When this father lies to his daughter in this complicated parenting situation, he asks Reddit:
My daughter Mona turned 9 a few days ago. She mostly just wanted to celebrate with family on her birthday, my sister’s family lives nearby and Mona is really close to her cousins.
My wife often has to travel for work, and she had an important conference the day after Mona’s birthday, so she couldn’t be home on the day. My wife felt bad about this, especially because Mona was really sad when she told her.
So my wife promised that she had a wonderful surprise planned for the weekend after Mona’s birthday, when she was home from the conference. I didn’t know about this so I asked her later what she had planned.
She said she hadn’t planned anything yet but she thought we could stay the weekend at a campground a few hours away, and bring Mona’s cousins.
That sounded like a great idea so I asked if I should arrange it, because my wife was already super stressed about the conference coming up. But she said it was fine, and that she would do a better job of planning it.
My wife brought up the “surprise” at least 3 or 4 times the week before Mona’s birthday, and she was super excited. My wife left the night before her birthday and on her birthday itself, I just hung out with Mona and did normal things like getting her a piece of cake and pizza.
My wife came home Friday evening and I asked her if she’d booked the campsite for the weekend. She was horrified and said that she’d completely forgotten. I was pretty angry with her but I didn’t say anything, I just said that Mona would be disappointed and that I would book for the next weekend.
My wife said she was really sorry, and I said it’s ok but you’re the one telling her, because she’s been excited all week. My wife was really tired so she went to sleep straightaway after hugging Mona.
Then Mona was jumping up and down telling me how happy she was that mommy was back and she could finally know what the surprise was. I told her I’m so sorry baby but mom forgot to plan the surprise, because she’s been really busy with work. I promise it’ll still happen though, probably next weekend.
She was really upset and angry with her mom. The next morning she asked my wife why she lied about the surprise. My wife said she didn’t lie, of course not, it just had to be postponed. Mona said that her daddy said she forgot, and daddy doesn’t lie. Now my wife is furious that I made her look bad, saying I "framed her" in front of Mona and hurt Mona too.
YTA, wow. If your wife was a regularly neglectful parent, I'd be on your side. But it sounds like she isn't, and it sounds like she legitimately forgot it this one time. Was there any good reason at all why you had to rub salt in the wound and disappoint your daughter in the process?
You could have told your daughter "I'm glad you're looking forward to the surprise, but just so you know, it will not be this weekend but the weekend after that." You would have told the truth without throwing your wife under the bus in the process.
Your daughter is still nine years old ffs. She wants to look up to her parents. As soon as she hits puberty, she will see your faults soon enough.
ESH. Your wife forgot something important that impacts several people. It's a shame, and she's and A for that. However, she could have recovered with the creation of a new surprise (whatever that may have been), but you didn't give her a chance.
You outted her immediately to your daughter, without consideration of the hurt it could cause both parties. Yes, it's your wife's fault the site wasn't booked, but you could have switched gears!
Now your daughter feels like she matters less to your wife, and your wife likely feels even more stressed and guilty.
NTA! I don’t lie to my kids. If I forget I own up to it. Even if it disappoints them or makes them sad. I can’t lie to them just to make myself feel better about the situation. & maybe her feeling hurt will prevent her from doing this in the future. I don’t think the intention was malicious. Also, if the roles were reversed, everyone would be calling dad the A H.