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Parenting and Rage - Page 55

post #1081 of 1766


f* the laundry and dishes.

f* "expectations" of others.

get a sling and carry your baby all the time. sit and play with her and neglect the housework around you to the highest extent allowed by standard decency. she's only 6mos old, so that means someone else should be there helping you pick up the slack as you try to reconnect with your precious child. if you don't have anyone, it can wait. better a sink full of dishes than acting towards your kid in ways you regret.

and she's not your jailer, but i know what you mean. take her out everywhere with you, even if it's just a short walk around the block. if you bring her to a restaurant and she cries and annoys the other patrons, too f*ing bad. you're bonding with your baby and nothing else should stop that.

be well. this journey isn't easy.
post #1082 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurumiSophia View Post
I found this thread and I'm ashamed to say that I, too, have a problem with parenting and rage.

It kills me inside because my daughter isn't even 6m old and I'm already finding myself screaming at her or even hitting her when my anger hits a peak. I hate it. I hate myself for it. And yet there I am, doing it again and again.

I feel very trapped by my daughter. She is my jailer and tormenter. Each cry, scream, late night, moment of hair pulling, lip tugging, face raking is another lash across my back and bar in my prison. Everyone expects me to keep a clean house with minimal laundry about, no dishes in the sink, cook dinner, etc. with a baby that can't stand not being held. I barely eat anymore because I can't put her down. I resent nursing because there's so much I could do instead and she's always kicking and pulling on me and it HURTS.

Every time she cries, I hear my mother telling me to give her something to cry about. And I am ashamed to say that sometimes I listen. I have screamed at my daughter in her face to shut up and I have left her to CIO because I know if I don't, I will hurt her.

I know where its coming from. I was raised in an abusive home, I don't know any other way to react. I am doing my best to learn GD but it's so hard right now. All I want to do is just runaway.

I'm sorry that I rambled. It just is all wanting to come out of me and I don't know how else to express it.
Oh, mama. I could not read this and not respond. Sounds ike you could really use some help. Is there anyone around who could give you a break? Is there a partner in your life that could give you some time to yourself in the evening? Even to just drive/walk to get a coffee by yourself can make all the difference. I know you know hitting a child is never ok, and yours is just a baby. If you are feeling that rageful with her, you really need some time to decompress. Are you suffering from PPD? Sometimes that can make you all ragey too. I was raised in an abusive home too and the best thing you can do for yourself and your child is to break the cycle. It is hard, but can be done. Right now though, it sounds like you need some help fast. I'm sure some of the other mamas here will have advice for you as I am not here much but even if you just need someone to talk to, feel free to pm me... Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs there is. It is also the most rewarding.
post #1083 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by tofumama View Post
Oh, mama. I could not read this and not respond. Sounds ike you could really use some help. Is there anyone around who could give you a break? Is there a partner in your life that could give you some time to yourself in the evening? Even to just drive/walk to get a coffee by yourself can make all the difference. I know you know hitting a child is never ok, and yours is just a baby. If you are feeling that rageful with her, you really need some time to decompress. Are you suffering from PPD? Sometimes that can make you all ragey too. I was raised in an abusive home too and the best thing you can do for yourself and your child is to break the cycle. It is hard, but can be done. Right now though, it sounds like you need some help fast. I'm sure some of the other mamas here will have advice for you as I am not here much but even if you just need someone to talk to, feel free to pm me... Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs there is. It is also the most rewarding.
I'm married. DH is gone about 12 hrs every day since he's a dept. manager and all the joy that comes w/that. So when he gets home, he's pretty pooped so I don't expect him to do much. So she's in my arms or on our bed with me near by pretty much 24/7. If I walk out of her line of sight, it's a disaster.

I do have PPD and am currently working up to therapeutic levels of Zoloft as well as dealing w/Adult ADHD. All I want to do is break the cycle. My mother (who was my main abuser) actually praised me for reading stuff on GD which was very odd. She didn't say she was sorry, but she did admit she was in the wrong.

Some days are better than others. It's just one of those day in and day out battles to keep my sanity somedays.
post #1084 of 1766
Mama, those are some difficult and scary emotions. What are you doing for self-care? When I am my least patient, is when I am most needy. Protein first thing in the morning makes a huge difference to my whole day. Keeping a glass of water filled and drinking it frequently helps my patience also. Just getting outside in the fresh air and jumping up and down, or breathing deeply, helps the intensity to pass.

Those first 6 months were so hard for me too. Learning that I didn't have to do everything perfectly...or else. I grew up with the threat of punishment; and everyone's anger or demands felt like DANGER. When ds would cry, I'd feel that same DEMAND, OR ELSE!

Get some Rescue Remedy from a natural food store. It literally has saved my sanity. I also got personal counseling about those feelings of rage toward my child. When he was about 15-18 months old, he'd grab my legs and I'd feel that trapped feeling. It'd trigger my fight or flight reflex. I wanted to throw him off of me. I realized that he was just a baby wanting his mama. But, the DEMAND of it seemed overwhelming. There is a saying 'When we have children, we are awoken to the pain of our past and must seek to heal it, or we inflict it on our children.' Mama, please seek support. The cycle of abuse can be broken. It starts with loving and gently caring for your Self. You deserve to be supported gently. So does your baby.

I would ask your doctor about something to help you with what sounds like PPD. Here is a little quiz to help you see how you feel about it. http://www.testandcalc.com/etc/tests/edin.asp

There's also a PPD forum here for moms who think they have PPD or know they do:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...splay.php?f=28

"Natural remedies for PPD" thread. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...tural+remedies

Most pregnant and nursing women are deficient in magnesium. I use Natural Calm magnesium supplements for help with hormonal balance.


Mama, who is telling you everything has to be done? And could you delegate some of the household care, get a mother's helper, get a babysitter or family to give you 30-60 minutes several times a week? How is your sleep? Perhaps, we could help with suggestions with ideas about delegating, caregivers, sleep, etc. Keep talking to us. Knowing that others have been through this and it will get better and easier helps. It will be ok. You are safe.


Pat
post #1085 of 1766
Hi KurumiSophia, I'm sending you a big hug! I can identify with where you're coming from, and I hope it helps to know that there are others out there who have been/are going through something similar. It's hard to have a new baby and all the demands that go with it. I was an only child and a single parent and the first 9 months of my son's life (he was an arm baby, same as yours, screamed when I put him down) and I felt trapped and angry that my entire existence was at the mercy of another person. I was a single mom doing it alone with my first, but with my second child, I was married and my hubby was like yours--working insanely long hours and exhausted when he was home. He missed the first year of our son's life because of his work hours. I understand, I've been there, and it DOES get better.

I second the idea of a sling--do you have one? There are a ton to choose from out there, but the best one (in my opinion) is an unpadded sling because it's more versatile. You can carry the baby while nursing and getting stuff done, to snuggle and sleep in while you're doing stuff, or the classic hip carry and it won't hurt your back. The most important thing is to have someone show you (or talk you through it) how to use it, otherwise it ends up being put on improperly and isn't the godsend it's supposed to be. Your baby will be VERY soothed (I call it the "hush up" button because when baby is in sling snugged up to me, he's calm and quiet, and I have two hands free to get stuff done and we're both much happier). I can send you one of mine and help you use it properly (I actually sell them, but it doesn't matter, my youngest is the only one that still fits in (and is the opposite of my first, he wants to be down and crawling, not in my arms for long) and I have a ton of slings I used with my 3 boys in great shape, so I'm happy to give you one of mine, they're very cool patterns). Really, a sling will help, it saved my sanity with my 3 boys. Also, the Rescue Remedy that someone suggested is also a great idea. PM me if you want the sling (we're done having babies and I'd love to give it to you, I'm clearing out all the excess baby stuff we've had over the years since we're moving to the next stage of their lives).

You'll do great! Just keep up the dialogue with us all, we're here to support you and it WILL get better!
Peace and love,
Erin
post #1086 of 1766
Quote:
I feel very trapped by my daughter. She is my jailer and tormenter. Each cry, scream, late night, moment of hair pulling, lip tugging, face raking is another lash across my back and bar in my prison. Everyone expects me to keep a clean house with minimal laundry about, no dishes in the sink, cook dinner, etc. with a baby that can't stand not being held. I barely eat anymore because I can't put her down. I resent nursing because there's so much I could do instead and she's always kicking and pulling on me and it HURTS.
When you want to hit her just walk away each and every time. Many, many hugs. I can relate to this whole paragraph, I so understand and have been there. I've wanted to shake and hit my babies. I swear, when I was in the moment it seemed like the little devils were doing it on purpose! :

I understand what you are talking about when she hits and pinches you. When dd was about 6 months old and I was nursing her she bit down one time and pulled HARD on my nipple, like a dog playing tug o'war. I hate to say it, but that was it. I quit nursing shortly after that. I have very little patience for continual little abuses on my body. I am by no means suggesting you quit nursing! I'm just relating my similar experience.

Your dh comes home exhausted after working 12 hours a day, but you are working 24/7, and you are in a bad place. Even though he's exhausted, maybe he could take the baby every evening, take over completely so you can just go away. Let him wrestle with his daughter for a while. Take a long shower and read, paint your toe nails, talk to a friend on the phone, play with makeup, spend time at MDC, go to the mall. Don't let your daughter see you. You are off duty for an hour, better yet, two hours. He can do this every night after work. Again, yes, he's exhausted, but so are you.
post #1087 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Mama, those are some difficult and scary emotions. What are you doing for self-care? When I am my least patient, is when I am most needy. Protein first thing in the morning makes a huge difference to my whole day. Keeping a glass of water filled and drinking it frequently helps my patience also. Just getting outside in the fresh air and jumping up and down, or breathing deeply, helps the intensity to pass.
Not much to be honest. I eat about 1x/day and that's because I cook dinner for MIL and DH. At that point, she's in the high chair right next to me and than I walk her around until DH's done eating so I can than sit down and eat because she hates being confined in the high chair. Most of the time, I'm holding her, playing w/her, and she's always right next to me. The weather's starting to break so I can take walks w/her which I hope will help. I can't even drink something because she's tries to bat at it and take it out of my mouth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Those first 6 months were so hard for me too. Learning that I didn't have to do everything perfectly...or else. I grew up with the threat of punishment; and everyone's anger or demands felt like DANGER. When ds would cry, I'd feel that same DEMAND, OR ELSE!
That's about where I'm at. It's all this demanding on me and no time for me, ever. I'm the one w/the boobs so where I go, so must she.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Get some Rescue Remedy from a natural food store. It literally has saved my sanity. I also got personal counseling about those feelings of rage toward my child. When he was about 15-18 months old, he'd grab my legs and I'd feel that trapped feeling. It'd trigger my fight or flight reflex. I wanted to throw him off of me. I realized that he was just a baby wanting his mama. But, the DEMAND of it seemed overwhelming. There is a saying 'When we have children, we are awoken to the pain of our past and must seek to heal it, or we inflict it on our children.' Mama, please seek support. The cycle of abuse can be broken. It starts with loving and gently caring for your Self. You deserve to be supported gently. So does your baby.

I would ask your doctor about something to help you with what sounds like PPD. Here is a little quiz to help you see how you feel about it. http://www.testandcalc.com/etc/tests/edin.asp
I'm in counseling for the PPD. My counselor is out of town for the next couple of weeks though to speak at some conference in DC so I don't get to see him as I normally do 1x/week. I do want to break the cycle. I don't want to be my mom who threw me at my dad when he hit the door, telling him to "take the little bitch". It's just all I seem to know lately. All my high aims of being a better mother seem to just vanish into thin air when she's screaming at me or kicking me while I'm trying to dress her, etc. Like the other day, I'm trying to put pants on her and she's kicking my hands and arms and I smacked her leg. I was instantly ashamed of what I did and apologized to her over and over but it was already done, I can't take any of it back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
There's also a PPD forum here for moms who think they have PPD or know they do:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...splay.php?f=28

"Natural remedies for PPD" thread. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...tural+remedies

Most pregnant and nursing women are deficient in magnesium. I use Natural Calm magnesium supplements for help with hormonal balance.
I will have to look those over. I'm also trying to get the NP at the counselor's office to prescribe me a non-stimulant for ADHD but so far no dice. Only way that'll happen is if I wean and I'm not gonna do that. I'll look into asking DH to pick me up some magnesium tablets as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Mama, who is telling you everything has to be done? And could you delegate some of the household care, get a mother's helper, get a babysitter or family to give you 30-60 minutes several times a week? How is your sleep? Perhaps, we could help with suggestions with ideas about delegating, caregivers, sleep, etc. Keep talking to us. Knowing that others have been through this and it will get better and easier helps. It will be ok. You are safe.


Pat
Both my MIL and my DH expect me to have all the housework done "since I'm home all day" and MIL works from home but she's working. Can't exactly ask her to help me tackle everything and since it's her house, she's always kept it pretty spotless so I'm expected to do the same. To be honest, I'm a cluttered person. I don't mind clutter but she does and thus, I have to keep up on it more than I'm used to and I cook in the evening for everyone and eat a bit but if baby girl's crying, I stop eating and go take care of her. Delegating really isn't much of an option since MIL works and so does DH so it pretty much falls to me.
post #1088 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurumiSophia View Post
I found this thread and I'm ashamed to say that I, too, have a problem with parenting and rage.

It kills me inside because my daughter isn't even 6m old and I'm already finding myself screaming at her or even hitting her when my anger hits a peak. I hate it. I hate myself for it. And yet there I am, doing it again and again.

You can stop. You CAN stop. You can stop right now. You have to believe this before it can be true. Don't tell yourself you'll try. Tell yourself you will, tell yourself you ARE DOING IT.

I feel very trapped by my daughter. She is my jailer and tormenter. Each cry, scream, late night, moment of hair pulling, lip tugging, face raking is another lash across my back and bar in my prison.

I know. My 3rd child is like this. (She is getting much easier now at a year.) She won't always be like this. When she does things like this, put her down if you have to. It is ALWAYS BETTER to CIO than to hit or yell. Always. Always. If you want to hold her, say out loud, "You are precious, you are sacred." Say this. Tell her. Tell yourself. You might not believe it in the moment, but it is always true. Say it over and over again-- out loud.

Everyone expects me to keep a clean house with minimal laundry about, no dishes in the sink, cook dinner, etc. with a baby that can't stand not being held.

No. Get those voices out of your head. If anyone says anything, say nothing. Look at your daughter. I promise you, those things are not important.

I barely eat anymore because I can't put her down.

You have to eat. Even if she cries, you have to eat. Put her down if you need to.



I resent nursing because there's so much I could do instead and she's always kicking and pulling on me and it HURTS.

Have you started her on solids? My DD was much fussier and difficult to nurse around that age, so I started her on solids. I know I don't have low supply, but she just needed/wanted more.

Every time she cries, I hear my mother telling me to give her something to cry about. And I am ashamed to say that sometimes I listen. I have screamed at my daughter in her face to shut up and I have left her to CIO because I know if I don't, I will hurt her.

Tell yourself-- my past may EXPLAIN my behavior, but it NEVER EVER EXCUSES it. This is not meant to make you feel guilty, but to say, "This was my past-- but it is NOT MY FUTURE."

I know where its coming from. I was raised in an abusive home, I don't know any other way to react. I am doing my best to learn GD but it's so hard right now. All I want to do is just runaway.

Run away in whatever way you can-- if it is possible to get a break from her, take it. If not, go with her. Find groups (not necessarily AP-- whatever is around), go for a walk, read, think, plan.

Music-- turn it on. TV-- turn it on if that helps. Put yourself in survival mode, while keeping your eye on the prize (your daughter).

MANY hugs. My PMs are always open to you!

Hugs, hugs, hugs!
post #1089 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by caspian's mama View Post


f* the laundry and dishes.

f* "expectations" of others.

get a sling and carry your baby all the time. sit and play with her and neglect the housework around you to the highest extent allowed by standard decency. she's only 6mos old, so that means someone else should be there helping you pick up the slack as you try to reconnect with your precious child. if you don't have anyone, it can wait. better a sink full of dishes than acting towards your kid in ways you regret.
I wish I was allowed to just say bugger all to the housework. I'm just not allowed. Between MIL and DH working, I'm the one who's stuck doing the housework. I slacked off a lot about a week back and MIL made a comment about calling the BIL to help her clean which was basically a swipe at me because I obviously wasn't keeping up on it so I buckled down and got everything done but it was a very stressful weekend. So I HAVE to stay on top of it.

I have a MayaWrap but my shoulder aches badly if I wear her in it for more than an hour or so. (That and she's trying to stand in the darn thing which I'm sure doesn't bode well.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by caspian's mama View Post
and she's not your jailer, but i know what you mean. take her out everywhere with you, even if it's just a short walk around the block. if you bring her to a restaurant and she cries and annoys the other patrons, too f*ing bad. you're bonding with your baby and nothing else should stop that.

be well. this journey isn't easy.
She does go everywhere w/me. Not that I do much outside the house anyways since its been so cold. It's quite a hike to the closest bus stop but the weather's broken so I can take her on walkabout. I just have having to navigate the stroller in the street since half the way to "civilization" has no sidewalks, yanno?
post #1090 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingRedhead View Post
I second the idea of a sling--do you have one? There are a ton to choose from out there, but the best one (in my opinion) is an unpadded sling because it's more versatile. You can carry the baby while nursing and getting stuff done, to snuggle and sleep in while you're doing stuff, or the classic hip carry and it won't hurt your back. The most important thing is to have someone show you (or talk you through it) how to use it, otherwise it ends up being put on improperly and isn't the godsend it's supposed to be. Your baby will be VERY soothed (I call it the "hush up" button because when baby is in sling snugged up to me, he's calm and quiet, and I have two hands free to get stuff done and we're both much happier). I can send you one of mine and help you use it properly (I actually sell them, but it doesn't matter, my youngest is the only one that still fits in (and is the opposite of my first, he wants to be down and crawling, not in my arms for long) and I have a ton of slings I used with my 3 boys in great shape, so I'm happy to give you one of mine, they're very cool patterns). Really, a sling will help, it saved my sanity with my 3 boys. Also, the Rescue Remedy that someone suggested is also a great idea. PM me if you want the sling (we're done having babies and I'd love to give it to you, I'm clearing out all the excess baby stuff we've had over the years since we're moving to the next stage of their lives).

You'll do great! Just keep up the dialogue with us all, we're here to support you and it WILL get better!
Peace and love,
Erin
I have a MayaWrap but it hurts my shoulder if I wear her in it more than an hour or so. It doesn't help that she tries to stand up in it. *eep* I somehow don't see that ending well, yanno? I've been shopping around for a different one but I don't have many options where I live so I've been browsing online but wish for a way to try one on to make sure it'd work for me and see that the learning curve isn't too steep.
post #1091 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurumiSophia View Post
I have a MayaWrap but it hurts my shoulder if I wear her in it more than an hour or so.
Get something for 2 shoulders-- a wrap or mei tai. I think mei tai to start. Learning to do a back carry will CHANGE YOUR LIFE! I can't still get everything done, but it is much better. Just pick one-- get a used one-- and go. It will work. There are differences in MTs, but not so drastic that one won't work. My favorite is the EllaRoo deluxe, but I think a Babyhawk would be good, too. Really, just get one!!! Check on thebabywearer.com for local help.
post #1092 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
Get something for 2 shoulders-- a wrap or mei tai. I think mei tai to start. Learning to do a back carry will CHANGE YOUR LIFE! I can't still get everything done, but it is much better. Just pick one-- get a used one-- and go. It will work. There are differences in MTs, but not so drastic that one won't work. My favorite is the EllaRoo deluxe, but I think a Babyhawk would be good, too. Really, just get one!!! Check on thebabywearer.com for local help.
I've been eyeballing both a Moby and a Mei Tai but am unsure of the Moby's learning curve. (Not that I'm sure the Moby'd be good in summer since we have two temps here in Indy during the summer, Roast and Hellfire.)

I'll look around on thebabywearer and see if there are any local that could help. Ty.
post #1093 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurumiSophia View Post
I've been eyeballing both a Moby and a Mei Tai but am unsure of the Moby's learning curve. (Not that I'm sure the Moby'd be good in summer since we have two temps here in Indy during the summer, Roast and Hellfire.)

I'll look around on thebabywearer and see if there are any local that could help. Ty.
I would not recommend a Moby for you. I own one and love it, but I think it is best as a front-carry wrap only . . .and really, having the option to do a back carry is so important. For that, you need a woven wrap. If you live where it is really hot and want a wrap, go for an EllaRoo wrap. Get one used-- cheaper AND much softer if it has been worn.

If your DD is super fussy, though, I do recommend a mei tai for a beginner (with a fussy baby) for back carries. Once you get the concept down, I'd move onto a wrap. I think a wrap can be just as easy for a back carry, but not if you have the double whammy of being new to the idea + having a super squirmy baby who might fling herself off.

You may even have a local group, and that way you can try before you buy!
post #1094 of 1766
you may know this already, but your MIL and spouse are being COMPLETELY UNREASONABLE. it is NOT your job to clean anyone's house when you have a 6mo old, unless you're getting paid for it. your ONLY job that matters right now is MOMMY. we had to live with my mother when ds was small. i get how horrible it is to live under someone else's financial thumb. but if you are hitting your infant, that is the NUMBER ONE PRIORITY in your home, mama. the rest of your house should be in crisis mode around you, to support you enough to at least get past this stage. if they can't get that, you can request a family therapy session where it can be laid out more clearly.

i second the mei teis.

also, i would advise against magnesium tablets. they have a harder time breaking down, esp the OTC ones that might have all kinds of shady glazes and such. the powdered form is more absorbable overall and has the added bonus of kicking in more quickly. natural calm that pat recommended is nice, as is ionic fizz (my ds loves the flavor of that one), but a store brand of that should be fine too.
post #1095 of 1766

Wish that I'd had more to say

...but I'd love to tell you MIL to sod off.

Could you and your little one get away for the weekend...even if just down the street to a well loved relatives house?
post #1096 of 1766
Not to judge, but what does your husband have to say about your MIL treating you this way??? It's HIS mother and HE should be supporting you in the house, even if that means displeasing his mother. I mean, you've got enough to worry about with your own mother and taking care of your baby than pleasing his mother! Be strong, you're going to get through this!
post #1097 of 1766
Wow, had I not found this today, I'm not sure I wouldn't have done something awful. I have a rage problem. I come by it honestly. My mom, my dad, and my brother all have the same problem. I am incredibly angry with my kids as of late. My ds doesn't sleep, but instead of being understanding, I want to throw him at the wall (I haven't done that yet). Instead, I leave him in the bed, where he won't sleep and let him cry, and think, "Serves you right you little jerk." I've even said it. He's 6 months old. My mom used to say stuff like that all the time. She is my best friend, now, but when we fight, we still say mean things. I say the same mean things to my 2 yo and my dh. I hate myself for not being able to control myself when I say them. I don't mean them. I never mean them. I just feel it then and I say it. I want to stop the cycle. I don't want my dd to grow up wondering when she is going to get hit or when her mama will say something awful.

I've spent the better part of today crying about how lousy I am as a parent. Yesterday I actually spanked dd. This has happened more than once. But this time I was completely out of control, yelling at her, when I spanked her. I immediately felt awful but instead, I said, "Are you happy now?" and walked off. Why would I do this? And what's to stop me from the next timedoing worse? I'm not afraid for their physical safety (like I woudl never throw my son against the wall)--but I am afraid for their mental stability--again, I want the cycle to end here.

Anyway, I am going to stick around here, if y'all don't mind.
post #1098 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingRedhead View Post
Not to judge, but what does your husband have to say about your MIL treating you this way??? It's HIS mother and HE should be supporting you in the house, even if that means displeasing his mother. I mean, you've got enough to worry about with your own mother and taking care of your baby than pleasing his mother! Be strong, you're going to get through this!
Yes, this. He needs to remember that you and his daughter are his first priority now. He might think it's difficult to disagree with her while living in her home, but that doesn't excuse him.
post #1099 of 1766
Hey ForestryMom,
It's okay, many of us, including me, have been through this/are going through something similar. I went off the deep end today when my oldest would not calm down after freaking out about some toy that his brother took, I tried everything and then I started screaming at him and spanked him, hard. I felt awful, but I know what you mean about wanting to say something mean. You're aware it's a problem, you're aware that it's not okay, and that's the first step. Let's all just keep together, support one another and take it easy on ourselves. We're not perfect and we're learning. I don't think it works to say to yourself, "I'm not going to ever let this happen again." Because it does happen. Maybe it helps to realize what our triggers are and focus on something like, "The next time _____ happens, I will not react with rage. Instead, I will do _____." Try to plan your response (a calmer response) to whatever sets you off.

I know, it's hard when your baby is screaming and your toddler is running around making mischief/going nuts. You've got a lot of demands on you. When you feel very, very angry, please put the baby down. It's okay for him to cry it out, if the alternative means hurting him. Usually a few minutes away, taking deep breaths and a mental "reset" helps. I know what it's like to have your baby not sleep--I thought #2 was going to kill me. But it WILL get better, I promise, it will. Please keep talking to us, we're here to support one another. Be strong!
post #1100 of 1766
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingRedhead View Post
Maybe it helps to realize what our triggers are and focus on something like, "The next time _____ happens, I will not react with rage. Instead, I will do _____." Try to plan your response (a calmer response) to whatever sets you off.
One way I have managed to keep myself from ever spanking (and I am almost afraid to write that, as though I will jinx myself) is to give myself this rule: I will not touch my child when I am angry. That gives you "permission" to be angry, but not permission to touch your child out of anger.

My enemy has been yelling-- and to a child, "yelling" is not necessarily about raising your voice. Yelling can mean criticizing, blaming, and all of those horrible things. I used to think, well, at least I've never spanked, but honestly, I think the verbal stuff is WORSE. So, I think it's wise to not even talk (for me) when I am mad. I tell my children that I need a time out, and I go away for a few minutes for something mindless.

What has really, really, really helped me is the following:
(1) Developing appropriate expectations for my children (which is always hardest with your first-born, I think )

(2) Noticing when I am on the VERGE of getting mad. Sometimes it is just so hard to stop myself once I am already mad (not saying it is impossible, but it just 1000 times harder). Over time, I have found patterns . . .not anything the kids do, but patterns within myself (esp. being hungry, so I eat often!) and that has been extremely helpful. I am so predictable, thank goodness.

(3) Humor and hugging. If I can force myself to make a joke, even when I feel like crying instead of laughing, miracles happen. Truly. It doesn't even have to be really funny. It can be something ridiculous. Playing, playing, playing-- being so silly even when I don't feel like it brings us all to a good place. Sometimes, I force myself to SMILE if I can't think of anything. That helps a lot. It is hard to be mad with a stupid grin on my face! And the hugging . . .it is very hard to be mad at anyone when I have a kid on my lap snuggled up. (The hugging is better left for on the verge of being mad, not actually mad.)

(4) The reminder: Does whatever is happening now really matter? Usually the answer is no.

(5) The awareness that problems tend to arise when I am not present in some way with my children. Generally, when I am truly present with them, we all feel better. I kind of look at labor as an analogy. Say you are in labor but don't feel the contractions. Then all of a sudden, BOOM, BOOM-- they are full force. You had no time to "ease" into them, to prepare, and to plan. Same with being present . . .if you are not with your kids (I don't mean just physically) and a problem arises, you are thrown into the situation and have not had time to plan what you'll do, or even better, prevent the problem from becoming a problem. I find I am more likely to go from 0 to 60 in a few seconds when I have not been really present. So, if I sense something coming on, I remind myself-- "Hey, if I just spend some time BEING THERE right now with my child(ren), this situation will diffuse." If we go read a book, I hug them, or we turn on the radio and dance, that usually helps.

(6) The realization that to my kids, nothing else really matters except having parents who are loving. Nothing. Not a spotless house, not activities, new "anything", etc. This is not to say that I don't strive for a clean house, plan things, get them things, but if ANY of these things interfere with our relationship, then it's time to step back and put things into perspective.

(7) Babysteps. Don't worry about yesterday or tomorrow, just focus on this minute-- again, becoming PRESENT. I think presence is the best present, if I may be so corny!

(8) Apologizing. When I've yelled (again, this does not have to even mean raising my voice), I apologize. I clearly say "Look, I did X, and that was wrong. I was wrong. I am so sorry. Next time I will do ___."

forestrymom, re: the no sleeping thing. Oh, mama. I have been there with all three of my kids and am there now with my youngest. My best advice is to not fight it. If he stays up late, set yourself up so that you can be with him, but that you can have a mindless distraction like TV. Don't even expect him to sleep. That sounds ridiculous, but that mindset completely changed my life. Once I stopped expecting my oldest to sleep, life changed. She still didn't sleep (she sleeps great now!) but I made peace with it. Ditto for my toddler . . . who sleeps well now, too (but still co-sleeps). I had to stop reading any sort of books, even AP ones about sleep. And I got really good at finding little ways to nap!
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