Family Clash When Mom Won’t Agree to Joint Birthday Party For Cousins

A child’s birthday party sparked a heated family dispute, disrupting the joyous occasion.

Background

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The 31-year-old mom shared the circumstances of her predicament on an online forum for moral dilemmas, seeking advice from fellow users on how to proceed.

Per the mom’s account, the issue began many years ago—when she and her sister-in-law gave birth to little girls only ten days apart.

Hosting A Joint Birthday Party

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From the beginning, the sister-in-law always insisted on hosting a joint birthday party for the cousins. As a result, the girls celebrated their birthdays together every year until they turned four.

One Parents Always Footed The Bill

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However, the mom soon realized that, though the girls shared the party, the parents did not share the expenses: “My husband and I realized that we were always the ones to foot the bill for everything (food, decorations, location, etc).”

Growing Older, Their Differences Became More Apparent

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Moreover, as they grew older, the girls developed different interests and personal styles. It became difficult to choose a joint theme when one girl was a tomboy and the other was more traditionally feminine.

But We’re Family

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“When my husband and I told my sister-in-law and my brother that we won’t be doing the shared birthdays anymore, they were really upset, and it started a huge fight,” the mom revealed.

“They said they can’t afford to throw a nice birthday party for my niece, but we can, so it makes sense that we pay for it since we’re ‘family.’”

Sticking To Separate Parties

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Regardless of her sister-in-law’s protests, the mom and her husband stuck to their resolution and have organized separate parties ever since.

For this year’s eighth birthday bash, her daughter chose a Formula One-themed celebration since the girl and her dad enjoy watching the races together.

No Budget For Her Daughter’s Birthday?

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Trouble started brewing at a family dinner the week prior to the event. Since the grandparents asked about the girls’ upcoming birthdays, the daughter happily announced that she was having a motorsport-themed party.

“My sister-in-law answered for my niece and said they’re not going to have a party for her because things were tight. The conversation was left there,” the mom explained in her post.

A Hanging Conversation Leads To Different Conclusions

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Although the mom believed that to be the end of it, she soon discovered that her sister-in-law had drawn an entirely different set of conclusions from the same conversation.

When the family gathered for her daughter’s birthday the next Saturday, the party seemed to be a hit. Everyone was enjoying themselves, the mom recalled, until it was time for cake.

The Birthday Cake

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“I’m in the kitchen with my mom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and a few other family friends, talking. I pull the cake out to get it ready to bring out for everyone,” the mom recounted. “My sister-in-law takes a look at the cake and looks confused.”

The source of her sister-in-law’s confusion quickly became apparent. “Is this the girls’ birthday cake?” she inquired.

Her Sister-in-Law Dissed Her Daughter’s Cake

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The mom replied that it was her daughter’s cake, which is why it was only decorated with her daughter’s name. Annoyed, the sister-in-law then explained that she’d expected her own daughter to be included since the sister-in-law had previously indicated that they were struggling financially.

We Didn’t Know To Include Your Daughter’s Name

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When the mom countered that the sister-in-law had never explicitly requested that they include their niece in the celebration, the sister-in-law countered: “Well, I thought it would be common sense. Now, my daughter isn’t going to have any kind of celebration for her birthday this year because you and your husband are so selfish.”

She Made A Scene And Left

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Furious, the sister-in-law stormed out of the kitchen and rejoined the guests outside, where she made a scene by yelling at her husband and child, demanding to go home.

Ever since the ruined birthday celebration, the sister-in-law has been messaging the mom non-stop in an attempt to guilt trip her over excluding the niece from the party.

Social Media Users Spoke Up

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Should the woman have included her niece in the celebration? Users in the comment section decisively voted in the negative. 

“First of all, it’s simply not your job to make sure your niece has a party. That’s up to her parents. If things are tight maybe they need to be creative, but it’s still on them,” decreed the top-voted comment.

It’s On Them

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The sister-in-law should have approached the mom to ask that her daughter be included. “You could have still said no, but there wouldn’t have been the confusion. This is on them, not you.”

It’s Not A Surprise!

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Furthermore, another user pointed out that the sister-in-law and her husband had time to prepare for a recurring event, “They’ve had years to improve their financial situation and time to save up. Their daughter’s birthday is every year, and it’s not a surprise … It’s also possible to have a good birthday party without spending a lot.”

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This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

About the author
Caitriona Maria
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.
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