Mom Wants To 'Normalize' Sending Other Parents Invoices For Playdate That Include Charges For Furniture 'Wear And Tear' & Using The Toilet

Sure, times are tough, and things are expensive. But isn't this a bit much?

mom asking for money after sending an invoice for a playdate Khosro / Shutterstock | pixelshot / Canva Pro

Look, times are tough — everyone knows this, and all but the luckiest, tiniest few of us are struggling because of it. It's natural to want to save money wherever and however you can.

But one mom's efforts toward economizing have extended to her daughter's playdates in ways that have struck many — pretty much everyone, in fact — as not just overreaching but downright bonkers. Thankfully, the whole thing turned out to be elaborate satire, but the fact it felt so readily believable kind of says everything.


The mom said she sent another parent an invoice for a playdate to cover the costs.

At first blush, this doesn't sound that crazy, right? Meals at restaurants and outings to see a movie or go to a play place or any of the other myriad things kids like to do can add up really fast — and that's before we even get into the rat race created by wealthier parents who go over-the-top spending on their kids.

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But this mom, known as @shay.nanigans87 on TikTok, had a whole other idea of what constitutes a costly playdate. The request she said she sent to another parent tallied up to $15, a paltry sum that hardly seems worth haggling over for even many who struggle financially. And the things she was charging for? Some of them were downright jaw-dropping.

The mom charged the other parent for chalk, food, furniture use, and trips to the bathroom.

"Can we normalize sending the other family money for playdates?" Shay began her video. (Frankly, no, please do NOT normalize this!) She then explained how after her daughter's recent playdate with another little girl named Jamie, she sent her mom a text.


Contraversial but I think it’s a really good idea. What do you think? 

♬ original sound - Shay.nanigans87

"Please help out with your share of the expenses for the playdate totaling $15 via Venmo," she wrote, adding "because I can't keep doing these play dates if it's so expensive."


As you might guess, the other mom was taken aback, so Shay explained that Jamie "used supplies and food while she was here," and when the mom asked for details, Shay sent an itemized list that included $5 for the food she ate and $5 to replace a toy she broke.

@yourtango Times may be tough, but are things really so financially dire that we need to start charging family members for toilet flushes?#family #aunt #babysitter #momsoftiktok #parenting ♬ original sound- YourTango

But the other items on the list were outright insane. They included $1 for chalk — an entire box of which currently costs $1.14 at Staples — a $1 charge for "sat on couch wear and tear" and a $3 charge for three trips to the bathroom at $1 each.

Shay explained the purpose of this was to keep the "obligation" of playdate costs from falling "on just one party," but it doesn't seem like the other mom took it that way. "She actually sent the money and I sent her a message thanking her for it," Shay explained. "Of course, she didn't say anything else."


playdate digitalskillet / Getty Images Signature / Canva Pro

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The idea of an invoice for a playdate was not well received. People found the mere suggestion ridiculous.

Shay later admitted in a follow-up video that she was "rage baiting" — purposefully posting content she knew would spark controversy to gain new followers — and implied that the entire thing was a joke. And thank goodness for that!

@shay.nanigans87 Replying to @Hannah Burmeister charging for playdates #Unconventional ♬ original sound - Shay.nanigans87

That did little to quell the outrage it generated, however. "Just tell your daughters, her friends cannot come over, and that’s it," one commenter wrote. Several said they'd have done exactly what the other mom was said to have done, paid Shay the $15 and then never spoken to her again.

Surely, some of these people are just gullible, but many of them presumably fell for Shay's video because, at this point, a post like hers isn't all that unbelievable. Aside from the ways the economy is breaking out brains, trends like "weaponized therapyspeak" and the now entrenched online habit of misunderstanding mental health concepts as justifications for weird, bad, often antisocial behavior make Shay's post seem totally plausible.

What is, for instance, a better example of the routine misrepresenting of "setting boundaries" as making rules for others that ensure your own life is as frictionless as possible than demanding a parent pay you for their child's furniture and toilet use?


And in an era when some parents are so white-knuckle stringent about their children's lives that they get mad about their kid being given a piece of birthday cake without their parents' express permission — well, a mom being as out of touch with reality and normalcy as Shay's joke would suggest feels almost eye-rollingly mundane at this point.

Hats off to her for the skillful satire, in that sense. Here's hoping, though, that we can all lighten up enough to where a post like hers seems outrageous and preposterous instead of annoyingly in line with the times.


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.