It’s very easy for parents to judge and feel judged when they notice their friends have wildly different parenting styles than their own.
Most of the time, they’re able to rub their frustrations off their back, and move on with their lives, accepting that they’re raising their children differently, and won’t give it a second thought.
Others, however, take things a little more personally and are simply unable to keep their mouths shut or hide their displeasure.
A recent dinner party hosted by Redditor thowrathiw and her husband didn’t quite go as planned, namely owing to the fact that the food the original poster (OP)’s husband prepared didn’t go over too well with some of their younger guests.
While the OP thought she and her husband resolved the issue, it turned out her friend did not appreciate the way she was treated at the party and did not mince her words with the OP.
Not taking kindly to the accusations thrown at her, the OP made it abundantly clear to this friend that it would be the last time she was ever welcome for dinner at their home.
Wondering if she overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for refusing to apologize?”
The OP explained why she did not step forward and apologize to her friend, even though her feelings were hurt.
“My husband loves cooking.”
“He goes all out for dinners and even his lazy meals can seem extravagant at times so our children have a mature palate.”
“He especially loves when we have a guest that when he goes all out for sure, he plans his meal in advance and get extremely excited.”
“My husband and I had dinner with our friends and our kids.”
“My husband made us Arabic salad & garlic bread on the side with mashed potatoes and braised duck served with a sauce.”
“When everyone came, we had 3 parents and 7 children.”
“My husband served everyone food and everyone was complimenting it.”
“but my husband noticed one of my friends, let call her Melissa’s, child (6) not eating.”
“So he asked him if he didn’t like the food and he nodded his head no and Melissa chimed in and said he doesn’t have a mature palette.”
“My husband said, ‘sorry, we have more mashed potatoes maybe he can eat it without the sauce?'”
“Melissa said he doesn’t eat mash.”
“My husband said that fine. I can microwave or make him something quick.”
“Melissa said thank you and told him frozen chicken nuggets would be good.”
“My husband said ooh we don’t eat frozen food, but how about cereal, pp&j/ grilled cheese or leftover spaghetti bolognese and she said cereal.”
“Next thing that happened, my husband served the ice cream and carrot cake.”
‘Mellisa’s other son (8) said this ice cream was soo good.”
“My daughter (4) said ‘me and my daddy made it we don’t eat the store-brought crap’.”
“This is my fault.”
“I was mocking my husband earlier asking him what he was making, and he said ice cream and I said in a sacastic way that we ‘are too good for store brought crap huh’.”
“It was a force of habit.”
“Me and my husband thought that if we don’t point out we used a bad word, our daughter would not notice, and obviously we were wrong, but am a 100% sure she didn’t say it with any bad intentions.”
“And everyone laughed.”
“Now yesterday I received a call from Melissa saying she felt like me and my husband were looking down on her and mommy shaming her because we said we don’t eat frozen food.”
“I was just about to apologize because I never want to make someone feel mommy shamed until this woman said she feels sorry for my daughter because she can already see my snobbishness and self-centeredness spreading to her because of that comment my daughter made about crap ice cream.”
“And that’s where I draw a line.”
“I told her to not mention my daughter’s name when wanting to address me, and she shouldn’t worry about feeling inferior because she will never be invited to my home again.”
“Our friend decided to get involved and they keep saying that I should apologize because they don’t want to be left in the middle of it and they feel like I was wrong because I should have known the food was too mature for a kids palette.”
“I honestly don’t care. I have friends outside of this friend group and honestly don’t mind cutting them off.”
“I know this might be an exaggerated reaction, but I am very sensitive about my daughter. And want to know if I am overreacting.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
While the Reddit community was somewhat divided, no one came off looking particularly good, with the general consensus being that “Everyone Sucks Here.”
Most people understood how the choice of words from the OP and her husband could have made Melissa seem slighted or shamed, but they also agreed that it was wrong of Melissa to bring the OP’s daughter into things.
“I feel like it’s totally fair that someone could interpret ‘we don’t eat frozen food’ as opposed to ‘we don’t have chicken nuggets’ as a dig.”
“Your daughter also sounded like she was repeating something snobby that she had overheard.”
“Your friend is out of line for passing judgment on a 4yo, though.”
“I feel like ESH.”- YesPleaseDont
“ESH It sounds like you do judge other people with regard to what they eat, and your daughter is learning it.”
“As for the chicken nuggets, your husband could have simply said we don’t have any and offered the choices on hand.”
“Your friend went too far imo but you are the bigger a**hole for not taking other people’s likes into consideration when inviting them over for dinner and making judgmental comments.”- Hopeful-Chipmunk6530
“Your child said something rude.”
“She’s 4, so it wasn’t on purpose, but you absolutely should have apologized.”
“She also said rude things about a four year old, which is an AH move.”- littlestgoldfish
Others, however, felt the OP was more directly at fault. Many felt the way she and her husband emphasized how they rarely use frozen products merited an apology. Even though their daughter meant no harm, they should have immediately apologized for her remark.
“Kids are parrots.”
“They repeat everything bad we say at that age.”
“You clearly already know you messed up by calling non-homemade ice cream crap in front of her, and she did what kids do and repeated that to your guests.”
“From an objective person, that sounds pretty snobbish.”
“I’m like your husband, I cook everything from scratch, every single day.”
“I also host regular dinner parties.”
“Pro top, always have a kid-friendly item (like chicken nuggets) at the ready.”
“If ppl as for something and you don’t have it, just say, ‘sorry, we don’t have any ATM’.”
“Why would your husband feel the need to point out that your family doesn’t eat food that your guest clearly finds acceptable.”
“If I’d been at that dinner party – even though I also don’t purchase frozen food – I’d have felt uncomfortable and a little bit like your family were snobs.”
“I’m a person who frequently hosts dinner parties serving minimum 3 but usually 4 or 5 courses.”
“I won’t even buy cereal – I make everything, yet I’ve never been called a snob.”
“I am taking everything you said as fact, and I would have felt like your family judges other ppl if I’d been sitting at that table.”
“I would have felt uncomfortable sitting at your table – please reflect on that.”- throwAWweddingwoe
“If you’re fine losing your friend because you refuse to acknowledge that your daughter said something rude, fine.”
“It was rude, regardless of whether your daughter understood that it was or not.”
“That means you ARE the one who should apologize.”
“So yes, I think YTA.”
“It’s pretty silly that your husband decided to make all this fancy food knowing that there would be more kids in attendance than adults as well.”- lihzee
While a select few felt just the opposite and that the OP did absolutely nothing wrong, agreeing Melissa not only way overstepped by bringing the OP’s daughter into the fray but also found it extremely presumptuous to ask the OP’s husband to make more food.
“I don’t understand the criticism OP is getting in the comments.”
“I think it’s weird to go to someone’s house and be like ‘my child doesn’t eat this. Make him some chicken nuggets’.”
“If you know your child is a picky eater like that, you should bring your own food for your child to eat.”
“Also the child repeated what OP said jokingly in private (prior to knowing her friend insists on eating frozen food) and OP was going to apologize, cause it obviously came of a lot more rude than intended.”
“The friend then, however, decided to sh*t talk her 4 year old!”
“As someone that eats both frozen foods (just finished a plate of fries and chicken tenders!) and cooks from scratch when I have time, I don’t think the comment was that big of an issue.”
“I think the only reason someone would get upset over that is if they are insecure about the fact they cook frozen food too often.”
“OP’s friend probably is feeling a way about the fact she may be too busy to cook her kids fresh foods, and she took it out on OP and her 4-year-old.”- Bettersoon27
We’ve all said something we thought might be in jest but only discovered too late might actually have hurt or offended someone.
When this happens, even if we truly meant no harm, it still couldn’t hurt to apologize.
Even so, Melissa broke a cardinal rule when finding yourself in a feud or spat:
Leave the kids out of it!