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To not be able to forgive myself for the way I treated my babies?

(458 Posts)
Notmyusual80 Sun 22-Nov-20 00:53:56

They're 11 and 7 now but when I think back to how I was when they were babies, I absolutely despise myself. Having young babies turned me into someone I didn't recognise- so angry, a control freak, completely and utterly obsessed with sleep.

To be clear, I never did and never would hurt them. But my god I used to shout a lot. And lose my temper. When they were tiny. My first was an absolute angel of a baby, so easy. But I didn't know that at the time as I had nothing to compare her to. I had a really hard few months getting her into a sleep routine and I'd lose my rag if she wouldn't go to sleep/ had unexpected night wakings. I was so obsessed with the knock on effect it would have if sleep didn't go just right. The poor little thing was and still is such a good girl.

I thought I'd be better with my 2nd but he was more hard work than my DD and I think that made things worse because I thought I'd know it all the 2nd time around and it would be easy. I frequently lost my temper with him. What an awful thing to admit. And I'd snap at my sweet DD who was a toddler as I was wound up. One time, the baby had been unwell with tonsillitis but was almost fully over it. He kept waking one night but rather than thinking he might still be feeling poorly and therefore being sympathetic, I got cross with him and was swearing and huffing. It was almost like I felt he was doing it on purpose?!!! My mum reminded me of it the other day and said she wanted to shake me at the time. Another time, I'd had a few really bad nights and the baby woke in the night and when i went to settle him, i realised he'd pooed and I said something like "great, you've pooed,course you have you dirty little xxxxxxx". My DH had a real go at me and rightly so - I apologised straight away. I feel so awful and ashamed admitting to all this.

I clearly remember when my second was a baby feeling really angry a lot of the time, where my whole body would be clenched and I'd be almost shaking. What the hell was wrong with me? I must say, I wasn't like this all the time - just when sleep was going badly and I was feeling anxious about it. I completely love and adore my children and I did and do show them a lot of love.

The thing is, there was so much about the baby years I absolutely loved - playing with them, taking them to baby groups, watching them interact with other babies and toys, just feeling like I had these little sidekicks with me. I'd give anything to go back and be the mum I should have been. It completely haunts me and I pray they don't remember any of it.

I spoke to a friend the other day who has just had her second (3 weeks ago) and she just sounded so thrilled and kept saying she can't believe how happy she feels. She was expecting it to be awful because her 1st was really hard work but this baby is really easy and she just feels so happy. I voucher cried remembering what a snappy, stressed, nasty cow I was at that stage with my two.

I'm scared to post this as I expect a lot of people will think I sound like an absolute monster. But i just need to know if anyone has had a similar experience at all and if so, how they've learned to live with it?

OP’s posts: |
Lemonysherbet Sun 22-Nov-20 00:59:32

Didn't want to read and run, you do not sound like a monster by any means. Please be kind to yourself, having babies is tough (I've got a nearly 6 month old, gosh those first 3 months were so very hard!)

They love you unconditionally and I'm sure have many happy and positive memories

Notmyusual80 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:04:38

Thank you. That's so kind. I hope you're getting on with your LO better than I did.

But if I don't sound like a monster, what does a monster sound like?!

OP’s posts: |
pennypinchh Sun 22-Nov-20 01:06:34

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anonymousmouse123 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:07:29

Oh OP, I can really empathise. I had a similar time with my two; 11 and 9 now. I really struggle without sleep and had no family nearby and PND with my second DD. So many things I wish I could go back and do differently. Never any kind of harming, but I was so tired and irritable, used to shout, became a clean freak. My exH didn't want a double buggy so I tried for a while to manage with a single one. I used to shout at my eldest to hurry up on way to baby group when all she wanted to do was show me a flower sad It makes me cry to remember; they're such good girls. We're so close now and I just hope that the way I was when they were small won't have damaged them.

Notmyusual80 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:07:44

I understand why you said that pennypinch but that's made me feel absolutely awful.

And for what its worth, despite all that, I love being a mum.

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funinthesun19 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:08:22

pennypinchh hmm Uncalled for.

Notmyusual80 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:09:24

@anonymousmouse123 I'm so sorry you feel like that too. I'm so close to mine too - and I adored them when they were tiny as well. I just didn't cope well.

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anonymousmouse123 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:09:52

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StoneColdBitch Sun 22-Nov-20 01:10:19

No, you sound normal. Motherhood isn't all perfect and it sounds like you managed not to take out your frustration in ways that would harm your children.

It sounds like your mum has not been helpful in reminding you of occasional less than perfect behaviour, when overall it sounds like you were a perfectly good mother.

As to what a monster is like - I can't talk about it here, but I've seen child abuse in a professional capacity and trust me, it's not the behaviour you describe. I am much gentler on myself than many of my mum friends, and I think it's because I understand what actual abuse and neglect looks like, and how far I am from that even if I'm not perfect.

achainisonlyasstrong Sun 22-Nov-20 01:10:29

You don't sound like a monster at all. Just a stressed mum. Sleep deprivation often makes people snap and behave unreasonably. I think you need to forgive yourself and move on. Your children have no memory of this. You feel ashamed of yourself but think you deserve to give yourself a break. Focus on building good relationships with your children now, which I am sure you do.

helloxhristmas Sun 22-Nov-20 01:10:40

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lyralalala Sun 22-Nov-20 01:11:16

Anger can be a symptom of PND

If you were a monster then you wouldn’t regret it now or feel bad.

Notmyusual80 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:11:23

Thank you @StoneColdBitch x

OP’s posts: |
pennypinchh Sun 22-Nov-20 01:11:29

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lyralalala Sun 22-Nov-20 01:11:57

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MirrorMirror1000 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:12:06

You don't sound like you were a monster, you sound like you were sleep deprived and acted out of character. If you were a monster, you wouldn't feel guilty now.

They were babies, you are aware of it, sound like you're doing better now and they won't remember. For those reasons, I think you have to accept it happened, forgive yourself and learn from it.

Time2change2 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:12:21

Yes well it’s bloody hard at times. Sleep can be a nightmare and I’m sure many of us have lost our rag abs got angry if the baby has woken x amount of times.
I had twins and I tell you there were times that were so hard in the first 3 months that I wanted to scream and just leave.
I remember both me and DH swearing at them and just swearing in general at nights when they wouldn’t sleep and we were both severely sleep deprived.
Please don’t beat yourself up, everyone is different and copes in different ways.
I take it you have a gold relationship with them now and they are well adjusted kids??

pennypinchh Sun 22-Nov-20 01:12:41

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lyralalala Sun 22-Nov-20 01:13:25


As someone who was screamed at as a child, trust me you remember and it severely affects your development, no matter how young you are. This kind of behaviour can't be waved away as being okay and understandable.

Absolute bollocks

I was abused and neglected by my parents. That’s absolutely no excuse or reason to have a go at someone who is reflecting on a time when they were struggling. None at all

aidelmaidel Sun 22-Nov-20 01:13:44

Pennypinchh is being a cow, ignore her.

I'm sitting at the top of the stairs right now waiting for nearly-3 to shut the fuck up and go to sleep. I think if I had an infant as well I'd be snappy too.

Don't beat yourself up, eh? You don't want to be posting here in ten years' time saying "I wish I hadn't spent the tween years mired in self-recrimination." If you've grown past snapping at them because you're stressed about sleep, you can forgive yourself and move on.

MirrorMirror1000 Sun 22-Nov-20 01:15:04

My mum screamed at me as a kid, a few times- but apart from that, she was a wondering mother, made it clear she loved me and I recognise she's human.

My dad never screamed at me, but never made any effort and we have a terrible relationship. It impacted me for years.

It's not going to be a few instances of shouting your children remember- it's going to be your relationship as a whole.

Lemonysherbet Sun 22-Nov-20 01:16:57


Thank you. That's so kind. I hope you're getting on with your LO better than I did.

But if I don't sound like a monster, what does a monster sound like?!

You can't be a monster because you clearly care about it and feel guilty now. A monster wouldn't have posted this.

Agree with PP that motherhood is hard. And very very far from perfect.

taxxigirl Sun 22-Nov-20 01:20:30

Sounds like pnd to me, as a survivor of that horrible mental disorder.

Please be kind to yourself, you did the best you could with what you had and even feeling regret now shows that you're an incredible mum

pennypinchh Sun 22-Nov-20 01:20:44

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