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Sharing birthday party celebrations with friends and family can be fun when they are born in the same month. But what happens when the same family is always footing the bill?
In a recent post on an online forum, a woman asked if she was in the wrong for not including her niece in her daughter’s birthday party, even though they are born just 10 days apart and have always celebrated them together. The post garnered a lot of attention and sparked a discussion about shared birthday parties, family dynamics, and the cost of birthday parties.
The Backstory: Shared Birthday Parties and Family Drama
The original poster (OP) explained that her daughter and niece are 8 years old and born 10 days apart. When the girls were younger (1-4 years old), the family used to do shared birthday parties. However, the woman and her husband soon realized that they were always the ones footing the bill for everything, including food, decorations, and location. They also noticed that the girls were complete opposites in terms of interests, with the daughter being more tomboyish and the niece being very girlie.
When the woman and her husband informed her brother and sister-in-law that they would no longer be doing shared birthday parties, it caused a lot of drama. The brother and sister-in-law said they couldn’t afford to throw a nice birthday party, so it made sense for the woman and her husband to pay for it since they were “family.”
The woman and her husband stood their ground, and the girls have had separate birthday parties ever since. However, things came to a head at the most recent party for the OP’s daughter, which had a Formula 1 theme. The sister-in-law was upset that her daughter was not included, despite mentioning that things were tight and they couldn’t afford to throw a party for her.
Ultimately, her sister-in-law threw a scene when she noticed the birthday cake didn’t have both girls’ names on the cake. She grabbed her husband and daughter and promptly left the party and has been harassing the OP ever since with mean text messages.
The Reaction: People Agree the Mom Isn’t Jerk At All
The Reddit community agreed that the woman was not a jerk in this situation. Many pointed out that the sister-in-law was holding a grudge for not getting free birthday parties anymore and that a birthday party can be very cheap, so there was no excuse not to celebrate.
One commenter said, “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. Secondly, it’s ridiculous for her to think that hinting around will get her daughter added to the party. If it was as important to her as she acts like it is then she should have had a frank conversation with you and simply asked. You could have still said no but their wouldn’t have been the confusion. This is on them, not you.”
Overall, the consensus was that the woman was not at fault for not including her niece in her daughter’s birthday party. While it’s understandable to feel bad for the niece not having a party, it’s not the woman’s responsibility to pay for it or include her in her own daughter’s celebration.
Additionally, a full discussion erupted around the cost of parties. “Literally, the cost to make a cake at home is less than $10 (including candles & fancy sprinkles from the grocery store). SIL could have made a very special celebration for her daughter at home!” said one user. Many agreed, pointing out that the SIL didn’t want to be creative or do any “work” when she could crash her niece’s instead.
Lessons Learned: Setting Boundaries and Dealing with Family Drama
This Reddit post highlights the importance of setting boundaries when it comes to family dynamics, especially around events like birthdays. While celebrating together is nice, expecting one family to foot the bill for everyone is not always practical or fair. No one likes feeling taken advantage of.
It’s also a reminder that family drama can arise from seemingly small things, like birthday parties. In situations like this, it’s important to communicate clearly and not let emotions take over. It’s also helpful to have a support system, like the woman’s mother and mother-in-law, who were present during the cake incident and could offer support and perspective.
In conclusion, while dealing with conflicts is never easy, it’s important to prioritize fairness and respect for everyone involved.