Indulgent Invitations: Strangers at your baby shower

by epi on September 19, 2011

Q: My mother-in-law wanted to invite some of her friends to a baby shower being held for me. I thought she would invite some of her friends that I am well acquainted with, but actually she wants to invite some people that I don’t even know. When I spoke with her about this, she was sure that some of her friends would feel left out if not invited and that I did know all these people (which I really don’t). What should I do?

A: Be firm and tell her it would embarrass you to have people you don’t even know giving you gifts. Tell her there will be other opportunities for her to entertain them, that you are sure they won’t feel left out, and that you for sure would be highly uncomfortable. Hopefully, she will respect your feelings.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Camille September 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Your MIL has probably attended many of these sorts of party’s for these other women and this is the way her social circle works. Are you really going to have to put any effort into visiting with these women? Probably not, your MIL will likely be fussing with them. I the grand scheme of things is it something that is worth irritating your mother in law about?


Karen September 20, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I agree with Camille. I find it’s easiest to keep the peace as long as it’s clear you’re not expected to detract time from your other guests to visit with your MIL’s invitees. Unless, the thrower of the party is pressuring the mother-to-be to cut back on the guest list…?


ashley September 22, 2011 at 8:59 am

Baby showers are tricky. My MIL just threw me a shower and it was awkward for me because of the sheer fact my husband has a large family and I barely knew any of the family that was there to begin with. I agree with the other comments though; for the sake of keeping the peace with your MIL, I recommend letting her invite who she wants since she is hosting the shower. Make sure someone logs your gifts and try to get an idea who people are while you are there- this will help when you write your thank you notes!


Andrea September 25, 2011 at 1:07 am

If your MIL is not hosting the shower, and she is not helping host in any way, be it cover expenses or anything else of significance, then I don’t think there is any reason to invite people you do not know; it’s awkward enough to have a party for the purpose of people you know bringing you gifts, let alone strangers being required to bring gifts, and all the while being on display when, presumably, late in pregnancy. Now is the time to start politely asserting yourself for the sake of your own growing family.


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