Worst. Mom. Ever.

Updated on December 06, 2012
D.S. asks from Prairie Village, KS
52 answers

I'm beating myself up over something and I'm tired, so it's your turn.

I went to the store with my son today to buy invitations for his 5th birthday party. I asked him to pick some out and he chose...the pinkest, princessiest thing he could find. And I froze.

Like, turned to stone.

I absolutely could see why he loved this invitation. He loves princesses. She was holding a cake. She was pink and sparkly. She was adorable.

My son wears nail polish. He puts dresses on at his friends' houses. He has his own princess heels (and tiara, and necklaces). He wants to be mommy when he plays house with the other girls. I have never censored his appearance or personal choices.

But yet, I froze.

He is at a new school this year, one where, unlike the years before, I do not know the others in his class very well and our first play date with a new classmate isn't even until tomorrow, 3 months after school started. My son and this kid seem to really like each other but I feel like I practically had to beg the mom for this play date to happen (still not sure it will). These moms are nice, just much harder for me to get to know, and his old school was a cooperative one so I was the helper in the class every 2-3 weeks. I knew those kids. With these, he considers them all his friends, and wants to invite the whole class to his party. I am happy with that and hope maybe they can all start to be friends outside of school. There have been some behaviors that worry me - seeing a kid on Monday walk by him and seemingly intentionally bump into him; another that hit him in the head hopefully by accident. My son has some social issues and this is the first time I have wondered what his life will be like in big-kid school.

He has one close friend from our old school in this class, more in the other classes and is lucky enough to have a circle of friends outside of school. All of these kids have known him for years and the boys have never questioned his admiration for so-called girl things. The girls, however, even his best friend that is a girl, have been on him for over a year about what he should or shouldn't do in the gender world. He tunes them out and doesn't seem to realize it or take it to heart so he stays true to himself.

He has girls in his class this year (last year it was all boys).

His long-time friends would have understood, not even noticed maybe, or the girls would have tried to gently remind him again to deaf ears. His new class is what worried me.

In that split-second, as my son shyly whispered to me that he wanted that invitation, with a look in his eyes of delight and something almost akin to apprehension, I pictured his class opening the invitations...and making fun of him. I took into account that he was whispering, something he's started doing when talking about 'girl' things or wanting to be alone with the pink pages of the toy catalogs, and could not read his cues. Was he scared I'd say no? Or yes?

I bought myself a few moments and was texting my husband, who was in the same dilemma and was also pissed off that it WAS a dilemma for us. We thought we were better than that. His comments revolved around being torn between letting our son be himself and, as he so eloquently put it, that people suck.

So I did the worst thing. I told my son they didn't have enough princess invitations for everyone and we'd have to choose a new one.

Yep, I lied. I caved to the stereotypes, the norms, the very things I pride myself on presenting a neutral be who you wanna be attitude of love and acceptance.

It's just an invitation, but I failed him. I let how others might think and react affect the very message I sent to him as his mommy.

He took it in stride. He knew we needed a certain amount. He didn't know I hid the other packs behind a different design when he wasn't looking. I purchased the princesses just for him and then his second choice was a fold-out dump truck invitation that cost almost twice as much and I practically threw all of the packets into our basket, no matter how much money it was going to be.

I could make all the excuses in the world - and tell myself I did it for him, but in the end, I let him down, over something as inconsequential as a Pre-K party invitation.

I feel terrible.

I have to ask a question, so you can choose between:
What would you have done?
How many ways can you tell me I did the wrong thing?
Will this feeling of a lump in the pit of my stomach ever go away?
Why don't invitations provide spaces long enough for someone with bad handwriting to get all the details on?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I am loving reading all the answers. Thank you!!

I wish he had planned a princess party or something that would have given context to his pick. I would have been totally on board with that if he had asked for it. Love hearing that other boys are having mermaid or princess parties and girls are all over the superhero and car parties. As it is, he's having a bounce house party at a play gym.

Already at the age of almost-5 we can see he's a little behind on some social cues so I worried this would be an odd situation for him to navigate. If he noticed, that is. :)

I'll use this moment to appreciate my son even more!

Featured Answers


answers from St. Louis on

I probably would have done something similar. Not so much because I don't think my son's should hate pink or princesses, but because I would have had to help him make an informed decision.

In other words I would not have allowed my son to learn the hard way why it may not be the best choice, ya know, by being teased by his friends. So I would have had to explain and in explaining have to limit his possibilities.

I guess that is what this comes down to, lie about the number of cards or have to tell my five year old that society will judge his choices and perhaps even make him feel bad for it.

19 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I probably would have done the same thing. Honoring who he is doesn't mean needlessly opening him up to ridicule. I think you did the right thing.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Don't feel terrible. It's okay. I would have done the same thing.

You allow him to do other than "boy" things at home. You aren't stuffing him him into a "box" that allows no personal freedom. It's okay to fudge this very public one.

Ha ha on the space limitations!


8 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Kalamazoo on

I love you for the love that exudes from this post. Your son is so lucky to have a Mom who cares so much that you not only see the significance of that moment, but try to carry the weight of it.

21 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Some kids and parents suck. You spared him.

15 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Best. Mom. Ever.

You were protecting your son, who doesn't yet get that people wouldn't be as understanding as you. You sound like a wonderful mom! Stop beating yourself up and give yourself a pat on the back for diffusing the situation in a creative way.

The lump in your stomach will go away. And then someday there will be a new one there for something else. Oh the joys of parenting.

Big hugs to you!

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Sorry, girl. You CAN'T be the Worst Mom Ever, since the Worst Mom Ever would never REALIZE she's the worst mom ever, see?

I have absolutely had to make parenting decisions that don't sit well with me.


Anyway, the need to protect your child comes from a GOOD PLACE, right?

On the other hand we want them to be loved for WHO THEY ARE, not what society NEEDS them to be.


14 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You are a WONDERFUL mom! And I think you did the right thing, given your circumstances.

There is a time and a place to let the different parts of who we are come out. Part of navigating this society is knowing when to let the certain parts of ourselves come out!

For example, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Hello Kitty. However, a business interview is not the place to wear my Hello Kitty dress, or display my pink, sparkly Hello Kitty purse. Does it mean I'm hiding myself? No, I'm just letting different parts of myself out. Do I yell like I do at a football game when I'm at a golf tournament? No. Do I walk into a teacher's meeting and announce I'm a Republican? No.

If you need to talk to your son, let him know that he has lots of likes and dislikes. One way that we can help the people around us is to talk about things that we share, not things that we are different. We can also deliberately seek out people that we share things with--that enjoy the same things that we do. There is nothing wrong with changing our focus, for the time being, to things that we SHARE with people.

I've had this conversation with my daughter, and it has helped her. For example, she is homeschooled. If she were trying to make friends, she would not run up to a person who goes to public school and announce that she is homeschooled right off the bat. Instead, she would make friends by finding things she has in common with them. Later on, differences can come out, and kids should learn to accept differences.

I think getting him the dump truck invitations is a way to keep the new kids from being uncomfortable with your son right off the bat. It was the right decision. Once they get to know him and see what they have in common, differences can be addressed. He may be surprised to find that other boys in the class enjoy pink, sparkly things!

Good luck! I know lots of boys that love pink, sparkly things. We homeschool, and the kids in our group aren't afraid to be different. I've seen my share of sparkly shoes and tops on young boys. I think it's neat--I guess girls can't hog all the sparkle!

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

It hurts so much that not everyone is so open as you...... as a mommy, you want to let him be who he is... but you also want to shield him from the kids that don't have as wonderful a mommy and don't understand that not all boys like trucks, and that some boys like girly things.

Unfortunately, I see in middle school how some kids (boys, mostly) treat other boys that aren't as rough-and-tumble as they are, and it breaks my heart, because so many times, the kid being teased is a really nice boy and wouldn't think of teasing someone else...... (As staff, we try to stop it... but kids can be extremely sneaky, and say stuff where adults aren't around....they know it is wrong to say stuff like that, or pick on other kids, but.... they do it anyway...)

At this point, not knowing how the classmates would react to seeing a girly invitation from a boy, you did what you had to do... protect him from the kids that DON'T understand him and accept him for who he is.......

and I see a very loving and protective mommy... one who loves his son for who he IS... not who she WANTS him to be......

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Did you do the right thing? I don't know. Would I have done the same thing? Yes. And I hate to admit that. Look at it this way- you are just protecting your son from the mean old world, and you are a great mom for that.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Here's something I got out of your post. That you love your son. You love him with all your heart. You didn't not choose the princess ones because you don't love him. You chose them because it breaks your heart to think of anyone not loving him.

But I get it. And I think it's totally unfair that my DD can go dino to her heart's content and nobody cares. I wish nobody would care that your son loves princesses. But people are mean and they do.

We all have moments where we say something or do something and second-guess ourselves. He took it in stride. So you take HIS lead and just move on with the party. He'll be OK. And so will you.

And if he wants some glitter, there's always blue and green and red and silver glitter glue for those trucks.

And down the road, maybe invite a few fewer kids, the kids you and he get to know, and then you don't have to worry. Because there are families like mine who will save a pink balloon for a little boy because that's his favorite color and not think anything of it.

Hugs. You are a good mom.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I agree whole heartedly with how you reacted AND how you are raising your child. You are a great mom.

Now I must go sob uncontrollably into some tissues. You are wonderful!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Wow. Best post I've read on here in eons.

I'd like to think I would have bought the ones he wanted, and luckily, I'm homeschooling so I will always be close to the kids we invite to parties, but your hubby is right: people suck.

My almost 3 year old son loves to wear fairy dresses. I think nothing of it. His sister loves to play fireman with him. My kids explore it all, and again, we homeschool, so it's all good--- their best friend, a 5 year old boy, always dresses up as a mermaid when he comes over. It's a riot.

I'm sorry you were put in this position. You are a great mom, and sometimes this means lying to protect them.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

Seriously, reading your post made me want to cry for you a little. You seem like a GREAT mom. I have NO idea what I would have done in your shoes, but I hate to see someone who cares so much about their child be so down on themselves.

You did what you did out of love for your son and I respect you for it! I also respect that you are not the type of mom that forces a stereotype on a child. Good work all around, I say.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Actually, I think you're a really good mom. I think you're a really good mom who was caught off guard. So basically, you're human.

The trick, I think, isn't to mold him or hide him, but to give him the tools he's going to need to keep himself (emotionally/physically/spiritually) safe. He'll also need to know how to recognize allies and now how to be strong inside of himself. That's a pretty large order for five.

I feel for our young boys. It's really rough that they don't get the same room that our young gals do. I mean, my youngest was a knight for halloween, and her favorite color is blue. My eldest wants to be a race car driver and she's adamant she will NOT be a mommy when she grows up. Most people don't bat an eye. But if they were boy a who dressed as a princess, or who wanted to be a ballerina when he grew up? Folks would not be so tolerant, I think.

Anyway, it's a tough position for a parent to be in. We want to protect our kids, and the truth is we live in a misogynistic and homophobic culture! You're impulse couldn't have been more normal. Shoot, I've had real' similar impulses. So try to show yourself some compassion, okay? Beating yourself up is NOT going to help your son...or you.

This experience is a learning lesson. Next time you'll be better prepared.

Best of luck. Parenting is tough. You are great. Seriously.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

aw, baby.
i am one of the ones always trumpeting 'let your child be who he or she is!' and i genuinely have no issues with gender exploration. including that of children who are gay or transgendered.
but who doesn't feel a catch in their throat at the prospect of one's child being tormented?
it's very hard to react 'right' under all circumstances.
give yourself a break.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

First, D.-- a hug for you. That must have been a horrible moment. You are very obviously a caring mom-- caring enough to see past your son's desire for something he couldn't possibly know would cause a fuss, and deciding to go for the ultimate 'greater good'.

Being the new kid, this was a very smart choice. I'm not saying that the world isn't a judgmental, flipped-up place... but just that given all of the circumstances, you did the best you could in a tough moment.

You *didn't* make him feel bad for what he likes. You simply made it unavailable. I do this all the time with my son when it comes to sweets, for instance. "Chocolate? Hmm... I don't think I have any chocolate." (lie lie lie...we eat it after he goes to bed.) ;)

We do what we think is best for our kids. Sometimes, with our knowledge of the world, that means NOT fighting those good fights with the whole group of kids. Sometimes, that means not proving our points or fighting a certain battle THIS time. Sometimes, that means letting our kids suss most of it out themselves, but also steering them away from any roadblocks to their friendships they might accidentally, innocently, set up for themselves.

As for the spaces on the card, see if you can do a small insert to paste into the cards on Word, duplicate it and then print, paste in.

And I wouldn't have done the same thing, only because I would never have invited all those kids! You are very generous to invite them all. I likely would have made my son make an invitation, just because we are a cheap and crafty family. (likely would have had something similarly off-kilter, however.)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I usually don't read a posting when I see it's so long but this one intrigued me; it brought tears to my eyes. You sound like a great mom to me....it's the world around you that is the worst.ever.sometimes. You didn't do anything "wrong" - you did what I'm sure a lot of moms would do and that is trying to protect your son. I probably would have done the same thing.

I applaud you for letting your little guy be who he is; what sucks is the reactions he is going to face as he gets older. Sounds like you're very supportive and that will be the main thing he needs as he grows up.

Yes, the lump in the pit of your stomach will go away.

As for the lines on those stupid invitations - I agree; there's never enough space for everything I need to include so I just print my own at home. May not be as fancy as store-bought but gosh darnit I fit in everything I need.

Take a deep breath and relax!!

God bless!!!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Collins on

We all do the best we can in the moment. You did what you thought was best for him in that moment. We all try to honor who our children are...while also protecting them...while also allowing them space to learn and develop and experience life on their own. It is a delicate balance...and sometimes it cannot all happen simultaneously. It really sounds like you are an amazing mom and you are doing a great job with your son. Don't beat yourself up.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I honestly would've done the same thing. He's to young to "take a stand". He doesn't grasp the concept of social consequences that can carry over for months or years with the same kids.

I dont think it's too much diferent for girls. Sure girls can have a fireman parrty because there are girl firemen but if they wanted to wear their hair like a boy and get a buzz cut there may be repercussions.

I think it's great you let him be himself at home and also great that he knows to hold back a little at school.
If this ends up being life long and not a phase (who knows if being gay is even related to liking girly things at a young age- I highly doubt it) then atleast in the future he will know his homelife will support him in all choices, but I'd still protect him from kids and their judegement.

Kids are harsh and dont let things go. I think you did great.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

You certainly aren't the worst mom. You and your husband sound wonderful. What a dilemma indeed!

I, personally, would get home and break out BOTH invitations in front of him, and tell him the truth in age appropriate words.

"Sweetie, I know you love princess stuff. And I will send out princess invitations if you want me to. I just need you to know that SOME people think that princess stuff is for girls only...and some of those people might say mean things to you. But I also know that you're really special and fun and REALLY LOVE princesses. So if you're okay with some people saying some mean things, I'll send the princess invitations. "

Maybe talk about how he can respond when someone teases or comments on his love for princesses? Not in a mean way, but to protect his individuality.

One of my close friends is a transvestite. He's still pretty closeted about it because so many people don't understand what it IS. Transvestites are straight men who love women's clothes and pretty, feminine things. He still loves football, video games, computers, pretty women, etc. He just loves ladies clothing....how it shimmers, feels, etc. And it's pretty messed up that society isn't cool with that....because he has the best dang legs I've ever seen. :-)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Read the news for 5 seconds. You will see plenty that could carry the title of "worst mom ever." You, certainly are not. IT was a moment, a blip. Something that will have no effect on him.

You are a good mom, let it go.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

ok, I love you. Really. It's ok, five year olds don't have to buck the system each and every time. My 2nd son was the one boy that the girls all invited to their parties. He wore tutus, he played girly games. At some parties, he was the ONLY boy. He loved it. He also grew out of it, but even if he hadn't, that would have been ok with us, too. I would have protected him from outright mean behavior, luckily we didn't have to deal with that until later. Now he"s a self assured teen boy, with strong aspirations. And he has so much empathy, he's such a kind soul. You and I are blessed to have sons like this.

I hate pre-printed invites. Never enough room for all the info, I feel your pain. And I have amazing handwriting.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You were protecting him from the mean people who do, indeed, suck. There's a time when our ideals collide with the real world. Ideally, we'd let our kids be whatever and whomever they want...and as they get older, we really should do just that. But 5 is a very young age to learn the lesson that there are a lot of intolerant people out there, and that sometimes being yourself can invite ridicule and taunts. Ideally, everyone would accept everyone just as they are. We all know that THAT isn't reality, unfortunately.

At least this WAS a dilemma for you. Do you know how many parents out there would have simply said "Don't be ridiculous, son, those are for girls. Put them back and choose something with a robot or car on it." without giving it another thought?

Given the situation, I think what you did was appropriate. You weighed your ideals against the social consequences your young son would probably have to face, and you chose to protect your son. I think that's what we're pretty much supposed to do as parents, aren't we? Do what we think is best for our children? Right?

And I've long ago given up on paper invitations...Evite all the way for us!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Completely NOT the worst mom ever. Take it easy on yourself. We all do things with our kids that we wish we would have handled a different way. We don't become experts at handling situations just because we become parents.

I don't know whatI would have done. There a fine line between supporting our kids to be who they are and knowingly sending them into the lion's den to be teased by people who are less tolerant or open minded.

When my son was 6 he found some knee highs that I was using for an art project. I don't wear knee highs, so he's never seen what they are for. He put a pair on his arms and a pair on his feet and he said " ooooh Mom! These feel good! These are so warm and cozy! I am going to wear them to school tomorrow!" And I said " Well buddy, you CAN wear them to school tomorrow, but just know that these are usually worn by women and kids might have some questions if you wear them to school." He was thoughtful for a minute and shrugged and then said, "I don't care. I'm gonna wear them anyway. I'm gonna call these my smooth cozy slippy socks." (This is a kid who had all of the boys in his preschool class wanting to wear ruby red slippers because he was wearing them.) He didn't end up wearing the knee highs to school. I think he forget about them. But I would have let him wear them, knowing that I had given him enough information to make the decision and handle a situation if it came up.

You're a good good Mom in my book, and your son is a a lucky boy. Sending you hugs, Mama~

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

A parent has to help a child learn how to make wise decisions. In this case, the wise decision was to take the road that will not cause him emotional pain. There will be other instances where you will guide him to avoid emotional pain. Imagine that he has a big ole crush and he is 12, and a friend tells you that the crush was making fun of him behind his back. He asks you to help him buy the crush a gift for valentines with all the money he has. You would of course try to do your best to guide him away from it knowing that the crush will break his heart and buying a gift will make it even worse.

In this case it isn't about crushing his dreams - it is about a wise decision that he cannot understand or think through.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Oh wow! You really ARE beating yourself up over this, aren't you?
I'll bet most parents would do exactly what you did.
You were TRYING to protect him from potential cruelty.
Potential cruelty that it sounds like he's starting to get an inkling is out there.
Please stop beating yourself up!
Oh--And we have received a princess invitation from a neighbor boy.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You are NOT the worst mom ever. You took steps to protect your child, I think that rates you pretty high compared to some of the other mom's out there...watch the news for a bit, you'll see bad moms.

I try to protect my kids from everything possible too, and that's all you were doing. Teaching our kids about society isn't a bad thing, but the problem is that society judges, we all do.

I won't lie that I would have found it odd if I got princess invitations for a little boy's party, but I would respect the choices. I wouldn't let or not let my kid go because of the invitation, it would depend on their decision to go or not - same as if a truck invitation came home. So shame on the parents that would do otherwise.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

The fact that you are feeling so much guilt over not letting him get the invitations means that you are the best mom ever :)

Most parents would have flat out told him no without a second thought. Most parents wouldn't let him play with princesses or wear princess heels or princess dresses.

B) I fully understand and appreciate that you want him to be whoever he wants to be, BUT in this situation I think you made the right choice. Unfortunately, people suck... And I would rather tell my kid a little white lie that won't hurt him in the long run than let him go through the torment the other kids would make him go through.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

The thing is, and this is unfortunate, but he probably would have been "teased" if he gave out those Princess invitations. Because at THIS school and per these kids at this school... they are totally different, than his old school. And then he would probably be ostracized.
You were between a rock and a hard place.
Scylla and Charybdis.

Perhaps, talk with his Teacher, for tips?
If she is the empathetic and nurturing, type.

Don't feel bad.
The world can be very mean, even with young kids like this.
It is really sad.

Your son does not know why you told him what you did.
Its okay.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

You are not the worst Mom ever. You put your child's feelings first - that is what a good Mom does. Let it go and focus on the excitement of planning your wonderful son's 5th party!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

First of all, you are not the worst mom ever, I promise! You did not let down your son. You are thinking of his feelings & knowing that there would be some from his new school making fun of his choice of invitation. There may have even been some parents questioning why you would allow him to send a "girl" invitation. Your son by whispering is showing that he already knows that there are some not so nice people.

Don't feel terrible. You are a caring mom who only wants the best for her son. I think you did the right thing in buying the princess type invitation for him to have at home, since he loved it so much and getting the dump truck invite to send out. It sounds like your little boy is lucky to have you & your hubby as parents.

I hope the party is the beginning for him to make alot of new friends. Please keep us updated. PS..lighten up on yourself...stop beating yourself up :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

So not the worst mom! Great, loving, thoughtful, aware mom. And boy isn't it hard?

I have a daughter with some differences. We as a family are "different" and boy is it a struggle to help them learn to be different and still be ok. It is heartbreaking to watch my daughter get snubbed, but she is growing up to be so cool! It still hurts her sometimes but she is OK with who she is.

Some day we will be able to give or boys the chance to be whoever they re the same as we fought for our girls' rights.

Enjoy your special person!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You did the right thing-I would have done it too. Your instincts are correct that a princess invite would not be a good thing to send to his class. I am all for the whole 'boys should get to play with what they want, anti-gender stereotype' thing but realistically, do you really want to prove that point at the risk of social isolation for your son? I don't see a win there-sorry. Kids will be kids and people will be people-it is what it is and ain't going to change. I wouldn't use my son to prove or to further that cause when the consequence will most likely be social isolation.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think you did fine. You are very open to allowing your son to be who he is, so one or two measures of protection won't harm him.

I like Christy's idea, but I think 5 might still be a little young for him to grasp that. At 6 or 7 he will get it more. At 5, this was probably the right decision.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would've done the same thing. I have done the same thing. It's called having a theme for the party and buying invitations that coordinate with that theme. Did they have to be the dump truck ones? Nope. Could they have been funny puppy dog or pizza party invites (have done those), yep! Invitations don't have to be gender specific, they can be themed, and they can be general.

Examples of general ones



Just remember, that in order for new kids to learn to like and appreciate your son and all that he is, the new kids first have to be comfortable around him. Human nature says that we aren't comfortable with new things. So, in this instance, having him choose a new invitation isn't changing who he is, or denying who he is. It is helping him choose something that the kids in the class will be comfortable receiving.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I'm sorry you were put in that position. Kids can be mean. My 5 year old came home and told me that they boys at school told her her Darth Vader lunch box was for boys only, and she told them there were no such thing as boy lunch boxes or girl lunch boxes, just lunch boxes. I was very proud of her. I'd like to think I would have bought the princess invitations. But I also know that I was teased a lot as a kid and I'd want to save my daughter from that if possible.

That being said, we have family and close family friends-only birthday parties, so when my dd wanted an x-men/my little pony party last year, I knew everyone who was coming would think it was fun.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

you have to let your son be him! not at all telling you, your a bad mom or anything. My son is a princess boy! He had a mermaid party for his birthday, its the one day he can feel completely special! Like some people say this may be a phase, this may be his life. My thoughts are I don't want to teach my son to be ashamed or hide how he feels to make others happy, its his life. :)
I really hate that no one thinks twice when a little girl wants to have a Cars party or "boyish" themed party. But oh no the world will end if my son wants a tea party where he can dress up at :(

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answers from Detroit on

Although we would like to let our kids be whoever they are and act however they want.. they do have to conform to the world. my example. my daughter dances to her own drum.. she is in her own little world .. so she is so slow at doing everything.. so now she is in first grade. and the teacher complains.. that although she is a smart girl .. she doesnt get her work done.. so I have been encouraging strongly for her to speed up move faster.. which is not respecting her person.. but the fact is.. she has to move along to keep up with the class. yours son may like pink and princesses.. but he cannot wear pink and play with dress up girl clothes in public.. or he will be ridiculed.. better to start helping him to gently conform..

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answers from Rockford on

You are NOT a bad mom, so slow down there...you actually sound like an amazing, caring and understanding mom and your son is very lucky! What you did was protect him...kids are mean and cruel. Period. Yes, even at that young age, they can be mean. Makes my heart hurt to hear about it.

So your son is different from the "norm." OK...kudos to you and your husband for already recognizing that and supporting his choices and letting him be him!

I have a boy and a girl 12 and almost 14...and I have to say, the 12 yr old boy is MUCH harder to raise than my daughter (I think I just got really lucky w/ my daughter!) But both kids have had issues w/ mean kids, bullies, teasing...so when you feel like you have to step in to protect, do it...there will come a day, when he won't want you to and you will have to let him go, make his choice and deal w/ whatever may happen. Being a parent is the hardest, most emotionally draining and rewarding job ever!!!!

Let this one go, he'll still enjoy his party, so celebrate w/ him! :)

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answers from Albuquerque on

You know what? Nothing about that story makes you sound like a bad mom. You actually sound really smart, caring, and open minded. I think in your shoes I would have done exactly the same thing. I have a daughter who loves loves loves superheros and light sabers and all things "boy". I whole heartedly support her, but do wonder how she looks to other kids (and their parents). The worst thing in the world would be to have another child hurt her feelings by telling her she's weird. And I think it's even harder for a boy who likes girl stuff.

You were faced by an unwinnable situation. You either hurt your son's feelings and tell him (even if it's silently) that his choice is a bad one. Or you let him put himself out there to get hurt. I love that you didn't make either choice. Yes, you lied. But you did it for the right reason, a reason that spared his feelings from both outcomes.

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answers from Sacramento on

Wow! I got teary reading this. You are a great mom and your husband sounds like a great dad. It was a difficult choice. It sucks that it is an issue and that we have to help our kids conform to a point in order for them to be accepted. Unless you and your son are going to "blaze the trails" in your community and school, then you did what you felt was right to protect him emotionally. He is at a very young age to really understand all you would be explaining to him and all he would most likely experience if he sent the Princess invitations.

And I usually print out all the invitation info on a large business size address label and stick it over the pre-printed lines :)

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answers from Los Angeles on

There isn't much more I can say as some of the responses you've gotten are truly as eloquent and touching as your post. But I just want to add that my heart ached for both you and your little guy as I read your post and I am so thankful there are moms and dads like you and your husband in this world. Your son is very lucky to have you both to guide and protect him as he grows up.

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answers from San Francisco on

You are a good person and a good mom. Your mama bear came out and she did what she had to do because of the world we live in. There is nothing wrong with this...the bad feeling you have right now? It is not your fault. It is a symptom of a world filled with people that judge, condemn and ridicule things that seem to threaten a very small-minded view of how things should be. You and your husband sound like great people, people I would love to meet in the real world. You son sounds like a great kid. He is going to be fine, but you did your mama bear job of keeping him safe, and innocent and happy, which is exactly what you should be doing when he is this young. Blessing to you all...and happy birthday to your dear son.

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answers from Salinas on

Not sure what I would have done in your situation, it's always more complicated when faced with actually following through with what we believe in theory to be the right thing. I DO know you are being way too hard on yourself.

Life is complicated, we do not always stick to our ideas about what's right and wrong. Our IDEAS about raising children are often flimsy and unrealistic when it comes to everyday decisions. You did what you did in the moment, now let it go.

Maybe it WAS for the best and you know what? Your little boy will never know. He will look back on his childhood in broad strokes. He will remember you supported him in his quest to figure out who he is and how he fits in to this crazy world. That is what matters, not the invitations to his 5th birthday party.

Trust me this will not be that last time you feel like you made the wrong decision or failed to follow through on your principals. When something like this happens again, and it will, remind yourself what's really important. Your boy KNOWS he's loved, totally supported and encouraged to be himself. Don't beat his Mama up, he needs her!

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answers from Williamsport on

I do NOT understand the new trend that is trying so hard to let boys be girly as some civil rights movement when little boys wear nail polish etc. Yeah, it's not that cute when boys want princess invitations etc past a certain age. I have a four-year old boy who has worn his share of fairy dresses at home with his sisters, and my best friend is gay, and I'm ALL FOR cross-dressers and stuff. But there is an island of time AFTER pre-school and BEFORE teen years, where your kids don't "get" the societal implications of cross-dressing, and it's OK to let them be "normal" boys or girls to avoid ridicule. If he gets older (teens) and is gay or femme and WANTS to cross-dress and have princess stuff, then yay for him. But it's time to drop the girly act for now. It's OK, mom, it's really OK. It doesn't make you a homophobe or a hypocrite. I was just talking to a male friend who is 26, raised in NYC, absolutely tolerant of EVERY type of person, but sort of sickened by all the moms out there encouraging their sons to be girly as kids. I agree. It's a trend that needs to just go away (it's been popular with hipsters for quite a while now). And also, I have lied plenty of times about things. "Oh, that park is closed" when I just couldn't deal with a certain park. Enjoy it while you can, momma!

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answers from Dallas on

I would have done the same.

Remember, every child's mom is hiding something. Treat them like you would want to be treated. With kindness, humor and more compassion than you have allowed yourself here and you will find friends to back you up.

I have terrible handwriting. Many a girl/woman has disparaged it.
I write like my dad. I loved my dad. I'm ok with my handwriting.
I do wish I had any indication of how big my letters needed to be at the begining of writing a sentence. It's a surprise every time.

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answers from Beaumont on

Not sure how I would have handled it but I want you to rest assured, that I, as well as everyone else has regrets about the way we've handled things. Be easy on yourself.

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answers from Dallas on

You didn't do the wrong thing, you just didn't do what you wished you could do. And I think many moms feel EXACTLY the same way. I'm pretty sure I would do exactly the same thing, or try to find something in-between. I want my kid to have/do what they love, but if I know he will get blasted for the choice in such a way that the extreme pain will greatly outweigh the pleasure, I have to encourage a different choice. I think, when they get a bit older and are of an age and maturity that they can defend their socially-out-of-sync choices, it may be easier to talk to them about going against social norms. But as a little one, our mama bear wants to keep them safe until they are able to do it themselves.

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answers from Kansas City on

Oh my gosh, I just want to hug you. You are an amazing, incredible, loving mother and person! So many people would have not even taken into account everything you took into account. As parents it is instinct to want to protect our children from all the pain and hurt the world has to offer. We love our children and expect other people to love them too. You made a choice, it was not right or wrong, it was the choice you felt you needed to make at the time. Please don't beat yourself up.

I'm glad he at least got the princess ones for his own liking. This will be a hard road for you but it sounds like you and your husband are on the same page and that is the most important thing. You son is lucky to have such an understanding and loving mother.


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answers from Los Angeles on

I don't know you, but you sound like one of the best moms ever. The fact that you accept him for him and encourage him to be him heals this world.

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answers from Kansas City on

OMG!!! You are not the worst mom by a long shot!!! I feel for you so much. Our society now is not as tolerant as we want to be. You should be commended!!! Don't lose sleep over it. You son will be fine because you are such good parents. Good luck and God Bless!!

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