Is there any point in having a birthday cake if you don't like it?
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a teen asked if he's wrong for asking his stepmom to bake him his own cake for his birthday, despite it upsetting his mom. He wrote:
My parents divorced when I (15M) was four. My mom remarried right away but that marriage didn't last long. It took my father 3 years after the divorce to meet someone and another 2 years to marry my stepmother who I will refer as Claudia for the post.
I wasn't happy when my father married Claudia as I was stuck in a fantasy world where my biological parents would still be together but I quickly learned to love Claudia and consider her family. She is a very sweet woman who has treated me very well ever since I met her. Claudia has a passion for baking.
She bakes a lot whenever I'm around. I've eaten enough of her stuff to know I love her baking, especially her chocolate cake. Chocolate is actually my favorite flavor of cake. However, every time my birthday came up I couldn't get the chocolate cake I wanted since some people in my mom's family (including my mom) are allergic to chocolate.
Every single birthday I'm stuck eating a mediocre cake in a flavor I don't like. I never complained about it since it would make my mom upset. It sucked to blow out the candles on a cake I don't want. My birthday is coming up in a week.
My mom always plans out the party (without consulting me or my dad) and she texted me to tell that she had already pre-ordered a strawberry-vanilla cake and asked me to pick it up on my way to the party when the day comes. I became visibly upset as I would be forced to blow out the candles and eat a cake I don't want for the 15th year in a row.
Claudia saw me get upset and asked me why. I said everything is fine but she responded in a slightly demanding voice once again asking why I was upset. I decided to open up and tell her about my frustration with every year eating a birthday cake I don't like and just wanting my own damn cake on my birthday.
She offered to bake me a small chocolate cake for myself that I could have on my birthday. She proposed that the candles be on that cake and the cake that my mom ordered have no candles but still be there for those who are allergic to chocolate. To me, it's a win-win situation. I get the cake I want and everyone else gets something that suits them.
I was delighted at the idea and I decided to text my mom about it. Mom wasn't happy about the idea. She actually called me screaming at me for being ungrateful and called Claudia dirty names. I practically begged my mom to at least grant me this once. I know it's just a cake but eating what I like on my birthday for once would make me so happy. My mom again said no.
I decided to bluff and tell her that I could have two separate celebrations. 1 with my Dad and Claudia, and another with her and her family but that I wouldn't be blowing out the candles on the cake she ordered and that I'd invite my friends to my celebration not hers. She became even more upset and hung up. I decided to go ahead with the two celebrations idea. AITA?
NTA. Your mom's reaction is not about you, not about your cake preference, and not about your birthday, It's entirely about her feelings towards Claudia. She's letting her personal issues call the shots here. Honestly, it's weird to me that your favorite kind of cake is not the main to accommodate some food allergies.
I would think you would have a chocolate "main" cake and then an alternative for those with allergies. I think your stepmom provided a reasonable solution to a problem that was upsetting you, and your mom is being completely unreasonable about it.
NTA. It’s your birthday, you should be able to eat your favorite cake. Having two cakes is not a problem, your mother is. You openly told her eating a chocolate cake would make you happy, you found a compromise that would not impact her vanilla cake but she’s still unsatisfied and doesn’t care about your happiness. She’s the A.
Cake tends to get everywhere so I would actually be a bit worried about your mom having an allergic reaction to the chocolate cake. But I think it makes sense for you to have your own personal chocolate cake, especially if it's made specially for you by someone who is a really good baker and who loves baking. Your mom is not doing a good job troubleshooting this problem.
I can understand why she doesn't want to miss out on your birthday or have another woman take over the birthday planning, because it would make her feel sidelined as a mom. But a key part of birthday planning for your kids is that they should enjoy their birthday! It seems to me a perfect solution that you have your own chocolate cake with your dad and Claudia, so your mom isn't even present to be allergic.
And then for your birthday party have a cake your mom can be around, so she can enjoy seeing you with your friends. Or, you could do the party first and then serve the (chocolate) cake last, your mom could take some pictures of you with the cake, and then head out when people start eating it, so she is not around when chocolate is being spread around the room.
NTA. Claudia seems very nice. That is a great idea that respects everyone's wishes. Your mom seems very controlling and jealous. She's seeing you as some sort of possession/trophy to contend over with Claudia and your dad instead of as her son. You can tell her plainly you don't appreciate being treated as an accessory and see if she even realizes what she's doing is wrong.
NTA but couldn’t your mom order cupcakes - some chocolate & some whatever flavor they need to be? If she doesn’t want the stepmom to do it & feel one upped it feels like cupcakes are the way to go.
OP is NTA here, his mom needs to get out of her own way.