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  1. #1
    feelingsad Guest

    Default I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    I posted under a different username since I feel very ashamed of what I did. Over the past several months I feel like my temper has become more short and I often feel very stressed. My child is becoming more and more demanding, and I'm still struggling with the best way to deal with things and start the discipline process.

    I never thought I'd ever resort to hitting or spanking, but I totally lost control and smacked my child. I felt very sad afterward, even more because it made my child cry. He had such a sad look on his face. For a few minutes he didn't even want to be near me. About 10 minutes later he seemed fine, as if it never happened. I feel so guilty, this poor little innocent child that I took my own anger out on. I went to bed last night and cried, as I was reminiscing about my child when he was a newborn. If you ever told me I would be smacking my poor baby when he got older, I would have shuddered at the mere thought. I had a pit in my stomach over it.

    The sad part is that often when I've come close to losing my temper, I've often imagined smacking or hitting my child IN MY HEAD, but restrained myself since I know there is nothing positive to be gained by such a horrible action. But I lost it and feel like SH*T.

    I know I need to work on myself, and on controlling my temper. I feel like I have been yelling a lot more lately, something else I said I wouldn't resort to. But I feel like I am losing it at times.
    I am trying to work hard to give myself breaks, I have hired a baby sitter to give me some relief, and have asked my DH to help me out more.

    I want to have another child down the road but I don't think I am cut out for motherhood, since my patience is not there the way I'd like it to be.

    I feel like a horrible mother. :(

    Feeling Sad


  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Raleigh, NC, US.
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    Default RE: I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    parenting is hard. very hard. i felt angry all the time, so i got some meds. it has made all the difference. call your dr. call tomorrow. see if you can find some couseling. you are not alone!!! it is ok to need help!!!!
    Liza has been hangin' around this board for six years.

    My sons are 4 and 6. And they are very loud.

  3. #3
    pritchettzoo Guest

    Default RE: I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    Making one mistake doesn't make you a bad mother. But it's up to you to prevent yourself from doing it again. One of the symptoms of depression is anger. Whether medication or therapy or both will help you, it's up to you to change things. Parenting is very hard, especially when you compare the reality to the ideal in your head.

    Anna
    Mama to Gracie (Sept '03) and Eli (July '05)

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default RE: I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    Please don't be hard on yourself. You are posting here and realize that you occasionally lose your temper. If you were truly a bad mom you wouldn't think twice about your actions.

    You are aware of what is going on and therefore you can try to work on gaining control. Maybe counseling could help you.

    I'm there with you, as I have been losing my temper a lot lately too, as Sammy is now in that terrible two phase. I have to take a step back and realize that I am expecting too much from her, based on her age. When I realize that it's really my own issue, kind of like my own tantrum so to speak, it enables me to step back and re-assess things.

    Good luck and I hope things get easier.

    Marcy
    Marcy

    -Samantha 12/22/03
    -Julia 4/19/05
    -Brianna 5/2/09

  5. #5
    kijip is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    Get help. Please. Make a plan for it to never EVER happen again. Sadly, the chance that it will happen again if you don't get help is pretty dang high. Not saying that to be mean but to be honest. Solving this problem or any family violence is not something that can be done alone IMO.

    We have all been stretched thin by our lovable rascals from time to time so I totally relate as can any *honest* parent. There is a reason Toby's room is safe and has a gate- I have one more than one occasion plunked him down in there for a few minutes with his favorite toy while I go relax on the balcony while chanting "I own a carpet steamer for a reason" or some such mama mantra.

    In addition to a regular sitter and more help from you husband:

    -see your doctor or a therapist
    -consider taking a parenting skills class with other parents that have kids the same age.
    -Join a parenting support group if possible.
    -Make a plan. Who can you call if you are getting mad? Could a grandparent or frined come over on an emergency basis? Could a mother's helper drop in on an as needed basis so you can go into the other room to unwind?

    You already know that your actions were wrong, so you have made the first big steps in fixing the situation. Don't dwell on the guilt, dwell on the solution.

    If you PM what city you live in I can furnish you with a list of resources, as I used to work in the field of parent support.
    Katie, mama to a pair of boys one little and one not so little.

    "No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people - and I have no doubt that this will be no exception. The march of freedom that has sustained our country since the Revolution of 1776 continues, and no matter what setbacks may occur in a given state, freedom will triumph over fear and equality will prevail over exclusion." -Michael Bloomberg

  6. #6
    dr mom is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    Take the guilt you are feeling right now, and use it for something productive - right NOW, while you are motivated to make a change, make a concrete plan for how you are going to keep your child safe. As usual, Katie had great suggestions.

    When DS was little, I found that the sleep deprivation and isolation of being home with a baby who would *not* sleep anywhere but in my arms led to me feeling tired, then overwhelmed, and finally angry and resentful. For me, that's how depression presents. It was hard for me to admit that I was depressed, but I was more afraid of the person I was becoming (angry all the time, irrationally attributing motives to my helpless infant - i.e. "he's crying on purpose to drive me crazy!") I went on medication for six months, and it really helped.

    Recently, as DS is entering the Terrible Twos, I'm finding that once again my patience with him is strained, and I'm more prone to lash out verbally. The return of the anger and resentment is my clue that the depression is coming back. What has been helpful for me was telling my DH and family that I was struggling with depression and needed some extra support and time to myself, reviewing some of my "gentle discipline" resources for strategies to use instead of yelling, and of course starting back on medication.

    Honestly, I don't especially like being "dependant" on medication and I'm not happy about being labelled with Depression - but I know this is what I need to do right now, to be the best possible mother that I can be. I don't talk about it very often, I think because I'm embarrassed by it (believe me, I'm much more comfortable being a doctor than a patient!) but your message really resonated with me and I thought it might help you to know that you aren't alone.
    Cindy, Mommy to DS 2/04 and DS 2/08

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default RE: I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    I didn't want to steal your thread with my own story, but I am coming back to this post to post a link to a similar one I wrote a few months ago:
    http://www.windsorpeak.com/dc/dcboar...ng_type=search

    So many posters have suggested depression and meds, which surprises me, and I just wanted to offer some more generic support. Everyone loses control with their kids and gets incredibly angry, and some of us have spanked our children in those moments. Please don't feel that you have to present a facade of perfect parenting here on the BBB. Some of us also think about doing terrible things to our kids when they are being completely infuriating. What you are describing sounds normal to me; is there a reason why you think it was so much worse?

    I have taken a parenting class and gone to some seminars and they have helped a little. I may even repeat one of them b/c it has a new approach that I think I woudl really like. The class was taught by my local Child, Youth, and Family Services. You could try finding some in your area by calling your local information and referral line (might be run through United Way, Volunteer Center) and asking about parenting classes.

    For what it's worth, I felt like the episode I posted about was a low point of my parenting. I gave a fair amount of thought afterwards to how to fix the specific situation as well as trying to regain some joy, humor, and perspective to help me with all the other parenting challeneges, and it's definitely helped.
    Advice and commentary on living overseas
    www.abroodabroad.com
    DD1 12, DD2 9, and DS 6

  8. #8
    kedss is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default RE: I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    Cindy-

    I just want to thank you for your post, I grew up in a house where if the meds had been better like they are now, my childhood would have been a lot different. Kudos to you for knowing when you need help and for taking it.

    big hugs!


    Kate
    mom to C, 12/03, H, 06/08 and R, 4/11

    "When a woman says "What?" It's not because she didn't hear you. Its because she's giving you a chance to change what you said." ~Author Unknown(posting on FB)

    "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." ~Phyllis Diller

  9. #9
    hautemama15 Guest

    Default RE: I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    One episode of losing your temper doesn't make you a bad mother!!!! AND, I have to disagree with most everyone else, it doesn't mean you are dperessed or need medication or counseling. You may have just had a "bad day" which we ALL have and it dloes not mean you will continue to smack your child. Having raised two teenagers and going through terrible twos and then terrible teens, I can say I have lost my temper on many ocassions. I have smacked both my kids a time or two. I am not saying it is right, especially in anger, but it does not mean I was depressed or in need of counseling. All I needed was a break. My kids don't hate me, they are wonderful young adults with manners and they are thankful for the boundaries they were provided with. Parenting is and always will be a huge challenge. There is no prefect way to do it. And, everyone loses it now and then. You felt terrible, you obviously care deepley for your baby! Don't beat yourself up over it. IF you start smacking him in anger more and more or thinking about it all the time I would say get counseling. If it was a smack on the behind through a soft diaper, he was probably stunned and his feelings hurt more than anything. Did you leave a mark or anything?? I mean, a smack on the bottom through a diaper isn't that big a deal. I would never hit my child in the face or leave a mark on their body. But, I have slapped a hand when it's gotten too close to something hot. What I am trying to say is there is no reason to suspect you are a bad parent or a depressed mom who needs meds. If you really feel like you cannot control it, by all means go get help, but it doesn;t sound like that to me!! I am probably in the minority here, but oh well. To each his own.

  10. #10
    dr mom is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: I recently smacked my child...I feel horrible...

    To respond to what the PP said, of course it's between the OP and her doctor to decide whether she may be suffering from depression. I certainly wouldn't presume to be able to make a diagnosis based on the limited information that was given here.

    However, what stood out to me were statements like these:

    "Over the past several months I feel like my temper has become more short and I often feel very stressed."

    "I totally lost control"

    "I know I need to work on myself, and on controlling my temper."

    "I feel like I have been yelling a lot more lately"

    "I feel like I am losing it at times."

    Those really resonated with me in a deeply personal way, because that's exactly how I felt when I was depressed. Not to suggest that ALL mothers of toddlers don't sometimes feel overwhelmed or angry when their children are testing limits, but I wanted to share my experience so that the OP could consider whether depression might be coloring how she responded to her child's behavior.

    www.depression-screening.org has a good online screening test for depression that might help clarify whether this could be depression, or just a bad case of the Terrible Twos.
    Cindy, Mommy to DS 2/04 and DS 2/08

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