Handling baby showers and other events

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Handling baby showers and other events

    Thought I'd crowdsource some methods that could benefit all of us. What are your best tips for handling friends' and families' baby showers and other events? Coping mechanisms, various tips?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    WPP, I realize that their happiness does not detract from my own.  If I can make the shower or event, I RSVP yes and get a gift. If I can't make it, I RSVP my regrets and send a gift.  If I simply don't want to go and don't want to send a gift, I RSVP my regrets and send a card. 

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    I was going to say what ALF did, sharing their joy makes me happy.  

    But, I guess the "tip" is to understand that there are pros and cons to everything, and how having a baby will ultimately turn out is a complete guess.  Our imaginations often mislead us.  We might imagine that having a baby, for example, would make us happy, but google "resentment parents" and you'll find how many people imagined wrongly and secretly wish they could get their old lives back.

    What if she dies in childbirth?  What if the baby is born with spina bifida?  If in a few years their their child develops autism, for instance, are you still going to be desperately wishing you had their tantruming child who can't seem to love them or communicate?  It's a black box, this baby thing.  You just don't know.  

    I'm not saying, of course, to wish bad things to happen so you can be happy.  I'm saying that you can't possibly know that you have good reason to cry that their baby isn't coming to you.  

    If you go to the shower with a balanced view (seeing equally the good, bad, and ugly) of pregnancy, childbirth, possible complications, and a lifetime of who knows what ahead (good and bad), you will be less likely to mourn the "perfect life" you see them having and you missing out on.  Because there's no such thing to mourn.  They will be having a DIFFERENT life, but WHAT that life will be nobody knows.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    I totally admire ALF and Kargiver and they are completely correct about what a total crapshoot parenthood and life is, however I am shallow and selfish and found baby showers unbearable when I was unsuccessful in my TTC journey, so I'll just give you some solid, practical tips. I'm a mom of one now (LOVE IT, so worth the wait), wish I could have more, so baby showers are still a little dicey for me.

    Baby showers in people's homes are easier, because you volunteer to help in any and every way, you get people drinks, clear tables and help pick up, help set ups, take out trash - you can stay very busy at an at home baby shower, and I do remember crying in the sink at my (younger and alcoholic) sisters baby shower. Present opening and the ohhing and ahhing over cute baby things takes place at the same time as table clearing and dish washing. I help out with these things, it gives me something to distract myself with, and I look helpful and enthusiastic.

    If they are at a restaurant, volunteering to make the list for the thank you notes is a good distraction, or arranging the gifts after opening can be distracting (otherwise, hang to the edges so you can step away).  

    Acknowledge to someone - not the quest of honor or the host or someone petty, but someone you love and trust, that this is hard for you and you are doing your best. Sometimes, just being able to give someone else a glance helps. This same person should step up and shut down any "when will it be your turn..." comments. For me, the family network shuts down most of this. Everyone knows you do not say anything to me about pregnancy, pretty much ever. 

    Trust me on this, do not think you'll feel better if you have a few drinks at the shower. You will not, not in any way, shape or form.

    Make plans for immediately after the shower, a place to go and something to do. Otherwise, you will go home and sulk and cry, and that is not productive.  

    HTH, believe me there are alot of people out there who have a hard time with baby showers. Know you are not alone, I think that's the most important thing to remember.

     Edited to add: My gosh, I sound SO pathetic! It's really not that bad!

     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from tomarra. Show tomarra's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    My tip is to honor your emotions.  It's easier said that done but it will help you stay sane.  Some events you have go too and you just have to handle them the best that you can.  If you start to get emotional, walk away or talk to some one about it.

    In my case I think the biggest problem was hiding what I was going through.  I had to show that I was strong and was handing things well on my own but I was falling apart.

    I thought I was doing a great job hiding what I was going through from friends and family.  They pretty much knew what we were going through and wished that we talked to them about it.  They felt at loss not knowing how to approach the subject with us.  If I had just been opened with them things would have been a lot easier on me.

    After talking to them about our issue, we realized that we were not alone.  Our friends and family become a great support system.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    It's definitely not a good thing to stuff negative emotions inside or deny you have them.  I'm suggesting processing anyone's pregnancy in a completely new way.  Right now, if you have to run to their restroom to cry, you are obviously assuming they are about to have the perfect life you wish you were about to have, too.  Practice assuming nothing about the life they are about to have.  It could end up being just as awful as it could be great to get pregnant.  If you can process that, you won't be so sad when anyone you know gets pregnant.

    I am not super strong, just super old, lol.  I've been friends with people of child bearing age, now, for over 20 YEARS.  In that time, I've known of many late miscarriages (one baby strangled by the cord at 7 months), a child with Down's, a mother's PPD so bad that she was hospitalized on tranquilizers for a MONTH after she had a complete dissociative breakdown (she never fully recovered), children who are so difficult they constantly disrupt the peace of the family with no reward, just strife...it goes on and on.  Yes, there are, of course, happy stories, too, but to assume any particular pregnancy is something great you are missing out on, hence your sadness at showers, is something you can learn not to do.  

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from siena09. Show siena09's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    I just wanted to add that I think it is important that you give yourself permission not to do things that are going to make you miserable.  I can't tell you where to draw the lines--obviously some baby-related events aren't really optional--but some are. I found baby showers particularly hard, or any situation in which a large group of people was consumed with baby talk and excitement.  I had an easier time handling things one-on-one.  You can decline an invitation, or come up with an exit strategy in advance to arrive late or leave early and know that you have limited the time that you need to be there.  Or offer to help out, so that you can busy yourself with cleaning up/putting food out, and have a reason to duck into the kitchen when you need a break. 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    These are all great ideas. I don't think I'm as self-actualized as Kar and ALF :) but that's also a much-needed perspective. I plan on (discreetly) texting DH a lot through baby showers to have a little support.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    it's actually quite simple - Kar and I have been TTC w/o success for a long time. We would have completely isolated ourselves from our family and friends if we stayed home from showers and other events that celebrated or involved kids.  Since being a hermit or crawling into a corner for a pity party doesn't solve the issue, there really is no point in doing it. It makes more sense to enjoy life, family and friends NOW, than to look back - still childless -years later and say, gee I wish I had gone to that. Not going to events and feeling sorry for youself b/c you can't get what you want when you want it isn't going to bring you any closer to your goal.  Decide to be happy.  You do not need a baby to be happy.  Would one enhance your life?  Of course. But if fate, medicine, biology and whatever other juju out there determine that you don't get a baby, are you just going to stop living?  Hopefully not.  So you may as well start living and enjoy the present now. The present doesn't last forever. 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    i just want to say that i think kar hit the nail on the head.  i *often* envy my friends who are single or married and childless.  before i had kids, and esp when i was struggling in ttc-land, ppl with kids looked so happy and the kids always seemed so easy and cute and just like a perfect accessory - boy, was i wrong!  not that i don't love my children, but i guess what i mean is - the grass is always greener and what i would give to have a day when i could think about myself first and do whatever the heck i wanted with no guilt - to me that would be priceless, and i don't think i'll ever have it again (the guilt part especially - that never goes away).  so as hard as it is, try to remember that your friends with kids don't have perfect lives either (and the ones who are PG with their first babies just don't know it yet!) - and hang in there, we are all crossing our fingers that it will work out for all of you on this board. 

    (i hesitated to post this b/c i don't want to seem all insensitive or "oh pity me, i HAVE kids" - so i hope the message comes out the way i intended - which is meant as support.  i think i've posted similar sentiments before and angered some ppl.  - pls. know i don't mean to offend.)

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    Stef, thanks for posting that - it's exactly what I was trying to say, that assuming the grass is greener is a happiness draining mistake we can all learn to avoid making.  As long as anyone truly believes that the grass IS greener on the other side of the fence, she'll always be sad on the side of the fence she's on.  What you believe in that regard is ultimately your choice.  Yup, ALF and I aren't particularly wise (well, speaking of myself, anyway), we're just plain too old to fall for that "greener grass over there" illusion and aren't willing to sacrifice our happiness for the envy of something that only exists in our vivid imaginations.

    Processing life the way it really is, a totally out of our control crappp shoot, and being happy with the one life you have, is as much a choice as choosing to avoid baby-related parties for 20 years.  And, parties have cake. :)

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Chiclet831. Show Chiclet831's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    The only thing I wanted to add to the already great advice is not to feel bad if you can't drag yourself into Babies R Us to get a present. I couldn't. I bought a lot of laundry baskets with Dreft, etc to spare myself from having to pick through all the adorable baby stuff that I wanted so desperately to buy for myself! I've also given lots of books for the same reason. I'm much happier if I can go to Barnes & Noble, get a coffee and pick out some books that I liked as a kid. Obviously online shopping is also an option but I always found myself clicking through everything and that didn't help. I always found that I could make it through most showers once I actually got there, but it was all the shopping and prep work that upset me more.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    I wanted to add one more item, if you decide being in that setting might be too hard for you but want to still find a way to celebrate, politely decline the shower invite and set up something one-on-one with the mom-to-be.  Showers can be totally overwhelming for everyone involved but a nice quiet lunch with just the two of you might be something that you can handle. 

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    Stef, I don't think you're being insensitive--it's important to remember what you, Kar, and ALF are saying; reality isn't always as rosy as we imagine, especially if we've been wanting something for so long. I definitely forget that and focus on the happy-family montages playing in my head. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Handling baby showers and other events

    YES, that's it.  It's not a matter of hiding or denying sad feelings, it's processing their news with the uncertainty real life demands.

    Take one day at a time, assume nothing, and you'll automatically be a happier person no matter what happens because life is not intrinsically happy or sad.  You are or you aren't.

     
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