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I lashed out at my toddler and am disgusted with myself

(26 Posts)
addressbook Tue 31-May-11 10:22:52

I am normally quite happy with life and have a loving dh and two wonderful children

However recently I have been feeling exhausted and a bit low. It culminated at the weekend with an awful incident where I lashed out at my 2 year old dd. I took her out for a walk and she screamed and screamed because she doesn't like the wind. Understandable since the gales we had. Something just snapped and I picked her up by her coat and shoved her in her pram quite hard. I then picked up her cuddly toy and shoved it in her face, my hand caught her head and left a faint bruise sad

This has never happened before and my dh whilst not condoning it, says I should forgive myself and move on. That I didn't intend to hurt her. However on some level I know I did want to hurt - not her specifically. I lost control and lashed out but it was not her fault. Now I am eaten up with guilt and feel like a monster. She is okay, I know she didn't really understand as I have never even so much as smacked before.

I just needed to talk to someone, anyone. No one in real life seems to admit to losing it. I don't know, if I get a flaming I deserve it. I just hoped I was not the only one, that there isn't something seriously wrong with me. I adore my dd, we have a lovely bond. I also have a 5year old ds whom I love dearly.

Portofino Tue 31-May-11 10:25:27

Your dh is right - move on. It happens to the best of us - and at age 2/3 - some toddler behaviour would try the patience of a saint. Honestly, just give a her a cuddle and try to forget about it.

Piccadilly Tue 31-May-11 10:31:45

You are definitely not the only one and your dh is right: forgive yourself and move on is the right message.
I have also really lost it with my dcs before and I still feel awful about it. As you say, I think exhaustion is a big factor in this. The worst time for me, the two dcs were in the bath, I had put ds (2) in one end of the bath and dd (5) wanted to go in that end of the bath because the taps are in the other end. She always sits in the end without the taps and just for once I had put him away from the taps. Somehow I saw red, I was so angry that she couldn't let him, for once, not have the taps in his neck - that she could not think of him and not just herself. I grabbed her arms really roughly and held her in her side of the bath so that she couldn't get to the other end of the bath. I have never been so angry in my life. I don't know why I just lost it. I really screamed at her and I'm sure that holding her arms so roughly must have hurt her. I still feel awful about this even though it happened a few months ago.
But, there is really nothing wrong with you - being a parent is SO hard and everyone gives the impression that as you're the adult, it is your responsibility to be perfect to you kids. But it just isn't possible. You sound very loving and very kind.
Forgive yourself and move on!
I will tell myself the same!

Selks Tue 31-May-11 10:40:16

Don't give yourself a hard time over this one incedent - but us it as a warning to sort out what is causing you to feel exhausted and low. Maybe you need more input from your partner or address sleep issues for instance. Sometimes being short-tempered with our children means that there are issues lurking behind the scenes that need addressing. As well as that perhaps it would be a good thing to learn some basic anger management techniques so as to handle that 'straw that broke the camel's back' moment that our children can so often provide.
But just because this has happened does not mean that you are a bad mum. I've been there myself - I'm sure we all have. For me it was a wake up call to face up to some issues that were causing me stress.

Snuppeline Tue 31-May-11 10:41:20

It happens to the best of us, rest assured of that. We may not talk about it too much in RL but it does happen. On the few occations when I've lost my temper and raised my voice or like you been overly forceful perhaps I've made a point of apologising to my dd and explaining to her what made me so angry. I then ask if we can have a cuddle. She often seems to be happy with that but obviously my pain and shame stay with me for much longer. I think forcing myself to apologise to her and explain to her why I was angry means that a) I'm forced to treat her as an equal (despite using simple language etc) and you rarely attack or use force against your equals, meaning I'm less likely to do it again, and b) I force myself to put into words what made me angry (again in simple terms so dd can understand) which means I'm more likely to see the danger signs next time.

Try to learn from the episode and move on from it. When I was going through a tough time at work and finding myself often loosing it at home I told DP how I felt (less in control than I would like) and asked him to come take over more often, giving me a rest and a time to cool down. That seemed to help us.

addressbook Tue 31-May-11 13:32:52

Guys your words mean so much so thanks for taking the time to post

I think you are right about addressing what is making me tired and low. I think it is twofold. It is partly my dd and stage of development. Not for a minute do I think she deserved it, my anger got out of control. But I think I need some tips and strategies to handle her behaviour. She is two and toddlers are like this at times I know. However she was a very placid and easy baby, so I think I have been taken aback since she started walking and talking. My ds was very quiet and contained as a toddler. He did have tantrums but he was very different. She is gorgeous, a big blue eyed bundle of fun. However she is very loud. She shrieks, clings and chatters it seems non stop! Physically she is demanding because getting her dressed, changing her nappy and getting her in and out of the pram/car seat are all a bit of a battle. I wouldn't change her for the world but it is wearing me down a bit.

But there are also personal issues which I need to address. My dh loves me the way I am, but I feel fat and frumpy and a bit jaded tbh. I haven't had a haircut or bought new clothes for ages. I could do this, no one is stopping me but I just hate myself in anything. I find it very hard to lose weight. It is for me I want to start looking after myself more, I just can't get motivated. My dh wants to have sex more frequently but I just can't be bothered. I seem to be ill an awful lot. Just coughs, colds and viruses but it is enough to put me off doing much for myself.

I am very grateful for the lovely things I have in life don't get me wrong. I just feel I have lost who I am a bit.

speculationisrife Tue 31-May-11 13:47:15

Really, no one you know in real life admits to losing it? You're clearly mixing with the wrong people grin

Bless you - you just sound a bit knackered and down. I also wouldn't describe what you did as 'lashing out'. I often have to forcefully crowbar my two-year-old dd into the buggy while she's thrashing around (usually because we need to get somewhere and she's taken 10 minutes to cover 100 yards). The other day I told her to 'get in the f***ing car seat', which I was NOT proud of (after she had insisted on 'driving' and then climbing over the seats for ages). What really broke my heart was that two minutes down the road she started chatting away and saying what a lovely day she'd had. Toddlers don't hold a grudge, and as long as it's not a regular occurence, you really do need to let it go - she certainly will have done.

You do need to take care of yourself, though. Maybe you and your DH could put some kind of plan into action to just give you a little bit of me-time, (even if it's just an couple of hours pampering at home locked in the bathroom with scented candles, a book, fake tan, wax strips, whatever it is that makes you feel better about yourself) and maybe plan a night out for the two of you as a couple. It's really hard to lose weight when you're exhausted and using food for extra fuel just to keep your energy up. When I get like that I tend to do some extra meal planning so that I know I have nice (but healthy) things to look forward to.

Anyway, don't be too hard on yourself, and take it a day at a time with small steps, rather than thinking you need to lose stones. So for the first month the aim could be to have a pampering session, go swimming a couple of times and just lost 4 or 5 pounds. Imagine the results in six months, and then you could treat yourself to a few new clothes or a weekend away (or whatever). Sometime these things seem insurmountable until you break them down.

Bit of a ramble, but if you've got this far, then I'm sure you can achieve far greater things!

DirtyMartini Tue 31-May-11 13:48:05

I know where you're coming from and I know that feeling of toddler behaviour triggering a surge of anger that just takes you over for a moment. It is at least partly anger at yourself (because you regard yourself really negatively right now anyway), or anger at the world in general, but it's looking for a chance to erupt and it gets misdirected at the toddler who is giving you a hard time. Does that sounds right? It has happened to me too, and has led to me roaring at DS in an inappropriately scary way sad

If you are taking a hard look at your life and recognizing that you need to take better care of yourself in order to cope better with the demands of parenting, that is a really good positive step. Good luck.

addressbook Tue 31-May-11 13:59:58

yes your posts make sense. I have about 2 stone to lose but right now I would be happy with half a stone as that at least would take me back to what I was when I fell pregnant with my eldest. I am going to go out one evening this week for a walk/jog and try to do that once a week. I have promised myself I will get a new outfit and a haircut for our holiday in July - and I have that to look forward to!

No she didn't bear a grudge bless her. When we got home I sobbed on the bathroom floor and she came and gave me a big hug and said 'mummy shouted'. She is so loving and so bright, I know she is a great kid. I am just someone who needs a bit of peace and quiet and headspace (I think my ds is the same!) and she is full of exuberence! I don't want to change her nature but I am looking forward to when she dresses herself and can take herself to the toilet at least

speculationisrife Tue 31-May-11 14:51:06

She sounds lovely, and so do you - and you also sound as if you know just what you have to do and are already planning it. And you know what? It'll seem like no time at all that she can do those things you mention above. I too have a very spirited toddler with a 'strong sense of self' grin, and I'm sure that it must be very frustrating for them that they can't do all the things they'd like to do - so they have to find their own way of being in control!

Hope you have a fab holiday - and 6 pounds is definitely a good goal for July.

tiddlerslate Tue 31-May-11 18:55:51

Your dd sounds like my dd2! very different to my dd1 and I have found it tough too and have lost it on several occasions with her too. You are not alone!
I'm starting weightwatchers so if you want a weight loss buddy give me a shout.

DrCosyTiger Tue 31-May-11 19:57:51

Oh addressbook, I had to stop and pinch myself to make sure I hadn't written your posts - especially your second one. Boisterous blue eyed shrieking two year old, tick. Physical struggle to get dressed/bath/clean teeth/change nappy, tick. Feeling fat, tick. Endless low level viruses and colds, tick. Lost it completely last week, tick. I lost it when we were already hopelessly late for a family occasion and DD decided to have a screaming fit when I tried to put her leggings on (no clothes, no clothes mummy, take them off!) I felt terrible afterwards too as she's only little still and absolutely adorable most of the time. If a little full on.

Not sure what I'm trying to say really except that you're not alone. I am also going to try and go running once or twice a week. So maybe I can join the weight loss club too, tiddlerslate?

addressbook Tue 31-May-11 20:04:39

I would love a weight loss buddy tiddlerslate. As I said ultimately I want to lose 2 stone but am setting myself a smaller goal to begin with, so 7 pounds by the 3rd July and I would be delighted. I have 5 weeks so I think it is attainable with will power and a bit of exercise.

tiddlerslate Tue 31-May-11 20:12:39

Let's do it ladies

We'll be MILF's in no time. Snort!

Seriously though bumped into a friend yesterday who has lost 2 stone on weightwatchers and she says it is pretty easy to follow and to fit round kids and partner.

Can we message each other through mumsnet? Sorry am new to mumsnet so not sure how to do this.

ChippingIn Tue 31-May-11 20:14:14

Have you thought about joining your community gym - it's pretty cheap and they have a creche. Your DD can play with the other kids/staff and you can do some exercise (or just sit in the sauna). Could you afford a couple of half days at a nursery or something? She does sound adorable but if you are the kind of person who likes a peaceful life you just need to share her around a bit grin

addressbook Tue 31-May-11 20:21:42

Hi DrCosyTiger! Yes my dd is adorable, so cute. I think nature makes toddlers so gorgeous so that we still love them despite their irrational and infuriating behaviour grin

I have been taken aback as I said. As a newborn I got off lightly and she has been a great sleeper. When she was at the toothy, grinning and sitting on her mat watching big brother play it was easier. Now I feel a whirlwind has swept through my life leaving destruction in its wake! She is into everything. Today she pulled a plant over and smeared the mud all over my living room carpet. At teatime she pulled over a whole cup of water and then painted with it and the remains of a pot of yoghurt all over the kitchen floor. My washing machine always mysteriously changes programme and I find cutlery and allsorts buried in the strangest places.

Yes lets have a weight loss support group. How would we do that?

addressbook Tue 31-May-11 20:27:10

chippingin - my ds starts school in august. I am thinking of some kind of toddler group/classes for her then. She is very sociable! But yes a wee half day a week (or two!) at nursery or childminder would be nice. I do have a nice MIL who helps a bit but I think to have something definate each week would help.

ChippingIn Tue 31-May-11 22:10:18

Yes - I think a definite slot each week would help you. Would your MIL like to have her a regular day/half day each week? I know lots of granparents who would love to (and a few that wouldn't)... you should ask her first smile

What about the gym? They'd take both kids.

addressbook Tue 31-May-11 23:08:41

At the moment my ds tends to go and stay with granny as he would get jealous if dd went without him. She does have both of them occasionally but it is full on, so I don't like to ask too much. However when he is at school, I am sure she would love some time with her grandaughter. I will ask.

I like outdoors and fresh air for exercise although I will look into that. Again when ds is at school, no reason why I can't go to the gym or an exercise class once a week and introduce her to the creche. I am worried how she would tolerate being left though. She is quite clingy

addressbook Tue 31-May-11 23:09:28

Oh never thought about leaving both kids. Good idea!

ChippingIn Tue 31-May-11 23:27:37

I prefer the outdoors too - but I now have a gym buddy and we guilt each other into going... but I felt the bonus for you was the cheap creche ... you can shower in peace afterwards as well <mind you, having seen our shower room I wouldn't - hopefully yours is nicer!>

It sounds like your MIL will enjoy the opportunity to have DD on her own smile

Wottywot Tue 31-May-11 23:35:36

Some great advice above.
Count me in! I have lost it with my toddler and I am sure I will in the future too. I am not perfect and nor are any other mums. You didn't do it intentionally and it sounds as though it shook you up a bit - which is good.
My mum lost it with me lots of times and I am sure every other mum on here might as well admit it too !
Brave you for actually coming on and saying it out aloud! smile

Piccadilly Wed 01-Jun-11 08:39:31

Sometimes they really do things where you just can't believe this is happening to you, don't they. Correct that: every day they do things where you just can't believe it is happening...
Ours yesterday was drowning the cushions from the living room in the paddling pool...

Miahmomof2 Mon 30-Jan-17 02:56:27

I am so glad I found this thread through google search. So grateful for your posts ladies. I felt like the worst this weekend because of how burnt out I've been, and thinking I am not being enough for my kids. I lost it with my preschool aged son when he kept making a mess with all of our food early mornings before I would wake up (before sunrise!). I would still be out of it and quick to anger. I ended up slapping him and raising my voice. This kind of crazy episode happened two times. I thought so bad of myself - like I became a monster that should put herself in for depression and give up my children to a better loving home. I am doing my best but I keep losing my sanity after all the sleepless nights and stress my ex and family give me. I definitely needed to hear this.. That this happens and I'm not the only one feeling so ashamed. I will take the tips from here and work on handling my reactions. Get some time for myself to rejuvenate. I love my children and wish to give the best of me. I have explained and apologized to my son but I still feel horrible.. I hope to move on from it and make sure he is happy. That is never happens again. I never would've imagined hurting my own child and the fact it has happened more than once is definitely a sign there needs to be big changes in my life. I will be coming to this site more often to speak to other mom's who understand. It is a form of support.

amysmummy12345 Mon 30-Jan-17 03:12:59

Hey lovely flowers just to say this is a zombie thread from 2011, these wayward toddlers are probably getting ready to start high school this year, which I suppose shows that all things pass, if you start a thread in chat they're will be lots of encouraging words and advice 😊

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