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Rotten mum syndrome

(35 Posts)
memum Fri 14-Jan-05 17:23:28

I always lie in bed at the end of the day and feel fed up and disappointed with the way I've handled situations with my toddler. I feel so guilty if I've shouted at him or lost my temper in some way. However alot of the time I know that what I feel guilty about is trivial to most others.

Today I was trying to clean his nose with a flannel much to his disapproval. I was getting more and more stressed. (I am 37 weeks pregnant - but no excuse) I know this sounds strange but my ds does actually like to chew/eat a wet flannel (perhaps for teething help?!) so in desperation I said in a raised voice "Well do you want to eat the flannel?!!" thinking that if I could get him to chew on a corner - I could get another corner of the flannel and wipe his nose. However the way I said it sounded so shrill and unreasonable that I felt such a bully afterwards. I kept playing it back in my mind (this is where I play judge and jury) and couldn't decide if I had shoved the flannel towards his mouth as I ranted (which of course I feel is awful) or whether it had just been a rant? I always go over things in my mind and however I try to make myself feel better - I always seem to blow the situation out of all proportion to the extent that I can't remember what happened at all. End result - I feel really guilty. What is wrong with me?

Tommy Fri 14-Jan-05 17:36:06

Poor memum! You sound like me! Every time I reaise my voice to my toddler I feel guilty afterwards nad worry that he's going to be psychologically disturbed by it! TBH, sometimes, I can really see how some people end up smacking them. I don't think there's anything wrong with you - I'm sure we've all been there. I try and just walk away sometimes (only into next room or upstairs!) just to get out of the situation. Is it "don't sweat the small stuff" ? What we're supposed to do - a dirty face probabley not worth feeling this bad about. Hang in there - only an hour until bed time!!

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 17:42:11

Thanks Tommy,

Didn't expect a response as my posts are usually so rubbish! Yes a dirty face is not something to get so stressed about - that's why I feel so cross with myself I suppose!!!!! I do usually control my temper but feel a real failure if I do lose it occasions. Then I call dh to 'confess' to him what I've said or done. He can never understand what I'm worried about. I think its Catholic Guilt.

Merlin Fri 14-Jan-05 17:43:22

This sounds so familiar to me too - don't worry you're not alone! I'm sure there's not a parent on here who hasn't regretted the way they have spoken/handled their child at some point. I have learnt to try and just walk away or a take a deep breath. Concentrate on the good times you have when ds behaves really well - how old is he by the way. My DS is 4 and would try the patience of a saint sometimes, and I'm pregnant too and I do feel we are justified in blaming some of it on our hormones! Please don't be so hard on yourself - just think - another one will soon be here and it will start all over again!!!!!!

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 17:43:52

And yes - only a short time till bed! Thanks for your support Tommy,

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 17:45:54

Thanks Merlin,

Yes I must stop going over it all. My ds is almost 2.

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 18:04:04

Forgot to ask Merlin - when are you due?

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 18:15:07

I'm now feeling guilty for spending too much time on the laptop - waiting for responses - and not getting on with ds's tea!!! I keep checking to see if anyone else has replied - desperate I know - but I'll depart now!

Merlin Fri 14-Jan-05 18:19:28

Memum - I'm due 9th April so not as close as you but I'm still VERY, VERY HORMONAL!!!!

Angeliz Fri 14-Jan-05 18:21:45

I'm sure we all feel like that at times.
I know i torture myself that i've scarred her for life or given her a really bad memory to keep whenever i'm found screaming!

I once grabbed a doll from her and chucked it out of the room , (when she was being very cheeky about something but obviously not that important as i can't remember what!!!), and the doll banged it's head off the wall, i STILL feel guilty about that!

I felt AWFUL!!!

Try not to worry, the fact that we think about all these things shows we care about them, that's all++

motherpeculiar Fri 14-Jan-05 19:00:41

With you on this one - I try not to worry too much afterwards though. Sounds like you are a great mum if this is all you are worrying over tbh, and the fact that you are worrying about it also shows you care a lot.

I did something like this today,raised my voice to DD over some little thing or other and caught myself while doing it and just said aloud to both of us "well, it's not really the end of the world is it?" about whatever it was she had done, which really helped calm me down and feel better (of course,being an argumentative 2.5yr old, she immediately came back with "it IS the end of the world mummy" which did make me laugh)

hang in there, you are doing fine

Tommy Fri 14-Jan-05 20:02:29

Memum - I know all about the Catholic guilt thing too!

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 20:49:20

Dear Angeliz, Motherpeculiar, Tommy and Merlin,

Thanks to you all for your words of wisdom - I don't know why I get so stressed out. I wish I could be more relaxed as a mum instead of reviewing and analysing my every move. And yes Tommy - I know its roots are in Catholic Guilt!!!! Are you a fellow sufferer? As a child I was always taught the importance of confession - telling the truth - right and wrong etc etc and it seems to have stuck with me. I have turned into my own worst enemy,always judging myself harshly and criticising the decisions I make............. Oh dear! What a life!

moondog Fri 14-Jan-05 20:59:15

Oh memum, I think it comes with the territory!
I am feeling very guilty about two things:

Going to my dh's work do on Wednesday for a few hours. Had a good time and a couple of drinks and the next day ds was unwell (still isn't great)
Felt instantly that it was my 'punishment' for going out and not being 100% focussed on my kids.
Also taking him somewhere where people smoked and he was passed around, probably exposing him to lots of germs.

Was very snappy with dd today (made worse by unwell ds clinging to me like a limpet all day and being housebound to boot). Final straw was her deliberatley splashing water all over the bathroom despite being asked/told/ordered not to. Did a lot of shouting and washed her hair very roughly, feel I almost pushed her head underwater.

Now of course, both are asleep and look like angels and I feel absolutely horrendous. My logical side tells me that I have nothing to feel bad about but I do feel bad, can't help it. Like you, try to explain to dh and he just looks mystified.

We all feel the same, but we all love our kids and would die for them. Tell you what, if I order you to stop worrying about it, and you do the same to me,can we leave it and get on with enjoying Friday night??!!

mummylonglegs Fri 14-Jan-05 21:03:44

memum, you may have Catholic guilt but I've got Jewish guilt!

I literally HATE myself for the way I am with dd, 2.3 sometimes. I don't actually lose my temper, well I have a couple of times shouted, but I get cold and steely with her which dp tells me is more scary than if I just yelled. Dd's not a particularly challenging child either. I'm horrified at how my patience can just go sometimes and I just want her to co-operate. I mean WHY do we have to have such a fuss about getting dressed EVERY morning?!?

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 21:07:06

Hello Moondog -

we are one of the same!! Right -that is a deal. I order you to stop your worrying. NOW. I'll do the same. After all, dh has got a dvd out 'Lost in translation' plus strawberry shortcake icecream. I was intending to feel guilty all night - but I won't now as you won't be. Don't let me down now! (I always wreck a friday night with worrying of some sort it seems)

mummylonglegs Fri 14-Jan-05 21:07:43

moondog, that bathroom scenario is SO familiar! Dd does that too. I always then just get her out, wriggling and screeching. And then spend the evening thinking 'I ruined her bath. What did a little water matter ...' And I think I could have just totally ignored it and she'd probably have stopped on her own. Or I could have turned it into a joke. Or I could have flushed my head down the toilet etc. etc. etc.

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 21:10:25

Yes - Jewish Guilt ..sounds very similar. Its tough isn't it?! My guilt follows me around like a stern old nun. (no offence to nuns)

mummylonglegs Fri 14-Jan-05 21:14:19

Mine too. It's like a continual critical audience whispering 'boo!!!' at everything I do.

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 21:16:23

Mummylonglegs and moondog - the bathroom scenario is also familar to me. Things can descend into chaos within seconds. Having said that, this goes for most situations with young children it seems. (My worst was a journey home from London on a train with my ds kicking and screaming like a wild horse for the WHOLE journey (55 mins). Of course I felt I had handled it badly somehow. Could have done this/should have done that. )

handlemecarefully Fri 14-Jan-05 21:18:55

Well mine's an agnostic guilt - but it is still there just the same. I am actually quite disgusted with some of the things I say to dd when at the end of my tether. Too embarassed to share....

moondog Fri 14-Jan-05 21:19:24

Oh good, bathroom thing not just me then (and likewise,afterward I hate myself for being petty about water.)
Memum, enjoy your evening-sounds like you have a splendid one lined up. OK,my guilt has now STOPPED just as your has.

(Anyone heard of the little mentioned Protestant guilt!?

memum Fri 14-Jan-05 21:19:38

Well thanks for all the messages! Unfortunes, me and the stern nun are signing off now. Must get ds to bed. He is still up - partly as I feel bad about getting so stressed with him (RE: flannel incident)

jollymum Fri 14-Jan-05 21:24:23

Right-very guilty mum of four here. Ask yourselves honestly, can you remember being traumatised when you were little? No, well that's that then{grin}. Stp worryng and cut yourselves a bit of many bad mums would ask why they were bad mums, care about what people said and waited for answers? You're all great mums who are women and that's what women "do". We worry if we're right, we worry if we're wrong and then we worry about beng right or wrong. Relax and think about this-the only people you are trying to please are yourselves, be happy with that.

mummylonglegs Fri 14-Jan-05 21:24:53

Memum, one of my real guilt trips is about a journey from London to Norfolk to see my mum, 2 hours. Usually dd sleeps for most of it and she goes straight off so it's not a problem. One particular day she refused to sleep or even sit in the buggy. I had a raging headache and she was over-tired and over-excited and very very vocal. I ended up where I just utterly horribly ignored her and just now and then muttered 'sit down, be quiet, I've got a headache.' She looked so bewildered. I felt really really mean afterwards. BUT she went straight to sleep in the buggy on the way home after our visit! And she's never done it again.

That doesn't really ease my guilt of course ...

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