Q: My wife would like to have a baby shower for my daughter at our home. My daughter would like to have her grandmother from her mother’s side come. I have been divorced for seven years now and my wife would prefer not to have my ex’s family in our home. Should we invite the grandmother or not?


A: Not only should you invite the mother-to-be’s maternal grandmother, but what about her mother, maternal aunts and cousins?

If you want us to advocate two separate showers — one for your side of the family and one for her mother’s side of the family — you have come to the wrong place.

That may happen because of sheer size of the guest list, but segregating just because your wife doesn’t want to deal with your ex’s side of the family is very bad exetiquette.

It will start a precedent and we’re not sure that’s what you want to do. Remember, you will all soon be co-grandparenting this child.

When making out a guest list, the hostess begins with considering who the shower is for.

If it were for your wife and she doesn’t want to deal with your former relatives, so be it.

But you said the shower was for your daughter, therefore, your daughter makes out the guest list and whoever is giving it follows her lead.

Finally, if you want to get technical, it is not regarded in good taste to host a shower for your own child. It smacks of soliciting handouts.

Better a sister, aunt or best friend be the one to host it.

It can even be held at a parent’s home if it’s a space issue, but the hosting is not supposed to be the parent of the bride or mother-to-be. And if someone else were hosting the shower, your wife wouldn’t have to deal with your ex’s family in your home.

If, after all is said and done, your wife still wants to host, she needs to invite exactly who your daughter wants her to invite. And, restaurants or even a park, if the weather is nice, are good alternatives to your home.


Jann Blackstone-Ford, Ph.D., and her husband’s ex-wife, Sharyl Jupe, authors of “Exetiquette for Parents,” are the founders of Bonus Families (www.bonusfamilies.com).


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