DEAR ABBY: I live 3,000 miles away from my immediate family. I am happily married and six months' pregnant. In the past, I had many issues with my family. I have a long history of anorexia, and my pregnancy has forced me to give up my self-destructive behaviors. I would never jeopardize my baby.
I asked my father if I could have a baby shower this month. I don't want to travel when I am further along in my pregnancy, nor do I want negative comments from my family members about my size. After my baby is born, I will not visit for at least a year.
My father suggested that I have a baby shower then, but my baby will be a year old! He believes having a baby shower "too early" is asking for gifts. I am hurt by his attitude, and I'm having a hard time understanding his logic.
Meanwhile, my friends and a few family members have offered to host a shower for me next month, but I want my father's support -- which perhaps is another issue in itself. Please advise. -- MOM-TO-BE IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR MOM-TO-BE: You are correct -- your need for your father's approval, and his unwillingness to give it, is "another issue in itself." Unless he comes from a culture in which infant mortality is so high that it is traditional to wait until a child is born to hold a shower, I can only conclude that his unwillingness is a form of punishment.
My advice is to allow your friends and family members to host the shower. Take plenty of pictures and send copies to your "immediate family." Visit them next year, and don't be surprised if no shower is forthcoming then, either. Live a healthy, happy life, enjoy your husband and child, and do not allow anyone to make you feel less than adequate. And that includes your father.
P.S. If, after your baby arrives, you begin backsliding with your eating disorder, for your sake and the sake of your child, I urge you to get professional counseling. Children model their eating habits on those of their parents.