Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A rotten mother

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I can't hack this. Boo is so difficult lately. She's defiant, she has screaming mimi temper tantrums and she hits me and I just don't know what to do with her. I don't know what to do with myself, either. I get SO angry with her when she's been doing this for hours, so angry that I scare myself. So angry that I have to leave the room so I don't do anything I'll regret. I regret enough as it is - it's mortifying to admit this, but I have sworn at her, which makes me feel horribly guilty and makes me cry.

I hate this. I hate this black rage that envelopes me when I've been listening to the whining, shrieking, screaming and crying for hours. I hate that she acts that way. I hate that nothing I do seems to help. I hate feeling like I have no control over her or over myself.

I've tried putting her in the corner. She stays there, but I don't think she sees it as a punishment. I've tried putting her in her playpen and putting her in her bed. It just transfers the screaming to another location. I've tried talking to her. I tell her not to hit/scream/have a fit. She nods and hugs and then 30 seconds later, she's doing it again. She goes from sweet and biddable to psycho and then back again in a matter of minutes. I never know how she's going to react to anything. Will she laugh? Will she scream? Will she do what she's told? Will she throw herself on the floor and start yelling? It's unbelievably frusrating.

I feel awful. I shouldn't lose my cool with her - I try and try and try and then, finally, something snaps in me and I yell. I try so hard not to. And when I do yell, I feel so guilty and scared and helpless. I usually wind up putting her in her bed and sitting in the bathroom, sobbing.

I've sat on the couch, holding her or the Bug and wondering if I shouldn't just give them up, find someone who's better at this than I am, who won't lose her shit every single day, who won't fuck them up for life. I'm terrified of what I'm doing to them, of what I'm doing to myself. I hate this angry, wound up person that I've become. I hate that I dread her waking up from her nap. I hate that her bedtime is my favourite time of day because it means that I won't have to deal with her for 12 hours. I hate that I feel this way about my daughter. It's so wrong.

I love her to pieces, even though this post doesn't sound that way. I do. I don't want to mess up my kids. I don't want to be angry all the time. I don't enjoy it. But I'm not enjoying any of this right now, either. It seems endless, like it's always going to be this way, like there's nothing to look forward to and it's never going to change. I'm just plodding along a never-ending trail, watching my happiness, my enthusiasm, my self just slipping away, listening to her pitch fits and feeling like a complete and utter failure as a mother.

I need help.

12 comments:

bubandpie said...

You do need help - but not necessarily of the psychological kind - more like the somebody to come over and give you a break kind.

There has never been a time that I did not dread my children waking up from their naps.

Kittenpie's post on rage was something I found so instructive - that anger is what we feel when we've been pushed too far for too long. It's a signal that something needs to change, that we need a break.

Is there someone who can come hold the baby for awhile so you can give your daughter some one-on-one attention? Are there some playgroups you can get out to for a change of scenery? I would have lost it many, many more times if it weren't for my weekly schedule of playgroups (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, with a dads' group Saturday mornings so I get that time completely to myself).

You know I've been there. And I don't think I was pushed nearly as hard as you have been.

Cat, Galloping said...

a break sounds like a good idea. i mean, hello?! FOUR KIDS, two really tiny. also, just in case, can you talk to your dr about PPD?

Sarah said...

I get this 100%! I hate that I'm yelling at A 10 seconds after leaving daycare...She's big into scratching right now....Claws come out and she just goes after you.

She's also big into "why?" right now, which makes me want to rip my ears off sometimes!

"WHY no hit? Why hurt? why, why, why, why-why?"

Thankfully I don't have the screaming, but honestly I could never stay home with A 24/7. No WAY! Any chance you can take a break once in a while? Even if just for an hour on the weekend to do anything for yourself?

art-sweet said...

Tranqualizers? For baby or mama, doesn't matter. I wish I were closer - I'd come take the screaming for a while.

Sending you big huge hugs

Mamma Sarah said...

Hang in there. See if you can get someone to come over and take one kid for a little while you devote some attention to the other.

Sending hugs from one mommy to another. :-D

jen said...

hey you,
first time commenting - and wanted to say that GOOD GOD, I know exactly how you feel. lately it's been warfare at night at my place, and i get so tense, so frustrated..and it feels so isolating. And it's already been mentioned, but Kittenpie did a great piece on this recently too. It gets to all of us. Peace (and a tall glass of wine) to you.

George said...

You need a break no doubt! Find a sitter and take off for a while!

YOU TOTALLY DESERVE IT! You are a great mom!!! :)

Sarahtoo said...

Oh, man, I hear you. bubandpie is right--you need a break. Tell TCBYM that you would like to go out by yourself some specific upcoming weekday evening or--if you can get him to agree to it--weekend morning/afternoon/day. Go out, meet a friend or just sit in the library and soak in the quiet, but go. You are doing the hardest job on earth, and everybody needs some time away from their job.

I think that every mom goes through the feelings you're having. And I bet every mom feels guilty as hell when they just want their kids to GO. AWAY. You're not a bad mom. You are a tired and stressed-out mom.

I'm betting that Boo is testing her limits, trying to find her place in this new family structure (now that the Bug is here), and all you can do is love on her. Remember, this too shall pass. Show the Boo you love her and you'll all get through this.

Wisconsin Crunchy Mama said...

Been there ~ alot ~ and I only have the ONE little one.

You do need breaks, I can't imagine how demanding these kids are on you right now.

You're not the only one, and you're not crazy :)You truely are doing the hardest, most demanding, thankless (right now), job on earth. Give yourself the credit you deserve.

Lyrehca said...

What everyone's said. Tell TCBIM you need regular breaks. Take them and enjoy them. You're doing a great job, even if you don't think you are.

Andrea said...

Yes, my first thought is what about TCBYM? Some time in the evenings at least? Because four kids! You're allowed a break, and don't beat yourself up because you can't do it all. I don't know one person who could do it all, even without some of the things you have to consider, like O's condition.

My next thought was maybe PPD? Not that you don't have plenty of reason to feel stretched really thin without PPD. Maybe if you get a break and you still feel overwhelmed, it's something to think about.

Giant hugs dot com to you. Really. I wish I could come help you. I hate to see you so heartbroken and upset.

graymama said...

((((julia))))

I am catching up on blogs and reading this quite late. I wanted to let you know that every mom I know has had these types of moments including myself, and I only have one!

You definitely deserve a break!

Check out www.awareparenting.com
It talks about how tantrums are a biological way for children to release stress hormones. I am sure that Boo probably has some feelings of stress, too. We use the techniques with Buddy. I still have rough days, but AwP has improved upon our tantrum/screaming situation.