But it’s the latter dilemma that is currently lighting up Mumsnet after a mum took to the parenting site to ask whether she should refuse to send her son to a party she was going to have to pay for him to attend.
On the forum, the woman explained that her teen had been invited to the go karting party for the 14-year-old but she had been surprised by the mum’s monetary demands.
“DS (Darling Son) is at a newish school - he was so happy to have been invited to a karting birthday party - turns out the whole class were invited - details were - the date - the activity - transport provided (it’s a 80 mile round trip) and a request of Amazon vouchers for present.
But the party-throwing mum has since received several more texts asking for financial contributions.
“I’ve been updated with further texts from the mother of birthday boy asking for deposits for the karting (£20) and the remainder on the day (£30) THEN that was followed up by a request for £20 for the transport,” she continued.
And it didn’t end there.
“This morning she (in my opinion) has the gall to request we pack a generous picnic with ice packs and pack extra so the birthday boy doesn’t have to bring anything.”
Now the mum faces a dilemma about whether to send her son to the party as though she feels it will be a good opportunity for her son to make friends, she doesn’t feel it is right to charge so much for him to attend.
Though she’s leaning towards skipping the party and taking her son and a friend karting instead, her husband thinks that if everyone else is going it would be a shame for their son to miss out.
Most users were of the opinion that it was a totally unreasonable request to ask other parents to fork out so much for the party.
“I would be so annoyed at this,” one user wrote.
“It's not a party. A party doesn't mean other kids having to pay to attend. It's horrible for her to drip feed all of this too after you have accepted. I would have a good mind to tell your son that instead of going, he can have the 70 odd quid to spend on himself!”
“She essentially wants everyone else to pay for her sons birthday. No way would my DC be going,” another parent agreed.
“That is absolutely insane. I would definitely decline,” another commented.
”Surely if you are throwing the party, you pay for everyone? She sounds cheap.”
Others even suggested the mum might be trying to make a profit from her son’s birthday.
“Wow!! I agree sounds like she may be making a profit I wonder is she has form for doing this type of thing?” one parent wrote.
“She must be planning on a massive profit. No way would go karting and transport for 30 teens cost over 2k,” another commented.
But some people did think the mum should consider sending her son to the party.
“Ordinarily I would decline on account of the ridiculousness but you say he's at a new school...that does make a difference,” one user wrote.
“If going to this party is going to help him make friends and settle in then I might have to suck it up and just seethe privately.”
“I hate unexpected random costs and extra add ons, but you know deep down that on this occasion you are going to have to suck it up and just thank God you can afford it,” another parent agreed.
What do you think? Should parents be charged for their children to attend a party?