When Your Kids Hurt Your Feelings

When Your Kids Hurt Your Feelings

Today, my youngest child hurt my feelings, and I was not ready for it. I don’t believe this topic was covered in the ‘what to expect when you’re expecting’ handbook, or did I miss the chapter on ‘How To Be An Adult When Your Kids Hurt Your Feelings?’

For the past 10 days I have been working on fancy dress costumes for the girls. Their Catholic school celebrates Shrove Tuesday every year by having a fancy-dress day. Each year or class gets their own theme, and then the older years run a contest to determine a winner. For the younger kids (pre-school), it’s not supposed to be a big competition but it inevitably becomes on.

Competitive parents – need I say more? That’s a post for another day!

What’s The Theme?

The theme for the pre-school last year was Pyjamas – easy right. This year is was any Disney character or Superhero. Their logic being that most kids will have something along these lines already, and if not, it won’t take a huge amount of effort to come up with something simple.

Unfortunately the parents don’t get to wing it. The pressure is huge to come up with the perfect outfit for your little star! Some parents spend weeks and a small fortune on coming up with amazing ‘homemade’ outfits for their kids. It’s easy to get swept up in the competition.

Who Did They Go As?

My eldest wanted to wear her Elsa dress, but when we tried it on we realised it was about 20cm too short. So my youngest said she would wear it. Perfect. Sorted.

Then my eldest decided that she wanted to be a Disney Fairy, but not Tinkerbell … oh no! She wanted to be Rosetta!

Rosetta Disney Fairy

Okay. *deep breaths*

I went to the sewing shop to buy the pattern but they didn’t have one so I had to come up with my own. I’m a very beginner seamstress so my skills are very limited!

Nevertheless, I think I did okay creating a petal skirt and a halter neck style top.

Once I started constructing the eldest’s outfit, the youngest decided she wanted mommy to make her an outfit too … also one of the fairies. I gently encouraged Silvermist because she wears a dress and not tights and shirts and all sorts of difficult things.

Fine. She pushed her luck a little by asking to be Rosetta also but I said no, you can’t be the same as your big sister. She seemed happy with Silvermist.

Silvermist Fairy

Round Two!

So I went back to the material shop, bought the fabric for her dress and set about constructing her outfit, complete with flowing chiffon (she is a Water Fairy).

Last night I took stock of my achievements and I was really quite proud. Two beautiful outfits, completely handmade with love, two seemingly satisfied children eagerly anticipating the next day’s excitement.

I even prepped them to make sure they were happy that I would send them to school in their normal clothes and then come later and dress them up for the parade. I made sure that they understood that their friends would most likely be dressed up already but they should wait so their satin and chiffon outfits weren’t destroyed by yoghurt and wooden climbing frames! *Can you feel my pain?*

They heard me, understood me, and were happy when I dropped them off.

Pride Comes Before A Fall!

I had a million things to do this morning but I got it done and got there 45 mins before the start to get them ready.


I took my youngest to get dressed first and as soon as I put her dress on her she threw an almighty tantrum. Screaming, kicking, pulling at the dress trying to rip it off herself. Her words

“It’s ridiculous! I look ridiculous! I’m not wearing this!”

I was horrified. Where had this come from? She’s THREE YEARS OLD!

Now under normal circumstances I’d have taken none of her nonsense, dressed her in the required outfit, and dragged her back to her classroom, whether she liked it or not.

But …

I was so hurt. I could feel the tears welling up inside me, all because this child of mine (refer back to previous post on threenager) didn’t like the special outfit I had made for her.

Not only that, but I really was proud of it. I thought it was a stunning outfit, totally unique.

Also though, a slight sense of panic kicked in as I had no alternative for her, it was far too late to go back home and fetch the Elsa dress, which also added a layer of guilt to the mix. Why hadn’t I anticipated this and brought a back-up?

I was very hurt. I calmly helped her take it off. She wanted to wear the normal pink and grey (not blue) dress that she’d been wearing all day and her blue fairy wings. And that was that. No arguing, no fighting.

By that stage she got whatever she wanted because, quite frankly, after the day I’d had, this was the last thing I needed, wanted, or deserved. I had no fight left in me.

I Felt Broken

I quietly finished dressing her and she skipped off back to her class. I explained what had happened to her teacher who also tried to persuade her but to no avail. So I gave up.

I went to find my eldest, and dressed her up. She was so happy. So proud. So beautiful. It renewed a little of my self-esteem and happiness.

I left them there and headed for the pool where the parade was set to start. I sat by myself hiding my weepy eyes behind my sunglasses. Eventually a few other moms I know came to sit with me and the conversation changed so I was distracted from my personal wounds.

It Came and Went

The parade started, and my youngest trotted past me while I sat in the front row. She was grinning, smiling, waving. She was completely happy and excited, dressed in her old pink dress and blue fairy wings. What could I do but smile and wave and take pictures like all the other mommies. Like nothing was wrong.

Then came my eldest, waving hysterically at me, as beautiful as always.

And then it was over.

A week of work, stress, love and care going into this, and it was over in 15 minutes.

I collected them, we went to the shops, my eldest wore her outfit for half the afternoon too. My youngest didn’t even show one flick of remorse, or apology. She didn’t even give a sh*t that she had knowingly hurt my feelings. I know she’s 3, but she knows! The day continued on as per normal. Nothing to report.

She Hurt My Feelings

My job as a mom though is to brush it off … isn’t it? I mean, what’s the alternative? Continuously harp on about it? Rub it in her face? Hold it against her? No. I can’t do that. She’s 3. I’m 35! I should know better. I do know better.

Did I learn any lessons today? No, not really.

Will I make as much effort next time? Probably.

Winner: Her.

Loser: Me.

I have no doubt that she will wake up tomorrow like nothing happened. That’s ‘momlife’ for you.

3 Little Buttons
Mummy Times Two


  1. Oh my goodness poor you. I think I’d take time to sit down with her when you’re both calm and explain that she hurt your feelings and why. Not to harp on about it but so she can learn.

    Hope you’re feeling better today

    1. Thank you. I might give it a try. She’s very stubborn. Not sure I have the strength for that right now. lol
      Thanks for reading.

  2. Oh bless ya! After all that effort on your part! It is very upsetting and annoying, but you are the most important person in your childs atmosphere, and even though they make you feel like cr*p sometimes, you know that you are their world. Im sure if she knew how upset she had made you she would be so sorry. Hope you have a better time next shrove tuesday – sending lots of love xx #Dreamteam

  3. Sometimes it just feels like such a battle trying to make them happy doesn’t it? #DreamTeam

  4. I genuinely feel your pain. Peachy is only 15 months and there have been times when she has really hurt my feelings. Even though I know she’s not doing it on purpose, it still hurts. Your little one is 3 and although she is more aware, she’s not doing it on purpose either. She loves you and you are a great mom. #StayClassyMama

    1. Thanks. I know this. I love her too, it’s already forgotten (by her). ?

  5. Wait til she’s a teen, then she’ll really cut you down for sport. And that’s why I refuse to make costumes 😉 #Stayclassymama

    1. Well it will be a LONG time before I bother again. Still licking my wounds.

  6. I think you need a medal for even making them! And big hugs. I’m terrible at sewing. She’ll never know how much that upset you. I remember doing something similar to my mum, over fancy dress and now I knew how much it hurt her but I did nothing. #stayclassymama

  7. MomLife requires a very thick skin. Kids (of all ages) can be the most loving little things and turn into savage beasts in 2.2 seconds. Don’t ever take it to heart. Your girls have an amazing mama! 🙂 #stayclassymama

    1. Thanks. I think I would feel better if she just showed even an ounce of remorse. But still nothing!

  8. Yes, the wounds of the littles cut very deep sometimes. I’ve cried many a shower to release the energy of my sadness from a comment, an act, a note. And me, I have thick skin. Learning to let go is the healthiest, not the easiest. You have my total empathy! #stayclassymama xo

  9. Awww lovely, I know exactly what you mean. I think it’s probably a bit of a phase they all go through from time to time as they emotionally mature. I know how hurtful it can be. I expect she’ll be climbing the walls for you to make her a costume for the next event and have completely forgotten this time round. Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam x

  10. This sounds so tough to manage, and you sound like an amazing mum to go to such a huge effort. Just know she will be in your shoes one day and thinking “wow how did she do it!” #postsfromtheheart

  11. Oh dear, there’s always such pressure on everyone for these kind of things, kids and parents. And it’s easy to understand why after putting in all the effort you were disappointed. Sometimes things don’t go as we planned. Chin up – your shower them in love and that’s what they’ll remember. #postsfromtheheart

  12. Oh bless you they just don’t understand. I think you are amazing for just attempting as I tried handmade costumes one year for my son then never did again. It was his first Christmas play and I sewed ball balls on a green jumper as he was meant to be a Christmas tree. It took me ages. All the other children had really expensive bought costumes and they sat my son at the back. I felt like an awful mother! If I ever need a fairy costume I know who to come to! Thank you for linking to #stayclassymama x

    1. Haha … no please don’t. I think maybe I’m going to hang up my tape-measure for a while.

  13. They sometimes know precisely which buttons to push to make you feel extra crappy don’t they?! I’m sure it was out of her mind the minute it was said, these tots are narcissistic dictators – they’ll get there. You made an amazing effort and they obviously loved the outfits so as best you can shrug it off! #postsfromtheheart

  14. You did a fantastic job in making something when a lot of people would have bought something from a shop. I think it will be one of those family stories that you will keep and share and when she is grown up she will be hugging you for being an amazing mum. 3 year olds are very difficult to please! Don’t let it stop you from making something next time. Handmade gifts are always so precious.

  15. I have a threenager (girl) too and she’s not shy in expressing how she feels! But it’s all part of the learning process, eventually they’ll understand how hurtful their tantrums and words can be. Easy for me to say looking in from the outside but I wouldn’t take it so much to heart. #postsfromtheheart

    1. I have finally gotten over it. I think it was also just shock. She’s my ‘late bloomer’ in the threenager stakes and I’m constantly shocked by her behaviour because she was ‘the good one’ for so long. I guess I’ll live though! lol

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  17. I feel you pain…we as moms go through so much! And our kids don’t realize how they can hurt our feelings. BIG HUG!!

  18. Can so feel your pain. Our kids hurt us ever so often, unknowingly of course, or just take everything we do for granted. And it’s the worst feeling ever!!!

    But wow to you for actually taking the effort to sew two costumes. Glad your older one appreciated and loved it… I guess 3 is just that age:(

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