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AIBU?

For not making my daughter have a combination birthday or invite her cousin to her birthday sleepover?

166 replies

birthdayparties · 08/09/2022 15:36

I have a daughter who is going to be turning 10. She has a cousin who is only a month older. For all their birthdays we have had a combined party for the two of them during a weekend between their birthdays. It’s always worked out well in the past because the girls were very close.

However this year my daughter said she does not want a combined party and would instead like to just have a sleepover with her core group of friends that she always has playdates with. This isn't unexpected as she’s getting older and she and her cousin have spent far less time together this year and have different interests now. My daughter also said she doesn’t like the attention that comes with having a big party.

I told my sister in law (niece’s mom) ahead of time that there would be a change of plans this year and we wouldn’t be doing to combined party. She at first tried to convince me to do it anyway because her daughter was really looking forward to it. She also said she was worried that other kids wouldn’t attend because her daughter has trouble making friends. Since I knew my daughter really didn’t want to do a combined party or a regular party at all I told my sister in law that it wasn’t happening, but my daughter would still be happy to attend her daughters party as a guest. That seemed to settle things.

We went to nieces party. Unfortunately my sister in law was right and no other kids came. However all the nieces and nephews in our family came so there were still a good amount of kids running around and niece didn’t seem upset. A few days later my sister in law did inform me that her daughter got very upset after everyone left.

Yesterday she messaged me to ask about my daughters upcoming party. I told her how my daughter will not be having a party and it’s just going to be her and her 2 best friends having a sleepover. My sister-in-law then practically begged me to let her daughter come because she was also looking forward to my daughter party (I never said she was having a party) and hanging out with her friends.

I did ask my daughter about what she thought about inviting her cousin to the sleepover and she was not a fan of the idea. She really just wants a small sleepover with her 2 best friends.

So I told my sister-in-law that it was already all planned with her friends and that maybe the girls could have a play date some other time or something to help her feel better. My sister-in-law then said that we’re the reason her daughter feels horrible because we changed how we always did things.

I replied by telling her that as the girls grew up things were bound to change and they were going to have different interests and friends. We should let them be individuals. My sister-in-law replied by accusing me and my daughter of purposely excluding her daughter and said that we were bullies.

I have not yet replied to that last message so that is where we are now.

OP posts:
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123becauseicouldntthinkofone · 08/09/2022 15:40

You are absolutely right allowing your daughter to do what she wants, just as Niece decided to continue with a party. Is there a reason she doesnt really have friends? Honestly stick to your guns on this one, maybe she doesnt have friends as she is a bully just like her mum trying to bully you into doing something you have already said no to. Good Luck OP

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Pixiedust1234 · 08/09/2022 15:44

Joint party for family members, separate parties for friends. Shes growing up and wants different things.

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Sweetmotherofallthatisholyabov · 08/09/2022 15:47

I think you should have been explicit from the start that there was no joint party and no return invite.

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GooglyEyeballs · 08/09/2022 15:47

Your SIL sounds a bit unhinged

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AliceMcK · 08/09/2022 15:48

I’d have probably just gone ahead the family thing and had a separate sleepover with the 2 friends without mentioning it to SIL and cousin.

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Poptart4 · 08/09/2022 15:49

123becauseicouldntthinkofone · 08/09/2022 15:40

You are absolutely right allowing your daughter to do what she wants, just as Niece decided to continue with a party. Is there a reason she doesnt really have friends? Honestly stick to your guns on this one, maybe she doesnt have friends as she is a bully just like her mum trying to bully you into doing something you have already said no to. Good Luck OP

What a stupid comment 🙄

There's nothing in the OP to suggest the child is a bully. Maybe she's just shy. All I see is a mother trying to prevent her daughter from being upset, which she was. And then trying to cheer her up by being included in her cousins sleepover. This doesn't make her a bully just a concerned mam.

However your right OP, the girls are growing up and sadly seem to be growing in different directions. YANBU for following your daughters wishes but she's not being unreasonable for trying to protect her child's feelings. The status quo had changed and your SIL will have to get used to it.

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Pixiedust1234 · 08/09/2022 15:50

Oh sorry, 8i should have read your entire post as I thought this was future party not that they had already happened (and getting sidetracked by the news).

Your neice is not your daughters responsibility. Even twins want to do seperate celebrations as they reach senior school age so to force cousins together is ridiculous. Ignore the sil, she's guilt tripping you. Your daughter comes first.

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SomeUnspokenThing · 08/09/2022 15:51

Your SIL is wrong, but I understand why. 10 can be a tricky age for girls' friendships. Your DD is not the reason that SIL's daughter feels bad so don't listen to that, nor let your DD get wind of it. They're not excluding your niece, they are simply having a bit of fun together.

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SunshineClouds1 · 08/09/2022 15:54

I wouldn't even reply.

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GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing · 08/09/2022 15:55

Doesn’t sound like niece is a bully - bullies tend to have lots of “friends” (or hangers on) to go to their party.

Sounds like she’s bit awkward and set in her ways, and also reacts badly to things changing. I can understand if she’s put a lot of reliance on your dd as her source of friendship and enjoyment. But that’s not fair on your dd. I think you’ve done the right thing OP.

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birthdayparties · 08/09/2022 15:57

@123becauseicouldntthinkofone she does have autism. I think sometimes the other kids have hard time understanding it.

OP posts:
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latetothefisting · 08/09/2022 15:58

No you've done the right thing and sil was very rude - partly understandable because she must be worried about her dd but no excuse for being so rude to you and about your dd when you've spent the last 10 years doing what she wanted to try and help out her dd.

At the end of the day did she expect them to have joined birthdays for the rest of their lives? I would take it as a lesson learnt just to not mention what dd is doing for her birthday next year unless sil specifically asks - but not giving in if she does ask for an invite. Your suggestion of doing something together and then separately with friends is completely appropriate.

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10HailMarys · 08/09/2022 15:58

YANBU. Your daughter's birthday should be about her and what she wants and should not be planned around her cousin. It isn't your daughter's fault that her cousin struggles to make friends.

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birthdayparties · 08/09/2022 15:59

@AliceMcK I just get like that would be unfair to my daughter when she really didn't want all the attention that comes with a regular birthday party.

OP posts:
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MeridianB · 08/09/2022 15:59

It’s really sad that no friends turned up to your niece’s party. But that’s nothing to do with you or your DD!

SIL is being completely unreasonable. Hopefully she will calm down but I wouldn’t engage further on the topic.

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latetothefisting · 08/09/2022 16:01

Also next year I wouldn't even ask your dd if she wanted to invite cousin because that is putting the responsibility on her and its not fair for her to have to say no and feel like the mean one, particularly if her aubt starts making hints. If she wants her cousin to come she will ask you, if she doesn't don't mention it.

Can't believe the irony of a grown woman calling a ten year old a bully!

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10HailMarys · 08/09/2022 16:03

AliceMcK · 08/09/2022 15:48

I’d have probably just gone ahead the family thing and had a separate sleepover with the 2 friends without mentioning it to SIL and cousin.

The cousin already had a party of her own with the other kids in the family. The OP's daughter shouldn't have to have another party - a party she actively didn't want because she doesn't like the attention - just so that the cousin gets a second party to go to.

I completely understand why the SIL feels awful for her poor daughter if she doesn't have friends, but to place all the responsibility for that on to the OP and her daughter is really unfair of her.

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mam0918 · 08/09/2022 16:32

I HATED conjoined parties as a child and due to my bad experiances I refuse to do them for my kids.

In my experiance I was the unpopular child though, honestly I would have rather had a small party with a few cousin that didnt hate me than to go to my own party and be bullied, excluded and ignored by all the guests who only wanted to celebrate the other girl (which is what happened to me).

Its not your fault she doesnt have friends, she is not owed your daughters friends... thats not how friendships work and forcing it will force a clash of personalities that will leave upset feeling on both sides.

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IamnotSethRogan · 08/09/2022 16:36

Can you invite your niece for a separate special birthday sleep over ? That way your daughter can have her party with her friends and then your niece can still have a bit of a birthday fuss with her cousin ?

Your daughter shouldn't have to change her birthday from what she wants at all but a bit if a fuss for a young girl with autism who sounds like she's struggling a bit might make the world of difference.

I feel for you as it's a tricky situation

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SalmonEile · 08/09/2022 17:09

Do the girls go to the same school?

i can understand it’s upsetting for the girl and her mum if no one from the class came to the party but it sounds like they’re relying on your daughters friends to be her friends
Im guessing the girl doesn’t get invited to many parties either

when I was a kid my cousin was my best friend but I wasn’t hers. So I can understand where your SIL is coming from, the girl feels rejected and her mother is trying hard to do what she can about it.

But with that said, I think you haven’t done anything wrong either- you can’t force the girls to be friends at this age and offering a play date was a compromise

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Johnnysgirl · 08/09/2022 17:15

GooglyEyeballs · 08/09/2022 15:47

Your SIL sounds a bit unhinged

No, she doesn't. Her dd is having a tough time and she's trying to make it better.

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GlitteryGreen · 08/09/2022 17:16

I think your SIL needs to focus less on what your daughter is doing and more on why her own daughter is struggling so much to make any friends.

She can't rely on your daughter to essentially host a party for her daughter every year. Surely it's still upsetting for her child that everybody at these parties is your daughter's friend and not hers?

I wouldn't respond to her last message as it's just out of line. I honestly wouldn't expect cousins to have joint parties every year unless it was just a family thing.

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AliceMcK · 08/09/2022 17:17

@10HailMarys but it wouldn’t have been 2 parties if she’d just gone along with the original party. From the sound of the op it would be mainly OPs DDs friends as the cousin dosnt have any, and family. I just wouldn’t have invited friends and if anyone asked I’d have said I we just wanted it to be family.

@birthdayparties i get that, my 10yo dosnt like being centre of attention too, for her birthday she has a joint “family” party with her sister, she just disappears and leaves the attention to her sister. Although the “parties” are usually adults chatting, cousins playing lunch and 2 min of happy birthday and cake just to please the grandparents. And then she dose what she wants with her friends separately. I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, I fully agree you putting your DDs wants first, I just would have done it differently.

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Gymnopedie · 08/09/2022 17:19

Sweetmotherofallthatisholyabov · 08/09/2022 15:47

I think you should have been explicit from the start that there was no joint party and no return invite.

She was. I told my sister in law (niece’s mom) ahead of time that there would be a change of plans this year and we wouldn’t be doing to combined party.

But SIL persisted, ie didn't want to hear what OP was saying - She at first tried to convince me to do it anyway

However sorry you feel for the niece, it's not OP's DD's job to provide her with a social life.

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Waitingforever123 · 08/09/2022 17:34

I dont even make my twins have joint birthday parties if they don't want to (which they haven't done since they were 10). Dc should be able to be individuals, my dt are very different dt1 doesn't like a fuss therefore doesn't want a party but dt2 likes to be the centre of attention so likes a party. That doesn't mean one should do something they don't like because the other wants to.

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