My mother is expecting a baby and I thought it would be fun to host a baby shower for her with the help of my aunt. Because I am a high school student, my aunt agreed to take care of the food and games (as those were deemed necessary) and I agreed to take care of the decorations. With less than a month away, I’ve purchased and worked hard on the decorations, prizes, and other things, but so far my aunt has not done anything that she said she would. I tried to meet with her but she wouldn’t answer my calls. When she finally returned my call, she said I should order the food and game pieces. I am frustrated because I have already bought more than I was planning on paying for and I truly cannot afford to spend too much more. Is there a polite way to bring this up? I don’t want to come off as ungrateful to her, but I feel a little hurt that she is asking me to do more than we agreed on.
–S.W., Rhode Island
Be honest with your aunt by telling her that you’re counting on her help and you cannot host the baby shower alone. Negotiate a compromise. Add that you want to make the party simpler. Suggest cutting down on the games and using free printouts for the invitation and party games online. Volunteer to make carrot cupcakes and fresh lemonade, if she brings the sandwiches and cutup fruit (and possibly rum or vodka for the lemonade, which is not for you to do). If you know the name, decorate cookies with the baby’s name as the party favor.
You only need a small plan. Lower your expectations. Write out a timeline of what has to be done when. Who is keeping track of the guest list and sending out the invitations? And how, digital or paper? Is there a cutoff date (a week prior to the party) for the reply, so you know how much food and recycled plates and glasses you’ll need? Helping your aunt take ownership of the event, will make her more engaged in your mother’s baby shower.
Make the job of hosting easier for you and your aunt. Guests really don’t want to play games. However, they will fill out an index-type card with their name and guess as to the following questions: sex of the baby, name of the baby, weight of the baby, date of birth of the baby, and what the guest thinks the baby’s first word may be. Ask questions such as, What do you wish for the baby? What do you wish for the mother? Ahead of time, make a hole with a puncher in the upper left hand corner of the card so when the cards are turned in you can braid the ribbons from the gifts and thread it through the hole to hold the cards together. That’s all you need to do game-wise. Take charge. Make a plan. Ask for help. Get the job done. Chances are the adult you’re working with is not able to follow through. You can try to delegate, but if it doesn’t work, lower your expectations. You can do this.
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