She was too tired after a long day’s work to go to her cousin’s birthday, and her family won’t let her hear the end of it.
It’s a common dilemma: do you prioritize your own self-care or attend an event to avoid offending others? This question arises in many social situations, from weddings to birthdays. For one woman, her decision not to attend her cousin’s sweet sixteen has sparked a debate about the boundaries of etiquette.
“My young cousin had a sweet sixteen today that I was invited to. I chose not to go and now my mother and sister are saying that it was extremely rude of me to do so,” the woman shared. “Today and tomorrow are my days off and I want to relax because I am extremely exhausted from yesterday at work.”
The woman explained that she works full time and is currently 31 weeks pregnant, making her physical exertions even more challenging. She described how tiring her day was the day before, especially as a pregnant woman, saying, “I had to lean over a hot popcorn machine all day long handing out complimentary popcorn to all of our employees (800+). I was sweating, my feet and ankles were in so much pain and my back felt like it was gonna break.”
Despite her reasoning, her family members argue that her absence was disrespectful. “This cousin came to my baby shower a month ago and that is their reasoning as to why I should’ve gone to her party,” the woman shared. “But now I’m being made to feel like I’m [being rude] for skipping this birthday party.”
Is it always necessary to prioritize social obligations over personal wellbeing? Is it fair to expect someone to attend an event regardless of their circumstances?
The Cousin Probably Didn’t Notice
Some commenters expressed support for the woman’s decision and emphasized the importance of prioritizing self-care.
“I don’t think this is rude. I honestly think people forget how hard it can be to do a lot, or even just a regular amount of activity while pregnant!” one person said.
Others pointed out that the sweet sixteen is likely more about the teenager and her friends than family members.
“It’s a sweet sixteen, I’d guess the birthday girl only cared about her friends being there (no offense),” another commenter shared.
Another person suggested an alternative way to show support for the birthday girl: “Send a card and some cash, the best gift for a teen.”
Many commenters also criticized the woman’s family members for pressuring her to attend the event, with some suggesting that they were overreacting.
“Sounds like your mom and sister want something to be mad about. No offense, but I don’t think your teen cousin’s number one choice in company at her birthday is a [pregnant] lady,” one person wrote.
Another commenter suggested an alternative way to make it up to the birthday girl: “Not rude. She’s 16. Take her to lunch next weekend when you have the energy. She was so busy with her friends I bet she hardly noticed. Your mom and sister are just being difficult.”
What would you do in this situation?