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This may sound ridiculous, but my 3-year-old hurt my feelings

My very sensitive heart was hurting, I had no idea what to say back and I felt like I was going to cry. But I also felt silly—silly for getting my feelings hurt by a 3-year-old.

This may sound ridiculous, but my 3-year-old hurt my feelings

The other day, we were getting ready to go to a baseball game together as a family. Grandma, Grandpa, Great Grandpa, Nana, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. all piled in their cars and headed for the local stadium.


My husband and I got our two girls into their car seats then hopped into the car ourselves. The second I sat down and buckled up, my 3-year-old said, clear as day, “Mommy? I don’t want you to ride with us. I don’t want you to come.”

I was... dumbfounded. And crushed. And confused.

I planned this outing for everyone. I was excited!

My very sensitive heart was hurting, I had no idea what to say back and I felt like I was going to cry. But I also felt silly—silly for getting my feelings hurt by a 3-year-old.

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I stared off for a few minutes to collect my thoughts. And to try to figure out what I was supposed to do or say. (Isn’t it funny that when you were little you always thought your parents knew just what to do? And now here we are, parents ourselves, and we don’t have a clue...)

She seemed like she was being mean to me... on purpose. Which felt strange because she is usually so compassionate and loving and friendly. She always wants to include everyone!

Though, we all have our moments, don’t we?

I thought to myself, I am not prepared for this yet! I mean—I thought I had about 10 more years before this stuff started. ?

(*Note to self—make sure to figure out said ‘stuff out before 13th birthday...)

My husband came to my defense, “Of course you want Mommy to come with us! Mommy’s awesome!”

“No, I don’t. She can stay home.”

I almost cried, but didn’t. I was surprised at how hurt and even embarrassed I felt.

I’m her mother and I know she loves me.

I know I take great care of her. I know there’s no one else who makes her feel safer or more important.

I don’t think she really meant it. And I was still going to go to the game and have fun. But...I’d be lying if I said my feelings weren’t hurt.

Nothing bad had happened prior to getting into the car. We had been enjoying a really nice Saturday together and I had no idea what brought this on. She just seemed to not want me there.

I knew there was some reason—whether I was going to figure it out or not—that she was acting this way. So my game plan was—address it, but also give her the benefit of the doubt and move on.

I mean, how many times have I taken my stress out on my husband who wasn’t even the reason for the stress in the first place? My husband—the person who makes me feel safe and important. Many times, unfortunately.

(Sorry, darling. ?)

So I decided to be honest with her.

“That really hurt my feelings, honey. You made me sad because you said you didn’t want me to go with you. I don’t want to stay home. I’m looking forward to the baseball game. We’ve been talking about this all week.”

She looked sad. I was sad. But we moved along.

We got to the game and sat in our seats, ready to take it all in. Everyone was happy and laughing—eating funnel cake and hotdogs and chanting along with the crowd. My hurt feelings were forgotten, and it seemed as though I was welcome among my daughter and the rest of our crew. She seemed to actually want me there.

And I have to say, I was feeling better.

Later in the evening, her big, bright, apologetic eyes looked up into mine. She got really close to my face and said, “Mom, this is fun! I really love you.”

And just like that, those little broken pieces of my heart left in the car were put back together. I knew she didn’t mean what she said before, but for some reason I needed this confirmation that she still loved me.

I probably shouldn’t place so much of what I think my worth is as a person and mother on my three-year-old’s mood swings, but—it’s hard not to. These little humans are big important people in our lives. With big important feelings. I want them to understand that their feelings are always valid. And, so are mine.

Because how people feel is always important.

And will continue to be super important as my kids get older. I want them to know that they can talk to me about how they are feeling. And I want them to know that yes, I’m their mom, but I am also human. I have feelings, too...and they’re sensitive, so, be nice!

(To everyone. But, especially to your mom.)

A scary realization of parenthood is that our children are going to break our hearts as they grow. Watching them go off to Kindergarten. Seeing the embarrassment on their face when you say something silly in front of their friends. Hearing about them breaking the rules. Choosing to spend time with friends or their boyfriend, instead of you. Moving them into their first apartment.

Realizing they don’t need you as much anymore.

There are so many big feelings in parenting.

And they will never go away—no matter how old our children are. I’m realizing that this is normal, and it’s going to happen again. So my game plan now? To deal with these big feelings the rest of my life?

Well, I’m gonna feel them—wholeheartedly, completely feel them.

Then, I’m going to be honest and open.

And finally...I’m going to cross my fingers and hope they’ll do the same.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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