I wasn't going to share this story because it's pretty embarrassing and shameful, but I'm pretty certain I'm not the only mother who's done things they deeply regret and feel shameful about when it comes to dealing with their children, so I'm sharing it with you. If my shame brings you some kind of comfort knowing that us mothers all struggle, then so be it!
One night recently my 6 month old son woke up at 3 a.m like he usually does in the middle of the night(he woke up 3 times last night so it just depends, who needs sleep anyway, right?). I nursed him, and he became milk drunk and passed out, but when I picked him up and put him in his crib, he woke up and started to cry. I patted him for several minutes but he wasn't falling back asleep so I picked him back up from his crib, rocked him while whispering "shhhh...." in his ear, and he stopped crying but he wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon. I knew the sure way to make him stop crying and have him eventually fall asleep was to hold him while standing up, rocking him and walking around. Well, at 3 a.m, that ain't happening people! Not for more than 30 secs. anyway, I'm too tired! So I tried rocking him in the rocking chair, still cried, I put him in his crib and patted his back, still cried, tried singing to him, still cried, so being so exhausted myself, I plopped on my bed and laid him on my chest, rocking my body and patting him and pushing his head down to my chest, hoping he'd lose his energy and go to sleep. He still cried. Then I laid him next to me, patted him, scratched his back, massaged his back, rubbed his head, he still cried. So I said screw it, and I turned my body the other way so my back was facing him, and I pretended to sleep, hoping he'd follow my cue. He didn't get the cue, and still cried... for the next two hours. I grunted, made "Shhh!" noise really loud in his ear(oh, the irony!), and kept telling him very sternly to be quiet! He also started starring towards the door while crying, and I had no idea why he was doing that.
Then being the always patient and loving mother that I always am, especially at 6 a.m with 2 hours of sleep, and hearing the baby cry for the last 3 hours straight, I slapped him on his back. He was on his stomach crying, and without a thought, I reached over and slapped his back. Pretty hard too. I knew it was wrong, and I am very against spanking or hitting my children and always give Jay the look of disapproval when he spanks the kids, but I became the biggest hypocrite and hit my child. I was so angry, I didn't even feel bad. He stopped crying for one second because of shock, but then cried harder, and kept looking towards the door. He kept looking at the door which I thought was weird because the only times he looks at the door is when Jay is with him and he's looking for me. He kept crying so I slapped his back again. Then I slapped his back again the third time, while yelling at him, "No Aiden, no! Just go to sleep! Stop crying! You need to go to sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!" And then I understood why some people shake their babies. I'd never, but I understood them. I was so angry!
He just cried harder and starred at the door and I had go to pee so I got up and went to the bathroom. When I was away from the scene and as I was sitting on the toilet, I realized what I had really done and I started feeling guilty. Really, really guilty. I thought, oh man, I'm such a bad mother. Oh man, why did I hit him? he's just a little baby, what have I done? I am such a bad person. I suck.
When I went back in the bedroom, I picked him up gently, hugged him tightly and rocked him while kneeling and said softly and with all the remorse I could muster, "I am so sorry Aiden, I love you so much." He immediately stopped crying and instantly fell asleep while he clung tightly to my chest. He zoned out in an instant, just like that! Then I realized the harsh truth. He wasn't falling asleep because he was looking for his mommy. His nice mommy. That's why he kept starring at the door. Because he didn't know who this mean person was who kept yelling and hitting him, and he was looking for his nice mommy to come back. When I realized that, it broke my heart and I cried. I cried as I kept rocking him and kissing him and whispering "I'm sorry. your nice mommy is here." I cried as I put him down and kissed him once more, And I cried until I fell asleep.
Mother of the year goes to me, peeps. The mean mother of the year, that is.