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Parenthood is expensive. There is no getting around it. Managing expenses for one's own children is difficult for the vast majority of parents, and of course, when more children are added to the mix, it becomes even more expensive.

In a now-deleted TikTok video, a mom made headlines for speaking out about whether it could be normal to “send money after playdates” to other parents. In the clip, she explained that she sent another mom a $15 bill for “expenses” after her daughters played together, and people have strong feelings about her suggested course of action.

She relayed the text exchange between her and the other mother, first sharing a photo of the two girls playing with chalk outside on the porch and looking like they were having a blast.

“Thanks for letting Jamie play today,” she wrote, adding, “Please help with your share of the playdate costs totaling $15 via Venmo! Let's do it again soon!”

“Expenses?” asked the other mother.

“Yes, she has used up supplies and food while she was here,” she explained, “and this way we can do that more often without either party having a financial obligation.”

When asked “What supplies?” she responded with a detailed list of various costs, including $1 for sidewalk chalk, $5 for snacks and drinks, $3 for three bathroom trips, $5 for a broken LOL Surprise doll, and $1 for “wear and tear” from sitting on the family couch. “What do you think?” she asked her followers.

The other mother did not respond but sent $15 as requested. Others on TikTok were baffled by the exchange and many believe the process – i.e. asking for the money only after the date and not before the playdate – is the main issue here.

“Make that clear before you drop the kid off,” one father replied. “'Hey, by the way, I'm wondering if we can split the cost. It's probably $10 or $15 for your kid to play for the day. Is that OK with you? It helps me; my expenses are a little crazy.'”

Most commenters agreed that the request would have been more reasonable if the meeting had included an outing, such as to a theme park or something else with admission fees, but a meeting at home with minimal expenses would apparently not require payment.

“Absolutely not,” commented one mother. “If your child comes over to play, he is my child too and I will take care of him.”

Of course, everyone's financial situation and well-being is different, so there is no right or wrong answer here. While this viral incident has sparked debate, it also opens up a broader discussion about the economics of modern child-rearing and societal expectations in an era of rising costs. Ultimately, though, the goal should be to create an environment where children can form meaningful friendships and parents can build supportive communities – without financial considerations becoming a barrier to social interactions.

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