Saturday, April 30, 2011

utter despair

I spanked my daughter last night. I was so sleepy and she wouldn't go to bed, wouldn't put her PJs on, wouldn't brush her teeth the way I thought she had to, started raging and screaming, and I got angry and spanked her. I "had" to "win".

I've been apologizing all day. But I can never make it right again.

I'm so messed up and full of anger. She deserves a better mom. I loathe myself. I hadn't known I was messed up before I had kids. I thought I'd be a good mom, just like I thought I had great parents.


  1. Beating yourself up over the matter isn't going to help. EVERY parent- good, bad or otherwise- messes up once in awhile. It's called being human. Learn from it, and move on. You've apologized to your daughter, and recognized for yourself that this isn't how you want to raise your daughter. You would be better off channeling that energy you are using to bash yourself and channeling it in to a plan that you can use for the next time your daughter decides she doesn't want to put her PJ's on, go to bed and instead start raging and screaming. It's okay, as a parent, to sometimes just shut the door and give yourself a time out. As long as your daughter knows that you believe "it" wasn't okay, ("It" being for her to act like that, AND for you to spank her), continue to be the best Mom you can be, and make less mistakes than your own parents did, you will be doing a wonderful job of raising your daughter. One spanking does not make abuse, nor will it scar her for the rest of her life. You will probably remember this LONG after she does.

    You listen to her, you hug and kiss her, you take care of her, you respect her, you allow her to be herself, you keep her safe, you read her stories, you encourage her... etc.... right? These are GOOD things you do, don't let one mistake negate all that, okay?

    (((HUGS))) from a Mom whose been there too.

  2. Oh my goodness, we've all had these moments! Not to minimize yours, of course. I once had an incident with my daughter when she was being incredibly stubborn (at 27-1/2 she's still stubborn!) I scared her and myself, and vowed never to do it again. It consisted of me getting right up in her face and yelling at her so hard that it scared both of us. I really don't remember what happened after that, but years later all's well. There will be moments where you'll want to throttle her - and yourself - but the fact that you recognize your weaknesses and mistakes is a huge factor to success.

    (((HUGS))) from another Mom who's been there too. -- joyfulalivewoman

    PS you're not messed up and you're not too messed up to be a mother!!

  3. i see that you feel awful! and like you've made an irredeemable mistake..
    man if only i had had a mom who apologized profusely and begged for my forgiveness and explained to me that she didn't mean what she said after each time she lost her temper on me must mean something right?
    tbh i found your mommy story really touching.
    you can make it right! you apologized to her and explained what you did was wrong.
    unlike your parents, your daughter will bounce back and forgive you, and whatever extraneous shame you feel is yours to deal with.
    give her some space and give yourself time to calm, let her tell you how she felt at the time and how she feels now.

  4. I know how you feel. I've been there, and I still worry about it now. However, the previous comments were probably spot on. You are a wonderful mother for always trying to improve, for being profoundly sorry you made a (one!) mistake, and for loving your kids in ways your own NF never even know exist.

    It's easy to say something like, "it doesn't matter, don't worry about it", but I don't feel that way about my parenting mistakes at all. It does matter, and worrying about it (for a little while) is probably educational. Keep worrying :) but not too much.

  5. I'm sorry you're hurting:( What you experienced is one of the most painful things we good parents GO in, you will make it through this dark tunnel and make peace with yourself, in time.

    Please be compassionate toward yourself:). You will heal faster and your daughter will see how to be kind to herself, too, and that forgiving ourselves is important, on-going self-maintenance work, not a prideful act (ie. I'll just forget I hurt you, because you're not important...I am!).

    About 23 yrs ago something similar happened to me. I was tremendously stressed out and sitting across from my son, 2 yrs old, on the L.R. carpet. He said or did something, I don't recall what, and I became angry and put my hands on his chest and pushed him hard enough that he fell over on his back. I was appalled at myself and he burst into tears and screamed in shock. Though he had no physical injuries from this event, he was emotionally hurt by my harsh treatment. I apologized over and over and cried with him.

    I don't imagine I'll ever forget scaring him and causing him to feel unsafe with me that day. I frequently felt bad about it over the years.

    Now that I'm 51 and my son's 25, it's a sad memory and a potent reminder of how much I've changed, for the better, in 23 years. He knows he's safe with me today, because I've always been eager to apologize and make amends with him. He feels safe telling me if there's something I do or say that hurts him, because I don't take it as a personal's all just part of real love between two people.

    You'll do fine as a mom:) Your large store house of empathy far outweighs the things you need to learn and unlearn as an adult daughter of an N father. You SEE your daughter...your NF doesn't SEE you. You immediately thought of and felt her pain, emotional and physical...your NF doesn't do this.

    Try this. Whenever you doubt your parenting skills, tell yourself something like this (out loud is even better): "I'm NOT my NF! I have empathy galore!! I'm getting better and better at caring for my daughter's needs. I AM GOOD ENOUGH!" You are, you know:D

  6. When I read this I felt your pain, PA, and your daughter's pain. It was a mistake, you acknowledged it to yourself and your daughter, and you are doing the hard work to face what happened. One mistake isn't the end of you - everyday is another day to make better choices. Have empathy for little PA, who was likely spanked too, so that you'll remember that your daughter is just like you were: a child. You can make amends for it, you can rise above it, you can make this right. Don't ask your daughter for instant forgiveness, let her feel her feelings, let her express that it hurt and betrayed her. That is a place of truth that can help you both move on from it.

    All my love and support,

  7. Lots of hugging and co-sleeping and making up here. She says she's not angry, but what choices does a 4yo have? It's not like she can divorce me and find a better mom.

    I feel like a Nazi operating a concentration camp. I'm an abuser who's abusing the power I wield and hurting those put under my authority. My power is more local and limited, and that is all the difference.


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