Is it easier to have one big party with a few family members feuding, or separate parties?
We are planning a baby shower and the parents of the mother-to-be do NOT get along. Is it fair to separate parties?
You have to do whatever will work. Of course one party will be the more important of the two, so which parents party is the first or the real one and who gets the consolation party.
Two different parties at this point will set up the precedent and you may have to continue to have two different parties for every event in the future.
An alternative strategy will require a bit of strength of will on your part. Have you tried talking to both of them independently to determine if they are prepared to put the rest of the family before this negative behaviour toward each other. If you haven't, then do so and let them know how you feel and ask them to help you in your effort to keep the peace. Get a commitment from them to help keep the peace, if they will not give you one, then do not invite them to the party. If they play up on the day. Remind them in front of everybody about the commitment that they gave you before the party to help keep the peace. Express your distress with them not keeping their word. Apologise that this is not how you want family events to be and if they will not keep their word to help keep the peace, then you have no alternative except to ask them to leave.
If they apologise and behave then you allow them to stay otherwise, ask them to leave. If this process doesn't work with the baby shower, then you just try it again with the next event. Good Luck.
Ultimately, I'd say you do what is best for the mother-to-be, but mostly I agree with Agantum. Two parties seems to set up a bad precedent. Personally, I have little tolerance for family feuds. Families aren't ever all smiles, but if there is a problem than get it out in the open (heck, set up a boxing ring if you have to), but at the end of the day they are family and have to all sit in the same room together.
You could perhaps have a sit-down with them together, and ask if they are able to be civil at the shower. If they seem unable to do so, then say fine, neither of you are invited. If they want to act like children than treat them as such. That might seem harsh, but you only have so much time and energy. It is better to spend it on bringing forth as much positive energy as you can than in trying to soften thunderclouds. Let them storm by themselves. They can rejoin the family when they get it out of their systems.
Of course it is! There are no set in stone guidelines to having a baby shower. In my opinion it's all about celebrating the mother to be and sharing her excitement! It's all about HER. Two parties will just be that much more celebration. Good luck to the mom to be!!!
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