A mom took to Reddit to share that she couldn’t afford to celebrate her child’s birthday and the whole online parenting community has enveloped her with love, support and advice.
“It’s my child’s 1st birthday and I feel like a failure of a mother because I can’t even get his first cake and ice cream for his birthday,” she wrote. “How do you cope and move on? I have other children and I was able to do it for them but due to inflation it just isn’t there to do. I really big on birthdays so it hurts. How did you cope with it? What other things did you do for your child?”
Reddit came through with answers to her request — and so much more. For starters, many reinforced the fact that her child will absolutely not remember this birthday and offered hopes that she’d relieve herself of the pressure. Then, they suggested several creative, cost-friendly options for the day.
“I’m sorry, that stinks. 🙁 For the 1st birthday, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. He won’t remember,” one person wrote. “Maybe pack some sandwiches and have a picnic at a playground? Or get a Hostess cupcake from the store for a little treat? It doesn’t have to be a lot. You’re a good mother!” Another Reddit user suggested getting bubbles (“It doesn’t matter what you buy them, they will still think you hung the moon!”) and someone responded with a way to make those bubbles without the OP having to put down a credit card — “3 cups of water, 1 cup dishwashing liquid and 1/2 cup of white corn syrup.”
Others suggested helpful Facebook groups that might be able to offer supplies. “Is there a local Mom’s/Parent’s Facebook group you could post in? I’ve seen some posts like this in my local Mom’s group and there has always been a swell of positive support in the way of cake, balloons and sometimes small gifts. All parents I know have been in a tough spot at one time or another.” One put out the idea of joining a “buy nothing” Facebook group, noting that the OP will definitely be able to get a boxed cake mix and decorations from someone there.
Many spoke from their own experiences and gave personal advice. “As a kid whose mom couldn’t afford birthdays I know it can be tough,” a Reddit user commented. “How you handle it makes all the difference. Afford what you can. Just be sure to take lots of photos. Ask your older kids to make decorations or make cards on whatever paper or cardboard you have on hand. Hand make a card for your daughter as well and save it. Give your baby lots of birthday hugs and kisses. Extra love and attention is all a baby really wants.”
All of this wonderful encouragement made a big difference to the OP. She sent a message to everyone in the community, writing: “Thank you ALL so much for the responses. I did not think I would get so many responses. It is just so many to respond to each. I really hope you all see this. There are some wonderful ideas here that I will definitely use for this birthday and in the future. Thank you for being so kind!!”
Sometimes, the internet can be a really, really good place.
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