A mother turned to the Reddit community for advice because her daughter Anna was upset with the Sweet Sixteen birthday party she had organized for her.
Anna had been begging her for a big party for her sweet sixteen for weeks. Anna said she wanted a bat mitzvah-style party when asked what she had in mind. Although Anna has a privileged life, she and her sister have their own rooms, computers, and phones, and an extravagant party was still not in the budget. Anna is also an extrovert and highly social. The mother can’t understand the need for the party since she is an introvert and grew up in a cramped apartment in an immigrant neighborhood.
She also says she and Anna have always had a challenging relationship because of their different personalities, which has worsened since Anna became a teenager. They fight often, and she calls Anna very demanding and entitled.
However, she eventually relented and agreed to give her a party, but it would have to be within a budget. Anna said she understood and agreed. The mother booked a local clubhouse and a DJ and ordered Chipotle for catering, all of which Anna agreed to. The cost was around $1500.
But when Anna entered the room on the day of the party, she was disappointed. The mom believed the party itself went fine. But at the end of the night, they drove home in silence, and she knew Anna was upset. When they got home, Anna stormed off to her room without saying thank you.
The following day, Anna fought with her, saying the party was cheap, leaving her feeling humiliated in front of her friends. The mother reminded her that she agreed to the conditions, and Anna said she wouldn’t have if she knew she was going to ‘cheap out so bad.’ Her mother told her to be grateful she even had a sweet sixteen party, something she would never dream of asking her parents for.
Anna has barely spoken to her in a week. The mother thinks she’s acting entitled, and her husband agrees. Still, her younger daughter understands why Anna is upset. The mom agrees that the venue did little decorations, and the DJ spent most of the night doing trivia instead of playing music. But she still feels like she tried her best with the time and budget that she had.
One reader responded: “Cheap and humiliating? If a parent on a budget spending $1500 on a teenager’s birthday party is “cheap” and “humiliating,” I’d hate to think what’s considered affordable and acceptable.”
Some readers felt sorry for the mom and that the daughter should have given her ideas if she had higher expectations.
“Maybe if the daughter wanted more effort, she shouldn’t have okayed her mother’s efforts or could even have put some of the effort in herself by coming up with ideas to make it the party she wanted? This was OP’s first-ever Sweet 16 party, she obviously didn’t experience them as a kid and she did what she thought was right and her daughter approved it.”
“Nope. Having my birthday planned for me a couple of times was enough to realize that if I want things done to my liking, I should be the one planning. I don’t want to plan? Then I don’t get to complain about what the planners thought I would like/find adequate. She’s not five, she’s not ten.”
But there were also readers who felt although the mother still threw her an expensive party, she put little effort into ensuring it was well organized and fun for the kids.
“I’d rather not have a party at all, than have a bare bones $1500 party. This mother didn’t even try. Just because she’d rather be “curled up with a book”?
“You made the barest minimum of efforts to give your daughter what she had asked for, to the point where she would have been better off if you had just said “no” and gotten her to pick something else. Like, weaponized incompetence levels of effort.”
“OP could have used the same amount of money to bring her kid and all of the friends to a arcade, amusement park, movie theater, trampoline parks, or rock climbing gym. All things I would LOVE to have as a birthday party.”
“She’s not upset with you because you “cheaped out.” She’s upset with you because you didn’t care at all about something that was important to her. Within that budget, you could absolutely have made it special, even magical, but it sounds like it was a very sad affair.”
What do you think? Is the daughter acting spoiled or should the mother have taken time to plan a better party?
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The original post appeared on Reddit.