No two people have the same relationship with their extended family.
Some people are fortunate enough to live in the same town or vicinity as most of their extended family, seeing them with regularity and maintaining close relationships with them.
Other families are more spread out, but though they might not see each other often, still remain on cordial terms.
In some more unfortunate cases, some people effectively cut ties with certain family members, not only seeing them rarely, if ever, but sometimes even making a point to remain out of contact with them.
Redditor AlternativeSurvey791 grew up having little to no contact with her mother’s side of the family, and as she grew older, also grew sadly more distant from her mother.
As a celebratory occasion fast approached, the original poster (OP)’s mother insisted that she and a number of people the OP had little to no contact wiith also be present.
The OP was not thrilled with this idea, but when she told this to her mother, her mother simply clapped back at her for being inconsiderate.
Wondering if this really was the case, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my mom it’s my baby shower, not hers?”
The OP explained why she was surprised and frustrated by her mother’s control over a notable milestone of hers:
“I (25 F[emale]) am pregnant with my first baby.”
“I am so excited for this new chapter of my life.”
“My mom and I are currently planning my baby shower.”
“My brother and I were primarily raised around my dad’s family.”
“When I was too young to remember, my parents decided to spend minimal time with my mom’s family.”
“Her family is messy; several of them were drug addicts, they were always fighting, and it just wasn’t a good environment for kids.”
“Therefore, weekends and holidays were spent with my dad’s family.”
“My parents recently got divorced.”
“Since the divorce, my mom has really struggled with my brother and I spending our time with my dad’s family.”
“I understand how and why it is hard for her.”
“She feels like we prioritize my dad’s family over hers, but we don’t have any relationship with her family.”
“My dad’s family reaches out on birthdays, holidays, for milestones, etc.”
“I didn’t hear from anyone on my moms side of the family when I got engaged or married, which is fine, it’s just a testament to the lack of relationship I have with them.”
“Now that the baby shower is in the works, I made my guest list, which had about 57 people on it.”
“I asked my mom who from her family she wanted me to invite.”
“She had me add 17 people, 7 of whom are friends she’s had for less than two years.”
“The rest are her family, who I don’t really know.”
“I added all of them with no questions asked.”
“I had too many people on the guest list and had to remove some of them.”
“I removed nine people from my list.”
“I then asked my mom who I could remove from her list.”
“She replied to my text and said ‘everyone I sent you is important I would like you to keep them on the list’.”
“I just said okay.”
“Shortly after, she asked me if I ended up removing anyone from her list.”
“I told her that I removed three people from her list, who I haven’t seen or heard from in at least ten years.”
“She told me one of them was already informed of the shower and verbally invited.”
“So, she asked me to send an invite to this person.”
“I did, with no hesitation.”
“A few days later, while out to brunch, she said, ‘There were other people I would have preferred you to take off the list than the people you did’.”
“I explained that she could have told me this when I asked her who to take off.”
“She explained that since she is paying for the shower, she should be able to invite who she wants.”
“Side note: I did not want her or anyone to pay for the shower for this exact reason.”
“I said that the people who I took off from her list are people who I haven’t heard from in a decade.”
“She said my milestones are her milestones; therefore, she should be able to celebrate with whoever she wants.”
“She said if there is room for 60, she should be able to invite 20.”
“I told her it’s my baby shower, not hers.”
“Needless to say, we never came to an understanding.”
“She just accused me of being inconsiderate of her, and I left the restaurant crying.”
“It’s hard to trust my emotions right now between all the pregnancy hormones.”
“I see where she is coming from, but I only removed 2 of her people.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for reminding her mother that this was her baby shower.
Everyone thought the OP had every right to say who she did and didn’t want at her baby shower, with many pointing out that it was imperative for the OP to set stronger boundaries with her, fearing things would likely get worse when the baby was born.
“Her paying for this, then lording it over your head is major AH mood.”
“You asked nicely who could be removed. She gave you a non-answer, so you did what you had to do.”
“Tell her that while you are grateful for her monetary contribution to the shower, if it means she feels entitled to something that should otherwise be about you celebrating a new member of your family, she can take her money and leave.”
“Unless she wants to be surprised with less time with her grandchild due to her behavior, she should learn boundaries now.”- Discount_Mithral
“But I would start practicing putting boundaries in place – and holding to them – before your baby arrives.”
“It sounds like you’ve been more than understanding but also that you’ve tried to be firm with your Mum, then caved at the slightest pressure.”
“I’m wondering if this is a pattern?”
“If it’s standard in your relationship then when you start holding firm boundaries she’s going to get pissed, it’s what happens when someone isn’t used to it.”
“Having boundaries does not make you a bad person.”
“Practice now, before you’re vulnerable and sleep-deprived.”
“If she’s pushing this much already, there’s potential for an absolute nightmare of inappropriate and immature behavior when baby arrives.”
“Good luck!”- Upsidedown0310
“But give back her money and tell her that she’s pushing boundaries, and if she keeps doing it, she won’t be invited to things.”
“You need to put your foot down it’s your child, and it’s about YOUR child and not about her, and she needs to accept it.”- WiseConsequence4005
“Your mom’s about to become a grandmother, perhaps for the first time.”
“She’s not wrong for seeing it ‘as a milestone for herself’.”
“Baby showers are not intended to celebrate soon-to-be-grandmotherhood.”
“It’s a celebration for the parents and their soon-to-be-baby.”
“If not, what’s next?”
“Soon-to-be-aunts get a say?”
“I genuinely dislike that your mother is using her funding as a way to bully you into giving in.”
“However. I’m inclined to raise some.”
“Weird thoughts about the party’s size?”
“60 people for a baby shower is a lot.”
“If you don’t know some of those initial 57 of ‘your list’ all that well…”
“Maybe that’s why your mom thought, ‘Well, since she’s inviting people she doesn’t know particularly well either, I can do the same (since I’m paying for it anyway)?'”
“Obviously, I don’t know if this is the case, and it doesn’t excuse her trying to hijack your party.”-Pondering-Out-Loud
“Her milestones are hers.”
“Your milestones are yours.”
“To me, her not understanding that is a HUGE problem.”
“This might signal a laundry list of problems that are just coming to the surface now.”
“Be inconsiderate of her.”
“The baby shower is NOT ABOUT HER.”
“Please put your foot down now so she is discouraged from being more selfish in the future.”-BeardManMichael
“I didn’t know she was involved in making a baby or a part of your marriage.”- RebeccaMCullen
It’s understandable for the OP’s mother to be excited about her baby shower, as becoming a grandmother is, indeed, a significant milestone.
However, forcing several friends and family members on the OP for a day meant to celebrate her and her unborn child was presumptuous, to say the least.
One can only hope that the OP’s mother’s focus shifts from being about her and her concerns to her daughter so that she will be a welcome presence in her grandchild’s life and history doesn’t repeat itself.