Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Is this as bad as I feel like it is?

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  • #815075 Reply

    My in-laws are not pleasant people (as an example my husband cannot watch Arrested Development because Lucille Bluth is too much like his mom). We live three hours away, in ten years one or more members of his family have only come to see us a handful of times and that is just fine with both of us (we have travelled up there around 30 times). When I was pregnant my sister-in-law insisted on throwing me a baby shower where they lived as none of the family friends or extended family “will drive to see you”. We were reluctant but agreed (mostly because I wanted to stay positive for my husband’s sake).

    Before the baby shower my sister-in-law asked if I had any preferences and I said I had gestational diabetes, so diabetic friendly food would be appreciated. When we got there: there was only one decoration which said, “It’s a Boy” (it isn’t and they had been told that), the only drinks were Tequila Sunrises and Mimosas, and the only food was a really rich cake. So basically I drank tap water and my husband went to the store to get food for me. My in-laws did not give us any presents (they said that providing the cake and drinks were their contribution), their family friends gave us a teddy bear, a stuffed dog, and a Sofia Teether Toy board book (not the toy, just the book). There were also no games because my mother-in-law doesn’t like games.

    We were not invited to stay the night (my husband inquired but was told that they were too busy), so, to conserve money we drove back home the same day.

    So … is it just pregnancy hormones, or is this really insulting? Like I know that a Baby Shower shouldn’t be a cash grab, and everyone’s well wishes should mean something … but I just don’t know whether to rage, laugh, or cry.

    #815076 Reply

    Ugh. Yes, that totally sucks. Is it insulting? Only if you take it personally, right? I would tend to see it as, this family is pretty fucked up and this is their weird idea of a baby shower. Their intentions weren’t bad, because look, why throw you a shower at all? They didn’t have to. But their execution was terrible. They’re not a great family in terms of being what you want and need. They’re idiots when it comes to things like this. But insulting? No. Not unless you’ve seen them throw an awesome baby shower for someone else, with great gifts and food and lots of personal touches. Then I’d be like wtf. But otherwise why take it as an insult? They’re just messy.

    #815077 Reply

    So maybe cry, and then laugh. Don’t waste your time raging. Or just laugh.

    #815078 Reply

    I like Kate’s outlook on this. Take her advice.

    #815079 Reply

    I mean you know his mom is awful to begin with, and that has to have impacted the rest of the family. Sounds like some mental health issues.

    #815080 Reply

    I always assume that others have good intentions unless I have concrete evidence that they don’t. It’s just nicer to experience life with a positive point of view.

    I could see a few of my flakier friends and family members doing this. Getting “It’s A Boy” decorations because the store was out of girl ones and they waited until the last minute. Forgetting to pass on dietary restrictions to the person handling food. Maybe they’re poorly organized, maybe they’re just lazy and don’t make much of an effort. Judging by the fact that nobody travels to visit you, I’m guessing it’s the latter.

    I hope you and your husband will find a way to laugh this off. It was so bad that it makes a great story. Get together with some friends and vent and laugh about it.

    #815082 Reply

    Feel upset about it, cry and laugh until you cry some more, vent to your friends. But also- adjust your expectations.

    Thank god you live far enough away that they “can’t” visit you.

    Make sure to talk to your husband explicitly about your preferred guest list during/after giving birth. Like, make sure he’s on the same page that you don’t want them in the delivery room. Or maybe even don’t even tell them exactly when you are having your baby so they can’t surprise visit you.

    Don’t let this/her ruin an otherwise exciting time for you. Congratulations!

    #815089 Reply

    You now know never to go to another one of their parties. Six hours round trip, I feel for you. Tell no one on their side when you are in labor, you do not need to deal with them. Remember you control who will be visiting you and the new baby.

    #815090 Reply

    She says “when I was pregnant,” so it sounds like this was a while ago. I would guess these folks didn’t come visit.

    #815098 Reply

    Ugh YIKES… Where I am from that is not how you throw a baby shower. You can go to dollar tree, dollar store, or walmart and find cheap baby shower decor. If they know the sex of the baby then it was rude to put up its a boy. The alcohol being served at a baby shower is weird to me and considering it was the only beverage offered is even more weird. If SIL offered to throw the shower then I dont know why your in laws had to provide cake (and again fucking alcohol)as that usually is the responsibility of the host. As grandparents, for them not to do a gift for their grandchild is weird. So yes your in laws and that family suck. Future advice, if you dont want a babyshower and someone wants to throw you one you can very nicely and firmly decline. Esp if you have to drive hours in a car to go to a babyshower and not have a place to stay. Yes cry yes get mad- vent this shit out but move on and realize you now knoe your worth to them and what their worth to you is. And dont let this way you down anymore then it has.

    #815100 Reply

    Wow – that’s unbelievably insulting. So insulting it’s almost comical. I hope you write a book (or a short story or a blog post or something) about this family because they seem wild.

    In the meantime, put as much distance as needed between you. Launch them to the moon if you are able.

    #815102 Reply

    Yeah, it was pretty awful. But it also sounds like they were also being exactly the people you already knew they were. So awful, yeah, but not really shocking?

    I think the only way to manage having a family like that is to lower your expectations. For whatever reasons, they’re not capable of being the warm, loving, caring people you hoped they were. They’re not wired that way. They’re not ever going to be those people.

    Meet them where they are. They’re not warm, so don’t expect warm. Expect civil and polite.

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