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Dad Outraged After Spouse Wants To Spend Their Birthday Dinner Without Their Stepkids

A frustrated man hangs his head in his hands
Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

Planning a birthday is meant to be fun, right?

What’s not to love?

Well, for some, there’s the guest list.

Case in point…

Redditor ShaysWay1 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for asking my husband not to invite stepkids out with us””

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Okay so… it’s my birthday in a week’s time.”

“My husband and I share one child together who is a toddler, and I have two older stepchildren who are in their mid-teens.”

“My stepkids live with us half the week with alternating weekends.”

“My husband tends to work the weekends that my stepkids aren’t with us, and as I work in the week, it’s quite rare that we do anything me, him, and our child together.”

“We do lots of family days out on the weekends that my stepkids are with us.”

“Anyway, this year, he booked my birthday off work, which was a nice surprise, and has said we can do anything I want.”

“It might sound a little odd, but honestly, I’d just really like to take our toddler somewhere a bit focused on them and have a day out me, husband and our toddler, as it’s very rare they get to do something focused on their age group with both of us and our full attention.”

“I have a really good relationship with my stepchildren.”

“But when we go out, we tend to ensure its older kid-focused as they get bored easily, and they are at an age now where they don’t want to do anything considered lame/boring and will complain the whole time if so.”

“They also struggle a lot with fighting between the two of them.”

“So most days out there are at least one or two fallouts.”

“It’s life with teens, and that’s fine.”

“But anyway, on my birthday, I’d really just like to go somewhere the 3 of us where we can focus on the little one and not have to worry about the older ones getting bored/arguing/wanting to go home, etc.”

“And seeing as they weren’t supposed to be with us this weekend anyway, I thought it would be a good opportunity to do that.”

“Anyway… Husband has now suggested he ask his ex if we can have older ones that day so they can come with us.”

“I’ve said I’d rather not, to be honest, and it’s now a big deal, and I’m apparently excluding and saying I don’t like them (never have or would say that!).”

“We are all going for a meal 2 days after my birthday which is when older ones will next be with us.”

“AITA for saying that on MY birthday, a day where the older ones were never meant to be with us anyway, I’d prefer it if my husband didn’t try and change plans to bring along the older ones which means the focus of the day and what I wanted to do on my birthday will completely change?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“I started this post ready with the YTA, because I was the teen stepkid who always got left out of fun.”

“But let me tell you, I did go along to TONS of toddler fun things.”

“It was good for me to have time focused on my brother.”

“There should be a mix of teen AND toddler things when the stepkids are home.”

“NTA. You’re already going to celebrate with them.”

“You’re not leaving them out.” ~ mvanpeur

“NTA. I have teens, and anyone who does knows that there are times they want to be left alone.”

“Your request to do something with your toddler seems perfectly reasonable.”

“I hope you enjoy your day.”  ~ vomitthewords

“Especially when the teens are not even around half the time.”

“The 3 of them, OP, husband, toddler, they should do a lot of toddler things together when the teens are not there.”

‘Just like they should have dad-toddler time, couple activities too.”

“Like they have husband – two older kids activities without OP and toddler too.”

“But from the post to me, it seems there are only the following options in this family…”

A) Stepkids are with them, so the 5 of them (or 4 when they don’t take the little one) do things together outside of the house, things that the teens like (so probably the toddler doesn’t enjoy it as much as the teens).”

“B) Stepkids are not with them, so the 3 of them don’t do things together outside of the house, things that the toddler would enjoy (or the adults would enjoy).”

“It seems the toddler only has toddler-focused activities outside of the house if OP takes them herself (without husband).”

“I assume, probably, the couple date nights are not more frequent than the activities for 3 either.”

“What OP’s husband fails to realize is that in his attempt to include the older kids/not make them feel left out, he is leaving out his youngest, neglecting his youngest’s emotional needs, their need to have time together with both of their parents and have their undivided attention.”

“He is trying to be a good father to his first two kids at the expense of his 3rd kid.”

“He should give individual attention, undivided attention to all of his kids and wife. He should do activities outside of the house they enjoy with all of them, kids and wife.”

“One-on-one time with each kid, dad and two oldest time, dad and all the kids time, family of 3 time, family of 5 time, husband – wife time.”

“OP should try to explain this to her husband.”

“NTA It’s ok to do things when not everyone involved too, especially when it’s an activity they wouldn’t really enjoy, and they aren’t even supposed to be there during that time.”

“OP wasn’t excluding the older kids, she just wanted one activity focusing on the youngest instead of on the older ones.”  ~ Cute-Shine-1701

“Yeah, I actually think OP’s way of handling the birthday is perfect: a toddler-friendly event for the day-of, and then a dinner for everyone a couple days after.”

“The teenagers will be glad to have been spared the toddler activity.”

“I honestly don’t think they’re going to feel left out at all, especially if no one tells them inviting them over for the birthday was an option.”

“But honestly, even if they knew, it’s very possible they’d be chill with it.”

“They’re teenagers.”

“They don’t need or want constant inclusion in every single activity.”

“They’re developing their independence and their identity outside of the family.”

“I honestly think a meal a couple of days later is a great compromise that lets them not be involved in activities they’re not interested in while still making sure they know they’re included as part of the family.”  ~ rogue144

“Honestly I think you need to talk about how you feel about your husband working every weekend that the older kids aren’t there.”

“He does still have one kid there he is responsible for.”

“If he didn’t work every weekend they were away, I doubt you would even be in the position you are right now.” ~ -Jewelz-

“Maybe unpopular, but I say NTA.”

“It is your birthday, and if you rarely do toddler-centric activities, I think it’s fair that you get to do that.”

“Your child also deserves one in one time with their father.”

“If you tried to exclude your stepkids all the time, that’s a problem, but there’s a big age gap between the kids.”

“It makes sense that the little one should get some time doing kid stuff that will straight up be uninteresting for the teens.”

“If it’s a big deal still, can you compromise by doing something in the day with your toddler and then all going out to dinner at night?”  ~ Mouse-Rude

“NTA. it sounds like you make a good effort with the stepkids and, in fact, have to watch your husband’s children when he works.”

“Which is really crappy of him to do.”

“It’s not unreasonable for you to want to spend time with your child and your husband on your birthday, and he’s a huge AH if he doesn’t get it.”  ~ Drayden71

“I agree. It sounds like all OP wants is for them to have some outings based around the toddler.”

“His commitment to his kids makes me think he’s a very good dad, but it doesn’t sound like he’s splitting his time well between his older kids and the toddler, and that’s a larger issue.”

“I will say though, speaking as someone whose parents had split custody, that as much as he only gets his kids 50% of the time, that’s still a fair amount of time, at least enough that he could afford to spend some time alone with the toddler too.”

“If he only had them for a few days a month or something, then I could completely understand focusing on them for that entire time.”  ~ mixedbagofdisaster

“NTA. Honestly, your life is set up so you NEVER have the opportunity to have your husband and the child you share to yourself.”

“It’s only natural to want one day a year you can have that.”

“PS- I take my comments back if your husband has insisted that your baby should spend the day with his ex on her birthday.” ~ kittymom2020

Well OP, sounds like Reddit understands your plight.

It’s your birthday.

You get to plan your day.

Hopefully, everyone can come together for your special time.