I am feeling very upset about something which happened last night. Very upset, very scared and very ashamed.
I was putting Anna to bed. I usually start at around 7:30 and most days she’s asleep by 8. She drinks around half her bottle, I rock her and hum to her and she’s out. Yesterday was one of the very few days when she didn’t want to sleep. She drank her milk and then wanted to play. I tried rocking her, even walked up and down with her, but she wouldn’t sleep. I also held her forcibly for a few minutes which upset her a lot and made her struggle and cry even more. Anna has this habit of sucking the thumb of one hand and holding my chain with the other when she’s sleepy. Yesterday night she would suck her thumb, scrabble all around my neck to find the chain, and then she’d suddenly become alert and start struggling to be put down. This went on for half an hour. My neck was sore with all the scratching she had done.
What scared me was the sudden spurts of rage I felt. A very intense rage. I was hungry, I was tired, my neck was hurting and I just wanted her to sleep. But nothing justified the intensity of anger I felt. I wanted to shake her, smack her, shout at her or just put her down on the bed and leave. I am scared of how close I came to hitting her. At one point I actually put her down roughly and started to walk away. Her eyes which had been bright with mischief till then immediately teared up, her face crumpled and she came running to cling on to my legs. I finally came to my senses then and brought her out. She played for one more hour and finally slept at 9.
There is so much wrong with what I did yesterday. Anna is very good about sleeping. She mostly sleeps on time every single day and isn’t too much trouble to put down. Yesterday was one day when she didn’t want to sleep. I should just have given up after 10 minutes or so and tried later when she was sleepy. I completely ignored how she must have been feeling when I was trying to force her to sleep. I completely ignored my baby as a person and treated her like I might never have treated anyone else. I was extremely resentful of her for not sleeping and encroaching on my ‘me’ time. What scares me the most is the intensity of the anger I felt. It was such a small thing. There was NO reason at all for me to be more than mildly irritated.
I’ve been thinking about this non-stop since then. It’s an eye-opener to how much I’m lacking as a mom and how much I need to change.
I’m so sorry baby for the way I treated you last night. I will never-ever let it happen again, so help me God. I know there will be times when my anger will be justified, but even then I must try to not let my anger control me. I know you have already forgiven your Mumma. That even when I was walking away, all you wanted was me. I will try my best to be deserving of the love you have for me sweetheart. To deserve being your Mumma.