Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inclusive Yet Sensitive. What Would You Do? *UPDATED*

Oh, my ALI compatriots, I need your advice. My baby shower will probably be in about 4 1/2 weeks (still firming this up with my friend who’s hosting). We all know how difficult baby showers can be when still struggling with family building. For the most part, this is not an issue for most of the friends I am inviting. But there are a few. I’ve read blog posts and posts on message boards about some people really feeling hurt when not invited to these events (even if they didn’t want to attend). They did not like being treated as too fragile to handle it, and felt excluded. So … I want to invite these friends, but I also want to somehow be VERY CLEAR that it’s absolutely fine if they decline the invitation. As much as I would love having them there, I do not want to cause them any pain. I know these friends are happy for me, but in no way does that mitigate their pain.

My thought was to send them individual emails just before the invitations go out, letting them know to expect the invite, and that I COMPLETELY understand if they don’t want to come. I would also like to give them some options, like waiting until the last minute to decide if they’re feeling up to attending, or dropping by briefly if they’re comfortable with that. There will be yummy food. My friend, Donor Daddy, will be making frittatas with eggs from the chickens on his farm, and there will be booze (I’m thinking makings for mimosas).

What do you think? Any suggestions for the emails?

*UPDATED in response to comments from Niki and BabySmiling*

There will absolutely be NO STUPID SHOWER GAMES!!! Ewwwww! Barf! My BFF, who is hosting the shower, had her DE son last Fall. There were no games at her shower. I will remind her that I don't want such things, but I can't imagine her planning for them. I was kind of shocked at her bridal shower 2 years earlier, when a friend insisted on making the paper plate/ribbons and bows from presents hat. Puleeeeeze!

And there will be other non-moms there. It will be a nice, Sunday brunch. No silly baby decor or favors.

19 comments:

Malea said...

Sounds like a good idea to invite,but then leave it open ended so they don't feel like your feelings would be hurt if they didn't come.

Honestly ,Dora i don't have an answer simply because women are so weird these days. No matter what you say or do it can be interpreted as something hurtful.

Good luck!

Calliope said...

I think a heads up e-mail or phone call (depending on the friend level) is a kind thing to do. And it is extremely thoughtful of you.

Genkicat said...

I had this happen to me right before I got pregnant. Actually I was pregnant but didn't know it. I just had my IVF transfer, and a very good friend had a baby shower. And I couldn't bring myself to go - although I wished her well, the timing just sucked for me.

I would have loved a personal email from her giving me the opportunity to decline gracefully, or to just show up, or to not show up depending on how I was feeling. I think its a great idea.

Niki said...

Dora, I think you are so kind to consider your friend's feelings. I wish some of my friends had been as considerate for me. It's a great idea to send a personal email message as a heads up of sorts. You are taking the time to consider their individual feelings and I'd think that would be well received (I know I'd be thankful for it). I agree that not inviting them would be hurtful (although I would understand the intentions), yet you want them to know you understand their position and respect a potential decision to bow out. Maybe you could suggest coming at the beginning or end for the food/drinks knowing that they may leave prior to the IMO dreaded baby shower games. Either way I'd like to believe that they will appreciate your kindness and understanding (seriously you've been there how couldn't you?!).

On another note ... so exciting that YOUR baby shower is coming up in a few weeks! :)

Geohde said...

I think you're being very tactful. I like your approach.

g

Quiet Dreams said...

I think it is so great for you to even think of this. I think that your idea for an email before the invite is a great idea, and just letting them know that you understand whatever they decide to do, and it's ok with you.

(I'm an old blogger with new digs, don't know if you got my email--had some privacy "issues", so I had to start fresh--again)

Kristin said...

I think the idea of a heads up email (or phone call like Calli said) is a brilliant idea...something along the lines of I know how hard it can be and I'd love to have you there but just knowing that you care is enough.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

It's a catch 22 isn't it?

I think an email, acknowledging that you know it may be a tough thing for them, is a good idea. I think the important thing is being understanding without being patronizing. Write the email that you would have found the most comforting/understanding when you were walking the ttc/IF road.

Billy said...

You are so considrate!

DEMummie said...

I would definitely invite the friends that you mentioned and I also think that an email heads up would be a great idea. Expressing understanding in their situation and that "when you were in their shoes" this type of get together would have been difficult might be a good way to explain it.....

Another example of your sensitivity!

meandbaby said...

I agree with Billy, you are so considerate!

Jennifer said...

That is the most considerate thing you could do - great idea. You're so sweet to let them know it's "okay" to decline - most people don't even realize how hard baby showers can be for those who are having trouble with IF and other family building issues. Kudos to you!

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

The individual heads up sounds like a very kind and welcoming solution.

Even more welcoming if I were in that situation would be if you could say (assuming it's true) that it won't be a typical baby shower -- people will talk about other topics, no stupid games, other non-parents aside from them, etc.

The Steadfast Warrior said...

I think this is a perfect way to handle the situation. It's thoughtful and considerate. The personal outreach I think makes all the difference in this case.

Another Dreamer said...

LOL about the no baby-games. Smart move ;) I totally ducked out of my friend's shower right before games. The brunch sounds nice, I think an email (or call as someone else suggested) would be a good way to go.

battynurse said...

So I'm late to respond but I like your idea of an e-mail prior to sending out the invites.
Whatever you do I hope the shower goes well and that you all have fun without the crazy games.

Cara said...

Oh Dora, it is a hard call. I guess my best advice here would to be clear, and appropriate with the invitations -- but honestly YOU have waited, and worked, and waited, and grieved, and hoped, and been elated to make this happen.

That morning is about YOU! BTW - do you have a registry? Cause, you know Auntie Cara just HAS to get this little bug something.

Io said...

I figure you've probably already figured this out, so I will just add a hallelujah to not having shower games!

musicmakermomma said...

Congratulations on getting to the shower! How exciting. God knows I understand your awkward position, being on both sides at various times... but I think you should invite these women and trust that they can assess their own feelings about whether it is better to go or not. I would guess most of them know about your own struggles, and as an unsuccessful (so far) DE IVFer I see you as an inspiration, not so much a beacon of pain. I know you'll be sensitive, and you can't do more than that. I'd be far more insulted by not getting the invite.

Good luck, hope you have a great party!