Let's Do It

This Mom Wants To Normalize Asking For Cash As Your Kid’s Birthday Gift

A lot of moms agree, so why is this still so stigmatized?

TikTok mom Madison Barbosa explains why she asks for cash for her kids' birthdays.

We can all agree that kid stuff is expensive AF, right? Even "boring" (aka practical) gifts like clothing staples can really beat up your budget. So, when your kiddo's birthday rolls around and everyone is asking what to get them, it's tempting to say money. What holds many of us back is the fact that so many people consider that a parenting faux pas.

Well, one TikTok mom is on a mission to normalize asking for cash as your kid's birthday gift, and people are backing her up. "It's OK if you ask for cash for your children's birthdays," shares Madison Barbosa. "It worked f*cking great, and I recommend this to everyone with children."

Barbosa explains that when she threw a birthday party for her twins, she gently suggested cash for those who wanted to gift her kids something. If her results are any indication, it's proof that people are more than happy to chip in if you just ask.

"I did a joint party for my daughter and my son," she says, giving context before elaborating. "On the invite, I wrote, 'Your presence is all we need, but should you want to gift something to the birthday babes, please consider a cash donation to put towards their new wagon.'"

So, how did it go over? Family and friends blew Barbosa away. "Y'all, we raised almost $2,400," she reveals. "So, not only can I get the wagon, that leftover money ... is going in their piggy banks."

One of the biggest benefits of asking for cash? Barbosa says it's the lack of crap hanging around post-party. She's referring, of course, to the toys from friends and relatives. You know how it goes: Your kid will play with some until they break, but many will be ignored and eventually donated, sold, or trashed.

Asking for money means everyone gets to contribute to something her kids will actually enjoy and use. Since Barbosa will likely post pictures of her kids in the new wagon, friends and family will get to see their gift in action.

Although cash requests for kids' birthdays often stir up debate, most moms commenting on Barbosa's video seem to agree: It's a great idea!

"I like this because you know what your kids like/want/will use, and it makes it simpler for guests," said Emily VDB.

"I enroll my son in activities with his birthday money and left over $ goes into his bank account 🤗," shared Evelyn | NYC mama 🗽.

"My son got 3, I repeat 3, sets of percussion musical instruments… we're doing this next year," said Rose Elizabeth.

"We did that for my son's swingset! Raised enough to cover cost and shipping!" revealed Lifewithmacyb.

Some commenters even contributed similar ideas that could help the toy-and-junk-clutter conundrum.

"I did something similar a couple years ago for my kiddos. Basically just asked for Disney gift cards since we were taking a trip that year!" said Jordan Stivers.

"This year, I made an Amazon wishlist for my daughter and shared it with family and friends. It was the best!" said Adrianna Rojas.

"When they start getting older, ask for experience gifts. That's what we do for the grandkids. Theme parks, zoo memberships, etc. Make family memories!" suggested Jen.

"My son has 6 aunts and uncles on his dad's side. I always pick out a bigger group gift for them to get for my son. No need for 6 smaller gifts," said Sheila.

Several commenters pointed out that Barbosa mentioned a specific item to donate cash towards, and guests probably felt better knowing there was a tangible item on the other end of the request.

Not surprisingly, many moms insisted their mom, grandma, or mother-in-law would never — or that friends and family were likely to ignore it.

Another common question that came up: What about opening presents? That's a contentious topic in and of itself. But for parents worried about their little ones missing out on unwrapping presents, remember that just because you ask others for donations doesn't mean you can't still check off smaller items from your kiddo's wishlist. Think: a cool helmet to go with the pricier hoverboard.

Just try not to bank on having the same success as Barbosa unless you plan on having an equally large party (60 guests is a lot). But, hey, whatever your child gets — every little bit helps!