‘My sister-in-law has excluded one of my children from her son’s birthday party’

If one of your children wasn’t invited to their cousin’s birthday party, but the other one was, you’d be pretty upset, right?

Well, that was the situation one mother recently claims to have found herself in, and she says she was so heartbroken for her son that she considered not letting either of them attend the party.

But she wasn’t quite sure if she was being unreasonable, so she turned to the internet for some advice.

She took to Mumsnet to vent, writing: “I don’t know if I’m being overly sensitive or if this is a really s****y thing to do, so interested to hear what people think.

“I have two sons 18m and 3. SIL has two sons 3 and 5.

“It’s my nephew’s 4th birthday next week and my mum gave me an invitation today for his party with just my youngest name on.

“I assumed it was a mistake and text SIL saying invite only says DS2 is that a mistake. She replied and said no, her son chose who he wanted to attend and he only said my youngest son, I replied and said I felt that was unfair to exclude 1 nephew from the party and she said she didn’t think it would matter as he’s never interested in playing with them.

“For background my eldest is suspected Autistic, he struggles socially and doesn’t often interact with kids his age, but he loves going to see his cousins, he likes watching them play even if he doesn’t get involved.

“There’s no issues between them, no fighting/arguing; he just keeps his distance, doing his own thing or watches everyone else. He’s a happy boy, rarely has tantrums or meltdowns in public.

“The party is at their house, in the garden, they have lots of space so numbers aren’t an issue.

“I don’t know if it’s just me being overly sensitive and heartbroken for my beautiful boy as I feel this is the start of how he will be treated growing up.

“I’m thinking of just not bothering at all.”

People jumped to the mum’s defence, saying that the sister-in-law is “out of order”.

One wrote: “I’m generally happy with children being allowed to invite who they want to parties with a few caveats.

“However, this is not nice. If your family can’t aim to be inclusive it’s bloody depressing. I’d plan something else to do with both boys.”

“That’s awful. I wouldn’t go, and I would be very offended. Once you get to school age parties I wouldn’t expect a sibling invite, but for family it should definitely always be both siblings (if similar age)”, another said.

One suggested mentioning it to the sister-in-law directly, rather than silently seething about it.

They wrote: “That is appalling. I would turn down the invitation, say you are incredibly hurt and offended and point out if your family is this unsupportive and un-inclusive it makes you upset for the future. How totally horrible. Hard to believe an adult could behave like this.”