A thing you learn lickety-split once you become a parent (that you never, ever previously gave any thought to during your childless life), is that parents have polarizing thoughts about birthday parties. A mother of five recently went viral on Instagram for sharing her own big family's stance on birthday party invites.
"If one of your children is invited to a birthday party does that mean all of your kids can go?" the mom, Jeena Wilder, asks in the caption to her video, where she shows her entire family lining up to go to said hypothetical party. "I’m team the whole family goes!"
Wilder clarifies that she's fully aware not everyone feels that way, so she always asks the hosts first. When she knows her whole family is showing up to a party, she spends a little extra on the birthday gift to "make up for it." On TikTok, her caption noted that her husband works a lot so most days it's just her and the kids—so everyone has to go or no one goes.
She then asks her followers, "Do you feel like just the child that got invited should go or the whole family?"
Naturally, many parents had many thoughts. Many parents felt like the host of the party should get a courtesy ask or head's up.
"My opinion is different here especially depending on the activities planned it may / may not work out. For example if someones daughter has a girls spa party and then I bring my son just because he's a sibling that'll be off. Or even if someone plans a party based on head count and you bring other kids without letting the host know first especially like a restaurant or play place they have to pay more for. I'd never impose my kids on other and I'd also never take my kids without permission from the host first."
"As someone who just recently had to pay hundreds of extra dollars because my sons birthday party had a per child cost I would have appreciated the parents ask at least first. Legit no one asked and showed up with siblings."
"What if the party activities are not appropriate for all the kids? Also, are ypu asking if it is okay that everyone comes? I feel like sometimes people can't afford a huge party and some kids only get to invite 5 friends for money saving reasons. Just curious. I only have 1 and she is 3 so this is just not something that has crossed my mind!"
Other parents say they agree with Wilder, because they're not a fan of solo kid drop-offs due to safety concerns.
"I also think it’s safer. Everyone else in the comments talking about blabla let the kid be independent. Clearly you don’t know what can happen at a party to a kid from other family members and friends. Protect your kids at all cost. Take the family or forget it. Wish my fam had done the same."
And other parents were just completely honest about their birthday party plan of attack (you gotta respect it).
"I am team we don’t go to birthday parties🤭😂"
Personally, I can see all sides of this "debate." When it's a family party, I know my whole family can show up with no questions asked. As for other parties, if the invitation wasn't clear about bringing the whole family—I'd ask the host to make sure it was OK. Or, if my husband was off, I'd take the invited child myself and leave the rest of my family at home. If it were a party for a child whose parents I don't know or haven't met, I would probably just decline altogether and send a small gift in our absence.
What "team" are you on, mama?