Parents often do things differently with their kids. But one mom couldn't bite her tongue any longer when her nephew ruined her twins' birthday party. She asked Reddit if she was wrong.

By Beth Ann Mayer
June 08, 2021
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Anyone who has witnessed a "mommy war" knows they can be particularly ugly, especially when feuds involve parents in the same family. A mom recently found this out the hard way with her sister, and wanted to know if she handled the situation the right way.

The user, who posted as u/Old-Courage3346 in the AITA subreddit, starts by letting Redditors know that she has a pair of six-year-old twins, Ben and Betty, and that her sister has a four-year-old son, Conner. Sadly, her sister's first child died of SIDs, making Conner a rainbow baby (which is a term any for a born after a miscarriage, stillborn, or neonatal death).

An image of a close-up of a child's hand.
Credit: Getty Images.

The poster loves her sister and nephew, but she's at her wit's end. Here's why:

"Conner is incredibly spoiled and a brat!" she vented. "He throws fits to get his way, hits, kicks, cries … my sister and her husband give him no discipline. He's their rainbow baby, so that is their excuse for his bad behavior."

The family likes to take an annual vacation together. They all decided on Yellowstone, but the sister threw everyone for a loop last minute.

"My sister tried to get us to change to Disney World, and we refused [because] we felt our kids were still too young for it," the poster went on to explain. "They ended coming to Yellowstone but complained the whole time that Conner wasn't having fun."

That sounds rough, but it's not the reason for the post. The poster recently threw a small birthday party for her twins. Apparently, everyone was having a good time except for Conner, who wanted to watch TV and eat ice cream instead of partaking in the party's activities.

"The final straw came at present time," Mom explained. "My husband went to get the gifts out [of] the living room only to find Conner had ripped nearly all of them open! My sister made excuses saying he was just excited and wanted to play with my kids' new toys. I lost it!"

She found her sister and went off. "I told her Conner isn't special [and] that he's a brat!" she wrote. "My sister immediately went on that he's her rainbow baby, he didn't mean it, and maybe I should have put the presents where he couldn't get them. They were in the living room. The party was outside. No one was inside."

Her parents suggested the poster apologize to her sister, who posted several passive-aggressive things on social media (prompting the poster to block her).

Although the poster knows that she lost her temper, she doesn't know if she was wrong to call her sister out for her nephew's bad behavior-so she asked Redditors. The commenters swiftly took the poster's side.

"I'm sure when he commits his first crime, the judge will be very understanding that the rainbow baby needs cuddles and not confinement," one top commenter said. "How will [your] sister react when Connor starts school, and the teachers refuse to follow her 'rainbow baby directive?' You do not owe anyone an apology," said another.

"Conner knows what he's doing. He knows his mom and dad let him get away with anything cause he's special," one Redditor posted.

And one Redditor worried about the long-term ramifications of the sister's child-raising: "And how will he react when girls/women tell him no later in life?"

As any parent knows who's been in a similar feud with relatives, this one is tough. Ultimately, it's a parent's decision where they go on vacation and how to discipline (or not discipline) their child. But when the behavior ruins the fun for other people, it presents a thorny situation.

It sounds like these two need to sit down and air out their issues and get to a place where they can respect one another's boundaries and parenting styles. Perhaps they can take a cue from a pair of famous sisters, Hilary and Haylie Duff, who prove that it's possible to parent one way while still respecting fellow moms who do things differently.