Parenting comes with its fair share of pressures, including the challenge of navigating birthday parties. While some parents opt for extravagant celebrations, others have to be mindful of their budget.
One woman found herself puzzled when her friend invited her and her child to a soft play centre for her child’s birthday but expected them to pay for themselves and bring gifts.
Seeking advice on Mumsnet, she shared her dilemma anonymously. The woman explained that her friend couldn’t afford a proper party but still invited them to the soft play centre.
However, she questioned whether it was reasonable for her friend to expect guests to pay for their own entrance and bring gifts. Although she liked her friend and understood that money was tight for both of them, she felt that her friend should have opted for a simpler celebration, like having cake at home and playing a few party games.
She said: “The thing is because I could not afford to do a big party for my child, they have cake at home and a few party games.
“I feel this is what she should have done instead of expecting others to pay. It’s not really as much the cost as I’m sure we would all love our children to have friends parties in play areas which we don’t pay for, but unfortunately, that is not the case and seems cheeky to ask”.
In the comment section, many fellow parents agreed that the friend’s expectations were “cheeky” and suggested declining the invitation. Some even speculated that the friend may be more interested in receiving gifts than celebrating the child’s birthday.
One commenter advised the woman to politely decline if she couldn’t afford it, emphasizing that her friend should understand their financial situation.
Another said: “If you can’t afford it just say no. I am sure if she is in the same boat she will understand (one would hope). If it is not the money and you think your child would enjoy it then go along and take a card or a teeeny tiny present – or indeed just decline. She isn’t obliged to have the same sort of party you think she should but neither should she be upset if people decline.”
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