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'AITA for missing my nieces' 18th birthday because my children are the only kids excluded?'

'AITA for missing my nieces' 18th birthday because my children are the only kids excluded?'

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"AITA for missing my niece's 18th birthday because my children are the only kids excluded?"

My sister doesn't particularly like 2 of my children. They are 8 and 10, have Autism, and are high energy, but they are great kids. I don't just say that because they are mine, they are exceptional students, excel in their musical/sport hobbies and are well-liked by everyone. No one else in the family has an issue with them, and we recently attended a formal sit down dinner and dance for my grandmother's 80th birthday, with zero issues.

When they were younger, I refused to set them up for failure, and avoided fancy restaurants or other places not appropriate for high energy kiddos. So we did miss my sister's 40th, as I had newly separated from my wasband, had a newborn via cesarean, and wasn't sure that I could cope with the kids in that setting, but was reliant on others to drive us there so couldn't just leave if needed (plus it was a per head buffet and would have been a waste to leave before eating). I believe she is still salty about that, 6 years later.

There will be other children at this party, around 20 of them ranging from 11 down to newborn. My nieces invited me, and then my sister changed dates, so it's no longer on my kid free weekend. She then contacted me saying "you will have to get a babysitter for those 2." My other children are invited (19/13/6yo). They are hiring a hall, cooking a BBQ dinner and having a local band play, so it's very family friendly.

I've booked a holiday overseas instead for myself and the kids and we will be there instead. I'll send the girls some cash as presents, and they are both moving to the city where I now live for university next year so I'll help them move and fill their pantries as a housewarming gift, which I did for my oldest child as well. Now my sister is complaining that I'm going on holiday rather than the party. So AITA for not taking some of my children to the party and getting a babysitter for two of them?

EDIT:

When they were younger they struggled to sit still in a noisy public setting for longer than about an hour. They would eat and then do coloring or Lego or puzzles (whatever I'd packed) until I finished eating.

Then I would take them for a walk outside, with my now ex husband or my parents taking turns to walk with them outside. Pretty age appropriate for a 2yo and 4yo, but my nieces who are older would sit for hours with their iPads while my sister chatted in a cafe.

Now they still need a decent amount of physical activity. It's 2pm here and they have been on the trampoline, ridden scooters in the driveway with my youngest niece (we are at my younger sister's house) and played some basketball in the backyard. I could give them screens, but they struggle to sleep if they sit around too long, and I prefer to interact and socialize during meals.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Abstruse said:

NTA but this is something you're going to want to get ahead of. Your sister is going to paint you as the bad guy for not attending. Makes sure people who are important to you know exactly why you're not attending and that it's because your sister decided to be an ableist a#s and told you that two of your children were banned for being neurodivergent.

Due_Stranger_5335 said:

NTA. I wouldn't stress over it. I can't personally imagine going to any family function where any of my children were not welcome. Send a nice card and move on.

thiswasyouridea said:

NTA. I can't imagine excluding just two children unless they would have been absolute monsters. If they've behaved at previous gatherings they should have been welcome.

_mmiggs_ said:

NTA. It's completely ridiculous to expect you to leave two of your five children at home.

mentallyunstablewog said:

NTA. Good on you for standing up for your kids. Don’t set forth the tone that she is allowed to disrespect and exclude them. Either she can invite all of you or none of you will be attending. Stand. Your. Ground. From the sounds of it, and taking you at face value, you are an attentive parent with well behaved children and have done an excellent job of managing their needs, your children are not destructive or undisciplined so there is no issue here.

Considering it’s a family friendly event it’s expected that ALL of the kids will get hyperactive at some point. Your sister is a bully and for her to even suggest leaving them at home while their cousins and siblings are all playing together and having the time of their life is cruel and despicable behaviour. Enjoy your vacation, you are protecting your children from social isolation and the mental harm it will cause them.

Purple_Paper_Bag said:

NTA I am not going to mince words here. Your sister is a vile snake. She doesn't deserve to have you or any of your children there. It is very clear from the example you gave of her 40th Birthday that she thinks she is deserving of some kind of respect and consideration that she has not earned or even shown that she gives a rats about you or your needs.

I think you need to tell her firmly that her treatment of you and your children is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Tell her that you are taking your family on holiday with people that actually care and that you are sorry she has turned her daughter's birthday into an ugly situation.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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