I snapped.

March 4, 2011

I had an emotionally exhausting day. It was just one thing after another – little things, big things, stupid things – and all these compounded until I felt like I was going to lose my sanity. I simply couldn’t take one more bit of stress.

I’m at the stove cooking, Sam’s feeding Bella. I’m trying to explain to him what’s wrong, how it just feels overwhelming to deal with so much at one time. The stress of him leaving and me doing my best not to fall apart is taking it’s toll. I’m just shoving all my feelings down because I can’t think about it. So instead of talking about him being gone, I choose to focus on other, petty things. Things that didn’t make any sense. He’s trying to listen. Trying to talk to me about it.

And in the background, there is Bella. Whining yet again for more food. She’s just had a yogurt, I’m cooking her dinner as fast as I can. But the whine, the howling, the never ending horrible noise that grates on your nerves and sounds like nails being dragged down a chalkboard encompasses all sound. I begin to feel the blood rush to my head as I try to sort out my thoughts. She keeps it up. Just like every night between 4 and 6. Sobs and cries no matter if she’s just had snack, it’s the end of the world to not have her dinner as soon as she decides she’s hungry.

I’m upset, trying to talk and forgetting what I’m saying, Sam is talking loudly over Bella’s ceaseless hum. She throws food on the floor, bangs her tray, yells and arches backwards.

And I snap.

I spin to face her and scream, “Oh my God Bella, STOP. SHUT UP!”

She instantly bursts into sobs, real sobs of fright and sadness and the look on her face is more than I can deal with. I turn back to the stove as Sam sits quietly with her. My hand is shaking as I finish her dinner and all I’m thinking is, “I can’t do this alone. I can’t. I have no idea how on earth I’m going to manage being the sole parent for the next 18 weeks. I am going to lose my mind.”

I feel sick. I feel so guilty and awful. How could I say that? Why did I have to unload all my frustration on her?

After a minute I walk to where she sits, her little face so upset. I kiss her on the head and pick her up, carrying her with me to the stove to finish dinner together. I whisper, “I’m so sorry honey, I love you” in her ear and hold her close. She’s all smiles as I put her back in her chair with food.

Sam says later that she’ll never remember it. Maybe. But I’ll never forget that look on her face. I hated myself for being the cause of it.

25 Comments

  • InTheBabyhood

    March 6, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Oh Lordy…more times that I care to admit…the shame, the pain, the guilt…thank you for sharing…it helps to hear one is not alone.

  • Tracy

    March 5, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I had one of those moments about a month ago. It was a Wednesday night. Abby wouldn’t sleep longer than 30 minute stretches. And they all had to be on me. She was whiny. She was cranky. And I snapped. I said in a strong stern loudish voice, “WHAT DO YOU WANT!?” Then I cuddled her close and knew she was just as frustrated as me. The guilt goes away. Trust me on that. But of course, I still can’t forget.

  • Mama P

    March 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    I really felt like I was the one writing this post! It is definitely hard doing things alone (my hubs isn’t gone, but he works 12-14 hours a day x6 a week) I’ve had a ton of moments where I just snap, and yell at someone, sometimes screaming at the entire house. :(, from reading the comments, neither one of us is alone! I am sure you will do great, plus you have a wonderful community of support here in the bloggy world 🙂

  • Krista

    March 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve done this way more than I like to admit. It’s HARD being on your own. I had 16+ weeks of football season where it was all me all the time. And C did the same thing that Bella did, whined while I was trying to get her dinner ready and it. drove. me. batty.

    I snapped more than I want to admit. Those days and weeks were HARD. But eventually we figured it out. And I learned to relax and snapped a little less. Sometimes she had cereal and goldfish for dinner and sometimes we skipped her bath. I wasn’t a perfect mother, but I changed my goal to keeping her happy and alive and getting us both through the season.

    You’ll be fine. You’ll have good days and bad days. Just don’t beat yourself up for the bad days.

  • angela

    March 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Oh, I don’t think there is a mom in the world who hasn’t had a moment like that. We are parents, but we are human, too, and there’s nothing we can do to stop making mistakes.

    I think you are going to be amazed at your strength and capabilities with Sam gone. You will find a rhythm, and it will make sense to you and Bella, and it will probably be a little weird when he does come back! (a welcome and thrilling weird, but still a little weird)

    And remember that some days it might feel terrible, and on those days you can skip dinner and eat bananas and cereal with Bella on the couch and snuggle and just be with each other.

  • Kat

    March 5, 2011 at 9:30 am

    We have all had those moments so please don’t beat yourself up over it. What counts is that you acknowledged that you snapped and owned up to it with an apology. My children have seen me at my best and at my worst and know that their mother is human and imperfect. They also know that I love them and always want the best for them. Hopefully all of this will make them better human beings.

  • Cindy @ This Adventure, Our Life

    March 4, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    It happens to all of us! I had that kind of day also! The type where you feel like worlds worst mom!! UGH… Hang in there, change for next time, and hope tomorrow is better my friend!!

  • Jen

    March 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Oh goodness. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve snapped in front of my children…I don’t even want to think about how many times I’ve done the WRONG thing with my chidlren when it comes to my own personal stress. But what matters the most, is how often you do the RIGHT thing, and you know those times far outweigh the bad. If I yell at my son, he will yell back in a frustrated way, and it makes me realize how pathetic I am for yelling at a toddler. They are not perfect, in fact my kids can drive a sane person up the wall, but they’re MINE. And no matter what, at the end of the day, I give them hugs and snuggles, and that means more to them than anything I may have done wrong that day. Keep your chin up, and when you have these moments, think back on something that Bella did that day that really made you smile and be thankful for her. Because she loves you regardless, flaws and all. You’re not perfect, but you’re mommy, and you’re fantastic.

  • Lauren

    March 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    p.s. thanks for adding me to your blog roll. you rock 😉

  • Lauren

    March 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I’ve SO been there & my girl is only 6 months old! I’m sure every “normal” mom can relate.

    Please try not to beat yourself up. I know, easier said than done.

    ((hugs, momma))

  • Lisa

    March 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    been there, done that felt horrible!! but you’re right in the long run as long as its the not the norm you’ll be more scarred by it then they will

  • Becca

    March 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Oh…I’ve had moments like that, Diana…too many. And I always, always, *always* carry intense regret. And it’s almost always around that very same type of situation– too much stress on a big life topic that I’m pushing down, crying baby, no way to communicate with husband…and boom. The Becca who shall not be named comes out. And oh how I dislike her. So I understand.

    You are doing the very best you can, with what you have, in each moment. Sometimes you will slip. Forgive yourself….and trust that Bella will forgive you too.

  • kim

    March 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Ditto to what all these other women said. We call the hours between 4 and 7 the ‘witching hours’ here. They.suck. I throw food at the kids like they are wild animals or risk loosing my mind completely (and when I loose my mind? So.much.worse. than ‘shut up’) Unitl you find your groove, maybe Bella’s dinners could be cooked ahead of time, or be more snack like, so you don’t feel so much pressure. I remember that feeling all too well. John still gets this way — that’s why he eats 3 yogurts before dinner every night. I used to give the kids frozen waffle stix to naw on while I cooked — they thought they were getting a huge treat and I knew I was getting a moment of sanity. I know you can do this, Diana. 🙂

  • t.bird

    March 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    i’ve been there too my dear. we are so not perfect.
    never fear- you can do this.
    <3

  • Jessica @ The Southern Belle Baby

    March 4, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I have done this exact same thing before, and it really does make you feel like crap. You are not a bad mother or a bad person for have a weak moment! It happens to the best of us, just try to de-stress as much as you can when you feel it building by just taking a few really deep breaths. Sorry you had one of those moments!

  • Alexia

    March 4, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I’m with the rest of the ladies. We all have those days. And though Bella won’t remember and you will, you can’t beat yourself up over it. All you can do is try to not let things build up like that. And you CAN do it. You ARE doing it. You are strong and brave and fully capable of taking care of Bella by yourself. It’s going to be hard but it’ll make you stronger, right? And you know we’ll totally be there when you need to rant…

  • Crystal

    March 4, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Hey- I’m new here…for the sake of sounding like an idiot…why does your hubby have to be away for 18 weeks?? I just ask, because my hubby leaves in May with the military…I was just curious.

    I’m sorry you felt that way…I get that overwhelming feeling all the time and it really sucks! THen the mommy guilt kicks in…and it sucks even more. I wish I could say I have a great idea as to how to overcome it or even prevent it…but I don’t. Being a mama is tough…even tougher when your support has to be gone. So I get it…I really do. My hubby leaves for a year-long deployment to Afghanistan. I don’t even let my mind wander to the many questions it wants to ask. I’m a stuffer…I stuff all of the fears, questions, anxiety, emotions down deep…and never, ever deal with them.

    1. Diana

      March 4, 2011 at 11:18 am

      We should get to know each other – my husband joined the Army and leaves this Tuesday for AIT (he was in the Marines 5 years ago and doesn’t have do to Basic again). I know the deployment overseas is just around the corner after this, and I can’t even think about it. He already went to Iraq…

      Anyway, if you want to chat I’m here, on Twitter, just let me know. I’m off to stop by your blog.

  • Desi

    March 4, 2011 at 10:23 am

    We’ve all been there. I can relate to that guilt feeling when you think you’ve been too hard on your child, but I think we do the best we can and sometimes snapping a little puts everything back into perspective.

  • melissa

    March 4, 2011 at 10:02 am

    ((hugs))

    There are a few tricks I use in situations where I feel like I’m gonna boil over…

    1.) There’s this thing I saw in parents magazine where you go sit facing the wall and lay down and put your legs flat up the side of the wall with your palms up. You just lay there and breath and relax. When your at your boiling point sometimes it just helps to stop and breathe.

    2.) I know you do yoga so that has helped me mellow out allot, any sort of exercise.

    3.) I have known a couple of people who have lost their children at both baby/toddler/teenage ages. And they all say that something like that just puts everything into perspective. Most of the things that aggravate us and upset us are just not worth the energy. My resolution was to change my perspective and count my blessings anytime I get frustrated or overwhelmed. It’s been a huge help to me.

    Lastly, nobody is perfect. What matters is that you love Bella and Sam and they feel that. You are doing an excellent job and you are a wonderful mommy. You can do anything you want to with enough focus and determination.

  • Cole

    March 4, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Kids are forgiving – at the end of the day, you’re Mommy – you’re our whole world and we know deep down you’d do anything for us. A few bad moments here and there can’t take that away.

    I hope today goes more smoothly – it’s so hard when things pile up on top of you. ::hugs::

  • NainaDG

    March 4, 2011 at 9:26 am

    I’m so sorry you had that kind of day. We have all been there , I love my bun but I’ve snapped too and I feel terrible right after. You are being the best mom you can be and that little girl knows that and moments like that are just minor hiccups.

  • Dallas

    March 4, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Oh honey, we’ve ALL been there. Not a one of us is perfect, as much as we’d like to be. She for sure will not remember it, and even if she did, sometimes I think it’s GOOD for our children to see that we’re not perfect. Mommy (and Daddy) are human too. They will learn that it’s ok to make mistakes. You showed her that you made a mistake, and even better, you followed up. You let yourself cool down, came back to her and apologized. You taught your daughter a very valuable lesson. You are a GREAT mommy!

  • Tara

    March 4, 2011 at 8:51 am

    News Flash…. unless we (other mothers) are lying to ourselves…. we’ve ALL had that kind of moment.

    DH is right, she won’t remember yesterday for the life of her, no matter how many therapists try to get it out of her (lol, just kidding!).

    Don’t beat yourself up, if you were perfect you wouldn’t be human.

    I hope you were able to really discuss your feelings with him after Bella settled down.

    xoxo

  • TheNextMartha

    March 4, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I don’t know a single mom who hasn’t had that sort of day. It happens. Being a single parent WILL be hard, but you can do it. You will rise up and be amazed by your own strength.

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