Sunday, July 13, 2014

Baby Mode turned into Baby Shower Post

Do you ever begin a post thinking you will be writing about one thing, and then realize that the back-story is big enough for entire post itself and end up writing about someone altogether different. I do this a lot...

This past week or two, I have transitioned into full-on baby-prep mode (but I've since realized I will need to talk about this at a later time). I think this was spurred by the invitation to a baby shower of someone who is due a month before me. It was at this moment that I realized that my family/me hasn't even begun thinking about a baby shower and that perhaps this is something that we should begin doing. After talking with my mom and looking at dates, we realized that time is already running out! It's crazy how far away November seems and yet how few available weekends there actually are between now and then.

Let me back up and talk a little about my family. I am the oldest of three sisters. My mother is the oldest with two younger brothers, but she has a very large extended family, most of whom live in the same city. I am very close with my uncles and first consigns. I am also close with most of my second and some of my third cousins on my mother's side. She has over 20 first cousins and have have between 40-50 second cousins that I see on a fairly regular basis. As in at least 2-3 times per year, minimum. Today I will be heading to a graduation party, in two weeks is a wedding, then there are two more graduation parties and another wedding all before Labor Day. All with the one side of family. My father is mostly estranged from his family, which actually works out in this situation as there is more then enough family to go around and they all love him.

This is relevant for two reasons. First, we never have small parties. I had 150 people at my high school graduation, 60 people at my bridal shower, and over 300 people at our wedding. It is nearly impossible to keep things reasonable because once you invite one cousin, then social convention and etiquette dictates that they will all be invited. So the option is to keep it to only immediate family and have five people or open it up to the extended family and have over fifty. My family likes to party, so we usually just open it up. We've gotten good at cooking for the masses. The second reason this is relevant is that, when it comes to choosing dates for occasions, availability goes quickly. There are already two family events booked in later August and September, prime baby-shower times, so choosing a date quickly and making this known to others becomes a more urgent priority.

OK, so there's that. Then there's the whole me being the oldest of three sisters part. We are all very different and at very different points in our life. My youngest sister is still working on growing up, finding her way in life, and prides herself on being unconventional and generally unenthusiastic about most things that others might care about. Not the best candidate for throwing a baby shower, which she will readily admit. My middle sister, on the hand, is all about party-planning, Pinterest, and a goal of 2.5 children with a white picket fence. She coordinated my wedding shower, which went fantastically, and then I, in turn, threw her wedding shower. My mom helped with both but she admits to being very uncreative, so was less about the ideas and more about the execution (that cooking for the masses thing... she's really good at it). It was a good combo for both showers.

However, this is a little different. This time, middle-sister is also in the midst of infertility treatments. Actually, she's "taking a break" from actual treatments, but is definitely not at a place of being content with her current non-baby situation. She also just began a new job that has her working on all weekends. She reported this week that she would not be helping at all with the shower and that we "shouldn't plan on her attending" it either. Maybe I will talk later about my mixed emotions with this stance, given the fact that I've been on both sides of the infertility fence now and understand her position but still feel hurt about her not even trying to attend.

Anyways, the point is that my sister will not be taking the lead in planning. My mom is a good executioner but not good at initiating things. I don't have very close friends that live in town and that I feel comfortable throwing a party for my 60 closest relatives. So this leaves me, along with my mom, to plan for the party.

Within the past week, we've collectively decided on the date and the theme and the location. Most notably, the location is going to be my parent's house and the date will be mid-September, just under two months before the due date and just over two months from now. So now the whole house is in full-on on cleaning, prepping, and registry-deciding mode. Which I will talk about more in another post...


  1. 2 things that struck me. 1) There's nothing wrong with helping plan your own baby shower, if that's what you want/need to do. Just remember that it's a celebration, so as long as you (and hubby if he's attending) have fun, that's all that REALLY matters. 2) It has to be very hard for your middle sister to have to step-away from planning your shower, but like we tell each other, she has to do what she needs to do to protect her emotions. Maybe a nice note written by you to her will let her know that you understand that she can't commit to attending, but that if she decides the day-of, she's more than welcome. Yes, you want to acknowledge to yourself that it hurts that your sister won't be part of your celebration, but telling her that may make her feel worse. You know this already, I don't know why I just typed it all out. Now I'm rambling.

    Thinking of you as you navigate all the emotions and logistics of your baby shower.

  2. Oh my gosh. I can't even imagine that much family. I have maybe a total of a dozen cousins including 1st and 2nd and BOTH sides. Good thing your friends invite prompted you to start the planning. Infertility is tough and then add on the sister dynamic. Yikes, hopefully you both find a balance. November is going to be here before we know it!