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Woman tells SIL the 'real reason' why her daughter's birthday party was a 'failure.' AITA? UPDATED.

Woman tells SIL the 'real reason' why her daughter's birthday party was a 'failure.' AITA? UPDATED.


When this woman upsets her SIL by explaining the inevitable failure of her daughter's birthday party, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for telling my SIL the reason no one came to her daughter’s party?"

I (23F) am married to Jim (26M). Jim has an older sister named Danielle (28F). Danielle has a daughter (2F) with her ex John. We live 2500 miles away from them so we mostly just see each other of video calls.

Jim is close to John because they grew up together and therefore is close with John’s family despite Danielle and him separating.

2 weeks ago we got news that John’s mom, Mary was sick again and that she was being put in comfort care (she’s fought and beat cancer 3 times). Despite that devastating news, Danielle refused to reschedule their daughter’s 2nd birthday party.

Jim, John and both of their family’s tried to convince her to but she didn’t budge even though Mary was in her last days. Fast forward to 2 days ago, Mary passed away peacefully the night before the party.

This was a huge loss to both John’s family and Danielle and Jim’s since they all grew up together. Yesterday at the party, no one showed up who said they were coming except for John and a couple of Danielle’s friends. Both sides of the family were grieving and making arrangements.

Danielle called me after the party upset about how no family came to celebrate her daughter’s birthday. She said she felt forgotten and that no one even let her know they weren’t coming and that she was shocked this few people came.

I was straightforward with her and told her that a party was the last thing on people’s minds after a loss like that and that she was informed 2 weeks earlier that she should reschedule. This upset her even more and she ended up yelling and calling me heartless before hanging up.

Jim told me that I didn’t say or do anything wrong but Danielle’s friend has been sending me rude texts since then calling me insensitive and cruel. It’s making me question if I might’ve been an asshole. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

alienoverlord1001 writes:

NTA. Danielle has main character syndrome. She knew what was happening with her ex's family (her daughters dad), and thought everyone would drop everything and abandon their dying family member for a 2 year olds birthday party.

A 2 year old isn't going to remember shit about birthday parties, or if they were held a couple of weeks later than their actual birthday. They are more likely to play with the wrapping paper than the gift inside at that age. A party for a kid this age is for the adults, not the kid.

It costs nothing to be kind, but apparently even that was too expensive for Danielle. I don't think you were harsh enough.

maleficent writes:

ESH. I'm a bit puzzle to the family dynamics as to why Jim is more invested in his ex brother-in-law family than his own sister. Sounds like some bro BS to me.

It's really weird to me that Jim and John apparently are so bonded together that their families are one. So it kind of seems like Danielle was dating one of Jim's friends. Kind of sucks cuz it seems like she has an absolutely no family except for her daughter.

You OP are the asshole for the interjection because you could have just stayed silent and let her vent.

Danielle is the asshole for thinking that she has family when she literally knows her brother will choose John over her anytime. She should have downsized the party when she heard John's mother was dying.

Danielle needs to realize her only family are her friends. Like damn that's some harsh stuff where your entire family ditches you for your ex just because your brother and him are buddies.

But hopefully this move showed her the true place she has and she can stop inviting her fake family to events and stop coming to them. She needs to build her own community of people who care for her or at least actually like her.

John is the asshole for not setting boundaries and ensuring he didn't become a priority over Jim's own sibling. In his time of grief he should have been focused on his family not dragging his buddy and his buddy's family into it.

antiquedad7 writes:

It's amazing! John even went to his daughter's birthday party when it was his mother that died. Of course the mother was upset that no one came to her daughter's party. But she knew and decided to keep it anyway.

People think that their children are so amazing that even death will keep people away from celebrating them. They learn the hard way. She knew. I know one came. You didn't really have to tell her could have let her vent and just let it go over your head. But you had to remind her and that's why she's mad at you.

NTA, sometimes people don't want solutions or hear reasons. They just want to vent. If you didn't say anything, you already knew the reason you didn't have to tell her because she knew it all said.

strangeronreddit writes:

NTA. How insensitive and self centered can a person be. A loved one of much half of her daughter's family died. OF COURSE people didn't show to a birthday party the next day that frankly should have been moved to begin with. I mean, like it or not that's her daughter's GRANDMA. So much disrespect here on her end.

If I were you i'd just ignore/block Danielle's friends. They are either just as heartless or being fed a different version of the story. You don't owe anyone an explanation and entertaining their meddling is not worth wasting your time on.

OP offers more details about her family with this update.

Jim and John aren’t the only ones close. The 2 family’s have been intertwined for years, they’re grandparents grew up in the same town and even lived with each other for some time. It’s not a traditional dynamic at all.

Mary helped raise Danielle, Jim and their siblings, Mary’s mom was in their grandmother’s wedding, etc. So it wasn’t just Danielle marrying Jim’s friend if that makes sense. She actively was a part of both family’s everyday life.

It’s definitely an interesting dynamic between 2 separate family’s. John and Danielle’s family grew up together for 3 generations.

Mary played a huge role in the upbringing of my husband and his siblings and her mom was their grandmothers MOH. It wasn’t a traditional in law relationship so it was a huge loss to both sides of the family. Danielle’s family is in shock and my FIL was there when she passed away.

One reader still maintained that OP was TA:

savingswatch65 writes:

YTA Why is it your place to tell her she has to cancel her child's birthday party? This sounds more like acting out grief or performative grief since the person whose mother died managed to make it then anyone else could too if only to support him.

I don't see the point of cancelling or putting off life because someone dies. Life still goes on. If the birthday party was delayed by two weeks what exactly does that do apart from being more costly because presumably much is arranged already.

It's not as if anyone who is genuinely grieving the grandmother will stop that after 2 weeks and it can be consoling to have a reminder that family and life goes on when one loses someone rather than sit at home and mope.

I think the whole we should cancel life out of propriety mindset is rubbish and Victorian prudery that everyone is never going to buy into. Let people grieve how they feel is best for them and stop being so judgmental about propriety.

I think the SIL is right to be disappointed in her family for ignoring a family members celebration so that they could be judgemental. Good on her for not allowing you to dictate her actions.

Jury is OUT on this one. What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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