A parent planning an “expensive birthday activity” for their son who wants to avoid having any “uninvited ‘extra’ kids” at the event has received a wave of support from users on Mumsnet, the U.K.-based online forum.
In a post shared on Mumsnet’s Am I Being Unreasonable (AIBU) subforum, user samsmummyhere said the upcoming birthday event costs nearly £30 ($36) per child for the activity and food afterwards.
The son was told he can invite 10 friends, as “I seriously couldn’t afford any more,” the user said.
However, according to the user, many moms from the son’s circle of friends have brought along “ALL their kids, even when not invited,” to parties in the past, as if “free childcare” was being offered.
The original poster said: “I’m adamant I don’t want this happening at my son’s party…why should I end up paying several more £30 for the sake of [moms] who do this?
“How do I word it politely but FIRMLY on the invitations that the invites are for the NAMED FRIEND ONLY, no siblings or other add-ons?,” the user asked.
According to a 2017 survey of more than 5,000 parents conducted by the BabyCenter, a parenting website, the amount of money spent on a baby’s first birthday party ranges from less than $50 to over $500.
More than half (61 percent) of parents surveyed spent $200 or less, 25 percent spent between $200 and $500, and 11 percent dished out more than $500, the survey said.
Several Mumsnet users offered their understanding to the original poster and shared various suggestions on how to navigate the situation.
User Sirzy suggested informing the parents of the invited children that: “Unfortunately due to restrictions on numbers we can’t cater for siblings but we are happy for you to just drop off your child and pick them up at the end if this makes things easier for you.”
HavfrueDenizKisi agreed with Sirzy’s idea, stating: “This is the best. Simple. Clear and no apologies or room for people to ask for siblings to attend…”
Candleabra noted: “I definitely wouldn’t put ‘sorry siblings can’t attend this time’ [in the invitation] – this implies you’re being unreasonable by excluding them – since when would they have been invited anyway?!…I wouldn’t have dreamt of assuming the party included another child. Invited child is the name on the invitation.”
Littlebluebird123 asked: “Can parents pay for their own child to do the activity? You could put that on the invite. Something like ‘Invitees will be paid for. If you bring siblings, the cost will be £30 per child -payable upon entry.'”
User Icanstillrecallourlastsummer agreed, explaining: “If they ask if they can bring siblings, or bring them, tell them they will need to pay for them to attend themselves…”
Some users were more diplomatic, such as notanothertakeaway who noted: “If it’s an activity that is open to the public, you can’t really tell people that siblings are not allowed in the building. But you can and should make it clear that you are only offering to pay for the child that was invited.”
User grey12 stated: “I would say it depends on the age of the children. I wouldn’t leave a young child by themselves and that means I would have to bring along siblings.”