Friday, April 29, 2011

Fight. Fear. Guilt.

My pounding head could not withstand another moment of whining. My patience was stretched too thin, like a rubber band about sting my skin with a sudden snap. The pressure expanded in my chest; was I nearing a heart attack at age 32?

It was fall. 2010.

I was in the midst of my worst mommy moment.

Amelia was nearing 2 1/2 years old. She was having difficulty dealing with boundaries, rules. She could likely feel the stress that entered our household earlier that summer when her aunt had a bad accident and became paralyzed. Our summer was full of concerned houseguests, hospital visits, long weekend days at the rehab center. Amelia was placed in front of a movie a few times too many. She was brushed aside more often than she would like.

My daughter lashed out in anger when things didn't go her way. Rage erupted from her small body and discharged through her hands, fingernails, and teeth. I was afraid of her.

I cried. I worried. Did I do something terribly wrong to create such a monster? I had physical bruises and scratches. I was abused by my own young child.

Finally, my patience could take no more. My stress level was through the roof. One additional outburst from Amelia, and I lost my cool. I yelled. I spanked. I dumped her in her room. As she tried to escape to dig those little claws near my skin, I pushed her back. I pushed her with more force than intended. She fell backward into her room. For a moment, her rage ceased. She looked up at me with those big blue eyes, and I saw the hurt. I felt her fear. I had lost my grip on the calm Mommy voice. I let my stress level go too far. I frightened my child.

I collapsed on the floor and began to cry alongside my crying little girl. I hadn't the faintest idea what to do with this angry child. I could not come to terms with my own frustrations. My heart shattered when I let the guilt seep in. Did I deserve to be a mom? How could I let it come to this?

I will not forget that day. That fight is etched in my mind. I can still see the look in Amelia's eyes when her rage turned to heartbreak. Her Mommy, her safety, became scary that day.

I vowed never to let things get that bad again. I sought out professional help. I learned how to better handle child anger issues. I learned how to ensure consistency in my discipline. I learned how to calm my nerves when the terrible twos reared their ugly head.

Nearly as quickly as they began, the violent tantrums improved. Amelia and I became a team again. She looks at me with absolute trust again. She understands my discipline, even though she may not like it.

I had no idea I could fail so badly at mommyhood. But I am thankful for that failure, as it solidified my will to make things right.

I am a good mother.

I am a good mother because I learned from my mistake. I refused to let my stress manipulate the relationship with the most important girl in my life. I took control of the reins again.

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This week's prompt from The Red Dress Club:

This week, we want fightin' words. Write a piece about a fight. What happened? Why? Who "won"? What were the repercussions?


Jenna said...Best Blogger Tips

you are a good mother. and i have been there with those same sorts of tantrums and been on the floor with my child. yes ma'am. thank you for writing so transparently today.

bigguysmama said...Best Blogger Tips

What a wonderfullly emotional post. Trust me, we've all been there. You are NOT alone. We lose our cool for one reason or another, yes even with a toddler. It's ok. Like Jenna said, you are a good mother. We all have a breaking point. So glad to hear things have gotten better! Thank you for your honesty.

~Mimi @bigguysmama

Stacey said...Best Blogger Tips

This is so honest and I so appreciate that. Just last night I screamed at my three year old for spilling water. When my husband came home, I bawled for like half an hour. I think we all have those bad mommy moments. What makes a difference is when we try to make sure it doesn't happen again. Thanks for your honesty!

Random Girl said...Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for your honest post. I have had more than one of the mommy "bully" moments and I feel awful afterwards, like "way to go you, you are awesome for bullying a 5 year old you bitch!" But I try to learn from those moments, have learned the value of asking for forgiveness from my child, and never cease to be amazed that she gives it so freely. It's a lesson.

Elaine A. said...Best Blogger Tips

Some days mothering is just really, REALLY hard. I'm glad to hear how this turned out. You are very brave and honest to write this. Kudos to you.

Amber Page Writes said...Best Blogger Tips


This took a lot of guts to share. Thank you.

Ashley said...Best Blogger Tips

We all have those moments where we just don't know what to do. We all feel like we're a bad mother at one time or another. You are not alone. The important thing is that we work on becoming better and that's what makes a good parent.

Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...Best Blogger Tips

Ohhh, this made me cry. Because I have been there. I did the very exact same thing with my oldest... and then never again. The heartbreak on his little face is still clear as day in my mind, even 15 years later. Very well written.. Thank you so much for sharing.

erin margolin said...Best Blogger Tips

love your honesty here. and if we're all being honest? we can all admit we've been there. being a mom is HARD.


Carrie said...Best Blogger Tips

I felt like you were writing a piece from my own life (made all the more eerie because I am also 32 AND I have a daughter named Amelia who is 2 and a half)

I've lost my cool more times than I can count. I want to try and keep calm but it is so hard sometimes!!

MommyMandi said...Best Blogger Tips

I'm so sorry about her aunt. Life can change in a split second. It was really courageous of you to write this story. You are right, you are a great mommy.

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