For many people, birthdays are sacred days that should completely center around their loved one’s birthday.
But some people manage to use the day to show off who their favorite person really is, chided the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor greedyneighborhood didn’t understand why her sixteen-year-old daughter was upset when she transformed her birthday party into something that would accommodate her picky younger sister.
Even when the teen started talking about estrangement, the Original Poster (OP) still questioned what she had done wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for accommodating both of my daughters’ needs on only one of my daughter’s birthdays?”
The OP put a lot of attention on her younger daughter, Lily.
“I (43 Female) have two daughters Rose (16 Female) and Lily (14 Female).”
“Lily is a picky eater and has a wind-up personality. She also suffers from vasovagal syncope and thus, I’m constantly worried about her.”
“Dad’s not in the picture.”
The OP ended up organizing Rose’s birthday around Lily.
“Recently, it was Rose’s sweet sixteen birthday.”
“When I asked her multiple times what she wanted, she told me she didn’t want anything and vehemently denied any of my advances regarding the gift.”
“She and Lily don’t exactly get along and Rose is comparatively less extroverted.”
“Since Rose didn’t tell me anything about her wishes, I planned a small party for her and decided to order food for the two of them.”
“Lily is a picky eater, so I went along with what her choices were, as well.”
“Lily doesn’t like chocolate or red velvet, but Rose loves the two. So I ordered a vanilla cake and some Italian food, because Lily fusses over the spices the Chinese cuisine has (Rose likes Chinese).”
“I did so because I didn’t want Lily to stress herself out over the choices or feel left out or be fussy about the food.”
“The party went smoothly or so I thought.”
Rose was upset about the party.
“The next day, Rose told me she ‘expected’ the ‘partiality’ that I showed.”
“She told me that she was disappointed that I don’t ‘care’ about her because the present I got her (a dress with matching accessories) wasn’t something she was very fond of, but rather got Lily what she liked (a nail art kit).”
“She hated the fact that Lily got a present and had been accommodated at the party and seemed pretty jealous to me.”
“I told her that we must care about family and not alienate others no matter how special the day might be to us.”
“She told me that the day she turns 18 will be the day she will alienate us and then I can ‘enjoy my life peacefully’ with Lily.”
The OP didn’t see what the problem was.
“All I wanted to do was to make sure that Lily didn’t feel left out and Rose could learn how to share things with family.”
“I don’t think what I did was wrong.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by using one of the following acronyms:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some felt horrible for Rose.
“You’ve cultivated a garden of lilies and roses and allowed the lilies to become invasive and choke the roses.”
“Instead of putting in boundaries to accommodate both equally, you’re allowing the lilies to spread and have actively cut the roses off at the stem so they can’t bloom.”
“Massive YTA!” – myles5239
“You may not think so, but you’re aggressively alienating your older daughter.”
“I feel so sorry for Rose. She deserves so much more than your indifference and favoritism towards Lily.”
“There will come a day when you regret your actions because they are awful. If you think you did nothing wrong, then you need some serious help.”
“YTA and you have shown some really awful parenting.” – Khanover7
“Rose didn’t ask for anything because she knew she wouldn’t get it. This is not the first time her preferences were ignored.”
“Eventually, you just quit asking for anything, because you have never been heard. There’s no point.” – badkitty627
“You bought your 14-year-old daughter a gift on her sister’s birthday? So she wouldn’t feel left out? Seriously?!”
“AND you got the cake and food your 14-year-old likes? Not what the birthday girl likes? D**n. This is some dark s**t. Your poor older daughter.” – tubesweaterguru
Others were furious, stating it wasn’t Lily’s birthday.
“OP You are DEFINITELY TA…”
“Unless Lily and Rose have the same birthday, you should have done what Rose preferred on her day, regardless of Rose not asking for anything specific.”
“You could have just spent the day with the focus being on Rose and what she wanted to do.” – A2ZKIRBY71
“YTA. I’ll qualify that. You and Lily are both TA. You have less than two years to save your family.”
“Yes, Lily has a condition. She will need to learn to live with it.”
“You need to help her cope with her stress rather than trying to wrap her in cotton wool, because stress will happen in life when you aren’t there to pick up the pieces. And by ‘a wind-up personality’, I assume you mean she plays it up to her advantage.”
“You need to come down hard on that. Pandering to it has almost cost you your elder daughter.”
“You chose to ignore her preferences and planned an event for her birthday around her sister’s preferences not her own.”
“That is a slap in the face to anyone, let alone a 16-yr-old.”
“I don’t know about where you live, but round here, all the Chinese places do have a small non-Chinese selection too, e.g. chicken & chips (fries) or omelette. For Rose’s 17th, you need to focus on her not on Lily.”
“Get her a chocolate or red velvet cake. Lily can either have some or decline politely.”
“Order Chinese. Get Rose a present you’ve put some serious thought into (maybe discuss it with one of her friends if you really have no idea what might appeal to her). Do not get Lily a present.”
“Do you give Rose presents on Lily’s birthdays? I didn’t think so.”
“You might even consider giving Rose a do-over of her 16th along these lines as waiting a year may still be too late.”
“And you’re going to have to work hard at this for the rest of the year too if you want to keep Rose in your life. By all means try to pick foods, activities, etc… that both like, but for every time you expressly choose Lily’s preference over Rose’s, you need to make sure that next time you go with Rose’s choice.”
“And if Lily kicks off, too bad.”
“And once in a while go with your own preference, even if they aren’t keen.” – AlpineHaddock
“YTA. It wasn’t your 14-year-old’s birthday. You completely overshadowed your 16-year-old’s birthday with the needs of her little picky sister. So wrong.”
“You should have let Lilly know ahead of time what the menu would be – Rose’s favorites – and she could eat it, plan ahead and eat beforehand, OR not attend.”
“The most I would have done to cater to Lily would be to have a vanilla cupcake on hand for her when the cake was eaten. Teenagers are old enough to understand birthdays and how they work.”
“No 14-year-old should need a present at her older sister’s party. Letting your 14-year-old dominate her older sister’s milestones/events is creating a serious problem for your family. Stop doing that.”
“Your 14-year-old will not be able to handle life outside of your bubble if you continue to cater to her.”
“You owe your 16-year-old a do-over WITHOUT her 14-year-old sister present.” – NWFlint
“This reminds me of how a good friend treated his own children. The older one no longer has much contact with her Dad.”
“The threats aren’t empty.”
“I’m not trying to be demeaning by saying this, but I think you could benefit from some family therapy and maybe a little for just yourself. Lily needs to be taught that sometimes she is not going to be the center of attention and it’s up to her not to feel left out.”
“Rose needs to hear that you love and value her, and an admittance that you’ve made mistakes when it comes to showing her. Maybe take Rose for an outing you know she will enjoy—just her.”
“Lily might feel left out but she’s old enough to plan something else for the day.”
“I feel really terrible for Rose. I’m glad you came to this thread and I hope you are listening to the comments.”
“On this one, YTA, but I sincerely hope you can turn things around.” – rebel_muse
“I’m 26. For my birthday a couple of years ago, my parents did exactly this. Pestered me to come home to visit early ‘for my birthday’. Come to find out all the dinner and fancy cake etc… were for my younger sister and her graduation.”
“OP, even if your older daughter didn’t want to make a big deal of her birthday, you chose to anyway, but did so in relation to your youngest.”
“I completely understand why she’s upset. I’m still a little bitter about my situation, and I’m a full-blown adult. She’s 16 years old.”
“The point wasn’t that you didn’t go out of your way to make her feel special on her ‘one day’. It was that you went out of your way to make your youngest feel special on older sister’s day. That stings.”
“Emphatically, YTA.” – picklepowerPB
Some looked forward to the day when Rose would turn 18.
“You threw a party for Lily on Rose’s birthday and just happened to get Rose a generic gift she doesn’t care for to give her at Lily’s party.”
“How little do you know your daughter that you couldn’t get a gift she likes without an explicit list?!?”
“When my kids were growing up, one of them had food allergies, so I get having to accommodate different kids’ needs.”
“For us, while that did influence food choices, we tried to keep it within reason (e.g., the birthday cake was safe for all the kids but the flavors/decor were the favorites of the birthday kid, or I made/brought a separate meal for the allergy kid if they wouldn’t/couldn’t eat the birthday kid’s choice of meal) and keep the focus on the birthday kid.”
“You should be ashamed of yourself for putting Lily first, especially on Rose’s Sweet 16, you should be ashamed for putting more thought into Lily’s gift than Rose’s, and honestly, you should be ashamed that your 14 year old can’t handle someone else’s birthday unless she gets a present too.”
“YTA, without question, and I wouldn’t dismiss Rose’s words as a threat – that was a promise. You’re losing your daughter, and frankly, you deserve to.” – Ok_Chance_4584
“What the h**l, OP? Combined with catering to Lily’s preferences, this was Lily’s party and Rose happened to get a gift.”
“I’d tell you that this is the kind of thing that leads to kids going no contact, but it seems Rose has already told you. Listen to her, OP. Start showing an interest in her now before it’s too late… if it’s not already.” – Willowed-Wisp
“YTA and a big one. OP, you know exactly what you did and why it was wrong, but you do not care.”
“You clearly value Lily over Rose, and have done it her entire life.”
“Rose told you she is going NC (no contact), and you really do not even seem upset about it!”
“You even mentioned that you know which cupcakes/cake Rose likes and purposefully did not get her them! Massive AH!” – Acceptable_Day6086
“YTA!!! I can not say this enough!”
“You ‘worry’ about your 14-year-old every day. She’s a picky eater so I’m sure every family meal is around whatever she will like and eat. You don’t want her stressed so I’m sure every temper tantrum is met with you giving in.”
“A BIRTHDAY IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT THE BIRTHDAY PERSON! This is the one day of the year your 16-year-old should have the day for her.”
“What she likes to eat. What she likes to do. All of it should be about her. Not her sister.”
“And none of it was about her. She seemed like an afterthought with the way your post sounded.”
“Your daughter likes chocolate or red valvet cake. And you for some reason decided to give her a vanilla cake???”
“Why? Because your other daughter liked it better. She told you the type of cake she liked and you dismissed her because it wasn’t what your favorite child liked.”
“Your 14 year old likes Italian food so you ordered that and oh goody your 16-year-old likes Chinese so…”
“And on top of it you decided to get your 14-year-old a birthday present for your other daughter’s birthday. WHY?”
“If at 14 your daughter can not understand that you don’t always get what you want and that one day is about someone else she’s going to have a very hard time in 4 years. You did not properly prepare her for adulthood like a parent should.”
“Your 16-year-old has clearly had these thoughts for awhile and you did absolutely nothing to change them or make her change her mind. She should absolutely leave at 18 and not turn back.”
“Your daughter is not jealous of her sister. She sounds upset that the one day that is supposed to be all about her isn’t.”
“It became about her sister and that is not something she should have to have happen. YTA!” – Dry_Recognition1394
The OP may have not seen what she did was wrong, but the subReddit sure did.
This mom seemed to think there was only one birthday to go around this year. Unless she chooses only Rose’s favorite things on Lily’s birthday, she hasn’t taught her daughter a lesson in sharing or being accommodating like she claims.
She’s taught Rose that Lily is the favored child and Rose doesn’t matter to her mother.
The fact mom doesn’t see that left many thinking the best thing for Rose is to leave mom and Lily behind and create a life without them in it.