Advice Column: Response to Overwhelmed and Coming Undone

Dear Hailey,

As inappropriate as it feels to ‘need’ a baby shower, my husband was JUST laid off a number of weeks ago and we, after several miscarriages, are finally expecting our first child in August.

My successful, established, younger sister very recently announced her impending nuptials for 3 weeks after our due date.

My mother, just yesterday, decided to no longer throw a baby shower for us until October at the earliest but I have been charged with organizing the bridal shower, set for 2 weeks prior to due date.

I’m feeling rather snubbed, however we have not openly shared my husband’s current employment situation because we know we won’t receive any temporary financial assistance from family (previously and unfortunately had to test those waters).

How do I cope with these feelings of being overlooked? Budgetarily speaking I won’t even be able to afford a dress for her wedding, let alone anything more than a crib and some onesies.

I am still working but would really like to officially unpack (finally) and ‘nest’ for a spell but we’re already upside down trying to make rent each month.

Overwhelmed and Coming Undone

Dear Overwhelmed,

There is no question, pregnancy is stressful, and babies are expensive. And no one likes to feel that they are second fiddle, especially if it happens on a consistent basis. 

You have a few choices. You can choose to tell your mother about your husband’s employment situation and your resulting financial struggles. The baby shower can take a large financial burden off of the baby items that are needed. As the items will be needed before the baby is born (and that far after the due date isn’t incredibly helpful), this may encourage her to move the baby shower date up. 

You can choose to keep it a secret, but that does eliminate the possibility of her moving up your baby shower or even simply being more understanding to your situation. You did mention that they haven’t helped in the past, so if you don’t want to tell them, you absolutely don’t have to. Just a side note, (if you haven’t already) I encourage you to look into financial assistance programs to try to alleviate some of your financial struggles. (WIC would be helpful after the baby is born, if you qualify).

I’d also recommend asking for help with planning the bridal shower. If you feel bad about asking to have less on your plate, just use the totally valid reasoning of wanting to have someone else in the loop on the planning if you go into labor early. 

As someone who worked full-time past her due date for two pregnancies, I can empathize with wanting to nest and having to be away from home. Rest assured that nesting can be done in small segments during the week and on weekends (or whenever you have days off). 

Congratulations on your pregnancy. You get to bring a new life into the world. It’s a miracle. Do your best to enjoy this through all the craziness. Don’t let anyone take away the joy with drama, because at the end of the day your baby and your little family are the most important thing. 


Posted in Q&A

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