To not attend the 'surprise' baby shower MIL arranged for me

(526 Posts)
GiantStuffedDragons Sat 17-Mar-18 00:01:27

A bit of background so I don't dripfeed, MIL and I have always had an up and down awkward relationship. When I first got together with DH she disapproved of me because I come from a poor family and threatened to cut him out of the will. Once she realised DH was still going to date me she made more effort to get to know me.

Then when DH and I got engaged she was very overly involved in the wedding planning, inviting people we hadn't asked and ordering things like flowers without asking. Admittedly I am partly at fault as I let her got too far without telling her to stop. Though at the time I was having some mental health issues and was struggling to cope. Eventually I told DH to sort it all out and he told her to stop but it took a while for our relationship to go back to the way it was.

I am pregnant with our first DCs. We struggled to conceive and had to have multiple rounds of IVF to get to this point. I am very grateful to be pregnant however it has been a really tough pregnancy for me. The baby is due a couple of weeks after Easter and the back and hip pain and the nausea are really bad. I am really struggling just to do basic tasks and I am trying to sort out my maternity leave earlier than planned because I am finding it really tough.

MIL is very excited about the pregnancy but can also take it a bit far. For example she keeps buying us things which she knows we have already bought because she has seen a better one, or referring to the baby as her princess. Even though we don't know if the baby will be a girl or a boy yet.

So to the point. We went to see the ILs last weekend for mothers day. They live a few hours drive away so we stay over night when we go there. I really struggled on the drive there and I was sick plus my back hurt so much I cried. So we spend the night and it was pretty usual as far as a visit to the ILs is concerned but the drive back was horrible and I struggled the whole way home and I was knackered in work and ended up going home early.

Then on Wednesday MIL text me saying that she was arranging a family party this weekend and DH and I had to come to it. I said I was sorry but I didn't think I would be able to come but that DH will go. She messaged back asking why so I explained that I was struggling with travelling there and that I was sick and in pain so I would be a rubbish party guest anyway but assured her DH will be there. She then called me telling me that I have to attend as this will be that last party she throws before I have the baby and I must come. I apologised but said I don't think I can manage it. She said that I am not the only person to ever be pregnant and I should think about and she will call DH on Friday for our decision.

On Thursday we realised that there is pretty bad snow and ice forecast for this weekend so it's unlikely that anyone will be able to go to the party. So DH called a couple of times but MIL didn't answer so he text her explaining the situation.

This evening I got a call off MIL saying that she is devastated that we aren't coming and we need to come to this party. I explained again and she said that she was really upset that I wasn't coming and that she was annoyed that I was keeping DH from the party. I reminded her that DH might not go due to the weather and it was nothing to do with me. She said that we were going to make her look stupid and then she hung up.

I then got a call from FIL explaining that I had to go to the party because MIL has arranged a massive baby shower for me and that if I don't go I will disappoint not just MIL but everyone who was invited and have already bought gifts. I wasn't really sure what to say so apologised and FIL said that he expects to see us there as this is important to MIL. He then hung up on me.

So when DH got home from work I told him what had happened. He started saying that maybe we should go then and seeing if he could find the shovel in case it has snowed in the morning. I said hang on I don't think I can travel there again. He said he was sure we could find a way around it and that we had to go because other people have been invited and brought presents. I said what about me and he said he would find a way for us to go and started planning a route with loads of comfort breaks and I have come upstairs because I am annoyed but I know it's not really fair.

I hate baby showers anyway which doesn't help but I really don't want to go. But I also don't want to upset all those people. Most of them will be people and extended family that I won't know very well but I will have to see again at other parties that MIL throws and I don't want them to hate me. But I am really struggling and I know some people cope well with pregnancy and that I'm not the first person to be pregnant but the thought of that drive again makes me want to cry. But I also don't want to upset anyone and DH is trying to make it work.

So AIBU to not attend or should I just suck it up and go so I don't upset all the people who have made an effort for me.

OP’s posts: |
Greenyogagirl Sat 17-Mar-18 00:04:14

I think you are a bit, you said the relationship has been up and down and it sounds like she’s really trying to make an effort (however cackhanded)

ohfourfoxache Sat 17-Mar-18 00:06:14

Fuck. That.

Don’t go, you’re pregnant and in pain.

She’s just going to have to deal with it. There is no way in hell I’d be making that journey, and I’d be telling dh he can bloody well go by himself

GreenTulips Sat 17-Mar-18 00:07:55

Nope! Stay home in bed with a good book and a warm blanket!

She could've thrown the party last weekend - she can tell them the bad weather will cancle the get together

She sounds like a nightmare who has no idea how to listen to what others want or need -

Tough! She needs to sort it out not for you to worry about

And tell DH - it's his baby too - so he can go and accept the gifts of he really feels the need - bit you're staying home

Flutterbyeee Sat 17-Mar-18 00:08:25

Do not go. I am impressed how you have stuck to your guns. My family got pissed off with me for not attending an all day outdoor music festival when I had my 1st baby who was six weeks old and breastfeeding. Sod them. Take care of yourself.

Ozgirl75 Sat 17-Mar-18 00:08:48

Could she move the party closer to you?

OliviaStabler Sat 17-Mar-18 00:09:51

Don't go. Start as you mean to go on. Give in now and your PIL and DH will always take advantage of you. You are not well enough to travel, end of discussion.


NoSquirrels Sat 17-Mar-18 00:10:09

Oh dear - you have unfortunately contracted norovirus the n top of everything else - how bloody awful for you, OP. wink

fuzzywuzzy Sat 17-Mar-18 00:11:09

Wow, how have you not completely lost your temper at them?

In your shoes I’d have had a screaming crying tantrum. I had really awful SPD and no way on earth would I have acquiesced to driving a few hours for a party!

Offer to repeatedly whack your husband in the lower back with a brick then tell him to drive to his parents. He’s utterly dismissing how much pain you are in.

BackforGood Sat 17-Mar-18 00:12:00

No way I would be going (and I normally defend MiLs on here grin).

You've just been, despite being unwell and really struggling with the journey.
As soon as she mentioned you going again, you said you wouldn't be able to. tbh, at that point, I wouldn't have suggested my dh went so you were very accommodating.
I would not be impressed by her saying she would speak to your dh for your answer !!! shock. Even more so when you had clearly given it.
YANBU, and I simply would not go, and, quite frankly I'd be having word with dh as to why his mother's decisions about his life were more important to him than his own decisions - made in light of the weather forecast, and the fact you aren't very well hmm

As I say, I'm no MiL 'basher', and generally I am here defending - or at least putting their pov.

fabulous01 Sat 17-Mar-18 00:12:59

She is Luke my mil
I wouldn’t go. I also think she is horrendous for not listening to you as to the reasons.
My other advice is to make sure you don’t have a spare room as they will visit a lot when baby is born

Appuskidu Sat 17-Mar-18 00:13:28

Don’t go! Going for mother’s Day was enough- you don’t need to go the weekend after either!

SeaToSki Sat 17-Mar-18 00:15:47

You poor thing, that is a heck of a decision to make. I can just feel the emotional pressure that is on you to go, and the dread of the drive and party you are feeling. I’m wondering if there is a way to a middle ground. Can your DH call his parents and ask if they can reschedule because you are sick and the bad weather and do it for a time when LO is here, so everyone gets to see the baby, and you have a chance to feel up for the drive? Maybe when baby is about 4\5 weeks ish? Im sure if he put it right he could persuade your ILs that all the guests would be happy to not turn out in miserable weather and also have a chance to meet the baby.

LeighaJ Sat 17-Mar-18 00:16:11

She shouldn't have made it a surprise and it's generally better to have them a bit sooner before due date because women feel so bad at the end.

No one sounds like they're having a great reaction to the issue, so all parties seem a bit unreasonable.

I had to travel for 6 hours in a car before right after getting multiple injections in my lower back and neck. My back and neck were in agony and it triggered a migraine as well. Brought cold packs to make it somewhat bearable. It was for a good friends wedding weekend that I simply couldn't miss so I just had to suck it up and slept for about 10 or 12 hours after arriving there.

You might find you need to do the same since it's not the fault of the guests travelling there that your MIL made a mess of it.

I might be slightly biased though because I was meant to have a baby shower for our first child hosted by my Mom and MIL last weekend but as usual the only thing I can depend on from my Mother is that she's flaky and will fuck things up. So no shower and I'm going to be butthurt about that for awhile I think.

SunshineAfterRain Sat 17-Mar-18 00:22:11

The most important thing right now is that you and baby are comfortable.
The last thing you want to be doing is travelling a long distance with hip and back problems. Plus if it gets colder your joint will feel worse probably.

A silly idea but ----You could always Skype them I suppose if it goes ahead. May be a little strange but at least you could thank them etc yourself.

Or is it possible to have the party in your house ?

This is honestly why I hate surprises people mean well but it can force someone into an uncomfortable situation.

Nocabbageinmyeye Sat 17-Mar-18 00:22:14

Not a hope in hell would I go. Look she (and your fil and dh) have made it pretty clear that your baby shower is about your mil and not you hmm in fact the only way you factor into the surprise party you don't want is for people to tell you your feelings and physical comfort don't matter, nah fuck that, I'd take myself and my elastic pants off to the couch with an Easter egg and tell dh to go, it's his baby too after all, let him go thank people for their presents

Prestonsflowers Sat 17-Mar-18 00:24:46

I’m a MIL and my DIL is pregnant with their second baby, gladly she is coping well. I live about 3 hours drive away from my DS,DIL and DGS. There are NO circumstances that would make me insist on them coming to visit me, my DH would not phone them and try and guilt trip them into making a visit. If I tried to force my DS and his family to make the trip I would be told NO it’s not on.
I love my DS more than life itself but he has other priorities now, and so he should. He has a family of his own and they must take preference.
Do not give in and tell your DH not to either.
Best wishes for your future family life

musketeersmama Sat 17-Mar-18 00:25:49

I think she's trying to make a lovely effort. I'd reciprocate and grit my teeth and go.

Ariesgirl1988 Sat 17-Mar-18 00:35:09

Wow what a demanding woman! she sounds like a bloody controlling narcissist! first of all she didn't tell you it was a surprise shower merely saying you have to come and you told her numerous times you will not be going because you are unwell and yet she still carried on trying to browbeat you into going. She could have cancelled when you first said no and explained that you are unwell but she did not. This shower is not about you and new baby its about her showing off what a lovely MIL she is to throw you this shower. Secondly how you have not lost your temper with your husband I don't know! he sounds like a wimpy mummy's boy to scared to stand up to her and actually getting a shovel out in case of snow! is MIL really cared do you think she would carry on demanding you go with bad weather with potential to have car accident and you are pregnant and unwell. You need to put your foot down now with her or she will be much worse as time goes on. I would also tell your husband that whilst your respect her as his mum he also needs to think about you and baby and really its not unreasonable to not go if she's worried about being embarrassed tough luck she should have cancelled the moment you said no. I guarantee you she will get worse, what about when you go into labour is she gonna barge into labour ward and demand cuddles? and when you're home with baby I bet she will be round everyday demanding to see her gc. Don't cave into this emotional blackmail stay firm and rest up smile

GiantStuffedDragons Sat 17-Mar-18 00:35:51

Thank you, interesting mixed responses so far.

We can't have the party in our house because MIL will have invited loads of people and they probably won't all fit in. Though I don't think MIL would go for that idea anyway as they only come to our house once a year and she made a big deal of how once the baby is here they will have to come to see us.

OP’s posts: |
Ariesgirl1988 Sat 17-Mar-18 00:45:53


I'm sorry if I sounded harsh but I feel angry on your behalf people like your MIL are are toxic and mostly bullies. My sister has the ILS from hell and I've had to bite my tongue many times over the years and not say nothing when they have upset her or taken advantage of her I'm the confrontational sister she is the softer hearted and sensitive one. My friends have also experienced nightmare MIL because they will not allow them to run the show. One of my friends MIL constantly interfered when she had her baby telling she was holding her wrong and encouraging her to stop breastfeeding saying formula was better so then she could feed baby hmm and really its mums choice if they want to bottle or breastfeed.

Thistlebelle Sat 17-Mar-18 00:51:52

No one will hate you.

Every single other person will understand that you aren’t well enough to travel. They can have the get together without you and give presents to your DH and you can write lovely thank you letters.

user1485778793 Sat 17-Mar-18 00:52:01

Wow. She throws a tantrum and fil and dh respond accordingly.... what a pair of plonkers!

Give in and your opening up the flood gates.

Just go broken record on them. 'Sorry, as I explained before I'm in too much pain/sick to travel that far. Dh will come if the weather's ok, have a great time blah blah'

SmashedMug Sat 17-Mar-18 00:52:40

Your MIL won't want to move the party anyway because it'll be harder for her to make it all about her if it's not at her house. I'd stand your ground and not go. It's not great for the guests but that's for MIL to deal with and feel guilt about not you! You didn't invite them.

LadyLoveYourWhat Sat 17-Mar-18 00:54:14

Why are people saying you should grit your teeth and go? You have consistently said that you will not be able to travel. If she was truly trying to build bridges with you she would have noticed how hard it was to travel up for Mothers' Day and cancelled the plans without even mentioning them to you, rather than pressurising you to put yourself through all this discomfort. Your husband needs to be supporting you!

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