The Unhappiest Baby on the Block

Good lord, Jack cries a lot. When we get up in the morning and make breakfast he cries, when I try to put clothes on so we can go outside he cries, when we come back inside and take a nap he cries, waiting for dinner to cook he cries, when it’s time for bed he cries.

Sometimes I feel like smoke is going to come out of my ears and the top of my head is going to pop off like in a Looney Tunes cartoon. I try to practice all of the gentle parenting tricks of the trade. I wear him, I nurse him, I speak gently to him. Then there are times when I put him down, turn on the TV and snap at him. I hate myself on those days. Sometimes it seems every day.

I tell myself I have to stop writing about this, shut down the Facebook page and stop working on this Attachment Parenting mission because I am fraud. I am not gentle. I am terrible and awful and a bad mother. I cry. I cry. I cry.

Sometimes I think Jack deserves better. Like I should get a job and send him to daycare where someone else might give him the love and nurturance that he needs. That I can’t give him. That I fail at on a daily basis.

I want to punch windows, drink bottles of wine, scream at the top of my lungs, eat all of the food in the house, flip tables over, throw myself down the stairs. I hate this feeling. Like the most important thing I am doing I suck at. Like I can’t escape this now. Like I can’t go on. Like I’m depriving my son of the very things I advocate for other mothers to give their children because I know how vital it is.

I snuggle him when he sleeps. He latches on. His face is peaceful. I kiss his head. It’s warm. I have to do better. I have to be better. I just have to.

Abby Theuring, MSW

About Abby Theuring

The Badass Breastfeeder is a mother, writer, social worker, attachment parent, proud breastfeeder and advocate. Her career as a social worker has shown her that gentle and connected parenting is vital for life-long emotional health. You can find her blog at www.thebadassbreastfeeder.com and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheBadassBreastfeeder.

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67 comments

  1. My heart goes out to you…My Third baby cried for 11 months… (and at age 30 today still shows no signs of having suffered from it… since he was BF 4 years and carried a lot! I think that helped him survive.)
    My grandson also cried like yours.
    I’m wondering, after the fact… if having lots of Cranial/Sacral Therapy might not help. And verify with super specialists that he isn’t tongue-tied. This sort of Posterior TT can cause all sorts of restrictions elsewhere in the body, which is why C/S therapy is necessary. Would love to have feed-back.
    And sorry, I can’t read all 64 previous comments… mine might already have been made!

  2. It always feel good to read something like this, even if I’ve always been aware I’m not alone. Sometimes we need our own space but not at times that our babies want to let us have it. you’re doing great. you’re giving him the best you have. When your baby cries and you’re too tired to even feel like hugging him, he learns that you’re human, you have your limits. He still loves you and you still love him, even if it’s not the first thing in your mind at that time.

  3. This blog was posted in December of 2012. What a wonderful outpouring of support Abby got from everybody. Nobody told her what to do or what she was doing wrong. They all just supported her. That’s so nice.
    I’m wondering where she is now (at home/at work) and how Jack is doing.
    If you’re reading this, Abby, would you please take a minute to answer? I sure hope Jack has outgrown his exhausting crying for your sake and his. I’m sure he wasn’t happy with his behavior either.
    Sincerely ……….

  4. Thank you for writing your important story – I’ll bet it was cathartic in a way. We as Mothers are so afraid of being judged and admitting when things are not perfect. It took balls to put yourself out there. This brought me to tears because I’ve been there….and a lot of Mothers have been there. THANK YOU.

  5. Oh wow, i could write the exact same! I have the second baby now crying my Brain to mash, every day, every Week, every month and i cant belive this is Happening again.
    Everybody told me there is such a little chance you get two of those babys, but now we have two. I often think i go crazy.. Its like you can do nothing right. I often think im the most aweful mom. But i also think everybody will resign sometime with that kind of extreme struggle.
    It get’s better after a year, though my first Child turning 3 still cries alot more than others..
    Thank you for your honest Report! It helps knowing mit to be alone.

  6. This was me today and on many days! My beautiful little daughter is the highlight of my life… She’s everything I’ve ever wanted and I love her so deeply. With that said, today I nearly lost it.. I did some deep breathing and definitely bit my tongue. It’s so hard when they won’t stop crying, breaks my heart. I just put her down after she spent most of the night screaming as I tried so hard to hug her and make her happy. I’m sitting here feeling like I’ve just been through a battle.

  7. Thank you for validating us as mothers and parents and the emotional toll hard work it really takes raising an emotionally intelligent child. Sometimes it feels like we are the student (which we truly are).

  8. ohhhhh this is exactly how I feel right now! Thankyou so much for sharing!! I had such a terrible night trying to get my nearly two year old to sleep while we kept switching from one breast to the other, that wasn’t the bad part! It’s the fidling and pulling and hurting the OTHER nipple! It gave me rage like I just wanted to push my son away and I was mean :( and he just took even longer to get to sleep! I feel like it’s my fault for co sleeping and breastfeeding to sleepand now he’s nearly two and even self soothe sighhhh I hope all you mamas are having a good night xx

  9. Thank you for posting that. I spent 45 minutes tonight trying to get my 3 year old in the car and safely buckled. She was not having any of it. I begged, I tried speaking softly, I tried rewarding her, I tried threatening her. Then I tried to control her (at some point, we needed to get home and she needed to be safe). It must have sounded like I was torturing her, trying desperately to manage arms and legs kicking and flailing. Eventually, I managed to get her buckled and get home, crying myself. And that’s when I felt the greatest pain. I thought, maybe I’m not meant to be a mother… Maybe the thing that I’ve always believed was in my very being, just isn’t true (I believed this so much that I had her on my own with donor sperm at 40). And that was the most crushing feeling ever. But after a calm bath, she looked at me and said “mamma I’m sorry I make you cry”. And I knew I didn’t make a mistake.

  10. I hear you… although I have to say I have resorted to a glass of wine now and then (or every evening after I’ve survived the day). Its a HARD journey…
    My 14 month old cries and is clingy. My 11 year old step daughter throws world ending temper tantrums. My 10 year old daughter and 9 year old step-daughter throw hissy fits that put supermodels to shame. My 13 year old son has become a master of Sulking and Moodiness… And daily I wonder how I can be allowed to be a parent because I don’t have a clue how to make everyone happy…
    WE just need to keep going on, trying our best… what else can we do?

    • I think that’s the problem right there: “I don’t have a clue how to make everyone happy” It’s not our job as women or parents to make “everyone happy” even though that is what society tries to groom women to do. The best example you can be is to make yourself happy.

  11. You took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you.

  12. My daughter is now 18 years old. This is exactly what I experienced with her. She cried nonstop. I felt like a horrible mother. People would ask me why I couldn’t tell what her cries meant. They all sounded the same to me. I would make sure she wasn’t wet or hungry and try to calm her down. On several occasions we would go out to eat and her crying would be so bad that after 10 – 15 minutes the tables surrounding our table were empty. She started talking at a very early age. She complained constantly. Nothing was ever right. To this day she is very vocal and constantly voicing her opinion about everything – which I love. She is a very strong and opinionated young woman. I finally realized that she was born that way. She was voicing her opinions from day one and very frustrated that nobody seemed to be paying any attention. LOL

  13. Well said. I wonder why my son cries constantly. He is well fed, dry, warm. He gets to watch Power Rangers and play with blocks. I play Super Girl and he’s Spiderman. He speaks. So why does he cry? Sometimes I wonder if he is just sensitive. If I give him a look he will break out in tears. Fall out on the floor. Scream.

    Thank you for this. I realize I am not alone.

  14. Thank you abby for your post. I’m going through the same thing with my son on a daily basis. He cries so much that sometimes I just snap or other times i just cry with him. Your post made me feel like i’m not alone and that it is normal.

  15. I love this. I feel this everyday. Thank you for sharing. It is comforting to know we aren’t the only ones.

  16. You are doing a good enough job lovely Mama. My little one is 15 months old and we are attachment parenting too…baby wearing, cosleeping and breastfeeding on demand. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed I clock watch till bedtime and then feel so guilty that I’m wishing away precious hours. But we are only human and we are doing a good enough job. Our babies don’t need martyrs…they need imperfect, flawed, human parents who love them in a good enough way which teaches them that they are good enough when they too are imperfect. Sending you lots of love. Most of us feel this way…and together we can support each other, just knowing that it is a shared experience. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  17. You aren’t failing. I think if you don’t think you need to do better and try harder, then you aren’t doing it right. My kids are 9, 7 and 1. On a daily basis, I feel like I’m somehow damaging them or that they will grow up to resent me. My 9 year old throws himself on the grounds and cries several times a day. We do the same thing, in the same order every day before school and have since preschool…he’s now in 4th grade and still loses his mind when I inform him that he needs to get dressed before he eats…as if it is a new and shocking development. Hang in there….you are doing great!!!

  18. My daughter was like that, I was exhausted from her constant squealing but what kept me going was that I read in a book at the breastfeeding group that fussy, demanding behaviour from babies was generally a sign of intelligence. Now she is 6, top of the class and she’s going on a gifted writers’ course on Saturday. I’m finally making a dent in all the housework I missed over the years! Hang in there, it’s not for ever but worth it in the long run!

  19. Three kids in, & I still feel the exact same way. I am in tears. Thank you for letting all the mamas, including me, know that we are not alone.

  20. Hugs Mama. You are the perfect mother for him. You do this. You are doing this. We all believe in you.

  21. I am mother to 4 & now grandmother (Gigi) to 6. My first thought is that for whatever reason your son is so distressed, thank God that he has such a loving & committed mother. Every Mother wants to do all the things you describe. You are not alone or failing. Try to trust that you are the best you can be right now. I used to spray lavender oil in the air for calming (myself & my babies.) The real thing not synthetic scents. It helped. I would walk or sometimes run outside, do jumping jacks, yell in a pillow. . .find ways to release my own discomfort so I could love my babies with greater ease.

    My daughters second would scream if she left her for a moment so they were snuggled together through everything for her first few months. Very crazy making time, but her 3 year old is a very secure little girl, enjoying a sweet preschool a few mornings a week.

    I hope you can hold the hope that your little one will settle and you are the best person on the world to see him through his tears.

  22. I get the idea behind self-criticism and am quite prone to it myself. However, it is also important to remember that babies develop their self-esteem based on overall interactions, not momentary distresses. When I had Cambria (aimed homebirth turned hospital birth… talk about self-criticism!), my biggest bother during that time was making the decision to have the heel prick test, which put her in an extremely stressful situation barely a day out of being outside the womb. Looking back I would choose either not to do it, or get it done a few days later or something, but the fact that she had a moment or longer of distress does not cancel out the rest of the parenting that I do on a daily basis. If you are overall respectful, if you are overall attentive to your child’s needs, and overall respect the fact that you try to read your kids cues everyday then *that* is what Jack will remember… not the times he cries when he’s tired, etc. If he really does cry as much as you said in the post, then I feel for you and can say that at least it seems your heart is in the right place. It’s hard not to internalize when our babies are upset- it seems like they are upset at us, but they’re not. They have their own emotions and their own stuff going on. The best thing I have learned at 4 months with my little girl is that the more I am able to keep calm and keep my cool, her attitude will usually reflect that back, even if it takes a few moments to get her to calm down and stop crying, or takes me a few minutes to gather myself. Hope this was at least somewhat helpful.

  23. I have a 3 year old who cried ALL the time when he was an infant. I started him in pre-school very early (at about 2 yrs 3 months) and my hope was that he would gain some independence and enjoy playing with other kids. He went 2 afternoons per week and the cost was more reasonable than i imagined! We chose a Christ based Montessori School and it was the best decision ever! He almost instantly transformed into an independent little guy who loved life and stopped crying all the time. I was worried he would grow up too fast but he thrived and now I look back and see he needed something of his own.

    I’m now dealing with baby boy #2 & he is the complete opposite of my first. Such a happy baby… boy did I worry I’d have two screamers! I still have my bad days too but fear not.. there is hope :)

    I appreciate your stories and photos too. I envy your courage and because of you I NIP more and more! Keep your head up and keep on being a great mama to that beautiful little boy!

  24. I could have written this post on many many days. Thank you for making me feel like i’m not alone. No mom is perfect. I’m trying so are you.

  25. PPS-Attachment parenting rocks. All 3 of mine are now in their own beds(and were by 6-9 months old). It worked out just fine.

  26. PS-This is for Stef- When my first was born it was one of the WORST times of my life. I look back at that time and cringe. But now…he’s 7, smart, and amazing. He was worth it. Hang in there, it’s going to be okay!!

  27. Hello everyone! I’m a Mom of 3 boys (now 3, 4, and 7) and have been where you are! IT GETS BETTER!!!!! Here are some things from my experience that I hope helps someone out there (especially those of you who are 1st time Mom’s–special place in my heart for YOU)
    Do not beat yourself up for struggling. If you do you will start the next day lower than the previous. Forgive yourself (and him), figure out what triggers you and have ways to cope with those things the next time they come up. Experiment! I used to give myself permission to cry if all 3 of my little boys were crying (I would cry anyway if I needed to, but it was nice to give myself permission in this very special situation) and I would feel AMAZING if, in that situation, I didn’t need to!
    Find a co-op of Mom’s with preschoolers or join MOPS. Having friends in the same stage of life is important. I found that when I met people face to face and could go to coffee, baby attached, I didn’t feel so very isolated. It REALLY improves my day-to-day life to know I have a whole lot of people out there to help and support me when I need it.
    This is said a lot: SLEEP WHEN THEY DO! Laundry is always there in a pile, so are dishes. You can catch up on those, you can never really catch up on sleep…
    The next thing can be hard for some people to hear when they are in the midst of depression. So, if I offend, it is not my intention. If extreme sadness and feelings of unworthiness really start to affect your quality of life (and his) and it goes on and on, talk to your doctor. Don’t let it go on for very long…Get help. If not for you, then for him.
    Hang in there!!!! It’s so worth it and WILL GET BETTER!!! :)

  28. And I can so relate with your “punch the windows” paragraph… I recently threw my phone against the wall and when it didn’t break into a million pieces I picked it up and threw it again. Then when I realized it was broken and I had lost a lot of photos of my son I cried for half an hour :p

  29. Thank you to everyone for your honest comments. Hearing that other mothers feel the same way can really help relieve the stress of a bad day!

  30. Thank you, all of you, for sharing your grief and angst so honestly. I have been going through a very difficult time being a first- time new mom, have been struggling with post-partum issues, and have had many moments like the ones described above. I find it remarkable and oddly comforting to see how many of us have wanted to or wished we could throw ourselves down a flight of stairs. What makes it so much worse though is the fact that we don’t hear much of this, what we hear more about is how happy we must be and what a wonderful time this is. “Oh, that was the best time, when my son was an infant, one of the happiest times of my life!” “Make sure you cherish these days, because they’ll be gone before you know it and you’ll never have them again.” These are two of many such comments that I have had to hear while I was feeling like a total failure, like I wish I could disappear, and it added a new, miserable dimension: guilt. So, thank you for baring these unpleasant and unfortunate realities (for some of us), and helping eliminate some of that guilt.

  31. I just happened to stumble across your blog post and wanted to tell you- you are not alone. In short, I too am a social worker, who promotes/practices breast feeding and wholesome nutrition, and somewhat of attachment parenting. I also have had a very screaming new baby… for a while… and at everything or for not reason. I mean flexing-every-muscle-in-her-little-body screaming. Also she simply seems to hate breast feeding, as though I’m giving her nasty cough medicine. Additionally she is not a snuggler by any means. I feel like I completely missed the boat to “new mother la-la-land” where nothing else in the world matters except your baby. I have definitely had days where if it was legal to sell your kid, I would have.

  32. Babies are hard work, parenting is exhausting and lack of sleep is a killer. 3 babies later it’s still a shock, I still judge myself and doubt my abilities. Sometimes I do just melt and cry. Reading this blog & reactions it seems normal. Women are amazing!

  33. This made me watery-eyed. Ive had a few of those days. I just wanted to say you are a wonderful mom. Sometimes theres nothing you can do. You are doing what is most important for your child and that is to LOVE him and CARE for him. And it is so incredibly clear that you do both those things. :)

  34. We have all had those days…I go to bed and cry sometimes, promise to do better the next day and by breakfast I have already “failed” But, then, I will see my boys cuddled on the couch, playing kissing monster, talking sweetly to each other, and I know that I must be doing SOMETHING right, if this is the result of how we parent. Hang in there sister! It will get better, and your son will remember that you were there for him and loved him even on his worst days, and doesn’t that count for something?

  35. I just wanted to say what I beautiful photo this is. So natural and loving. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Sorry, got a bit carried away there with the length of the message and made lots of mistakes too!

  37. I had to comment again after seeing the last posts. I totally agree that you’re being too hard on yourself! The book Marjolein is talking about sounds like the Wonder Weeks, great book, although the parents’ comments in it sound really out of line to me sometimes (they sound like they practice conventional parenting and seem to expect so much of their little ones!), but that’s beside the point, and the author’s insight are really relevant and do help you see the world from your child’s developing mind’s point of view.

    Also, have you heard of Aletha Solter’s work? Her books help heal my guilt-ridden soul when I am at the end of my roll and I need a reminder that I am indeed not my baby’s entertainer, as Marjolein said it. She talks about the need to cry for some babies, which is sometimes a very real one, and she advises allowing your child to cry in your arms when you’ve tried everything and nothing’s working. My husband and I take turns to hold Amelia when we feel there’s no stopping her, and she does seem relieved and often sleeps better afterwards, oh and she stops pinching me when nursing after these crying sessions too! I find that if I try to hold her off and distract her when all she needs is a good cry, I just treat the symptoms and I end up with a constantly whiny, clingy baby who can’t get the tension out of her body and just builds it up. I read The Aware Baby and Tears and Tantrums, they are great books that explain why babies seems to cry for no reason and how it can actually heal birth trauma and other trauma to “cry in arms”, as she calls it. Her theory is called “Aware Parenting”, and although I don’t agree with all aspects, namely letting your baby cry to sleep in your arms instead of breastfeeding your baby to sleep (which seems to work great for some babies, but not for mine!), she does advocate breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, gentle parenting, democratic discipline, babywearing and cosleeping, so you might enjoy her books! She also has sections in her books about how to deal with guilt and negative feelings coming from your upbringing and your childhood, really helpful for me.

    This might make you laugh though: I had an appointment with the paediatrician today, I went in there feeling confident and happy about my baby’s health and development, and I got a whole speech about how I was hindering her development because I carry her around in a sling (she’s an 8.5 month-old 6 week premature baby and almost crawling so she’s obviously not late at all!), and I am suffocating her and creating this monster who will rule the house soon because I am allowing her to feed at night instead of letting me sleep! Also, my milk is practically no good now according to him, solids should be the bulk of her food and they contain so much more than my milk, and I should not comfort my baby when she screams her head off as a result of the doctor’s examination, I should tell her “it’s nothing and not pick her up! She can’t falling asleep at the breast all her life, it’s dangerous and crazy, I am filling her with too much fluid by breastfeeding her all the time… never heard so much bullshit in half an hour! I wish I had doctor Jen 4 kids here in France! My husband said “that’s it, we’re changing doctor” when I told him what happened today!

    Anyway, hang in there, we’re doing the right thing and babies know it!

    • Can I just THANK YOU so much for posting about “The Aware Baby”–I just spent the past 2 hours (or more, idk!) researching this and reading Aletha Solter’s articles on her website. It all makes sense to me now! I originally clicked on this article because the past couple weeks it seems like my 11 month old is the unhappiest baby on the block! So I found this: (hope the link works!) http://www.awareparenting.com/answer27.htm after your suggestion of ‘The Aware Baby’ and am going to implement it ASAP! If anyone else is wondering about this, check out Aletha Solter’s website and start reading. Ahhhh you are a God send for commenting, thank you thank you thank you!!!

  38. I just had to comment on this post. I feel the same way, but when I read your post I think you’re being too hard on yourself. You should be as gentle and forgiving to yourself as you are to your little son.

  39. plus, they often say baby’s express themselves to the person they love. My daughter cries more easily with me too. You are more likely to show your emotions with someone who you are safe with. If you are sure it isn’t something medical, don’t be so hard on yourself.

    As Rachel says, please do not take it personal. As if you are doing something wrong.
    It can be a 1000000 other things than you doin’ it wrong. The brain is still growing etc. It’s a strange world for kids.

    Au contraire, he probably feels so secure with you that he is confident in ‘telling’ you how he feels.
    You’re not his entertainer! you really are doing well.
    I somethimes used earplugs while comforting my daughter or just holding her. She somethimes just had (and still has) to let it all out. People often feel better after being able to cry it out.

  40. I’m Belgian, we have a book that goes through several stages in time where your baby can be a monster. Knowing that such a period was about to come made it much more easier to cope with it. I knew it was going to pass by. Never the less, I often went out for groceries en stayed just a bit longer or gave her to daddy, went to another room and had to calm myself.
    Please don’t be so hard on yourself, stay confident! hugs

  41. The throwing yourself down the stairs paragraph had me in tears before I could feel them coming, ad I have been struggling with the same thoughts on a daily basis… as soon as my girl is unhappy or doesn’t want to sleep, I always think it must be because of all these times where I felt stressed and she soaked it all up, or because I did not wear her because my back was hurting, or because of whatever I didn’t do right… Remember that you care immensely and I think that’s what really matters, a child can feel that in spite of the stress, anger and confusion, that’s what I tell myself on days like this!

  42. I was in exactly the same place with my first and as a result I set up a local support group for parents of unsettled babies. From my own experience, the reading I’ve done, and talking to other mums, there is usually a reason why a baby cries. My own daughter had Cows Milk Protein Intolerance which was coming through my breastmilk. I gave up dairy and soya and she became a different child.

    PLEASE DO NOT JUST ASSUME THAT YOUR BABY CRIES A LOT AND YOU”RE DOING A BAD JOB. In my experience most babies cry for a reason so go and find that reason and things may drastically improve….In the meantime, you are doing an amazing job in an unbelievably hard situation. No-one truely understands how hard unless they’ve been there themselves.

  43. My oldest daughter was like that. She cried all the time, I thought something was wrong with her she cried so much. I used to tell people that she was a colicky baby who turned into a colicky adult. I am a glass half full and she is a glass half empty type of person. But she is also the strongest, most persevering in the face of adversity person I have ever known. There is nothing she can’t do if she puts her mind to it. Have faith, things get better. Love him, love yourself, and pray.

  44. Just reading that made me feel better because I feel the same way almost all the time. Jack is getting the absolute best care Jack could get. 24 care from a real mom that cares. With real, comes mistakes and bad moods. And he’ll grow up knowing that those things don’t alter how much you love him. Now if I can just remember this myself :)

  45. This is exactly how I felt today. You put everything I felt today into words. <3

  46. I feel the same way a lot of the time. I am a stay at home mum with a 5 1/2 year old (at school), 3 1/2 year old full time at home and I am breastfeeding my nearly 9 month old. It is the hardest job in the world and is 24 hours a day 7 days week. There is always someone wanting something. I take a lot of deep breaths and sometimes have to just shut myself away for a couple of minutes before I can carry on. I just know it will get easier!!!

  47. Thank you sooo much for writing this! I really needed to hear it…I am not alone :)

  48. Abby it is/was your site that introduced me to AP. Taught me the wrongs of CIO, showed me a new way. Your videos of babywearing, honesty in losing your shit, and reality of what one truly regrets facing a death bed. I admire you not only for your beliefs and what you have done, (you have single handedly built a Badass Empire). If you don’t believe me look in your mama tribes and how they reach worldwide. Look at the thousands of likes on each post you spread across FB and your blog. Most of all, Abby, look at your perfectly normal way of being human and not without flaws as we all are. I see a woman that wants the best for her boy and does more than humanly possible to give such. Do we all have our moments? Absolutely! Head up. That baby knows who loves him most and I PROMISE it’s certainly not the daycare. <3 Keep up the great work!

  49. My daughter, who just turned a year old, has never been one I would describe as a “happy baby”. When I see people comment on how happy their own babies are, I just think they’re either exaggerating or my baby is just different. She too cries when being clothed, during diaper changes, while in the car seat if the car isn’t moving, while waiting more than a minute for food. I just describe her as being deeply emotional. And really, she gets that from her mom and dad!

    We all have hard days. You being honest and sharing those tough times with your followers just reminds us that you are human too. We can always stand to be better, but when we have hard days, where we aren’t our best, we will remember that it’s okay. We *all* have hard days.

    Thank you for sharing this :)

  50. Thank you so much for this post Abby! It is such a normal feeling. I do my best to be “gentle” too, but it is tough and sometimes … on a daily basis almost… I have a moment where I snap too (usually at bedtime :-) ). I often think of you at these moments and think “I am soooo not a gentle parent and I sooo want to be”, because I know the benefits and work with kids who get “whoopin’s” and see the negative affects of non-gentle parenting. I think you are doing a great thing and don’t think at all of you as a “fraud”. You are normal and have completely normal feelings. You at least recognize it and try harder the next time. Jack is a lucky kid to have a mother who cares so much. I love your website!!

  51. Keep trying. Just keep trying. It will get better and you are doing GREAT!

  52. i hear you. my dh went to lay down and i couldnt get one nap today when my 2 year old had me up and down all night. i got the turkey craved finally and out away before it had to be thrown away. but not w/o yelling at my 8,6 and 2 year old and telling the baby if she fells i dont care. she needed to get feed and changed. dh has a head ache from hell i gues. he is trying to class work done. i feel badly. some days life feels like a huge rollar coaster ride that wont slow down.

  53. We are going through the same thing. I try everything, and most of the time there isn’t a thing I can do. I hate that others are going through it, but it is comforting knowing that my frustrations are also realized by other people as well.

  54. This is so me right now. My lo cries whenever I leave a room or put him down. Even if daddy is holding him. It is not even possible to steal five minutes to myself. Its frustrating and hard. But I do the same thing you do, Tell myself I have to do better! You have said and I took it to heart…He is not giving me a hard time, he is having a hard time. Thank you for what you do.

  55. I completely understand. I am a working mother and it’s not any better. I feel like a failure every day when I hear my daughter is happy, eats when she is supposed to, sleeps in her crib and cooperates when the babysitter changes her. Why can she manage her and I can’t? My daughter sees me as two walking boobs sometimes and cries and tantrums every other moment she is not latched. She is 16 months old and I totally understand. i keep telling myself that IT WILL GET BETTER. Well I believe it will. Abby, things WILL get better and you are doing a great job. your son loves you and he is having a hard time communicating. Hopefully things will get better when he can tell you what he wants. That’s what I’m counting on with my daughter. You are not alone. I think it’s just part of being a mom… but I commend you for voicing your feelings and venting instead of some people who bottle it up and do bad things to their children… Abby just remember things will get better and YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB <3

  56. I hear ya. I felt awful tonight because I got so fed up with my littlest one crying and whining that when my 4 year old tried to help I ended up telling her to stop singing as I couldn’t concentrate on trying to communicate calmly to the little one! aargh. bedtime and the little one decides to bite her sisters head as a good night kiss. many tears and screams from the sister. I feel resentful I have to read ANOTHER story when I just want them to get to bed so I can eat and have a beer!!!! oh honey we do our best but we ain’t superhuman

  57. Hang in there Mama! I can relate. I love your website too, you’re doing a great job.

  58. You are not alone, Abby. Forgive yourself. When you hate yourself, you won’t be able to love Jack the way he deserves. Tell yourself what you would say to your best friend in the same situation, and give yourself a hug, then give Jack a hug, and apologize to him.

  59. You could NOT have written this on a better day. Today I called my husband at 8:30, before he even made it to the office, in hysterics while our son screamed on our bed beside me. I told him to come home and take the kids far away from me! I was a monster who couldn’t stop yelling.
    Then he calmed me down, baby and I fell asleep, and peace was restored. You’re not a monster, you’re human. :)

  60. Girl, Paul just directed me to this because I was saying these VERY SAME THINGS this morning. I’m with you. We can do this! We need each other’s support! Sending you love.

  61. BTW, typed that from my phone at school pick up time. Want to make sure my intention and spirit comes across correctly. I just mean to say you are doing it right. :)

  62. I think the only thing you need to “do better” at is finding peace with the child you were given. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to fill his love cup. He is communicating with you and sometimes you have to release yourself from the pressure of “fixing him” and just hear him. Yes, keep an eye/ear out for things that help him or make him worse, but one lesson of parenting is to accept your child as they are and some children feel things deeply and are good communicators. Perhaps just find a place within you where you can relax and just grant him the space to express himself. Be okay with it. It is not your job to make your child happy every second of every day. It’s not possible. It is your job to hold his hand while he tells you about his hard time.

  63. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that feels this way. I go to bed hating myself just about every night. I think of all the things I could have find or handled better. Trying to break myself from parenting how I was patented is so very challenging, but worth the daily battle of self hatred. I try to tell myself tomorrow is a new day and another chance to do better. I have a ebf 6 mo, 2yo and 3 yo that is newly potty trained. My days are filled with meltdowns, fights, owies, tantrums and chaos! I spend what sparse time I can find reading about how to better manage myself and my children when I’m hitting my meltdown mode. I will provide them with the most loving environment no matter what it takes.

  64. Oh goodness, I hear ya, sista!! Phew. I have many days when I feel the same way. I had a few moments today. My 17 month old is throwing MONSTER tantrums these days. Boy is it hard. It’s hard to be a stay at home mom. I feel you. But you know what? We are doing and trying our best. Our best should always be better, but at least we are trying to improve and survive and do the best we can. Hang in there!

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