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I feel terrible - have been bad mother today

(19 Posts)
kittycat37 Sat 27-Nov-10 21:56:17

I have 2 DDs, DD1 3yrs 7mths and DD2, 7 mths. I totally adore them both.

But some days I just feel like a totally totally awful mother and today is one of those days.

Since birth of DD2, DD1 has certainly demonstrated some challenging behaviour. I'm sure it's all totally normal, adjusting to having a sibling stuff. What worries me is my inability to deal with it sometimes.

Like today, spent ages settling DD2 for afternoon nap which she desperately needed. DD1 deliberately woke her up, NOT ONCE BUT TWICE angry although pretended the 2nd time was an 'accident'.

The 2nd time I lost my temper and I called DD1 an 'idiot' and I've been feeling sick about it ever since.

I mean obviously her behaviour was out of order but what on earth am I doing calling her names? The thing is it might not look like much written down but I know I shouted it in a horrible way. I've never smacked her, but sometimes I worry that shouting like that is worse.

In my defence, I often feel like I'm doing everything myself. DH works ridiculous hours and I have no close family nearby.

To make me feel even more like a failure, DD1 has started saying 'I love Daddy more than you'. Well I'm not suprised since a) he's never around and b) he therefore doesn't end up shouting horrible names like a lunatic as I did today sad

Thanks for reading this, if you've got this far.

kittycat37 Sat 27-Nov-10 21:58:44

Oh yes, and I'm usually up about 4 times a night with the baby and poor DD1 gets me being a grumpy cow as a result which she doesn't deserve either.

I think she's going to hate me when she's a teenager.

Horton Sat 27-Nov-10 22:01:43

I've only got one four year old, but I have called her an idiot on occasion. And in my defence, she was in fact being an idiot (although obviously small children have a bit of a tendency to idiotic behaviour). Don't beat yourself up. Honestly, if that's the worst thing you've ever done, you are doing pretty well.

Horton Sat 27-Nov-10 22:02:36

Also, they all hate you when they're teenagers. Even if you were all sweetness and light for the thirteen years before that. Actually, possibly especially if you are wafting around being sweetness and light.

blinks Sat 27-Nov-10 22:06:56

i always try to use 'silly' as it's a more neutral and less serious sounding.

it's crazy hard being a mum when you're knackered so forgive yourself this teensy moment of daftness. she needs to see that you're not perfect and she'll love you regardless.

kittycat37 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:08:43

Thanks Horton. Nice to know I'm not alone. Sometimes I just feel I have no idea if I'm doing an 'ok' job or not of parenting. I'm terrified of doing something bad.

But I know sometimes the tone of voice I use, the snappiness, the lack of engagement from me is shit and she deserves better (DD1).

For some reason I have a lot more patience with DD2, even though she wakes me up all bloody night. It makes me feel so guilty that I find her easier. Well she's a baby I guess, so that's part of it.

Quite honestly I think I need a day off at the moment. I haven't been away from my kids for more than three hours for the last 7 and half months and I think I'm losing the plot.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 27-Nov-10 22:09:50

Stop! You are not a bad mother.

You are a sleep deprived woman with a lot on her plate. Your DD is acting up because she isn't getting the attention that she previously had.

Is it possible to get your DH to look after baby while you and DD have some alone time, perhaps get her a hot chocolate at a cafe or a walk in the park/round the streets to look for people with their xmas decorations up where you can devote your attentions to her? If not, when you get the baby settled, bring DD into the kitchen to do stuff. Make hot choccie, fill the sink with water and let her play while you prepare dinner. If make her feel "grown-up" and useful, and use baby's nap time to bond with her it may improve not only your relationship with her, but her relationship with her sister.

kittycat37 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:11:11

blinks - you're right 'silly' is much better and I would usually.

I feel guilty because I was genuinely seething and I wanted her to know it. And actually all she's doing is trying to get attention because her world's been turned upsidedown by me having had another baby.

Hassledge Sat 27-Nov-10 22:13:05

Please give yourself a break - we've all been there. And tbh I really think children need to learn that adults have their tipping points too - push too far and too hard and people will get cross. It's a useful lesson to learn.

blinks Sat 27-Nov-10 22:14:07

like i said though, you're not perfect. you're human and you're tired. you know what's happening and you'll have other chances to devote more quality time to her. explain to her that you're sorry, you think she's wonderful and move on.

kittycat37 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:16:03

DioneTheDiabolist - I must try and get DH to do that. He's NEVER here - e.g on Friday he was working the other side of the country. He got in at 3am. He got up at 6 to go to work elsewhere and he will not be back until 11pm tonight.

Sometimes my heart almost breaks for DD1 when I realise she really has a fraction of the attention from me she had before. But other times I just find her so hard to deal with I don't know where to start.

I think I will get a babysitter for the baby if only for an hour and go out with DD1 this week. It's well overdue.

blinks Sat 27-Nov-10 22:16:22

i have these days quite regularly with two kids under 5... kids push you and push you until you could happily fling yourself out the window.

i sometimes go to bed feeling so guilty about not having had a positive enough day with them but next day there's always another day to try again.

kittycat37 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:21:15

I'm reassured blinks that it's not just me.

Tiredness really is a killer. I should be in bed now really.

I worry sometimes that I just career between stuff like today and then bombarding her with 'I love you' s etc etc as compensation.
I really need to develop a more even approach.

Hassledge - I know what you mean. My Mum didn't shy away from showing her real feelings and I'm really close to her now and see her as a person in her own right rahter than just as my Mum.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 27-Nov-10 22:23:38

Try engaging her as soon as the baby goes down for a nap too. As soon as DD2 goes down, turn to DD1 and say "right, big girl time, you want to come for some milk and biscuits/help me cook?" That way she will see it is in her interest to let the baby sleep.

kittycat37 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:26:49

The weird thing is (and this is really quite sad), I was watching that Sarah Beeny programme the other night and I thought she just looked like such a perfect mother, so lovely with her kids and like she would never shout.

For some reason that made me feel eve more shit when I was thinking about my own less than perfect mothering earlier today.

But I bet she has a full time nanny - that must sure reduce the shouting tendancies.

God I'm rambling now. I'd better go to bed.

Thanks for the reassurance and replies.

kittycat37 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:28:10

Dione - that is a great idea and I will do it.

IHeartKingThistle Sat 27-Nov-10 22:43:32

I used to get the 'I love Daddy more' thing too (God, aren't they clever and manipulative at 3?) when DC2 turned up.

I just used to say 'Well, Daddy would say the exact same thing I'm saying'. A couple of times I even rang him at work so that he COULD tell her the same thing! She didn't bother with that one much after a while. grin

It helped that we had agreed very early on to ALWAYS back each other up in front of them (then fight it out later!).

It will get a lot easier when they can play together a bit better - it has for us anyway and we have a similar age gap.

jugglingjo Sat 27-Nov-10 22:57:12

Hi Kittycat,

I agree with others that you're a good mum.

As they say on "Arthur"(theme tune) "BElieve in yourself - that's the place to start !"

I've not had a good day either, with quite a bit of shouting to and fro with my older than yours children.

I was probably more cross than you when mine were the age yours are, but I think letting them know how I've been feeling, and that their behaviour has consequences, including in their relationship with me, certainly isn't all bad.

In any case they seem to have grown up remarkably loving and forgiving. And quite sensitive to how others are feeling.

I'd say if you feel something needs working on here you could try changing it to " That was a really idiotic (or silly) thing to do "
Rather than "you're an idiot!"
I've found that idea helpful.
Try to comment (however strongly!) on the behaviour, not the person.

Because, as you're feeling, she's not always an idiot, she just was then !!

igetmorelovefromthecat Sat 27-Nov-10 23:16:20

Don't worry, you are only human. I have had 2 incidents in the last couple of weeks where I have been a terrible mother and I feel awful too.

One was where DD1, age 6 was messing around on the sofa and wasn't thinking, and jumped off onto DD2's head, she is 4 months old. Both DP and I went completely mental and I think we both called her an idiot. DD1 was distraught as it was obviously an accident but I was so worried about DD2 I just reacted by screaming at DD1. Made it up with her later after I had got back from A&E with DD2 (she was completely fine), but I still feel really bad as I was out of order shouting like I did at her.

Then the other night DP was away and DD2 was being a sod for sleeping, woke up at 10.30pm and I was just resettling her when DP's dog came upstairs and cocked his leg on the banister, pissing all over the carpet at the top and all down the stairs. He had the cheek to do it right in front of me. I was so lived (had raging PMT I must add, plus he has a habit of pissing everywhere in the house and I had already cleared up one lot that day). I went crazy at the dog, kicked him up the arse and put him outside, then had to scrub the carpets. Meanwhile DD2 had properly woken up and was going nuclear. Then the big bowl of water that I was using to clean up the piss fell down the stairs and there was pissy water EVERYWHERE.

So anyway, finally dealt with the carpets by which point DD2 was screaming, and she just would not resettle. She was wide awake and just wanted to knaw on my boobs, not actually feeding, for hours on end, which felt great with horrible PMT as you can imagine. Finally after about 4 hours of this I just lost it and screamed at the top of my voice 'I have had e-fucking-nuff! Just go to fucking sleep will you!' Which scared the crap out of her and she started screaming. Have felt really crap about it ever since. Poor little thing.

But as a good friend once said to me, don't feel too guilty if you are unreasonable with your kids, as you will get people being unreasonable with you throughout your life, so it's a good lesson to learn. Not that it's a good idea to make a habit of it!

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