Friday, April 22, 2011

To Go or Not To Go... to the Baby Shower?

I'm still feeling very conflicted over going to my brother- and sister-in-law's baby shower in 2 weeks...

It was originally just supposed to be her graduation celebration from grad school and now my husband and my mother-in-law want to do a small, family baby shower for them also. It will be at my mother-in-law's place, where we are staying.

It's also on Mother's Day weekend and B and I agreed to leave Sun morning and go to a B&B and then do something fun on Monday.

Here is why I'd want to go:
  • To celebrate my sister-in-law
  • To be part of the family
  • To not be selfish
  • To be there for my husband
Here is what I would need from them if I go:
  • Not ignore the fact that I'm grieving and that sometimes baby-related things make me sad
  • Pray for me before and after the event so that they are actively partaking in my grief - I am part of the family after all and if I'm to participate in their joy, they need to participate in my sadness
  • Talk about other things than just the pregnancy
Here are my conflicts:
  • They say they care but haven't shown they can properly support me
  • I think I'll likely feel sad and don't need to feel that way if I can help it
Here's why it may be better if I don't go:
  • They are able to enjoy the event with pure joy without having to think about me & my sadness and grief
  • I save myself from likely feeling sad & ignored

I thought writing this out would make it clearer. When I was discussing it with a friend this week she asked me "why do you want to go?" because it really didn't seem clear.

It seems to all point to not going but there's something inside me that's uncomfortable with that decision too that I can't put my finger on other than I want to be there for her in her moment of joy (even though I'm not sure I've really felt her be there for me in my sadness). I also don't think life needs to be quid pro quo and therefore I'd like to be there for her even though I haven't felt that be reciprocated.

I know many of you have offered helpful advice on just staying busy at the shower but I'm afraid that may not be enough. I think what I really want is to feel acknowledged for what I'm going through. And I don't think that's too much to ask for.

I guess it comes down to whether they're able to do that for me or not. And I'm not sure.

So... to go or not to go?


  1. I've gone to my fair share of showers where I just pretend it's not me. I had to (and still do at times). I like to pretend I'm an actress in her greatest roll ever. But I want to support the people I love and, sometimes, that's what it takes for me.

    Good luck...

  2. I totally get it. I wish other people would just acknowledge what we are going through and admit that they know it is hard on you. Very few people in my real life do this for me. There is no right answer, but I understand why it is hard to decide. Do what feels most right to you.

  3. These are always uncomfortable situations. My SIL just had her baby shower last weekend. I struggled for weeks trying to decide to go or not, etc. I ended up deciding to spend an evening with them beforehand, bring the gift, and card. I was able to acknowledge their joy and excitement, while protecting myself from the pain of a full on shower.

    I definitely think you should talk with your SIL and see how she would feel about you doing something like that and still go to the B&B that weekend. I can't imagine a baby shower on Mother's day. Ouch!