Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Baby shower co-hosts need to enforce 'no alcohol' rule
Q: Two of my adult children and I are hosting a baby shower for my third child and her husband. They are big sports fans, so the shower is planned for late morning at a location that will allow guests, if they wish, to join the parents-to-be at a nearby sporting event afterward. It is a coed shower with four children (10 and under) attending.
Now my son-in-law is planning to bring a cooler of beer because, he claims, it will be a "draw" for the guys. I have not yet heard a reaction from one of my co-host children, but the other child and I are really having a problem with this for several reasons.
1. Beer just is not appropriate for a baby shower, and the guests should not be expecting it will be served. We specifically decided not to serve alcohol.
2. It is just rude to bring your own refreshments to a party someone else is hosting (unless asked to), especially when you're the guests of honor.
3. Anyone who can't make it through a two-hour party, particularly one on a Sunday morning, without some beer has a drinking problem. That's not getting into any potential liability issues.
So what to do? The co-host child who let us know about this today has tried to talk them out of bringing it, with no luck in changing their minds.
Baby Shower Brewhaha
A: You, the top parent, need to veto the cooler.
I don't agree that beer is inappropriate for baby showers, necessarily (it's the host's call, with input from the guest(s) of honor). But I agree it's inappropriate for this one.
A beer with a meal? Okay. A beer at a ballgame? Okay. A cooler of beer at an evening barbecue? Okay. Multiple beers before noon at a baby shower because, hey, more than one person in one place is a party? Uh, no.
Starting a day of drinking before noon isn't the example you want the grandkids to see. Talk to your daughter, though — Mr. Beer's wife. Make it clear you won't budge.
Be prepared for consequences of not having beer for stepmom
Q: My fiance's father and stepmother are coming to visit us in a few weeks. Stepmother likes to drink a few beers every night, then becomes a little nasty to her husband and my fiance.
My fiance and I drink rarely and don't keep beer in the house, so my question is do we need to have beer ready for the stepmother or can we politely ask her to not drink while she stays with us.
A: You can, of course — your house.
But that's not the issue. The issue is whether you anticipate and are ready to accept any consequences. Will cutting off the stepmother strain your fiance's relationship with his dad, for example? Will the stepmother just bring her own beer? Will she play nice during the visit, and then seek payback later? Will your fiance talk to his dad first, or are you planning an ambush?
You and your fiance need to establish your priorities, together, and make the beer decision accordingly. Then, you stick by each other from there.