Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Am I mean?

I have the battle scars from far too many children's parties, we seem to have done them all, swimming parties, bouncy castle parties, bowling, cinema, sleep over, discos, wacky warehouse etc etc etc.

In my 18 years of, quite frankly, top notch mothering, no fillings or asbos, I thank you for your round of applause, I feel I can say I've been there, done that, got the t shirt.

I won't even begin to do the party maths because I am fairly certain if I hadn't spent that money on sometimes 3 parties a year, plus invites plus party bags and all that goes with it I would not be driving an 8 year old car, I would be driving a very swanky new one. I just sucked it up, I have 3 kids, they have a birthday a year, they either have a party or a birthday treat with friends, I just hand over the cash.

The Beautiful Son came home with an invitation to his mate L's birthday treat, it's next week and they are going paintballing, my son is one of 3 other boys invited. It wasn't so much an invitation but more a bill.

If I don't hand over £30 my son doesn't get to go, this is before I've even bought the boy a present. I have never in my life asked for a contribution to my kids parties, if we didn't have the cash we'd do something that cost as little as possible, if my son was heart set on an expensive thing we'd limit the number of friends he could bring.

The only thing the birthday boy's family are providing are the lifts there and back, I'm surprised they didn't ask me to contribute to the petrol.

26 comments:

Mrs Yappy Dog said...

Gosh I don't think I ever have been asked to pay! times are hard I guess and kids expectations are getting bigger and bigger. I think the birthday present would be very small indeed.

Brighton Mum-Teenage Angst said...

Ouch...Must admit though, when 22yo son had paintballing as part of his 18th, he did have to get some of them to cough up a little extra, but that was only because I'd said we could afford for 16 (that was it!) to go and he ended up with 18, so I left that down to him to sort out, invite or not invite etc. Also paid for a days hire of an 18 seater mini bus to get them there and back. But I don't understand how the parents could expect people to pay for the whole bloody thing! Of course, I take it you would be telling them where to put the contribution for petrol should it arise?

Jon Storey said...

The Children's Mother lives in dread of those terrible words,
"Mummy, Trixie-Poo is having a birthday party and all it will cost is £xxx!"

"How bloody much?!"
Is the usual strangulated reply.
"I am not sure what planet some parents live on but we are certainly not going to live there!"

We try and give the girls what they would really like but all within reason and we pay for it....

Tuppence said...

It's a good job I'm not a parent as I don't think my response to those lovely people would be fit to repeat! Cheeky greedy buggers! And sod the birthday present!

Laura said...

I've never had a birthday party! But I certainly wouldn't have anyone shelling out 30 bucks to come to the thing. £30 just to run around in the mud, get covered in paint and end up with huge brusies!

Looking Fab in your forties said...

I am really shocked! being a Mum of 4, like you, I have paid out Thousands on Parties, had an 18th last year and another 18th and a 21st this year!
Trouble is if you don't pay, the boys will suffer and the parents will think you are tight, what do you do?

Gigi said...

Are you freakin' kiddin' me?? How those parents have the NERVE to ask for your son (or really YOU) to pay for THIER son's party???? That is not a "party." A party is where the HOSTS pay for the event. I'm thinking your son's attendance would be gift enough.

Mud in the City said...

Wish I'd thought of charging to come to my B'day parties....could have made a fortune over the last 30-something years!

Nota Bene said...

What!!!!!? tell 'em to feck off. Oh by the way thinking of inviting you to a picnic when summer comes...can you send me fifty quid for the sandwiches?

Kitty said...

Bloody cheek of those tight-fisted parents, is what *I* think. How dare they? It is their son's party!

(So, actually, I just agree with everyone else here, but I was outraged and wanted to repeat what was already said.)

The nerve!

auntiegwen said...

Mrs Y - this is the first time I've been asked to pay, I was really surprised, especially when it's for the full amount!

BMTA- would you like to adopt me? you pay a lot of money for birthdays !!!!

Jon - me too, I've never asked for a contribution nor would I expect one, this really is a first for me

Tuppence - I just can't bring myself to not give the lad a present but he definitely won't be getting an expensive one

Lolly - I really really want to give you a birthday party now and bake you a cake !

Mrs Fab - I will pay it because my son will enjoy the day but I feel a bit blackmailed into it, I won't think about what I could have spent the money on instead (KG sale most prob)

Gigi - my son is not quite a gift to anyone else but me, but you're right, it's not a party it's just a day out

Mud - oh yes, think of the cash we'd have accumulated

NB - what kind of sanwiches are we having?, I don't want the ones left over from the boys rugby matches you've tried to palm me off with before. I want nice sandwiches served off a naked David Tennant, actually just the naked David WHO IS NOT GAY in capitals for emphasis

Kitty - I know, shocking behaviour I thought

Josie said...

bloody cheek! well when he comes back with dirty clothes, perhaps send them to the dry cleaners and send this family the bill!
Josie x

slommler said...

That is totally rude. But nothing surprises me nowadays!! I am surprised she didn't ask you to take them there and back!!??
I think a birthday present would be nonexistent!!
Good luck
Hugs
SueAnn

Kitty said...

The only problem *I* see about not giving a gift, is that: you're punishing the kid, NOT his jerky, tight-wad parents. The son is probably already embarrassed as it is over his parents and their 'meanness', so, why take it out on him?

If it was me, I would call the parents and complain, but then, I'm a loud-mouthed, brass, American broad.

As far as I'm concerned, if I cannot afford to do a 'big something' for my children, they get a 'littler something', but that's just me... (and obviously, some of the other parents who have replied!)

auntiegwen said...

Josie - I think I'll just rise above it, got no choice really

SueAnn - not the boys fault so as I've said he will get a present but not the one he would have got if his party wasn't costing me £30

Kitty - Oh I'm far too wussy to complain, I'll moan on here and bump my gums to any friend that'll listen but I'll pay the money, buy the gift and think of it as a trip out for my son and not a party

libby said...

Yep...times are not like they used to be. A slice of home made cake and a few games in the garden was the happiest party I ever attended when I was a girl (what? how many years ago??) but like you I have had the 20 odd years of parties and stayovers etc.,for my two and would never ever have asked for payment from a guest (or guests parents)....you are right to think of it as just paying for a day out for your son and moving on...

dineyhtt said...

gosh - meanies! We've never been asked to pay either, but what can you do?! My 28 year old has been coughing up for expensive stag do's for the past 4 years - I can't believe how expensive they all are nowadays. They go skiing, or quad biking in bloody Prague etc and it costs them such a lot (not me, thankfully, any more, although I've had to bail him out once or twice as a direct result of his not being able to say no!)

dineyhtt said...

gosh - meanies! We've never been asked to pay either, but what can you do?! My 28 year old has been coughing up for expensive stag do's for the past 4 years - I can't believe how expensive they all are nowadays. They go skiing, or quad biking in bloody Prague etc and it costs them such a lot (not me, thankfully, any more, although I've had to bail him out once or twice as a direct result of his not being able to say no!)

dineyhtt said...

gosh - meanies! We've never been asked to pay either, but what can you do?! My 28 year old has been coughing up for expensive stag do's for the past 4 years - I can't believe how expensive they all are nowadays. They go skiing, or quad biking in bloody Prague etc and it costs them such a lot (not me, thankfully, any more, although I've had to bail him out once or twice as a direct result of his not being able to say no!)

diney said...

gosh - meanies! We've never been asked to pay either, but what can you do?! My 28 year old has been coughing up for expensive stag do's for the past 4 years - I can't believe how expensive they all are nowadays. They go skiing, or quad biking in bloody Prague etc and it costs them such a lot (not me, thankfully, any more, although I've had to bail him out once or twice as a direct result of his not being able to say no!)

scrappysue said...

absolutely unheard of. EVER. if you're throwing your kid a birthday party, you pay for EVERYTHING. that sucks. big time.
30 pounds? that's almost $100!!!

auntiegwen said...

Libby - too true, I know I definitely didn't get a party every year and it was very low key if I did !! again, our kids don't know they're born translation for the non northerners don't know how lucky they are

Diney - ah yes, my friends husband has had to shell out for a weeks skiing for his brothers stag do and it's used up just over a quarter of his annual holiday allowance and left her with a 10 month old baby for a week !!! she wasn't best pleased

Sue _ I know, don't even think what I could buy with £100 dollars

guineapigmum said...

We took the boys and some firends paintballing for a birthday a couple of years ago. No way would I have asked them to pay, tempting though it might have been. It made up for no parties for the previous few years. And if we couldn't have afforded it, we would have done something cheaper.

Suzanne Jones said...

I'm speechless.

Working Mum said...

Speechless!

No, I'm not. I'm astounded. I can't believe they would invite and then ask you to pay for it. He should get a v small present indeed! His present has been having his friends going paintballing with him.

Now I'm thinking: "Can I get the other parents to pay for their children's pony rides at my daughter's up and coming, v expensive birthday party.......?" No, no, I mustn't!

katyboo1 said...

That's outrageous. And of course you are now obliged to give in or you will be bad mummy. Bumhole.