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Home / Entertainment / Carolyn Hax: I have to postpone my baby shower so my sister can take a shower first. Is that fair?

Carolyn Hax: I have to postpone my baby shower so my sister can take a shower first. Is that fair?

Dear Carolyn:

As unfit as it is to "need" a baby shower, my husband has just been released and we are finally expecting our first child in August after several miscarriages.

My success, Established, younger sister recently announced her upcoming wedding at the end of the summer.

My mother just decided yesterday to throw a baby shower for us in October at the earliest, but I was assigned to organize the bridal shower, set two weeks before my due date.

I feel pretty depressed. However, we did not share the current employment situation of my husband … because we know from experience that we do not receive any temporary financial support from the family.

How do I deal with the feeling of being overlooked? I will not even be able to afford a dress for her wedding, let alone something for the baby.

I'm still working, but we're already upside down and eating through our savings to make rent and pay all our bills every month. I would really like to "nest" a spell.


1; Overworked and Undone


There are so many things I want to say.

I'll start with it because it's fast: There's no shame in your "need" for this baby shower. They handle discharge as much as possible. Second, but most important: Congratulations on your pregnancy, especially after so much heartbreak.

Your immediate family is your future and thus the place to stabilize. Not only with the child you have, but also with your marriage and home and what you do there.

A layoff and a financial bottleneck and a twisted representation of the priorities of your family of origin? They are difficult and stressful. But they are also awkward. You can outlast them.

If you blink a little, you may be able to put your mother and sister, showers and weddings together to a larger, happy family tableau that features the passage of time together.

Or you blink a lot until your eyelids touch. Whatever it takes.

If you have your feet on this foundation, take care of the cumbersome things, starting with the bridal shower assigned to you.

By saying no, clumsy. Make the obvious: you adapt to your husband's dismissal – do not hide it, just treat it as a fact – you are also working closer than you would like on your due date, and it's very possible to give birth at shower time.

Seriously. You always have the right to reject a request, even if it is reasonable, but this request is simply perverted. "We'll celebrate you by throwing you a party !! … Ha ha, joking, instead you'll do all the work to celebrate someone else, right in the middle of your physically and emotionally transforming life event."

Not to cheer, but this is the kind of scenario in which readers are asked if my letters are wrong, because they can not imagine that real people would do that.

As such, it deserves the no -No do you prefer. In fact, do not hesitate to rationalize the obvious: "No, Mom, I will not plan a shower when I give birth."

I'm a little confused about withholding the firing messages. As you put it, you suggest that it makes no sense to tell the family if you know they are not helping you financially – but what if you tell them because they care about you?

If the exchanged shower is just an episode A lengthy history of disrespectful treatment by your parents, and if they were only using the layoff to sustain it, I would understand that you would not mind – but owning it still your better if not obvious course. Let them say what they think. Decide what relationship you have with them, based on reality and not on charades.

Please also tell your mother how you feel about the baby shower bait. Do not you speak to achieve something other than her – because she pushes you so emotionally that I have to think, it's just the latest thing in her life that your sister prefers, right? – But to name the insult by name. "Being asked by someone else to have a shower instead of my own shower feels like a slap in the face."

Anyone who is so dull would probably be bad at responding to it. So your mother could accuse you of being selfish and / or completely canceling your shower.

It's not about what you do and what you do not do. It's just about living your truth.

This is not without short-term risks, but the short-term is going away. Swallowing your sadness over a repellent treatment is not a healthy response in the long run, and in the long run, that's what makes life the way you know it. "No, thanks" – to a shower, to the expectations of others, to a second-rate citizenship – is a valid answer if you are faced with a fundamental lack of respect.

Carolyn Hax started her guide in 1997, after five years as a lecturer and news editor in Style and none as a therapist. Send an e-mail to Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat every Friday at 12pm Eastern Time with her online at www.washingtonpost.com .

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