Mother slammed for charging £6 per kid to attend her twins' 5th birthday party
Ruma Ali knew she could not afford to pay for her twins' birthday party all on her own. To subsidize costs, she asked the parents of children attending the party to pay £6 each. She did not expect the story to gain this much traction.
Twenty-nine-year-old single mother Ruma Ali wanted to celebrate the fifth birthday of her twin sons, Shiyan and Kiyan, with a party that was inclusive of both the boys' friends. But because they were in separate classes, this meant inviting 60 children and a bill that she would not have been able to afford on her own.
Ruma did not want anyone to be left out. So she decided to solve the issue the only method she thought was feasible: she asked the parents of all the children coming to the party to contribute £6 (around $9) for the cause. However, the move did not go down well in social media, with many criticizing Ruma for being "cheap".
Taking to Facebook, one anonymous parent pointedly wrote: "My 4yr old has been invited to a classmate's 5th bday party. The parent has hired fun valley and stipulated a payment of £6 per child on the birthday invitations. 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 thing done nowadays."
The event will be at Fun Valley in Evington, Leicester, on the Sunday after their birthday, February 11. Since the entry for the indoor play center is £11 (around $16) per child, the costs for the party would reach £660 (around $940) if all of the twins' friends attended.
It was something Ruma could still afford to pay, considering that the amount excludes what she would have to shell out on goody bags and cakes for the children. She says that even if all the parents chip in and subsidize the cost, she would still possibly have to foot upwards of £500 (around $712)
Talking to the Leicester Mercury, Ruma said: "I didn't want anybody to be left out. I thought I don't want to pick and choose which friends can come. I thought, invite the whole class and then nobody's upset. I thought they [the parents] would understand [the charges]."
Ruma, who is currently pursuing a degree at the De Montfort University in Leicester, says that the parent who expressed dissent has not contacted her directly despite the fact that her number has been printed on the invitations that had been sent out.
However, that parent remains the only one so far to have questioned the fee Ruma is charging. She said that she would have understood if any parent genuinely was not able to afford the charge and that she would still want their child to attend.
As is it with social media posts of such nature, the post soon went viral, with most being very understanding of Ruma's situation and coming out in support of the mom. One person wrote: "Not all parents can afford to pay for parties but they also want to make their child happy by having a party for them. Instead of buying a gift you could pay the £6 and buy a birthday card."
Another supportive person posted: "Hope your little ones have a great time. If people want to behave like this and don't want to come that's fine you don't need them there. Happy birthday to your twins x."
Speaking about the uproar, Ruma said: "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But this was the best way for me," with another parent supportive of her stance adding: "I personally feel if you want to attend and pay then do so and if you don't that's fine too."
A mother wrote on Facebook: "It's an amazing thing you are doing for your twins and other kids attending," with another saying: "If I knew that by paying £6 for my child to go to a birthday that would put a smile on my face as well as the birthday boy/girl I wouldn't hesitate."
Ruma is not worried about the barrage of reactions since her story went viral and is only concentrating on making sure her sons have a great party. She said: "I've already had 40 children get back to me and say they are attending so it's sure to be a great party."
However, one thing she did not probably expect was for all of the country's major tabloids to run the story and make it appear as though she was being slammed on social media for being petty. When she realized that The Sun had run her story, she was not pleased and sent out tweets expressing the same:
Shocked I am in your papers without any knowledge or consent!— Ruma (@rumaali123) 31 January 2018
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