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Mom Accused Of ‘Ruining’ Girl’s Birthday By Letting Daughter Wear Same Princess Costume

Girl wearing a princess costume
opolja/Getty Images

While they should be all fun and games, birthday party culture in the United States has grown to be its own expensive, flashy, Instagram-worthy empire.

It seems like the appearance of the party is often much more valuable than the birthday kid having a good time, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

While taking her daughter to a princess-themed birthday party, Redditor ThrwayAurorasMom was pleased to see the birthday girl having a wonderful time at her party and with her daughter.

But when the birthday girl’s mother later accused her of ruining the party because the two girls were dressed as the same princess for the Instagram photographer she’d hired, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to not change her daughter’s clothes.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for refusing to change my daughter’s clothes at a birthday party?

The OP’s daughter had a special family name.

“I (34 Female) have two kids (8 Male and 4 Female). My daughter’s name is Aurora.”

“My husband (36 Male) and I chose that name because it was slightly similar to my late FIL’s, and worked well with our last names.”

“It had nothing to do with the princess from ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ In spite of that, we’ve had fun with that movie in the past, and ever since my daughter realized that she shared names with a Disney character, Princess Aurora has been her favorite.”

“Our family went to Disney World in July, and while there, we bought my daughter a Princess Aurora costume. She adores it and wears it whenever she has the chance.”

The OP’s daughter of course wanted to wear her dress to a friend’s themed birthday party.

“Two weeks ago, one of Aurora’s friends from school threw a princess-themed birthday party. She encouraged her friends to wear costumes.”

“My daughter wanted to go as her favorite character, which didn’t surprise me at all.”

“When we got to the party, the birthday girl came to greet my daughter, and she was also dressed as Princess Aurora. I didn’t know what her costume was going to be prior to the party.”

“I got worried for a second, but the birthday girl was actually really excited. She said that they looked like twins. It was adorable. They ran off to play and I forgot about the costumes for a while.”

But not everyone shared the birthday girl’s perspective.

“About 30 minutes into the party, I was at a table with some of the other moms when the birthday girl’s mother came up to me.”

“She asked if I had brought any spare clothes for Aurora.”

“I said yes (I always bring an extra shirt and shorts for her).”

“She then asked me to change my daughter into the spare clothes and out of her costume.”

“The mother explained that she’d hired a photographer to walk around taking pictures of the kids, and was also planning on getting a group photo near the end of the party.”

“She didn’t want anyone wearing the same costume as her daughter in these pictures.”

“She also thought her daughter might get jealous since my kid gets to share her name with their favorite princess.”

The OP didn’t think that ‘Mother knew best’ in this situation.

“Now, if the birthday girl was the one who had a problem, I might’ve considered changing Aurora into her spare clothes. But no, she was genuinely excited they were dressed the same.”

“It also didn’t feel fair to force my daughter to be the only one without a costume at a party full of children in princess dresses.”

“I said no and explained my reasoning to the girl’s mom.”

“She insisted for a few minutes, but I held my ground. Some of the other moms started to back me up, and she eventually got up and left.”

The OP was later accused of ruining the birthday party.

“When I went to pick up my kids earlier this week, I ran into her friend’s mom.”

“She accused me of ruining her daughter’s party by allowing Aurora to wear the same costume as her. She told me she doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to look at the pictures without being disgusted by my behavior.”

“I thought she was exaggerating, but I’m starting to doubt myself.”

“Our conflict has found its way to the mom group chat we’re both in, and opinions over there are divided.”

“Some think having two girls wear the same costume is no big deal, others think I should have changed my daughter’s clothes.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some thought the birthday girl’s mother was the real problem here.

“The OP said, ‘Now, if the birthday girl was the one who had a problem, I might’ve considered changing Aurora into her spare clothes. But no, she was genuinely excited they were dressed the same. It also didn’t feel fair to force my daughter to be the only one without a costume at a party full of children in princess dresses.'”

“This is it, right here. It’s the little girl’s special day. If she was bummed and wanted to be the ONLY princess Aurora? Understandable to a point, and maybe just let her have what she wants on her birthday.”

“An entitled mom who just has to have pictures a certain way? Get Bent.”

“She accused me of ruining her daughter’s party by allowing Aurora to wear the same costume as her. She told me she doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to look at the pictures without being disgusted by my behavior.”

“Imagine prioritizing some photos over your daughter’s good time at a bday party. Parents suck.

NTA.” – Aggressive-Bed3269

“The birthday girl said, ‘TWINSIES!’ and fell in love with her other half.”

“I love that kids don’t have adult hangups. NTA.” – No1Especial

“How do you not ANTICIPATE that at a Disney Princess party, a little girl named Aurora might come as…. *gasp* AURORA?” – emptythemepark

“She doesn’t even specify that it’s a Disney Princess party. Just a Princess party. If mom wanted her daughter to stand out, she could have DIYd a generic princess costume. Especially since Halloween is so close to the daughter’s birthday.” – MoonandStar83

“This is my feeling!!! If I was OP, I’d be making that point on the mom chat! The mom should have explicitly stated in the invite that the Aurora costume was reserved for the bday girl.”

“And at the very least, why didn’t that mom offer a different dress to wear? When my girls were that age, they had multiple costumes, when friends were over it was a constant princess parade.”

“I can’t imagine how OP’s daughter would have felt being the only girl in regular clothes at a princess party, I can’t believe that was the expectation of this mom.” – bloseja

But others argued that the other mother had paid for the party, so what she said should go.

“YTA: The mom was the one who planned the party, paid for it, and owned the house, so it was her call, not her daughter’s, not the mom group, and certainly not yours.”

“She came to grown adult to a grown adult about the situation and you acted like a spoiled child, a good thing for everyone she chose to back off instead of causing a scene.” – Nerdy_Ogre

“YTA. Her party, her rules. Mom is paying for this shindig and you’re simply a guest. If she wants only her daughter to wear that princess costume you should honor her wishes or you’re free to go.”

“I personally would have let her wear it though but I also don’t hire professional photographers for my kids’ parties.” – Inner_Internet_3230

“YTA. Both of you are actually.”

“I don’t know how she may have worded it but if she demanded that your daughter change, that makes her an a**hole. But at the same time, I completely understand where she’s coming from. This was her daughter’s special day and the whole event was centered around making her daughter feel special.”

“Also, your ‘if the birthday girl was the one who had a problem’ statement is just hypocritical, why didn’t you ask your daughter if she was willing to change and be a kind-hearted person?”

“She could have agreed. Fact is, you are okay with making decisions on your daughter’s behalf while you are vilifying the birthday girl’s mother for doing the same.” – Dense-Bed-5589

“YTA. She paid a photographer to take pictures. It would be confusing in the future to look at the pictures (it doesn’t matter whether your kids have different colored hair, skin, etc., because they will look for the costume in the photos) especially when her kid is an adult looking back on those photos. It is rude to be at someone’s party (the adult threw it, not the child) and refuse a simple request that would not hurt your child at all.”

“What a reasonable person would have done was ask the mother if she has a different princess dress your daughter might borrow for the day so her daughter could be the only one in that costume. I doubt this will be an issue in the future as I am pretty sure your daughter will not be invited to any more birthdays at that house.” – holisarcasm


“It’s your responsibility to check in with the parent first. It’s as much the parent’s birthday party as it is the kid’s. You brought a change of clothes, you wouldn’t be put out by making them happy.” – Nate_Jessup

“ESH. Look, if the birthday girl didn’t have a problem with it, then the other mom shouldn’t have asked, but here is why YTA. You were a guest and the host who spent money on this party asked you to do something because of photos, while you may have found it ridiculous and entitled since you didn’t spend money on the party you should have just left or changed your daughter.”

“Honestly, her asking was rude, to begin with, but you should have just left. I think you both kinda suck and both responded poorly.” – Anonymouseminnie

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update in the form of a follow-up post.

“Hey everyone! Thank you for assuring me that I did the right thing. This might get a little long.”

“Since my post on Thursday (two days after the mom group started debating), three things happened:”

“First, on Friday, my husband went to pick up the kids. The parents of one of my son’s friends (who have a younger son in my daughter’s class) asked if he knew about the costume fiasco (or as my friends are calling it, ‘AuroraGate’).”

“I had told him everything. He said the birthday girl’s mother was being ridiculous, as I had no idea what her daughter’s costume would be.”

“The mom he was talking to asked, ‘Wait, she didn’t know?'”

“She called me, and I told her my side. As it turns out, the birthday girl’s mom told people that I had been informed about the costume (and to avoid dressing Aurora the same) weeks prior to the party. The story was warped before it even got to the group chat.”

“My side of the story made it to the group chat. After some pressure, the birthday girl’s mom eventually confessed she’d lied about me. Most of the other moms had apologized to me by Sunday.”

More apologies also came the OP’s way.

“Second, also apologizing to us on Sunday were the birthday girl’s father and maternal grandmother (she’s visiting them for a few weeks).”

“Apparently, the birthday girl’s mom had been complaining about the party almost daily.”

“Since they got the photos back, the birthday girl’s mom has been insisting that ‘there isn’t a single good picture of her daughter without another girl wearing the same costume’ (Aurora and the birthday girl were playing together most of the party).”

“She was especially upset about the group photo, which shows the birthday girl in the center and my daughter to her right. There are two girls between them, but she still thinks they’re too close to each other.”

“The birthday girl’s dad had been listening to these complaints since the party. He told us that unless his daughter was in the room, he couldn’t look at the pictures without his wife making a comment about me, my daughter or how we ‘ruined the birthday girl’s birthday.'”

“It came to a head on Saturday. While talking with the grandmother after the birthday girl went to bed, the mother said she no longer wanted to make a photo album of the party. They’d gotten a photographer for both album and social media purposes.”

“Both the birthday girl’s dad and her grandmother wanted the album. The three had a fight that lasted about 15 minutes before the grandmother told the birthday girl’s mom to ‘stop obsessing over her daughter’s friend.’ She said all that matters is that the birthday girl had fun, and all of the photos reflect that.”

“They told us all that when they called to apologize. They wanted the birthday girl’s mom to apologize too. She hasn’t.”

The birthday girl’s family was also being kind to Aurora.

“Third, Aurora came home from school yesterday wearing a headband with her name and a rose embroidered on it. The birthday girl had her grandmother make it for her.”

“Me and my husband are still in contact with the birthday girl’s father, and we’re trying to set up a playdate for the girls next week.”

The OP also wanted to clarify some things about what had happened.

“Also, there are some things I want to clarify about my previous post:”

“My daughter and the birthday girl aren’t physically similar. Aurora has wavy brown hair, and birthday girl has straight blonde hair. We’re all caucasian, but my daughter is more tan.”

“The party was held at a kid’s party venue, not the birthday girl’s place.”

“There were 19 girls and a toddler at the party. All were in costume.”

“There were a few boys, but they were older (I’m guessing they were related to the birthday girl).”

“I was never friends with the birthday girl’s mom. Her request at the party was probably the third time we ever talked, and the first that wasn’t about the weather.”

“The birthday girl’s mother didn’t want me to change my daughter’s clothes just for the group photo at the end, she wanted me to change her 30 minutes into the party for ALL the pictures.”

“I mentioned in a comment that if the birthday girl had a problem with my daughter’s costume, I might be willing to drive home, change Aurora into her Merida dress (her second favorite), and then return to the party. But I want to stress I’d only do that if the birthday girl was upset when we got to the party, not if her mother was annoyed half an hour later. By then, my daughter was already playing with the birthday girl and her friends.”

“To those who said I could change Aurora at the party and/or use this as a teaching moment, I’m going to assume you’ve never met a four-year-old. My daughter is kind-hearted and would definitely do it to make her friend happy, but she’d still view this as punishment. It’s also cruel to take a child away from a party and tell them they can no longer play princess with their friends. I refuse to alienate or upset my daughter when she’s done nothing wrong. I absolutely don’t regret my decision.”

“And that’s it. Once again, thank you all!”

While there were a few Redditors who believed that the birthday girl’s mother’s feelings should have been put first because she had organized the party and photographer, most felt that this was an issue of communication and putting the children’s feelings first.

If the birthday girl’s mother had communicated the way she told everyone she did, this would have been a completely different story. But at the end of the day, the kids had such a great time, including the birthday girl, that really should have been the most important thing for everyone.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.