in , ,

Mom Insists Stepson Change His 13th Birthday Plans To Be More Suitable For Her Daughters

A teen boy holds a birthday cake and a few presents at a party
Judith Haeusler/Getty Images

Birthdays are a day when everyone is meant to get a free pass.

Well, within reason.

The birthday person gets to make plans and celebrate how they see fit.

It’s especially nice for kids to have that opportunity as birthdays tend to become less special as people age.

So it can cause some friction when others decide they want to change the plans.

Case in point…

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

He asked:

“WIBTA if I took my son and his friends out for his birthday instead of my wife and step-daughters?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (M[ale] 42) have three kids.”

“A son Isaac (12 almost 13) with my ex who is no longer in the picture and twin step-daughters from my wife’s previous relationship; Emma and Ava (7).”

“Isaac’s 13th birthday is coming up next week, and he said that he wants to go to the movies, and asked if he could bring two friends along.”

“I agreed, and we planned a day out of fun (arcade, pizza, and a movie).”

“These were all activities that I know that my son and his friends (nerdy middle school boys) would enjoy.”

“When I told my wife about our plans, she suggested that we should have a family outing instead, and proposed a local kiddy play place that my step-daughters apparently love.”

“I said that Isaac and his friends would be very disappointed and that he wouldn’t have fun at the kiddy play place.”

“She tried to convince me that Isaac could still have fun because there was an ‘arcade’ (two claw machines, a pinball table, and a small DDR machine).”

“She also said that, since he sees his friends at school every day, family time should be prioritized over friends.”

“I told her it was unfair to force Isaac to spend his birthday at a kiddy play place instead of with his friends.”

“She accused me of favoritism and not loving my step-daughters as much Isaac.”

“This hit me pretty hard because I grew up with a step-father who neglected me in favor of his own kids, and I’ve been trying my hardest to be the father figure I never had.”

“I’ve been spiraling down a rabbit hole of doubt about my own choices, and for the sake of my own sanity, WIBTA?”

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 would NOT be the A**hole.

“Say “‘I would never ask the girls to spend their bday doing something Isaac wanted to do and you should show the same respect.'”

“Also. She’s gaslighting the f**k out of you. And I’m betting it’s not the first time.”  ~ Fit-Establishment219

“‘She accused me of favoritism and of not loving my step-daughters as much Isaac.'”

“OP needs to turn this logic around to expose the hypocrisy of his wife: ‘Why are you letting the non-birthday children dictate where the birthday child gets to have his party?'”

“‘If this will be the new standard for the children going forward, then I hope you enjoy having Isaac decide where Emma and Ava will be celebrating their birthdays.'” ~ the_rabble_alliance

“Yes, it IS favoritism.”

“Because on their birthday, the birthday kid gets to decide how they want to mark THEIR day. OP, don’t follow your wife down the garden path of twisted logic.”

“Follow your gut and do right by your son!” ~ marvel_nut

“Ohhh this.”

“My husband had to deal with his younger step-sister getting presents on HIS birthday ‘so she wouldn’t be left out.'”

“AND his birthday often being grouped with Father’s Day as it’s always right around then and ‘then the family can all come.'”

“All his teenage years, he never got a birthday truly to himself and it really affected his relationships with his family.”  ~ jndmack

“Ask her if that means you can force the girls to go to the movies to see a movie Isaac wants to see for their birthday.”

“After all, I’m sure they’ll enjoy it because there are snacks and kids love snacks, and it’s family time, so she should be happy to force them to do what he wants to do on their birthday.” ~ annang

“This is the best response when things start to spiral ‘So we go where Issac likes for their birthday right? And to eat where they want for family time? And it’s set in stone?'”

“This is just silly.”

“I mean have a nice dinner together with some fun to celebrate and then let the kid have his party!”  ~ S3xySouthernB

“Completely agree with this!”

“Also, my kids have always had their own birthday parties with friends and then a smaller family birthday celebration with our immediate family with a favorite meal (at home or restaurant) and a cake.”

“Possible to do something like that?”

“Regardless your wife is being completely ridiculous. Is she always dismissive of your son’s wants/needs? NTA.” ~ Extra-Visit-8385

“This is how we do it too.”

“A small family celebration with dinner and cake and family gifts separate from the celebration with friends.”

“Depending on the activity the birthday child has chosen for that other siblings may tag along.”

“But definitely as a ‘third wheel’ kind of thing where they are expected to let birthday kid and friends take the lead/priority.”

“And definitely NTA.”

“13 is kind of a big birthday and your son should get to celebrate in a way that’s age appropriate and meaningful to him.”

“If a family celebration is important to her she can arrange something in addition to his plans.”  ~ No-Historian-1593

“NTA. The wife dares to accuse OP of favoritism when she’s literally turning her stepson’s birthday into a play day for her daughters.”

“This is outrageous.”

“His birthday is not ‘family day.'”

“IT IS HIS BIRTHDAY.” ~ edwadokun

“OP, I’m guessing you’re likely a bit overwhelmed with all the responses, so if you even see this comment I’ll be amazed, and there is zero need to reply.”

“But I hear you say that you’ve tried so incredibly hard to be the stepdad you needed and never got.”

“And that your wife’s comments are hitting extra hard/cutting extra close to the bone as a result of your previous trauma.”

“I wonder if that is intentional on her part?”

“However sub/conscious it may be, playing on your known fears is manipulative at best, and pretty monstrous at worst.”

“Have you ever considered that you may have married someone who shares traits with your stepdad?”

“And that you are actually not at all like him, but rather you were drawn to someone like him because it’s familiar to you?”

“Or even simply because you were conditioned to believe it was normal, that you may not have noticed the favoritism that she is showing her children?”

“Psychoanalysis aside, you relate so deeply to your son because of your past experiences of not feeling important or like a priority.”

“Your son needs to know that he is your priority, and doing that will cost your stepdaughters and/or wife literally nothing.”

“It’s ok for the universe not to revolve around them for a single day out of the year, and more importantly for your son to know that it does (to you, at least!!).”

“Give him his guy’s day out and feel no shame.”

“Talk with your wife and acknowledge whatever she says about her feelings, but hold firm and proceed anyhow (one of the first times I can recall having given that advice!”

“To listen but not alter/accommodate/compromise…).”

“And just as an aside… re the twins… As they grow older they too may come to a place of wanting to be acknowledged/celebrated as individuals, in addition to being twins.”

“I hope that your wife (and you) are prepared for that likelihood, and much as with your son can hold multiple truths at the same time.”

“Celebrating and loving one child in their own special way/based on their unique needs and individual preferences has zero drawbacks, and is in fact a great gift.”

“Yes, the cohesion of the family unit is vital, but can only truly happen when each member of the family unit is acknowledged and supported and allowed to exist as themselves, and not just an arm or a leg of the body politic.”  ~ HelloRedditAreYouOk

“NTA. I want to know how long they’ve been together.”

“Is this the first time they have experienced a kid’s birthday as a couple?”

“What about other events that should be focused on one kid?”

“Is this how she always is or did she drop the ball hard on this celebration because she defaulted to the youngest so ‘everyone’ could participate?”  ~ TogarSucks

“NTA. Issac’s birthday should be about him.”

“Perhaps your wife could take the girls where they wanna go, while you take the boys to do birthday stuff.”

“If stepmom is actually bothered about celebrating (which I doubt) Issac’s day then she could arrange a birthday cake or something or maybe they could have a meal together or something.” ~ Flat-Delivery6987

“YWNBTA. Ironically, if you did go along with your wife’s idea, you would be showing favoritism to your stepdaughters over your son.”

“Stand your ground, your wife is emotionally manipulating you.” ~ Chaos-in-a-CookieJar

“This is sooooo true!”

“Why should a 12/13 year old have to go to a kiddie place for HIS birthday?”

“Maybe she should stop showing favoritism to her daughters over OP’s son.”

“Such ridiculous logic.”

“NTA. Let Isaac have HIS day that HE picked for HIS birthday.”  ~ aaamerzzz

“Exactly plus it’s his birthday and he gets to decide what he wants.”

“The wife is trying to turn it into a family date.”

“Don’t let her gaslight you.” ~ oppoises

Well, OP, sounds like Reddit is with you and concerned for you.

Isaac deserves his own celebration.

Why not have both days?

Just a thought.