Mom Tries to Charge Kids to Attend Her Twins' Birthday & Sparks a Major Debate

Kids' birthday parties are supposed to be a time of unbridled fun and celebration. Instead, they are often incredibly stressful for the parents throwing them. With expectations for locations, food, themes, and games ramping up every year, parents are put under a lot of pressure to throw extravagant, expensive birthday parties for their kids. After deciding to throw her twins a large party, one mom has been forced to defend her decision to charge kids to attend, sparking a pretty big debate in the process. 

  • The controversy began after an anonymous parent spoke about the invites in a local Facebook group.

    "My 4yr old has been invited to a classmate's 5th bday party. The said parent has hired Fun Valley and stipulated a payment of £6 [$9] per child on the birthday invitations," the parent wrote. "My older kids are in secondary school and in all my years of hosting and being invited to kids' parties, I have never been asked to pay for attending a party. Is this the done thing nowadays?"

    In a later response, the mom who sent the invitation in question -- 29-year-old Ru Ali -- shared that she had invited 60 kids to her twins' party at Fun Valley, a kids' play place where admission typically costs £11 (about $16) per kid. "Therefore I will still be paying £5 [$7] per child cost for every child that attends," she wrote. "Also this invite includes playtime, food, and extra special goody bag worth £5 for every child that attends."

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  • Many parents were quick to criticize Ali's decision.

    Many implied that the mother had nefarious reasons for inviting so many kids. "She just wants her kids to get a truckload of presents," said one commenter. 

  • Others insisted that she made a fatal mistake in her party planning.

    "If you can't afford the party, you don't have the party," said one person. "Poor kid will be the one to suffer because of the mum's stupidity." 

  • But many parents actually spoke out to defend the mom's decision to charge.

    "Fun Valley charges a lot more than £6 per child for parties," said one parent. "If you don't agree with the cost, don't send your child. Simple as." 

  • Some even offered alternatives for things parents could do to cut down the costs of attending the party.

    "Instead of buying a gift you could pay the £6 and buy a birthday card." 

  • Ali also chose to address the anonymous parent's concerns.

    Ali says she's a single mother who put a lot of thought into her kids' party. According to the Leicester Mercuryshe said she didn't want any of her kids' friends to be left out, but she simply couldn't afford to pay for everyone on her own: "I thought, I don't want to pick and choose which friends can come," Ali said. "I thought, invite the whole class and then nobody's upset. I thought [the parents] would understand [the charge]."

    The mother was also perplexed at the fact that the anonymous parent didn't reach out to her with his or her concerns. "I'm shocked to see this post on Facebook," she said. "My number was on the invite and you could have messaged me to ask about it."

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  • Even with criticism from the anonymous parent, it seems that Ali's twins had a great birthday.

    On January 28, the mother shared a few images of the event on her Facebook page. She didn't specify how many children actually showed up, but the party seemed to be attended by many. Luckily, Ali didn't let a bit of mom-shaming get in the way of her throwing a fantastic party for her kids.

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