Mom Sparks Debate Fuming Over Cost of Kids' Birthday Parties: 'Annoys Me'

A mom complaining about the cost of children's birthday parties has sparked a debate online following a viral discussion post.

Shared on the popular site Mumsnet on Wednesday, user Snowwhite83 asked: "Am I being unreasonable to be fed up of group child parties where I'm expected to buy three gifts, etc?"

She explained: "My 6-year-old son really enjoys going to other children's parties which I realize are expensive for parents and I don't mind bringing gifts, but it annoys me when it's three or more kids together and I have to buy multiple presents.

"I also don't like buying rubbish as a rule and I find it impossible to get a present under £10 these days. Should I stop grumbling and fork out? Or say my child can't attend?"

Children's birthdays are no longer a small affair—a 2018 survey found that the average spending on a child for their birthday was around $51 to $100 in the U.S.

Lavish kids' parties are becoming big business. The Kardashian-Jenner clan leads the way when it comes to setting the standard for kids' celebrations, with birthday parties in recent years including mini carnivals, live performances, and a custom-built jungle.

Huge Expense

But it's not just celebrities dropping big money on parties—a survey by supermarket retailer Asda found that the average parent in the U.K. will have spent more than $28,000 on children's birthday parties by the time they're adults.

With hundreds of comments, the woman's feelings about kids' parties have sparked a serious debate.

One commenter shared that they felt it was possible to get gifts for a reasonable price: "There is loads of nice stuff available. Alternatively, put £5 in each card."

Another Mumsnet user wrote: "You can get a lot of options for under £10, just be creative."

But other parents sympathized with the poster. One commenter said: "I gave up buying presents after I realized I had no idea what all these children were into. £5 in a card after that reduced the stress of present buying."

"I'm with you OP about not wanting to buy rubbish," wrote another commenter: "The argument about waste and environment is enough for me."

"Always give them a book," suggested another commenter: "Really cheap but useful gift."

Another parent agreed that to combine so many birthdays was unreasonable: "I think it's cheeky. A joint party with two children is ok but any more than that is just cheeky. Like you say, your son is only getting to enjoy one party."

Other Mumsnet users gave suggestions of budget-friendly gifts: "Lego 3 for 2 is great for this," wrote one commenter. While another suggested: "A book each and a bar of chocolate."

One commenter disagreed with the poster, suggesting that they were being unfair: "You sound really quite grumpy. You'd be complaining if there were 3 separate parties you never have a weekend free. The poor kids haven't had many parties for two years. Just give a mini present if you can't afford [it], no one cares!"

The discussion seemed to help the poster with the dilemma, in a later comment they wrote: "I suppose I need to stop pressuring myself to buy expensive gifts. Thanks for the ideas."

Back in February, one Mom was slammed online for requesting $34 for people to attend her child's birthday party.

Kids parties and expenses
A picture of children enjoying a party, left, and a picture of a long receipt in a point-of-sale system, right. A mom has sparked debate online after sharing her concerns about the cost of kids' birthday parties. ibigfish/cyano66/Getty Images