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Mom Calls SIL ‘Selfish’ For Refusing To Throw Joint Birthday For Kids Despite Not Chipping In

Girl blowing out birthday candles
Ippei Naoi/Getty Images

Raising kids at the same time as family members can be an amazingly supportive environment.

But it can also cause competition and resentment.

Redditor birthdaydrama-ta has been learning this lesson the hard way for several years while raising her daughter simultaneously with her brother and sister-in-law’s daughter.

The Original Poster (OP) took to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for help.

She asked:

“AITA for not including my niece in my daughter’s birthday since her parents can’t afford it?”

She went on to explain.

My [31-year-old female] daughter [8-year-old Female] and my niece [8-year-old Female] are born ten days apart.”

“Due to this, ever since they were little, my SIL [29-year-old Female] has always pushed for them to have a “shared” birthday party.”

“When the girls were younger (1-4), we used to do shared birthday parties.”

“But my husband and I realized that we were always the ones to foot the bill for everything (food, decorations, location, etc.).”

“The girls also were complete opposites. My daughter has always been more of a tomboy, while my niece is SUPER girly.”

“When my husband and I told SIL and my brother that we won’t be doing the shared birthdays anymore, they we really upset, and it started a huge fight.”

“They said they can’t afford to throw a nice birthday for my niece, but we can, so it makes sense that we pay for it since we’re ’family.’”

“Yeah, not gonna fly with my husband and me. So we stuck by what we said, and ever since, the girls have had separate birthdays.”

“My daughter and my husband love watching Formula 1 together, and she wanted to have a Formula 1-themed birthday this year.”

“The weekend before the birthday, we had a family dinner at my parent’s house. SIL, my brother, and niece were present.”

“My parents were asking the girls if they were excited about their upcoming birthdays and if they were having parties this year?”

“My daughter told my parents she is having a Formula 1-themed party this year. SIL answered for my niece and said they’re not going to have a party for her because things were tight.”

“The conversation was left there.”

“Fast forward to this past weekend (daughters bday was on Saturday). We had the party, and it was going great.”

“The whole family was invited as usual, and everyone was having a great time until the cake.”

“I’m in the kitchen with my mom, MIL, SIL, and a few other family friends talking. I pull the cake out to get it ready to bring out for everyone. SIL takes a look at the cake and looks confused.”

“SIL: ‘Is this the girls’ birthday cake?’”

“Me: ‘What do you mean “the girls”? the cake is for *daughters name*’”

“SIL: ’Well, I thought since I mentioned that things are tight this year, that you’d include *niece’s name* in the birthday?’”

“Me: ’I understand your situation, but how come you never once mentioned this to me?’”

“SIL: ’Well, I thought it would be common sense? Now my daughter isn’t going to have any kind of celebration for her birthday this year because you and your husband are so selfish.”

“She then stormed out of the kitchen, made a huge scene at the party outside, yelling to her husband and my niece that it’s time to go and left.”

“Since then, she’s been messaging me and my husband non stop trying to make us feel guilty that my niece isn’t going to have a birthday party, and calling us all kinds of names.”

The OP was left to wonder.

“I feel bad that my niece isn’t going to get a birthday party. AITA for not including her even though they can’t afford it?”

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

Redditors decided: NTA

“NTA. First of all, it’s simply not your job to make sure your niece has a party. That’s up to her parents. If things are tight, maybe they need to be creative, but it’s still on them.”

“Secondly, it’s ridiculous for her to think that hinting around will get her daughter added to the party.”

“If it was as important to her as she acts like it is, then she should have had a frank conversation with you and simply asked. You could have still said no, but there wouldn’t have been the confusion.”

“This is on them, not you.” – Solid-Order-514

Let’s call a spade a spade…there was no confusion.”

“SIL knew that this was OP’s daughter’s birthday party. The rest of the family knew that this was OP’s daughter’s birthday party.”

“All of SIL’s hints aside, there was never any indication by OP or her husband that niece’s involvement at the party was anything more than as a guest.”

“SIL was simply waiting for the time and place to make a scene and to try to make OP look like TA.”

“NTA, and if this is the way that brother and SIL are going to continue to act, wish them well and go LC/NC until they can get their heads out of their tuchases.”  – PhilaBurger

She was probably hoping MIL would apply pressure to do another joint party after she heard the in-laws couldn’t afford it.”

“It’s not expensive to make a cake and hang up some decorations, ffs. Or even just take the kid to a matinee and get ice cream after. That poor little girl, to have such a trash mom.”

“I grew up dirt poor, and my mom managed a celebration for us on our birthdays every year. They were never big, but we didn’t mind.”

“Nta, OP.” – carolinecrane


“But I’m very confused. How much money can you possibly invest in an 8yo birthday party?”

“Most of my kid’s birthdays have been at the park with a self-made chocolate cake, some sweets, a fruit salad, a treasure hunt, and some balloons.”

“If you want a cool location or a VIP experience or whatever, you can spend more, obviously, but that’s completely optional.”

“Children at that age mostly want to have fun with their friends and blow their candles.” – Ok-Jellyfish9225

“‘When my husband and I told SIL and my brother that we won’t be doing the shared birthdays anymore, they we really upset, and it started a huge fight.’”

“‘They said they can’t afford to throw a nice birthday for my niece, but we can, so it makes sense that we pay for it since we’re “family.”’”

“Nobody likes it when the gravy train ends. NTA.”

“It is not reasonable to expect you to be able to read minds, specifically the mind of your assumptive and entitled SIL.”

“As I kept reading, the entitlement just got worse. Wow! I feel for your niece. Your SIL is a real piece of work.”

“I know you feel bad for your niece. Maybe doing something special for her apart from your daughter’s birthday… maybe a special cousin’s day out in the near future?”

“One that won’t include her mother perhaps?” – IamIrene

NTA. It’s not your responsibility to host a party for your niece because her parents “can’t afford” to.”

“Plus the fact that your SIL expected you to ‘include’ your niece then called you selfish for throwing YOUR OWN DAUGHTER her birthday party. Your SIL is a joke.”

“ETA: it’s not your fault they apparently couldn’t money manage enough to throw their daughter her own separate birthday party.”

“You can feel bad, but it’s their own fault, and trying to blame you is childish. They don’t seem like very responsible people.” – RebelAlliance05

Absolutely! It’s not OP’s obligation to provide for anyone else’s kid (family or not). OP is NTA.”

“We were house poor with two kids in our early 20’s. We put $50 away every month for birthday parties and Christmas presents.”

“My in-laws were financially well off, but it wasn’t their job to support us. We were thankful if we were treated to something but expected nothing.”

“I had a full-blown Minecraft birthday party for under $125. I made all the decorations from construction paper and cardboard boxes I collected from behind the local liquor store.”

“It was tedious, but it looked fantastic! I had cheap pizza and sodas, a piñata, and dollar store party favors.”

“My 18 y/o still says it was his favorite party.”

“We are much more comfortable now, and they’ve had more extravagant parties, but they remember the effort and magic you put into things, especially when they are younger.” – NastyMsPiggleWiggle

“NTA. The dollar store sells party decorations.” – quitthatsheet


“While your niece deserves to feel celebrated and loved, it’s not your responsibility to foot the bill for her party.”

“Having a shared birthday was fine when they were younger, but given your SIL never chipped into those, you made the decision to stop doing them, and that was your right as a parent.”

“That doesn’t give SIL the right to be entitled to your daughter’s cake or party.”

“Maybe if she didn’t rely on you every year to do everything for her daughter’s birthday, then she would’ve been more prepared, and her daughter would’ve had the birthday SIL so desperately wants.” – DarkestMoose538

Hopefully, both girls involved will be able to feel special and celebrated on their birthdays in the future.

And that this SIL’s attitude and outburst don’t cause irreparable damage between these cousins.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)