clearly sounds like you do, what’s the harm in “doing something separately” with her one more time? Does it *have* to be inviting her over and cooking for her? Maybe it does in your community, in which case, just do it if that’s the way friends interact with each other and you want to be friends with her. If, as Kate mentioned, going out – like to brunch or a cafe lunch or whatever – is kosher in your community, do that. It takes the pressure off having to cook and host. Bring a small gift and call it a day. If she never reciprocates in kind, she’s not really interested in being your friend but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly acquaintances, and you can always say you tried. Are there really no other people your age in the whole community besides this woman and her friends?

    #1097375 Reply
    Mireya
    Guest

    “it sounds like you simply wanted to pursue a friendship with this woman, and do something social with her friend group”.
    YES, thank you for understanding that. My husband thinks I am crazy trying to pursue a friendship with people who don’t care two hoots about me. Thank you all for the advice here, maybe I’ll just take her to a restuarant for lunch as my treat, as my husband doesnt want to be involved at this point of time.
    Maybe being friendly acquaintances is better than severing ties, since I’m pretty sure that’s what will happen if I don’t reply to her text.

    #1097376 Reply
    FYI
    Guest

    A couple of things here …

    1. You can have friends outside your age range. It can be very fulfilling. You can still have things in common with people who are outside your demographic.
    2. We are STILL in a pandemic. I wouldn’t necessarily attribute a lack of reciprocation to a snub. You say they are with others who are unvaccinated, but you may not know the whole context in someone else’s household.
    3. Not everyone reciprocates by cooking. Some people are just not into hosting home-cooked meals. Maybe the rules are different and rigid in your community, but if someone asks me to dinner at their house and then expects me to do likewise, they will be sorely disappointed. I will take them to a restaurant, yes, but even then — I don’t invite people to things with the expectation that they will do the same for me. It just sets up very weird obligations.

    #1097755 Reply
    Bittergaymark
    Guest

    Yeah. This is a weird, strange letter. You desperately want to be friend with this woman. But cooking a meal is somehow way too much effort?

    Um… okay. Just send a gift then. Or take her to lunch.

    Honestly? You seem rather challenging to be friends with. You are looking at everybody else as if they are somehow out to get you. That can be a very self fulfilling prophecy…

    #1097757 Reply
    Ele4phant
    Guest

    You can’t force someone to be your friend.

    Whether or not she’s not inviting you to showers because of Covid or for other reasons, it is rude to ask to be invited.

    I’m sorry you feel sad she’s not putting in the level of effort you are, but…just because you want her friendship doesn’t mean she has to give it to you.

    To be honest I can sense how anxious you are to make her your friend and…it’s off putting. It surely comes across as overbearing and the more you push, the less she’ll be interested. Just chill out.

    Also – she’s pregnant. In three months she’s going to be preoccupied with her new baby anyways, so even if you guys were close you should be expecting changes in how she can see you. And you will be too!

    I know you are lonely, but you need to open up who you are socializing with. You *can* form friendships with people that are a different age than you.

    #1097810 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    Oh man. I agree with @Kate’s second comment. You put this woman in an awkward position and I’m sorry but it doesn’t sound like she’s terribly interested in being your friend. I think she agreed to meet you separately to be polite and to get you to stop pushing for an invitation. Neither of you sound particularly interested in her coming over for a meal. So, yeah, do nothing or take her out for a casual bite to eat.

    It’s lonely to be new somewhere, I know that from experience, but you cannot force anyone to include you or be your friend and you’re not going to win anyone over by pestering for an invite, either. If your efforts are not being reciprocated, your energy is better spent elsewhere.

    Not sure where you live, but are there any MeetUp groups near you? I know one of my friends, who gave birth to her first early in the pandemic and felt very isolated after, was able to find a group of new moms in her general area to meet up with at the park on a regular basis and a couple of these new moms have become true friends to her the past year and a half. Perhaps there is something like that near you. Social media might be a great place to start looking for more welcoming people near you.

    #1097862 Reply
    kriskros
    Guest

    just eant to throw out there that as a new person in a social group, I have always found it easier to make friends one on one than in a group. If you are looking at building actual friendships, a one to one lunch date is going to be so much less awkward than going to a baby shower with a bug group that already has pre established friendships. they may have been friends for decades, its pretty hard to break into that dynamic. But if you are comfortable meeting her one on one and seeing if you both click as friends together, she may make an effort to pull you into her social circle in the future.

    So I say go ahead and do lunch or whatever. its kind to share a gift with an expecting mother. if she is open to new friendships right now she may reciprocate, if not, at least you just did a nice thing for a new mom.

    #1098020 Reply
    Phoebe
    Guest

    I’m not the kind of person who is comfortable hosting a lot, so parties in my friend group tend to be a bit one-sided. But I try to compensate by putting in effort in other ways, and my friends say they’re totally good with how it all works.

    My point is that in almost every friend group, there are people who tend to host, and people who tend not to. The days of assuming automatic reciprocity are gone, for better or worse. I wouldn’t take it personally. Take your friend out to lunch, commiserate together about being pregnant and talk about what you’re looking forward to.

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