A Redditor took an Am I the a..hole forum and asked, “Am I wrong for cancelling my daughter’s 10th birthday party when she didn’t finish her chores on time?”
The Original Poster (OP) is a 32-year-old woman and has a 34-year-old husband for 13 years. They have five children and live in a small three-bedroom townhouse without a dishwasher.
OP’s husband works full-time while she stays home to care for the kids. Due to their large family, student loan, and mortgage, they live frugally. OP and her husband instill the importance of chores in their children from a young age.
On the previous Sunday, it was the daughter’s turn to do the dishes in the household. However, she was constantly distracted by her younger siblings, aged 11, 8, 6, and 4.
Despite repeated attempts to get her to focus on the task, she kept leaving the kitchen, and the work was left undone. According to the daughter, the water was making her hands itchy, and the number of dishes was overwhelming. As it was getting late and bedtime approached, OP had to postpone the task to the following day.
The daughter was assigned to do the dishes throughout the last week but repeatedly wandered off to play outside or watch TV. As a result, the dishes kept piling up, and when OP confronted her, the daughter complained about the increasing workload. OP replied, “That’s what you get for putting it off.“
On Wednesday morning, OP issued a request to the daughter, stating that if the dishes were not finished by bedtime the next day, her upcoming birthday party would be canceled. The daughter initially reacted with anger and tears, but later on, she appeared to doubt the mother’s resolve. Despite washing a few dishes in the afternoon, the daughter eventually became distracted and went outside to play again.
On Thursday, the daughter ignored the dishes and did not try to complete them. As a result, OP informed her that the birthday party was canceled, per their agreement the day before. The daughter threw a massive tantrum and accused OP of ruining her special day, insisting that she only turns ten once.
What Happened Next?
On Friday, which happened to be the daughter’s birthday, OP sent messages to all the parents of the invited children, informing them that the party was canceled.
As a consolation, OP allowed the daughter to choose what to have for dinner and even baked a homemade cake. Despite these efforts, the daughter remained upset and grumpy towards OP and had difficulty getting along with her siblings.
The birthday party was originally scheduled for Saturday, but due to the cancellation, some guests who were not informed showed up and were turned away. The daughter retreated to her room and screamed at her sisters, who share the same room. She even called her aunt on the family landline, and her aunt criticized OP for being too harsh and traumatizing for her daughter.
Meanwhile, the husband took the stance that what they did was nobody else’s business and that the daughter needed to learn about household responsibilities and the natural consequences of not fulfilling them as she grows up.
On Sunday, OP allowed her sister and parents to visit and bring gifts for the daughter after the daughter tearfully finished the dishes. They had a small family gathering with siblings, grandparents, and aunts.
In addition, some of the daughter’s school friends gave her the gifts they intended to bring to the canceled party. Despite these attempts to make up for the canceled party, the daughter continued to mope around, and OP found it even more challenging to motivate her to do chores.
Was OP wrong in expecting a 10 year old to wash up after 7 people? What is your viewpoint on this situation?
The article was originally published here.