She Arranged a Surprise 30th for Her Husband, but When Her Mother-in-Law Realized that She Was Expected to Babysit and Not Attend, Things Turned Sour

A woman recently went online to ask if she’d handled a communication breakdown with her mother-in-law badly. Here’s her story.

His 30th was approaching

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“I wanted to throw a surprise 30th birthday party for my husband,” the woman began. “At the start of the year, I got in contact with friends he hadn’t seen in years.”

It needed careful planning

Always Being The Victim
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“Some of our closest friends live over 90 minutes away, so it was taking quite a bit of coordination to figure out when we could hold the party.”

They found a date

Date Configuration
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The woman said that by mid-February, they’d agreed that Sunday, May 14th, would be the best date. Everyone agreed, and the woman messaged her mother-in-law to ask if she could watch the woman’s two young children (aged one and three) on that date. Her mother-in-law said yes.

No one realized

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10 days before the party, the woman realized the party fell on Mother’s Day. It hadn’t clicked because she didn’t have a mother of her own, and her own kids were too young to know what was going on.

There was confusion

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A few days before the party, the woman called her mother-in-law to confirm the details for picking up or dropping off her children. But her mother-in-law confused her by telling her that she’d be bringing some food over so that the woman didn’t have to cook.

There’d been a misunderstanding

woman surname
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The woman asked her mother-in-law if she meant she was dropping food off and then taking the kids with her, but then it was the mother-in-law’s turn to get confused. She said that she planned to attend the party and watch the children so that the woman didn’t have to.

She made things clear

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The woman explained that she wanted her children away from the house so that they weren’t constantly going to her for everything when she was trying to set up, host, and then clean up. She apologized for the confusion and said she’d hire a babysitter instead.

But her mother-in-law didn’t like this at all.

There was a falling out

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Her mother-in-law said she was being deliberately excluded from her own son’s birthday party and expected to babysit on Mother’s Day. The woman’s brother-in-law agreed, accusing the woman of treating his mom like “unpaid help.” Neither attended the party.

Her husband found out

Communicate Openly
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The woman stressed that she’d told her mother-in-law that she could still come to the party, but not only had she refused, she’d also told the woman’s husband about it, ruining the surprise.

Was she wrong?

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With her mother-in-law not talking to her and her husband telling her that she’d royally messed up, the woman asked the internet for their take.

The internet responded

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The internet was savage with the woman. “How incredibly selfish and entitled of you to ask her to babysit so you can host a party for her child,” thundered one. “On Mother’s Day.”

But others were less harsh. “I can see how you both misinterpreted the conversation,” said one. “Of course she would assume she’s invited. And of course, you might assume she was in lieu of a babysitter. But you probably should’ve just found a sitter, apologized, and told her to come.”

She responded to the internet

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The woman responded to the online community by saying that she now realized she’d been in the wrong and that a full apology was due to her mother-in-law.

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