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Are we supposed to keep baby shower details secret from mom-to-be?


Janeway
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I am planning a baby shower. In my excitement, I started texting the mom-to-be about my ideas, but stopped because I am wondering...she is the guest of honor. Am I supposed to keep the details secret? Like, she knows the date and time and place and we do the rest? 

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I guess it depends on the person.  Maybe some would rather be involved and others would rather just show up and enjoy what is planned.  

I've never hosted a baby shower and don't know if there is *proper* etiquette for how it's supposed to be handled.

 

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In my family showers are often surprises with the spouse in on it to get the mom or bride to be there.  If not a complete surprise then the guest of honor is not in on the details.

That is just our tradition.  I could imagine someone having requests for their shower.

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I involved my sisters in a lot of details, but they were both long-distance showers, so it made sense. Plus, I wanted to make sure they got elements that were important to them that may not have crossed my mind or been my cup of tea. We have very different tastes!

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Personally, I would rather not worry about a detail and just be the guest of honor. But I wouldn't care about the details so it would have to be really bad for me to be disappointed.

However, whether it is generational or regional I don't know, most of these things I have been exposed to nowadays are very detailed pinterest inspired, instagram worthy events. What in my mind would be a cute themed party likely would fall short of what is expected now. For that reason I intend to fully ask any future guest of honor exactly what they want. I mean, if the mom to be envisions a balloon arch, I want to make sure I have a balloon arch. Which is something simple, practical me would likely not have thought of. 

For me, expectations have changes so wildly that I would ask the guest of honor what they are envisioning. 

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1 minute ago, teachermom2834 said:

Personally, I would rather not worry about a detail and just be the guest of honor. But I wouldn't care about the details so it would have to be really bad for me to be disappointed.

However, whether it is generational or regional I don't know, most of these things I have been exposed to nowadays are very detailed pinterest inspired, instagram worthy events. What in my mind would be a cute themed party likely would fall short of what is expected now. For that reason I intend to fully ask any future guest of honor exactly what they want. I mean, if the mom to be envisions a balloon arch, I want to make sure I have a balloon arch. Which is something simple, practical me would likely not have thought of. 

For me, expectations have changes so wildly that I would ask the guest of honor what they are envisioning. 

My ideas involve traditional baby shower games, finger foods, and decorations in the theme she picked for her baby room. 

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One I mostly just contributed certain food items and showed up.

The other, the mom basically planned and drove me bonkers. I didn't mind input, but I didn't like being micromanaged. I think maybe I had begged off partway through the process when I saw the writing on the wall. At any rate, it was not fun. It was like bridezilla only the baby shower version. I ended up not even attending. 

I am not sure how normal people do it, lol! When mine were thrown for me, I tossed out a couple of ideas and preferences and let them just do what they wanted otherwise. So much easier. The family shower already kind of had a blueprint (loads of people, multi-generational, and the men make themselves scarce until the food shows up).

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6 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

However, whether it is generational or regional I don't know, most of these things I have been exposed to nowadays are very detailed pinterest inspired, instagram worthy events. What in my mind would be a cute themed party likely would fall short of what is expected now. For that reason I intend to fully ask any future guest of honor exactly what they want. I mean, if the mom to be envisions a balloon arch, I want to make sure I have a balloon arch. Which is something simple, practical me would likely not have thought of. 

For me, expectations have changes so wildly that I would ask the guest of honor what they are envisioning. 

This is why I hope to not have to ever plan one again except maybe for a future DIL or really close family member. I don't think the guest of honor should be able to make such financial demands on the person giving the party. At least with a relative, you can point to family tradition as a starting point. 

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1 minute ago, kbutton said:

This is why I hope to not have to ever plan one again except maybe for a future DIL or really close family member. I don't think the guest of honor should be able to make such financial demands on the person giving the party. At least with a relative, you can point to family tradition as a starting point. 

I agree with you. I definitely would not like to be put in the position of hosting an event for someone with such demands. I'm envisioning (I have three grown sons at the moment) daughters-in-law and going out of my way to be accomodating. But I sure wouldn't want to volunteer to throw an event for someone with the expectations I am seeing. I also have seen closer relatives throwing showers in a way that used to be considered improper. But the expectations I am seeing for these events make it something only someone very close would choose to take on, I think. So I do think a change is underway in which parents of the couple are often hosting these things. 

I am not even running in affluent circles. Just in circles that really get into all the pinterest stuff and the events seem way out of line with the economics. But I am trying not to be an old grumpy lady and I'm just going along. 🙂 

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5 minutes ago, kbutton said:

This is why I hope to not have to ever plan one again except maybe for a future DIL or really close family member. I don't think the guest of honor should be able to make such financial demands on the person giving the party. At least with a relative, you can point to family tradition as a starting point. 

This is such a good point. I do not have family tradition to go by, but showers back in the day, between my friends and I were only simple affairs.  Food, a few annoying games, maybe a few cheap cardboard pop-up decorations & balloons.  Decorating today is kinda craziness IMO for simple events.  

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1 hour ago, kbutton said:

One I mostly just contributed certain food items and showed up.

The other, the mom basically planned and drove me bonkers. I didn't mind input, but I didn't like being micromanaged. I think maybe I had begged off partway through the process when I saw the writing on the wall. At any rate, it was not fun. It was like bridezilla only the baby shower version. I ended up not even attending. 

I am not sure how normal people do it, lol! When mine were thrown for me, I tossed out a couple of ideas and preferences and let them just do what they wanted otherwise. So much easier. The family shower already kind of had a blueprint (loads of people, multi-generational, and the men make themselves scarce until the food shows up).

To be honest, I suspect this is how it will turn out. I gave her nice baby stuff I had from my youngest. The stuff I had with my youngest was new. There was a nice stroller-Combi, and a nice cherry wood crib that was brand new. I also have a brand new Fisher Price potty seat that never got used. This is a young mom, a relative, who cannot even afford her groceries. Yet, she pretty much said no and sent me pictures of things she really wants, all high end stuff. Some of us are getting the impression she expects us to pay for it. She has always been this way, needing expensive things from expensive stores and new iphones every year, whatever the latest is. And she could never afford this stuff so her mom would be very manipulative to the grandparents to get all she wants. She did not even graduate high school really, she did, but from an alternative night school thing. And her mom has asked me to throw the baby shower, stating that I am the Godparent to the pregnant mom. Her mom also started listing off expensive restaurants that I do not even go to, to hold the shower at. Oh, the mom is single and using food stamps and WIC and such. I still wanted to hold a nice shower, but I am picturing the kind of shower I held for her mom and the kind I had myself. 

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2 minutes ago, Janeway said:

To be honest, I suspect this is how it will turn out. I gave her nice baby stuff I had from my youngest. The stuff I had with my youngest was new. There was a nice stroller-Combi, and a nice cherry wood crib that was brand new. I also have a brand new Fisher Price potty seat that never got used. This is a young mom, a relative, who cannot even afford her groceries. Yet, she pretty much said no and sent me pictures of things she really wants, all high end stuff. Some of us are getting the impression she expects us to pay for it. She has always been this way, needing expensive things from expensive stores and new iphones every year, whatever the latest is. And she could never afford this stuff so her mom would be very manipulative to the grandparents to get all she wants. She did not even graduate high school really, she did, but from an alternative night school thing. And her mom has asked me to throw the baby shower, stating that I am the Godparent to the pregnant mom. Her mom also started listing off expensive restaurants that I do not even go to, to hold the shower at. Oh, the mom is single and using food stamps and WIC and such. I still wanted to hold a nice shower, but I am picturing the kind of shower I held for her mom and the kind I had myself. 

In that case I would not involve the mom but throw the kind of shower you want to throw and let her know where to show up.

 

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2 minutes ago, Janeway said:

To be honest, I suspect this is how it will turn out. I gave her nice baby stuff I had from my youngest. The stuff I had with my youngest was new. There was a nice stroller-Combi, and a nice cherry wood crib that was brand new. I also have a brand new Fisher Price potty seat that never got used. This is a young mom, a relative, who cannot even afford her groceries. Yet, she pretty much said no and sent me pictures of things she really wants, all high end stuff. Some of us are getting the impression she expects us to pay for it. She has always been this way, needing expensive things from expensive stores and new iphones every year, whatever the latest is. And she could never afford this stuff so her mom would be very manipulative to the grandparents to get all she wants. She did not even graduate high school really, she did, but from an alternative night school thing. And her mom has asked me to throw the baby shower, stating that I am the Godparent to the pregnant mom. Her mom also started listing off expensive restaurants that I do not even go to, to hold the shower at. Oh, the mom is single and using food stamps and WIC and such. I still wanted to hold a nice shower, but I am picturing the kind of shower I held for her mom and the kind I had myself. 

I think I would decline the "honor." Sounds very difficult.

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I planned my own, and my sister and I jointly planned her shower.  I would think fewer surprises are better for most people, unless you know the person loves surprises.  🙂

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A shower is a gift from the guests to the recipient. Other than agreeing on a date, list of guests, and a wish list, I don't think the guest of honor should be involved in the planning.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

I planned my own, and my sister and I jointly planned her shower.  I would think fewer surprises are better for most people, unless you know the person loves surprises.  🙂

I had one baby shower and it was a surprise.  I appreciated the thought, but didn't enjoy it and I didn't get to register or even tell anyone what I'd like so I ended up with like 50 baby blankets and not much else.  My mother said loudly during the shower, "At least he'll be warm!"

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3 hours ago, Janeway said:

And her mom has asked me to throw the baby shower, stating that I am the Godparent to the pregnant mom. Her mom also started listing off expensive restaurants that I do not even go to, to hold the shower at. Oh, the mom is single and using food stamps and WIC and such. I still wanted to hold a nice shower, but I am picturing the kind of shower I held for her mom and the kind I had myself. 

Actually I would not only decline to give the shower, but say something along the lines that this is not supposed to be an expensive gift grab. I hate when people do this.

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3 hours ago, Janeway said:

To be honest, I suspect this is how it will turn out. I gave her nice baby stuff I had from my youngest. The stuff I had with my youngest was new. There was a nice stroller-Combi, and a nice cherry wood crib that was brand new. I also have a brand new Fisher Price potty seat that never got used. This is a young mom, a relative, who cannot even afford her groceries. Yet, she pretty much said no and sent me pictures of things she really wants, all high end stuff. Some of us are getting the impression she expects us to pay for it. She has always been this way, needing expensive things from expensive stores and new iphones every year, whatever the latest is. And she could never afford this stuff so her mom would be very manipulative to the grandparents to get all she wants. She did not even graduate high school really, she did, but from an alternative night school thing. And her mom has asked me to throw the baby shower, stating that I am the Godparent to the pregnant mom. Her mom also started listing off expensive restaurants that I do not even go to, to hold the shower at. Oh, the mom is single and using food stamps and WIC and such. I still wanted to hold a nice shower, but I am picturing the kind of shower I held for her mom and the kind I had myself. 

I would tell them to choose another host for the shower. Otherwise you'll just end up investing a lot of effort and energy (and possibly money), and the mom-to-be will still be unhappy and resentful that it wasn't the expensive extravaganza that she thinks she's entitled to. I wouldn't put myself out organizing an event that I know is just going to make the recipient mad no matter what I did. I'm so sorry you've been put in that position!

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3 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

In that case I would not involve the mom but throw the kind of shower you want to throw and let her know where to show up.

 

I agree with this.  I'm sorry you are in this situation, @Janeway!

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Posted (edited)

Yes, this sounds like crazy town.  You've already gone FAR above and beyond by offering some gently used nice things.  It sounds like expectations are far exceeding reality.  No one is ENTITLED to a shower.  I never had one and here I am ok with my life.  I still had a boat load of gifts show up for my kids and I did register for my first child upon urging from relatives.  

Anyway, I might say "my time and budget will allow for a back yard shower for up to 15 with cake and punch"  or whatever works for you.  And "If you're hoping for more than that maybe someone else would be interested in hosting".  There is no RULE about godparents throwing showers, that is ridiculous.  I got very simple gifts from mine when my kids were born.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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That’s nuts. I agree with the PP tell them what you are willing to do. I just went to a shower in a fairly affluent area—it was outside, home made food, 20 people.  Restaurants? Rejecting hand me downs? I just can’t even!  Even the wealthiest folks I know hand around hand me downs and used baby equipment. 

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