Bringing up a child can be really hard work. I'm one of four, and all of us were all born within five years. Four kids of five and under is challenging at the best of times, and I have a hunch that my siblings and I were perhaps that little bit more challenging than the majority of youngsters.
But my mom was excellent at keeping her stuff together. It would take a lot to shake her so she'd explode. But sometimes it did happen, and we would get a slap on the bum or our mouths washed out with soap.
Looking back and remembering her sad face as I or one of my siblings misbehaved, I feel bloody terrible and I wish so much that I'd been better for her.
In this article, we introduce 15 moms who have struggled with controlling their emotions when their child has been acting up. In some instances it has to do with mental health illness, in other instances it's because child rearing is tough!
Don't worry mamas - there are lots of us in the exact same boat!
15I Don't Know How To Stop These Feelings
Our first mom (who wishes to remain anonymous) was having an especially trying day with her baby daughter. When mom tried to settle baby down for the umpteenth time, something in her head shifted, and she felt this awful, overwhelming urge to hurt her child.
"I just feel I'm about to lose it sometimes and don't know how to stop these feelings. I don't know how on earth I can feel like this tbh and am so incredibly ashamed and wracked with guilt. I'm scared I will actually hurt her one day if I'm feeling particularly tired or fed up.
I'm staying with my parents and I think it's almost making it worse, I feel like I have to keep up the pretense of keeping it together when all I want to do is cry and fling the baby out the window."
14I Imagine Terrible Things
As someone who also suffers with mental health issues, this next account really touched a nerve. The poor mom in this story was diagnosed with Psychotic Disorder, however is unable to afford to buy the medication she needs to keep her well.
The fact that she's unable to get her hands on the medication that helps her - and will inevitably help her child - is a disgusting, harrowing failure by the health services.
She says, "When my 3 year old cries I picture doing things like hitting him and slapping him. I cry when he stops because I can’t believe that I could think of such a thing but I do. He screams for hours sometimes, for no reason and if you ask him he won’t talk to you. Sometimes he cries until he throws up on himself."
13My Baby Picked Up On My Anger
Babies can pick up on all sorts of things, and they're especially good at sensing when you're stressed or angry. (For the record moms, your emotions are very contagious.) On the first day she felt angry with her baby, one mom went online to vent, and look for guidance and support.
"I was looking for some answers as today it was the first time I felt angry at my 3 month old baby. I was so frustrated and sleep deprived than when I picked him up to soothe him I did it so roughly that he picked up on my anger and started crying even more.
Eventually I realised I wasn’t going to get him to sleep the normal way, so I put him the sling and started walking around the house. he was asleep in no time and gave me an opportunity to breathe. I am so ashamed of how I felt."
12I Said Sorry To God For Hurting Him
The first year as a mom is especially trying. Your baby relies on you for everything. It's no wonder so many moms find themselves right on the edge when it comes to their patience. Dize Cruz felt so ashamed of herself for what she did to her one year old daughter, that she apologised to God.
"I feel sad and bad about the harsh things I’ve done with my one year old daughter. This past few weeks, we’re always fighting because she was so stubborn. I slapped her legs hard many times and one time while she’s taking a bath I threw waters on her face. I did all of that because of my angriness.
I think if she could only talk she will say “Mom how could you do this to me? I’m your daughter!!”. I really felt so bad. I said sorry to God for hurting His angel."
11I Could See Myself Doing It
While Net Mums forum user Sleepy's husband takes time off work to help her with their newborn and three year old, she still finds herself getting angry with their baby.
"Last night I found myself getting so angry with my 11 week old that I was picturing myself throwing him across the room. Shaking with anger, I strapped him into his changing table and woke up my husband.
Telling him how I felt was a bad idea, he told me I shouldn’t say those things. In the middle of the night I feel a lot of resentment towards my husband. Sometimes when I am sitting with the wide awake baby for a couple of hours and hearing him snoring away I want to throw something at him. I feel like an immature child who can’t deal with emotions!"
10I Think About It All The Time
I was diagnosed with bi-polar several years ago, and have only been off my medication for a brief time since then - not a good idea. So I can understand (to a degree because I haven't given birth yet) what bi-polar sufferer Britt9897, who isn't currently taking medication, is going through with her horrible, intrusive thoughts.
"My 1 year old son cries all the time. My parents got him used to being carried more then what I can manage. Sometimes it gets so bad I can’t help but yelling at him to “shut up” even though I know he has no clue what it means. I think about doing horrible things to him… Then I get mad at myself for those thoughts. I don’t know if my thoughts stem from my disability or just me."
9I Know The Darkness
In the throes of postpartum psychosis at the age of 19, Maggie Ethridge would imagine her baby gone - and would feel nothing.
"One morning, I was lying in the upstairs bedroom with my son. I held him in my arms and looked out the sliding glass balcony door, admiring the view, humming to my baby.
I saw a hummingbird among the flower blooms of my mother’s garden, and then: the image of my son flying over the balcony, and the long, horrifying unfurling of nothingness inside of me, no morality, no emotion, no connection to life or any of its concerns, just a cold and impassive tug, that same kind of hard yank that pulled me fully into life with his birth. I felt a mental and physical sensation to let him go over the balcony — to drop him. I imagined my baby gone, and I felt nothing."
8At Night I Hate Him
When a new mom doesn't get any sleep night after night after night, it is all too easy to imagine her getting to the end of her tether and feeling the desire to cause some harm to her little one. This is what happened to one horribly frustrated and exhausted parent who'll remain anonymous.
"I love him when I'm awake and trying to function normally but at night when he wakes me yet another time I [effing] hate him, I hate him I hate him I hate him, I have to put him down before I do something terrible to him.
I wanted this baby so much and here I am now talking about killing him but he will kill me with exhaustion otherwise so it's me or him really, no one cares how I feel in all this, I need to protect myself, he's thriving while I'm wasting away. "
7I Got Really Rough
Every single parent will tell you that sleep becomes the most precious thing when you have a baby - following the child, of course. Scared/Angry Mom found her patience with her baby running out as the hours she didn't sleep increased.
"When my baby was first born I was able to keep very calm when he screamed but as the sleep debt increased I would find myself getting more and more frustrated at him not going to sleep or screaming at me….
I would get really rough with how I picked him up and squeeze him hard in a hug and I could feel that a part of me wanted to hurt him but my love for him thankfully would win out. I finally managed to get my anger back under control when I asked for help."
6I Wanted To End It
Severe depression can lead to new moms struggling to feel a connection with their child. They can love their child, but the connection just doesn't manifest. This is what happened to a 36 year old mom of a 6 month old little girl.
"I have NO connection whatsoever to my daughter. I do love her and I know this. I know it deep inside. But, I don’t love her the way a new mother should. Before she was born, my sister overheard my 80 year old grandmother tell my father the day she learned I was pregnant that 'some people just aren’t cut out to be parents.'
That hurt. A LOT. It stuck with me. After she was born, I went through SEVERE depression and had bad thoughts about my child. There was even a point when I was having visions of drowning my child in the tub."
5I Feel Like A Prisoner
Journalist Gill Tones suffered not only from post-natal depression, but from obsessive compulsive disorder too. When it started to get really bad, Gill would think about flinging her newborn child out of her arms and down onto the hard, cold floor. Thankfully she asked for help at the right time, and was eventually able to recover.
"I tried very hard to be the ‘normal’ me but I became reclusive, a prisoner of panic, shaking, crying on occasion; this was before I had even given birth. It came like a slap in the face at seven months pregnant and remained until I sought help about 10 weeks later. It became clear that this wasn’t just a case of the ‘baby blues’. I was fearful of spending any time with my baby and my older son because I didn’t trust myself not to hurt them."
4I Don't Think I Would Ever Do It
Tiredness has been a reoccurring theme throughout this feature. For Cat211 when her 8 month old suddenly refused to sleep properly, she started to feel like she was having a mental breakdown.
"At first I could handle it but for the past couple of weeks I can't, I think I'm having a mental breakdown, I cry a lot and I always have thoughts of just throwing Evie when she won't sleep, I feel horrible having these thoughts and I'd never do it, but I'm scared I don't know what to do.
My boyfriend tries to help so I can get some sleep but I can't even sleep even though I'm exhausted. I know I should see a doctor but I'm scared to tell anyone how I'm feeling even my boyfriend, in case they take my baby away from me for being a bad mother."
3I Was Really Tempted...
As hard as it might be, the best thing that you can do if you've been having thoughts about harming your child, is to tell your partner about them and what they've been telling you to do. Don't worry about what they might think.
This is what Baby Center forum user deemon did, and then, whenever the thoughts would pop up, she would hand the baby over to her partner so that she was able to get some shut eye.
"I used to have imagine throwing my baby through the window when she wasn't sleeping well too (so I wasn't sleeping either) If my partner was home id give her to him then I'd say I'm having these thoughts so just take her just to be safe (even though I knew I wouldn't)."
2I Can't Stand My Son
I can't imagine how hard it must be to be a single mom. And it's even harder to imagine what it would be like to be in Jennamcq's shoes, as a single mother with no family support and severe depression.
"I am a single young mom, completely on my own. My family does not speak to me. My sons father left me at 30 weeks pregnant for another woman. When he left I was treated for depression due to suicidal thoughts.
Every time my son cries, I grit my teeth. I can't stand him. I feel no emotional attachment at all and often wonder how I would react to this death. The majority of the time I leave him in his crib, all day. I do not want to be one of those mothers in the news for hurting their child but sometimes I just don't know what to do."
1It's Too Hard...
If you're experiencing any negative thoughts about your child, aside from calling your doctor, asking for help online can be an effective source of help. Carolina put out the post below, and her postpartum depression was picked up on immediately.
"I have a 5 months old little girl. She is very active since she was born and doesn't sleep much. I'm a very impatient person and things are getting very difficult. When she cries a lot and I'm tired or I don't know why she's crying I get very angry and start behaving very badly.
I haven´t got to hurt her, but sometimes I scream or grab her quick and that scares her.
I have very bad thoughts like leaving her with her dad. I feel very guilty because that and my moods are very low always. I feel I did a mistake having a baby but then I always wanted to be a mum!"
Sources: Parenting.com, MumsNet.com, BabyCenter.com
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