A family gathering can seem like the perfect time to make a major announcement.
But if you’re stealing someone else’s spotlight, is it worth the potential cost of starting some family drama?
Recently, Redditor Aita6770953 found herself at odds with her brother and sister-in-law for taking the spotlight away from her daughter’s birthday.
After the resulting fallout, she turned to the subReddit “Am I the Asshole” (AITA) to see if she was in the wrong for how she reacted, asking:
“AITA For arguing with my brother’s wife after she announced her pregnancy at my daughter’s birthday party?”
The original poster (OP) gave some background about what let up to the argument.
“Hi. I’m a 37-year-old mom. First off let me start by saying that my 13 year old daughter Maya was suffering from blood cancer and it was incredibly hard on her because of how weak she was.”
“We’d seen some pretty awful days. I was exhausted I had zero strength to handle it.”
“It was just me and my husband doing everything my parents themselves been dealing with health issues but my brother and his wife only visited a couple of times and that was it. My brother’s wife made some backhanded comments about Maya’s health/look while Maya was struggling.”
“Maya cried twice because of her insensitivity and lack of consideration. We kept our distance from her and my brother and focused on Maya.”
“It’s been nearly over a year now and Maya is in good health and I’m so thankful for that.”
“Last year unfortunately, we didn’t get to celebrate her birthday due to circumstances but this year her grandparents said they wanted to celebrate her birthday at their house. I agreed.”
“Maya has a wonderful relationship with her grandparents and I knew she’d want to go celebrate her birthday with them. My mom invited family members. My brother and his wife were already there since they always visit.
“Things were going great. Family members showed up with gifts and more sweets and also took pictures.”
Then things took a turn.
“However. Once Maya started opening her gifts, my sister in law got up while my brother was asking for a minute because he said they had something to announce.”
“By the look on his wife’s face it seemed like it was planned. My sister-in-law announced that she and my brother were expecting and everyone started congratulating her and hugging my brother.”
“I was standing next to Maya and I noticed she was uncomfortable. Sister-in-law basically stole my daughter’s birthday to announce her pregnancy even though she could’ve picked another day.”
“Maya seemed upset until the party was over she didn’t even open some gifts as everyone else was sitting and talking to my sister-in-law.”
“We left an hour early and once I got home I called my sister-in-law and asked her why she thought it was okay for her to ruin my daughter’s birthday and crush her spirit after having been through so much that this party was needed.”
“I basically lashed out at her and told her she could’ve picked another day. But she pulled the ‘the whole family was there, so I couldn’t miss the chance’ nonsense.”
“Maya stayed in her room after that and she even refused to look at the pictures we took. I got into an argument with my brother telling me I shouldn’t berate his pregnant wife and scold her like that.”
“He said she didn’t do anything to me so I needed to apologize for being mean and rude to her for no reason but I refused and turned my phone off.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most agreed that the OP was NTA for wanting her daughter to have her special moment.
“NTA. Your daughter deserved a moment. She’s a child and an adult took her limelight.”—BushElk
“NTA. You *never* steal another person’s moment to announce one of your own. Ever.”
“I don’t care if it’s the only time in the next decade everyone will be together. You don’t steal someone else’s moment.”
“And especially not the moment of a kid who’s had a very rough year, probably terrified that she wouldn’t even see another birthday, and finally gets to have a celebration and a little normalcy.”
“Your brother and SIL deserve to be raked over the coals a few more times.”
“And can the rest of society agree that the appropriate response to this sort of behavior is ‘that’s nice, but not now’ and go back to celebrating the original thing?”—RedoubtableSouth
“Can’t agree with any of this any more! If people insist on stealing a moment from others I wish everyone else would make it awkward and uncomfortable for them so that they LEARN NOT TO DO IT.”
“I would say I think there is an exception here if you’ve agreed ahead of time with whoever’s party/wedding/event it is that they are happy for you to make your announcement, but even then I feel like even asking them puts them on the spot and makes it difficult for them to say no.”
“So your main point really stands.”—CrazyShoeLady
“Also, even if you’re going to pull the ‘everyone was there’ argument … there’s absolutely no excuse to interrupt the kid opening her gifts to make your announcement!”
“If you’re absolutely going to steal the spotlight at a kid’s birthday party you wait until cake and gifts are done and make your announcement when the kids have gone off to do their own thing and the adults are sitting around with their coffee.”
“There’s absolutely no excuse for what SIL did.”—AnnanWhatsit
To many, the SIL’s actions seemed pretty deliberate.
“They could have just made tasteful pregnancy announcement cards to send to the family.”
“Hell, they could have just made an announcement on social media. They could just call every family member or plan their own get together to announce it.”
“This was a deliberate jab at Maya and her family.”
“I feel like the SIL has some sick jealousy over Maya. Maybe she has this weird obsession with attention and thinks Maya receives all of it.”
“The SIL needs serious help. Who the hell bullies a teen as an adult, especially a 13-year-old who is ill?”
“It sucks her husband is enabling her to continue that toxic, immature behavior. She’s going to be one toxic mother.”—PsychadelicBandanas
“I strongly believe (as once upon a time I was Maya) the SIL is jealous by Maya, her looks and being the first grandchild.”
“The harpy made it a point to make negative comments about the girl’s health and look until she cried. Now SIL makes it a point to steal Maya’s birthday moment and make it about her child?”
“This woman is not going to stop until her child is on a pedestal with Maya looking up at her. I’ll never understand why grown women would ever be intimidated by little girls. Yet, here we are…”—little_missHOTdice
Only one thing left to do.
“Send your SIL and brother a link to this post.”
“Dear SIL and brother,”
“Hijacking a little girl’s birthday party, especially one who has been through so much is low and selfish. Your behavior and lack of remorse sucks. There are sea slugs reading this story and saying ewww.”
“Congratulations on your good news and well done for spoiling a vulnerable girl’s big day.”
“Love the internet.”