This Mom Is Done Throwing $700 Kid Birthday Parties

One mom is seriously considering an alternative when it comes to her kid’s birthday parties. She and her husband were left flabbergasted after adding up all the costs of their kid’s recent celebration, which totaled over $700. Now, she’s crowdsourcing for ideas that could work in place of a traditional birthday party.

“I think we’ve had it with kids’ birthday parties,” Hannah Winslow said. “Is this fun for anybody? Why are we doing this? I just added all that up and that was $718 for a mediocre average run-of-the-mill birthday party.”

Winslow goes on to say that they just had a pretty standard birthday party at a local mini-golf facility for about 15 party guests. Looking back and realizing that the party cost them over $700 made her do the math when it comes to her other kids as well, figuring that she and her husband would be shelling out around $2,000 a year just on birthday parties. Who can afford that?

She also points out that she understands kids want to spend time with their friends on their birthday, but she’s not sure birthday parties are the best place to bond when the kids are all “running around in different directions.”

She continued: “I do not want to sound ungrateful. I am a very fortunate, lucky, privileged, etc. that, like, we can provide these things for our children first and foremost. But it doesn’t mean that I have to or that, like, that it’s the best choice. That it’s the best use of the money, time, energy, blah, blah, blah, blah, all the things.”

She’s asking her followers to help her come up with some alternative ideas where she can get more bang for her buck.

“I don’t mean this to be just, like, a b*tch sesh, but I want to know what other people are doing. Like, do I offer, like, a one-on-one … little weekend trip with each child? … I want to know about your birthday party traditions, lessons, what you’ve learned, what you do. Advice for me going forward because my husband and I last night were like, ‘Mm-mm, we cannot do this again.’”

She is convinced there has to be a better way, and her followers came through with some ideas to help shift that mindset that kids birthday parties are a total waste.

“Let them pick an experience instead of a party. They could invite a friend when they get older,” one user wrote.

“Rent a park pavilion and do a regular party, it doesn’t need to be at an event space,” another wrote.

“I give my kids a buy-out option, take the 500 bucks or have a party, they always pick the money,” one wrote.

Another wrote, “I have teenagers now. Do you know how many of their parties they remember from ages 1-8? None.”

One mom said, “It’s my personal hell, but home parties. Domino’s pizza, Costco cake and like water balloons. It’s chaos but the kids love it.”

However, some users encouraged Hannah to keep throwing her kids birthday parties.

“My childhood birthdays are still some core memories for me. As an adult, I’m still one of those people who loves birthdays because mine were always made to be so special!” one user wrote.

Another echoed, “Continue to do them. It’s only 18 birthdays.”

One user wrote, “As a kid who never had a birthday party, and we could have afforded it, throw a damn birthday. It’s important.”

Winslow replied, “I never had parties either which is why I started doing this in the first place. But 8 years in I’m just not sure it’s the way to go anymore.”

There seems to be a “keeping up with the Joneses” type nature when it comes to birthday parties these days. Everything needs to be bigger and better, but is that what kids really want? Maybe it’s time to return to the simpler “cake and pizza” birthday parties of the ’80s and ’90s. My favorite birthday party of all time was at home with my parents and siblings, eating my Where’s Waldo? themed-cake. Less is more when it comes to kid’s birthday parties, and I think a lot of parents are learning that.

Winslow and her husband did come up with a solution for their birthday party woes, and it makes way more sense!

“We would like to offer them a choice of a special experience with a friend or two, or a weekend getaway with mom or dad. The experience we were getting with traditional birthday parties wasn’t worth the money. Why charge me $700 for stress and chaos when I get that in my daily life for free?!” she tells Scary Mommy.

And guess what? The kids loved the idea!

“They were thrilled about the idea and immediately started brainstorming things we could do instead! We told them how much their relatively average parties cost, and it blew their minds. At 6 and 8. they see the value in putting that money toward something else fun,” she says.

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