Wednesday, June 07, 2006

we all want to beat our kids sometimes

if you haven't read this post by amalah.. go read it now. i'll wait. *twiddles fingers*

when blake was a baby he wouldn't sleep. and i mean that it was a struggle to get him to go to bed every.single.night before midnight. i tried the crying it out thing. he just sat in there and cried. he wouldn't get out of his bed (oh yeah, i forgot to mention that this went on until he turned 5 and started "real" school) but he would be awake. crying. yelling. singing. talking. laughing. anything, but sleeping. and if you're like me at all, you need some "me" time everynight if possible. i couldn't relax and unwind from my day at work until blake was asleep. and if that didn't happen until midnight... well, let's say you had a very tired single mom the next morning. and the next. and the next. it seriously got to the point that i didn't want to come home from work sometimes. because i had to go home to a kid who would not sleep. a kid who simply wasn't tired at 9.. was definitely tired by 10, but would fight it with every ounce of his being... and who was still fucking awake by the time 11 rolled around. i think he was trying to kill me. or maybe he wanted me to kill him.

there were days that i could deal with his constant bullshit. there were. but there were also days that i wanted to throw him into a wall. i just wanted him to stop crying and sleep. for the love of my fucking sanity, just GO TO SLEEP. but he wouldn't. and so there were times that i had to open the door to my condo, walk outside, and sit on the steps. and i would cry. and i wanted to yank my out all of my fucking hair because i was just so frustrated. and i had no one to call. and i had no help. and i just couldn't take it. and i didn't know how to fix it. and no matter what i did, it just never got better. and i am not joking when i tell you that this literally happened every single day for 5 years. it's a wonder we made it this far alive.

i guess my whole point is that we've all been there. well, at least i have. been through times where you think about doing something drastic to your child. you want to scream. yell. shake them. toss them. lock them in a closet. give them to a neighbor. run away. but you don't. you don't do any of those things. but you think about it. and then those thoughts torture you, because you wrack yourself with so much guilt for even thinking those thoughts. nevermind all it took to push you to that point. you still are a terrible mother for having those thoughts, right? i don't think so. i just think you're human. we're moms. we're people. we're freaking complicated and emotional women. and we can't handle it all, all the time. and i really hate when other women try to act so goddammed perfect all the time. like they never lose their temper. and always keep their cool, no matter what happens. i think the only people who do that are robots..... and they're not people! amalah was so right on when she said that if no one tells you that it's normal to feel this way sometimes, you'd never know. you'd think you're always supposed to be perfect. but it's so not realistic. at all. and even though i'm telling you that it's okay to want to do something to make your child stop (not that i said it's okay to do it), you will still beat yourself up for even having the thought even enter your mind. and that's not something i can help you with. because you're a woman. and well, i think it's part of what we do.

34 comments:

Stephanie A. said...

One time I was trying to change Hugo at 3am and I grabbed his arm, squeezed it and yelled "Hugo!" and I felt so badly about it for days. But when you're going on so little sleep for so long and you're in charge of this baby, but not completely in control of him and his actions, well, frustration is going to happen. At some point we all lose it.

And yes, you're right... we feel guilty because we're women.

cmhl said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh I understand... believe me.

my 2nd was so much worse than my first. I woudl go to bed at night, just on edge, dreading it.. I remember laying in bed thinking PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE quit crying.. and she never would. I am so glad I'm past those days for the most part..

Becky said...

when hannah was a baby i can't even count how many times i wanted to call someoen to take her from me. i called matt crying at nite when she was 2 weeks old telling him to come home, i made a mistake, i can't be a mom and i was sick of this kid. and it got better. but yeah, even now, when hannah does stuff that makes me SO mad, i can't even stand to look at her. and i dont wanna talk to her. and i tell her that. and yes i feel bad but they're people too. and just cuz i birthed her doesn't mean she wont irritate or piss me off like anyone else and i too would need a break from her just like anyone else. i TOTALLY agree with this and any woman who says she's carried out her master plan she had before she had a kid is a whack job. i said so many things i would and would'tn do with hannah and then when she was here its like all that is out the window. you dont know how your kid will be. hannah never slept. ever. unless we were holding her. or she was in bed with us. and so i either had to listen to her cry all nite OR put her in bed and we all got some sleep. so yeah she's still in bed with us. and i'm not too upset about it to be honest. because i know i get sleep now and i did back then when all the books told me to not do that. the authors and mothers who think they know it all and have the nerve to tell you you're a bad mom or that you dont know can fuck themselves. AND all the people who dont have kids and yet have opinions on how what you should do with your kid can REALLY fuck themselves.

lol i'm done now

Anonymous said...

My oldest Jacob, is the worst at going to bed and staying there. He is six and I just wish he would not be afraid or whatever it is. I don't want him in bed with me, I need my space and my time. My youngest Hannah, who is two, slept great from day one, then had to be in the hospital for RSV last December. Since then, sleep is hard for her and she is getting much better, but it is still a struggle.
Sorry, I am babbling, I am on Pain Killers because of this stupid cervical cancer shit.
It gets better with each kid, that is my point! You aren't crazy, just a normal mom and we are all right there with ya!!

Luanne :)

ginger incognito said...

We all have these kinds of stories, and that's the funny part of all this. We can all say, "Oh, yes, I've done [something similar]!" And no one ever told us that beforehand. No one ever said, "And when she's six weeks old and you haven't slept since she came home from the hospital, you'll want to lock yourself in the garage where it's quiet and nap for a few days." Because if they did, no one would ever have kids.

Now that's she's 3, I don't beat myself up over it anymore. However, I still offer to give her to the gypsies. Because, you know, they only take the annoying ones (see Shel Silverstein). But I don't feel bad when I say it because I know I don't really want to give her to the gypsies. Well . . . not entirely.

Melissa said...

Hey girl, I get it....I ran away from home for 4 days when Maya was about 2 months old. Just threw her at Hubby when he got home and left. Talk about feeling guilty.

But, everyone has those days. EVERYONE. And you're right, we don't talk about it. When I write letters to my kids or write my 100 things list, it is not something I would want mentioned.

kim said...

been there done that .. got the t-shirt and wore it out !! i have the baby terror now and havent slept in over 2 years, hes defiant and hard headed, difficult, a curtain climber and rugrat AND he doesnt sleep! some of the things ive thought about doing arent pretty at all ... and i hated myself for not being better at this mom thing because ive done it before and it was easier *sigh* im glad were girls and were normal :)

Alison said...

I think the biggest problem is running out of patience. I get so tired of putting the same damn toys in the same damn basket 5 times a day. I get so angry when I have to ask my son to do something 5 times before he even budges. I can only take the high-pitched squeals and screaming for so long...and the squabbling between siblings is so annoying after awhile...it just wears on you and you wish for 5 minutes of PEACE AND QUIET, thank you! Of course I always feel guilty when they're taking their nap and looking oh-so-sweet. And then I run out to get the mail and there's the St. Jude's Children's Hospital envelope, and I think to myself, SHIT---what am I complaining ABOUT????

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the supportive words, Jenn. Ironically today was almost exactly one of those days as Amalah had described. I can't even begin to tell you what a roller coaster wreck I've been since this afternoon when Jordan returned home from school. My patience is worn so thin from so little sleep, and having Jasmyn in my arms practically all day that I feel like I'm screaming inside. I've had a few outbursts with Jordan lately and ALWAYS end up crying over the guilt. And then it spills into my relationship with hubby.

I'm just glad to have heard your and Amalah's words today to let me know that it is normal, and that we all go through it at some point. Somehow, though, the guilt just doesn't seem to go away.

gray_brandi said...

I was happy to read your post as I have never shared the feelings of desperation with anyone! I always felt I was a shitty mom if I felt like squeezing the shit out of my screaming kid..or pulling my hair out. My oldest cried ALOT.. my 2nd was pretty good.. but then I had twins a year later.. That period of time has all become a blur.. running on empty... I do agree that the guilt of having "bad" feelings toward your kids eats at ya! Things are much better now, although they generally don't go to sleep until 10/11.. After I read them a book I put on a movie & they fall asleep... Chin up :)

Elizabeth said...

I'm so sorry you went through that. But you are definitely not alone. When the boys were 3 and 5, Chris' company sent him and some co-workers on a Temporary Assignment where they traveled the country visiting job sites and updating all the computers with Windows 2000. He was gone for two weeks at a time, and then the company flew him home for a weekend. So I was essentially a single mother for all but two weekends a month.

There were nights when I was so stressed out that I would scream at the boys to just go to their room. One time when Nathan started to protest I GRABBED his arm and pretty much threw him into his room. I'm lucky he didn't crack his head open on the bunkbeds. As soon as I did it, I gasped at the horror of what I had done, ran upstairs to my room and sobbed on the bed. I was sure that I was losing my mind and had permanently scarred him emotionally. Then I went downstairs, sat him on my lap and rocked him in the chair like I had done when he was little, and told him over and over how sorry I was and how much I loved him.

I don't think I've told anybody else that story besides Chris. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Mommy off the Record said...

Great post. I could totally see you sitting there on the porch and I felt for you. Good for you for NOT running away. I'm sure it was more than tempting at times. But it's also clear how much you love your son.

carrie said...

Yes, we are all HUMAN. Surprised??? The difference between normal irrationality (not an oxymoron) and the homicidal shaking-baby behavior is a large one and I think that parents need to be aware of their anger levels and take a time -out, if needed. If is perfectly NORMAL to do this, to yell and cry and hit the wall (believe me, I've ruined many a hairbrush banging it on the bathroom counter because I was so angry). It is perfectly NORMAL to ask for help when you feel helpless and alone and angry. And I wish that it DID get better with each child, and with age and experience, but in my case, it did not. If my third was born first, she would've scared me into not having any more. Sorry for the rambling, I am sure this is a subject that everyone will connect with. Thank you for putting it ot there.

Carrie

Jenny said...

I've been there. You think you're really about an inch away from totally losing it forever and not being able to come back from it. There's a reason that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. Hailey's incisors are coming in now and we're back in no sleep mode. I just want to die so I can get some sleep.

Susan @ YOW said...

Great honest intense post. Those mothers that seem so perfect? They have those feelings too they just don't admit it. You're doing a great job.

Beth said...

Those are two great posts! I think us moms who have kids, need to keep telling that to moms about to have them, or with small ones, that it can get that bad. It probably will. But, we love our kids. We manage to get through it.
Claire cried for 3 1/2 hours one night, but I couldn't give in. I had to change something. (we were taking away her soother). It happens. We are alive and well.
Remember: Kids have unconditional love for us, as we do for them. It will all be forgotten and forgiven!

EvaRob said...

Great post....I so hear you.

Mel said...

You know, I look at it like this: if I fuck up, I fuck up. I write a little mental note not to do that dumb shit again and keep going.
I never got all yelly with my babies, and I never was real physical, either, but ohgod, how easy it would have been to do those things. The only reason I wasn't was that my husband was there so often, I had my MIL (mixed blessing) nearby, and many friends that I could call.
But even with that support system in place, I think one of the main reasons I lost weight so fast after the birth of my girls was from the miles, MILES of walking I did when it all got too much for me.
MILES of walking.

jane said...

What a very riveting post, Jen. When Levi was an infant, he had colic. Same thing, constant crying. I can remember feeling the rage & hopelessness you wrote about & still, to this day, feel guilty about it.
I think that's 1 of the amazing things about blogging. We find that those things we thought were so awful about us, really aren't all that different from others. We're not as bad as we've convinced ourselves.
Now, I'm going to go & visit your friends blog. I don't want her to feel guilty for 20-some years.

jane said...

I did go to her blog & wanted to leave a message, but can't figure out how to. I know that sounds silly, but I can't find where it says, "leave a comment"

Kristin said...

I spent many days and nights with my first thinking that I had ruined my life... I loved him so much, but the exhaustion just sent me 'round the bend... then, of course, I thought I was the world's worst mother for those feelings... hard and rather desperate emotions!

We do such a disservice to new mothers everywhere by perpetuating this fantasy of unicorns and puppies... it's hard work and it is ok to feel overwhelmed.

On a totally seperate other note... is anyone else having problems with blogger? I can't see "word verifications" or post anything new...

Random Musings Of My Life said...

This may sound wierd..
But this is why I WISH I could have kids. I wish I could relate, I want to fell that way too..

Jodi said...

YEAH, I had two kids who joined that cult too, the "antisleepites". It sounds like your little one joined the cult as well! Babyhood was awful. I can remember sitting up at 3AM and rocking Trent and just crying because I knew this was MY life. ANd I had to do it day after day after day after day until I died. Well, that's how i felt at the time. :) Having a child that won't sleep is sooooo hard. SOOOO hard. And yes, then we feel guilty. THen we read or talk to women who say that being a MOm is such a JOY and makes them feel soooo fulfilled and blah blah blah. ANd then you feel like a steaming pile of Mommy sh*t! BTW, Connor is 5 and he STILL doesn't sleep well at night. And then we have to fight him in the morning 'cuz he doesn't want to get up... it's never ending. And it's HORRIBLE and STRESSFUL. So yeah, I get it....

Lisa said...

I know what you mean. My little guy didn't sleep through the night on a regular basis until he was past 2. I was so tired and migrainey from not getting any real sleep. He still wakes up alot at night. He doesn't fall asleep until about midnight. ANd he wakes up at 8 a.m.

Isn't it wierd that as mothers no matter how hard of a time they give us, we can still find it in our hearts to love them deeply?

jen said...

I sooo suffer from the having to be the perfect mom thing. Don't yell...don't lose your cool...don't pull your hair out while screaming into the air "SOMEONE..FOR THE LOVE OF GOD...HELP ME!!!!!!"
It's good to hear though...that I am not the only one to lose it. I have been an absolute tyrannical bitch lately...and made Little Pea run away from me in fear. I felt like the smallest piece of shit for days.
But then...I realized that I will have these kind of days...and that sometimes...I run away from my kiddos in fear of them! ;) And what it all comes down to is pure pure love...tossed with a little bit of insanity

Jess said...

I lose it on occasion, and I hate it because it just leaves me feeling terrible. Even though I scare my kids at times, they still love me and know that I love them. It's like they understand and understand that mama just has to flip out at times.

Angry Dad said...

That was such a hugely commented post on Amalah, and interesting to hear your similar comments. I'm positive that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who's had kids would have had this situation. It's like masturbation - if you say that you haven't or you don't, then you're lying!

CAT said...

Brandon was like that up until he was 4. I had to lay with him to go to sleep and sometimes that would take 2 hours and by then I was too tired to spend any time with Chris. It sucked and sometimes I resented Brandon on the inside. He has always been a WHAT ABOUT ME kinda kid...as much as I try to train him not to be, he is. He'd also scream like someone was sawing off limbs while riding in the car. This lasted from birth to about age 3. Not sure why, but he'd fucking scream and cry THE.WHOLE.WAY. no matter if it was 5 minutes to long 3 hr drives to my parents house. I am so thankful that he grew out of his weird ass shit and I kept my sanity enough that I can say I never layed a hand on him--but I did run into the yard and cry kick and scream at thin air----lol

Michelle said...

I can definitely understand that feeling. My little man grunts and arches his back when he doesn't want to do what he is supposed to. He is only 7 months old and he is SO stubborn. When he was in the NICU, the nurses actually had to sedate him at one point because he got so mad at them- and he was only a week old!
I have been amazed by how much more patience I have now as a mom than I did before I had him. It great because I know that I wouldn't be able to handle him sometimes without it.

coffeygirlb said...

Man, I love you ladies. Ya'll are so kick ass for being honest and forthcoming. I know that I will inevitably loose my shit many times when I have a baby, hell I do NOW and I don't have anywhere near the responsibilities that a child involves, I cannot imagine doing it alone and all ya'll who have had to are amazing!! I feel very lucky that I will have an incredible partner. Jenn, Steph, Becky..I heart you guys. I've learned so much just by reading about your experiences.

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Megaland said...

It's so weird...I was just writing a friend about this. I still feel guilty for all the thoughts I have about hurting my kid when he's driving me crazy, especially when he was a newborn. This is shit you can't talk about to other moms, in fear that they're gonna judge you for thinking such God forsaken thoughts. I have acted out in anger and frustration, throwing shit around the house, yelling at the top of my lungs...wanting to kill my son for shit he couldn't help. So yes, I totally understand where you're coming from. The lack of sleep definitely adds to the fire. I am so afraid for the time when this baby comes (in Sept) because shit, if I felt like I couldn't handle one kid...how about two?! HOLY SHIT! Two kids is such an insane idea to me. But like you said, it's normal to have these thoughts, to not have control over your emotions sometimes and to just feel helpless for shit you feel like you should "know" exactly what to do. It's just funny how some moms just pretend that their life is just fine & dandy, and that they NEVER think this way. Ok...yeah, I mean, I pretend too but God knows what really goes in my head...

blackbeltmama said...

You're so right about the guilt thing. I think that comes with birth: guilt. It's a mommy thing. When my now 5-year old was a baby, she would suck on my knuckle, but would not take a pacifier. She did this for a very. long. time. I remember sitting beside her crib with my arm stuck through the slats while she chomped on my knuckle, and I cried, just counting the minutes until my husband walked in the door so I could get a break. Being a Mommy is hard work. No one ever tells you that either.

Thanks for stopping by my site. I'm a frequent lurker of your site.

spidey said...

Geez, I really want to have kids after reading all of this! LOL