When it comes to your nearest and dearest, many people are willing to lend a helping hand when times are tough. You’re all family, after all. However, some relatives take this too far. They start acting a bit entitled, and expect you to spend your hard-earned savings how they tell you to. And though it’s tough and emotionally messy, you sometimes need to put your foot down and say, ‘No.’ Otherwise, you’ll always be left footing the bill.
Redditor u/birthdaydrama-ta turned to the AITA subreddit for their thoughts after a bit of family drama that recently occurred at her daughter’s birthday party. The mom shared how her sister-in-law completely lost it when she realized that her daughter (the OP’s niece) wasn’t included in the birthday, seeing as they were both born barely 10 days apart. Read on for the full story.
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Bored Panda wanted to get some practical advice on organizing kids’ birthdays and how grownups can work within their budget, so we reached out to parenting blogger Samantha Scroggin, the founder of ‘Walking Outside in Slippers,’ for a chat. Read on to check out the awesome tips and tricks she shared with us.
Celebrating birthdays together sounds wonderful on paper. However, not everyone shares the same financial burden
Image credits: Vlada Karpovich (not the actual photo)
A mom revealed how her sister-in-law wanted to have a double party for both of their daughters, but the entire situation took an unexpected turn
Image credits: Morgan Lane (not the actual photo)
Image credits: A n v e s h (not the actual photo)
Image credits: birthdaydrama-ta
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The mom was shocked by her SIL’s reaction during the celebration
The redditor explained how her daughter and niece used to celebrate their birthdays together because they were born so close to one another. However, eventually, the OP realized that it was she and her husband who kept footing the bill while her brother and sister-in-law seemed to avoid pitching in financially. So they decided to separate the birthdays from then on.
Fast-forward a few years and u/birthdaydrama-ta began organizing a Formula 1-themed birthday party for her daughter. She invited the entire family, including her niece, brother, and sister-in-law. However, when it was finally time for cake, the SIL was shocked that it was meant only for the OP’s daughter, not her niece as well.
The entire situation escalated, and the sister-in-law stormed out with her husband and daughter. She then kept messaging the redditor, trying to make her feel guilty for not throwing a combo-birthday. According to the OP, she would have been fine doing this if her SIL had at least mentioned this. Instead, the SIL simply assumed that this would happen because she’s mentioned some time ago how they were struggling financially.
Most redditors who read the story were incredibly supportive of the mom. They noted that even though times are tough for the niece’s family, it wasn’t the OP’s responsibility to throw her a party. They were also confused as to why the SIL didn’t broach the topic at all until it was time for the cake. You simply cannot expect the rest of the family to help out financially and in other ways if you don’t communicate. Even a few simple, timely questions could have helped everyone avoid the family drama.
Most kids know exactly what they want at their birthday bash
We asked parenting blogger Samantha, who runs the witty and relatable ‘Walking Outside in Slippers’ blog, about the essential things to have at a child’s birthday party to help make it a truly fun and memorable experience. According to her, lavish and expensive setups have very little to do with it.
“In my experience, kids are just as happy with simple birthday parties as elaborate, expensive ones. Kids just want to be with their friends and family, eat fun food, and open presents,” she told Bored Panda.
“My kids have loved their birthday parties that we held in the neighborhood park with a bounce house and some squirt guns. It seems like often times elaborate kid parties are more for the parents than the kids,” Samantha mused.
“It’s up to us collectively as parents to lower the expectations for one another when it comes to kid birthday parties. We can do this by not trying to compete with each other, and really focusing on what makes our kids happy and is reasonable as far as money and energy spent.”
Blogger Samantha shared some easy and practical tips to help save some money while organizing a birthday party if you find yourself dealing with an extremely strict budget. When it comes to prepping food, for example, the simpler—the better.
“Stick to easy foods for groups like pizza or hot dogs. Add in a veggie tray, some cut-up fruit, and chips, and you’re good to go,” the founder of ‘Walking Outside in Slippers’ told Bored Panda.
“If you can afford to rent a bounce house, that seems to go a long way. If not, coloring books and paints are great too. Parties at parks are easy and cut down on entertainment costs. Keep it simple, and that will help keep costs down.”
A recent survey by OnePoll of more than 2k parents who have kids aged 3 to 12 found that the average child’s birthday party has 16 guests, 9 presents, and lasts around 3 hours. A whopping 73% of parents said that their munchkins aren’t easy to impress.
The survey found that 67% of kids expect their favorite foods to be served at their birthday, 56% expect clowns or costumed characters, 44% expect inflatables, and 43% would like to see laser tag. Meanwhile, unicorns are by far the most popular birthday theme, with video games coming second.
A child’s birthday party can be extremely expensive and stressful to organize. However, it doesn’t have to eat into your wallet and nerves. At the end of the day, what your child will appreciate the most is spending time with their loved ones and having fun, not getting 36 different gifts like Dudley Dursley. The emotions from that day are more important than the material side of things.
There are plenty of ways to have budget-friendly parties
For instance, you might not have to rent out a massive venue, get an inflatable castle, and hire a troupe of overly-enthusiastic clowns for your child and all of their friends to have fun. You could host the party in your own back yard with a bunch of balloons, and homemade sandwiches, and organize some simple but amusing games for everyone to enjoy themselves. There’s nothing shameful about buying ingredients for some dishes at a discount, even if everyone else in your neighborhood is serving branded snacks and super fancy finger food.
Some parents might focus a tad too much on impressing their family, friends, and neighbors because they want to maintain a particular image of style and class. However, if you let go of that need and instead prioritize one or maybe two small things your child wants that year, you can have a more budget-friendly event.
For example, if your kid wants a cake with a unicorn or a particular theme for the get-together, you could make that the centerpiece of the entire celebration. Splurge a bit on that, cut back on the rest. Or you could have a ton of fun and bake the cake together! It’s a wonderful bonding experience for the entire family. And odds are that everyone’s going to love the dessert so much more seeing as they helped turn the idea into reality.
And let’s not forget that what makes a party truly great is the people you invite. All you need are some awesome friends and a bit of space to have fun—nobody’s going to be glancing at the decorations all that much when they’re playing tag or hide and seek. So take it easy, don’t spend so much on all the glitz and glam deco. It’s not what’s going to make or break the party after all.
Many internet users were on the mom’s side. Here’s what they thought about the family drama
The post Mom Decides To Throw Her Daughter A Separate Birthday And Not Have A Double Party With Her Niece, Drama Ensues first appeared on Bored Panda.