Wife Disagrees With Her Husband On When They Should Give Their Son His Birthday Gift — He Claims They 'Can't Afford It'

Not giving him a gift on his birthday would be cruel, especially since he's looking forward to it.

Husband and wife disagreeing over 11 year olds son birthday gift Mikhail Dmitriev, alynst | Canva

With their 11-year-old son’s birthday coming up, a mom and her husband are butting heads trying to decide when they should give their kid his gift. The child can’t contain himself — he’s so giddy with excitement that he’s been asking his mother for the gift a day early, but she’s telling him that he needs to wait for his actual birthday. Little does he know, his dad is thinking about not giving him a gift on his birthday at all.


He claims they can’t afford to give their son a gift on his birthday and they should wait.

“We've been struggling financially recently,” she starts in her Reddit post. “My husband has had reduced hours at work and we've had to tighten the budget. We have the means to buy our son the gift he wants, which is $50.”

The problem is, they can’t decide on when to give him the gift. She thinks that they should at least wait until the day of his actual birthday, but he wants to wait until his next paycheck so they have a little bit of a cushion to fall on in case things get hard.

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Naturally, not getting him a gift is out of the question, and for this mom, it’s out of the question to wait any longer than the day of his actual birthday. “Providing a gift for our son's birthday is not negotiable IMO. Am I wrong?” she asks.

In order to provide a little more context on her reasoning and the background behind their situation, she explains that their son’s birthday last year was pretty big. He got a bicycle and an Xbox — two items that are not cheap in any sense.

“I think that we should do everything we can to give our son the single gift that he wants for his birthday. I think this is the kind of stuff — no gift on your birthday — that kids remember forever,” she said, adding that no gift at all would be “cruel” and “heartless.”

They’re at an impasse, but she’s ready to buy the gift anyway and deal with the consequences later.


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husband told our 11yo that we can't afford birthday gift reddit postPhoto: Reddit

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In an update, she mentions that buying him the gift would not put them under.

She edited the post, adding some much-needed clarification thanks to some questions in the comments — but no, buying this gift would not prevent them from putting food on the table or paying the bills.


If that’s the case, then they should absolutely buy their son a gift for his birthday. Birthdays are core memories for kids growing up, and as she said, not receiving a gift on your birthday would be devastating, to say the least. Even more so if he’s already grown accustomed to receiving gifts for his birthdays and his excitement for this year’s has shown.

He’s not quite old enough to understand the complexities of finances and income and things of that nature — nor should he be exposed to them yet. Allow him to live out his childhood before preparing him for the real world and adding any unnecessary stressors.

That said, it's possible to give gifts that are less material-focused, more meaningful and less burdensome on the budget, For example, providing children with more budget-friendly experiences rather than physical gifts is proven to be more meaningful and memorable in the long run.


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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.