Mom Is Angry That Mother-In-Law Throws Birthday Parties For Her Kids – 'Why Does She Insist On Taking Away This Rite Of Passage That Belongs To Mom?'

This mom thinks it's her own responsibility to throw a birthday party for her daughter.

Two women with their arms crossed are angry at each other. Doucefleur / Shutterstock

Having to miss important milestones in your child’s life due to other prevailing responsibilities is definitely not easy, and one mom really felt the guilt creep up on her when she missed yet another one of her children’s birthdays.

A mom grew angry at her mother-in-law for throwing her daughter a birthday party while she was away.

Posting to the “r/AmItheA–hole” (AITA) subreddit forum where anonymous users seek out judgment and advice on interpersonal conflicts in their lives, the user explains her issue with her husband’s insistence on visiting his parents every summer despite knowing that she can’t join him and their kids. 


“I am sad that I cannot be with my family, but look forward to their return,” she states. “My daughters birthday is usually during the visits, because with the summer camps we put her in, it just happens to be the best time in the summer to do the visit.”

Aside from not being able to enjoy time spent with her family, the mom was upset that her mother-in-law threw a party for her daughter in her absence. “My MIL has the gall to throw [my daughter] a birthday party,” she says. “She has had her kids … why does she insist on taking away this right of passage that belongs to MOM?” 


The mother continues, “It’s not like I’m dead, I just could not make it up there to visit and have an elaborate party planned for when my child returns. My kid does not need two parties.”

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The afflicted mother suspects that her mother-in-law may be extending her generosity more than what she feels is appropriate.

“She just acts like my kid is her kid and even though my husband tells her not to do it, she makes a ‘cake for everyone because everyone likes cake’ [and] waits until he leaves and then tells my kid that the cake is to celebrate her birthday,” she explains. “I think she should buy [my daughter] a present but birthday cakes and party is MY job, not hers.”

After reading the comments, the user eventually clarified in a bout of edits explaining her sense of “mom guilt” for not being able to attend her children’s birthdays and other events while she pursues her doctorate. 


Reddit post of the user explaining why they were feeling a sense of "mom guilt" for not being able to attend her daughter's birthday party.Photo: Reddit / u/RadioSensitive5497

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People in the comments couldn’t bring themselves to justify the mom’s frustration towards her mother-in-law.

One person wrote, “A party, however small, actually on a kid’s birthday, means a lot more than an elaborate party planned for when mom can be there. Your kid’s birthdays belong to her, not [to] you.” They further stated, “Why should your daughter miss out on a birthday party on her actual birthday because you can’t attend?”


Another person accused the mother of acting selfishly as a result of not being able to attend her daughter’s birthday party. “YTA. And a very selfish and weird individual,” they wrote. “This is clearly not about your daughter’s happiness, but your own insecurities because what exactly is wrong with two parties? One of which occurred at no cost to you? Again, YTA.”

A third comment read, “You are refusing to look past your own needs to see what will benefit your daughter the most. Yes, you come off as jealous that MIL is celebrating your daughter without you.” The user continued, “MIL is not doing this to spite you. She doesn't appear to be calling you a bad mom because you aren't there. She is simply trying to celebrate your daughter.”

While it’s understandable why this mother would feel upset about not being able to celebrate her own child on her birthday, many observers contend that she may be prioritizing her own feelings over those of her daughter.

Extensive research demonstrates that the presence of a parent profoundly impacts a child’s confidence and self-image.

Nonetheless, without effective communication, this influence can transform into an unhealthy dependency, leading the child to undervalue important milestones and achievements if their parents aren’t around to witness them.


Ultimately, missing certain events can allow your child to gain a sense of independence in their lives while recognizing that they are still valued even if their parents aren’t physically present because they’ll still be there in spirit.

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Xiomara Demarchi is a New York writer and frequent contributor to YourTango’s news and entertainment team. Keep up to date with them on Instagram.