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Fed-Up Parent Plans Their Own Birthday After Husband And Kids Continually Let Them Down

Person holding birthday cake.

Birthday celebrations are not everyone’s cup of tea.

Some individuals would rather be on the down-low when it comes to their birthdays, while others like to make huge fanfare about turning a year older.

A Redditor who is a mother and wife is from the latter camp.

She was looking forward to celebrating a milestone birthday, but the events leading up to and after her special day left little to be desired.

After some family drama, Redditor No_Price_1688 took to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback and asked:

“AITA for planning my own birthday party since I knew my husband and kids wouldn’t do a great job.”

The original poster (OP) started with an affirmation of her suspicion:

“And I was correct. For my 40th birthday party, they planned on an ice cream cake and take-out pizza with a movie at home.”

“I try and make sure my husband and two kids get amazing experiences on their special occasions. They do not reciprocate. For my husband’s 40th, I got him a Nascar experience in Vegas.”

“For my daughter’s 16th, I saved up all year to get her a MacBook Pro. My son is 10, so I can’t put much of this on him.”

“So I planned my own birthday without letting them know. My best friend came over to watch the house and my husband and I got a weekend to ourselves in the city.”

“We saw the Back to the Future musical. We had some amazing meals. When we got home there was a party waiting for me with all our family and friends.”

“My husband and daughter kept getting complements on doing such a great job planning everything so I could have a special day.”

Drama ensued when the celebration was over.

“After everyone left, my husband and daughter both told me that I embarrassed them by not letting them know what I had planned. I asked them what they had planned for my birthday.”

“They told me. I agreed with them that my plans put theirs to shame. I asked them if they wanted me to tell everyone who had come to my party what the actual plan was for my birthday. They both looked like a deer in headlights.”

“I said that would be cruel and would draw other people into a petty, private, family drama. I asked them how they thought what they planned for me compared to what I did for them.”

“My daughter opened her mouth and closed it. I said that I understood that they did not like planning stuff. And that I had no problem with it. But that they could have enlisted help from my friends or so longs who do like to plan.”

So she offered a proposal.

“I said if it was really an issue, I was more than willing to let them plan and execute their own celebrations from now on, and I would take care of planning mine. We could alternate planning my son’s stuff.”

“Neither had anything else to say.”

“My husband surprised me today with an apology. He said that I was right and that he had been thoughtless. My daughter is upset with me still for pointing out that she put more effort into planning her bff’s birthday than mine.”

“I feel like an a**hole. I would have been fine letting them take credit.”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

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

A good majority of Redditors thought the OP was the a**hole (YTA).

“It’s fine to plan your birthday if you weren’t confident in what your husband would organize on his own. I’m curious: did you tell him what you wanted to do for your birthday? He’s not a mind reader and could have been involved in the planning.”

“However, YTA for guilt-tripping your 16 yo daughter. It’s not her job to plan an extravagant 40th party for you, and she obviously wouldn’t have the financial resources to get you an expensive gift. She’s 16.”

“Honestly, when my daughter turns 16, I’ll be super stoked if she wants to celebrate my birthday with an ice cream cake and a family movie night.”

“Count your blessings” – Socratic_Labrador_02

“I think that a 16-year-old planning pizza, ice cream, and a movie night for their parent’s birthday is the perfect ‘level of energy.’ Planning any sort of larger celebration than that should never be expected from children, especially minor children.”

“It’s great that your teenager ‘does better for you,’ but please don’t get it twisted that the 16-year-old in this story was hurtful in any way or needs ‘to do better.’ That’s nonsense.” – Noneedtopickauser

“I could not agree more.”

“It’s so incredibly unfair to place the expectation of planning an elaborate, 40th birthday party on a 16 year old.”

“And then GUILT TRIPPING them after they fail to do so.”

“I’m not even sure if any blame should be placed with the husband, here. He’s not a mind-reader.”


“I’m glad OP enjoyed her night on the town, I would have been thrilled with pizza and ice cream with my family, but, hey, what do I know.” – labellavita1985

“YTA for not communicating your desires and expectations with your husband so that he could help you with your birthday. You say they’ve never done anything big for your birthday, so you knew they wouldn’t this time.”

“But you didn’t bother saying anything ahead of time. You just pouted and kept your plans a secret.”

“You haven’t said if you’ve ever told them how disappointed you are that you always put so much into their birthdays and they don’t put the same effort into yours. Should they automagically know this? No.”

“Some people don’t like big fusses for their birthdays believe it or not. I love making a big fuss for other people on their birthdays (if they enjoy it) but do not like it for mine. My people know this because I communicate my feelings.”

“What is so hard about talking to your family? Just freaking communicate. Tell them what you need and want from them, and ask them what they need and want from you in return. Then work together to make it happen.”

“Why just hold it all in, say nothing, be miserable, and make everyone else in the family miserable too?”

“I don’t get what’s so hard about actually talking about an issue BEFORE it becomes such a huge deal. Now everyone, including you OP, is unhappy.”

“If you needed it to be something particular, You could’ve just told your husband what you wanted, even given him a list of things to do to ensure it all happened how you wanted it to, and not felt as disappointed and unhappy as you do now.”

“It all sounds exhausting and unnecessary.”

“They may have fallen well short of your expectations, but your lack of communication puts the onus on you.” – kiwihoney

“YTA for guilting your teenage daughter because she didn’t plan an extravagant party for you. That’s just weird. Parents throw bday parties for their kids, not the other way around.”

“If you had a problem with your husband’s plans tell him. Communicate your feelings instead of playing games. Is your husband thoughtless about event planning, yes, but it didn’t need to be this elaborate big show to prove some type of point.” – AngeleMoore44

“YTA. I’m sorry, a 16-year-old is not going to be able to plan an extravagant birthday celebration with ‘all your family and friends.’ Your husband is a different matter. But to shame a teen for not giving you the birthday of your dreams is weird.” – growsonwalls


“This could have all been avoided by having a conversation with your husband about your expectations or just openly planning your own event.”

“You went the most hurtful way about this and had no holds barred for guilt-tripping your daughter. Which is gross.” – badbrother420

“Honestly, if I’d been a guest at your party, I would have thought their plans were pretty nice. Especially given that your kids are…kids. But also why make it a competition?”

“You seem to spend a lot of time comparing notes on who did a better job, which seems so petty. Especially with your kid…you’re making your teenage daughter feel bad that she didn’t do as good a job planning a birthday for an adult?”

“YTA.” – Spotzie27

“YTA for coming for the 16-year-old like that. How the f’k you expect her to buy you an iPad or an ~experience~? If you have an issue with your husband then deal with it with your husband.”

“Don’t drag your kid into it and then put them on the spot and threaten to humiliate them in front of friends and family. That’s so f’ked up. Why would you do that?”

“Happy birthday and congrats on shattering your daughter’s self confidence for something that should’ve been your husband’s responsibility anyway. Jesus Christ lady.”


“I don’t even think this is about your birthday I think that you’re just a control freak flaunting about how you keep your whole family on edge. You’re like the mom that takes away Christmas.”

“You’re like the mom that insists on hosting for the holidays, refuses all offers of help, and then has a meltdown 2/3rds of the way thru the evening bc ~no one appreciates you~. When your kids get in trouble at school you probably put that sh*t on blast in the family chat.”

“Stop forcing your kids to grow up when you haven’t even grown up yourself yet.” – bloonfroot

Overall, Redditors weren’t pleased with the way the OP handled things, primarily with the lack of communication.

It just goes to show that even after turning 40, many adults still have room to grow and be better.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo