Don’t call your daughter the “c” word. *Warning-not nice words listed here.   4 comments

Today I gave my toddler a bath. Like most toddlers, he loves bath time. He would stay in the tub until his entire little body turned into a prune. While I was pregnant with him, one of the things I looked forward to was bath time with my little fella.  This led me to register for all the bath toys I could find…and our friends and family delivered. We have more bath toys than the bath toy aisle at Babies R Us. I have put most of them in the bath tub with him and there’s barely room for him. He could loves it. He plays with the little boats, arranges the Sesame Street characters along the side of the tub, and sticks his ABCs and 123s on the wall. I can’t even mention the word bath in this house without him freaking out with excitement. And, you best believe if we mention the word bath, we had best be preparing his water or holy hell will break loose.

Today was no different from any normal bath day for him. He was excitedly playing with all of his toys, trying to drink the water, and talking a mile a minute to his toys and me. I had my little baby in a bouncy chair out in the hallway so I could keep my eye on him. Halfway through my son’s bath, my little baby woke up and was ready to nurse…ahead of schedule (seems to be a theme lately – this kid must be HUNGRY). I turned around to grab my little baby out of his seat so I could sit on the toilet and nurse him while watching my older son play. As I was removing him from his seat, my back and legs became wet. I turn around and my toddler was laughing hysterically and has one of his little boat toys dipped in the water ready for another shot at mommy. He throws another round of water at me and it gets me and the little man wet. Instead of laughing, I got pissed. I raised my voice at my toddler and told him to stop it. Before I could grab the boat from him, he did it again, soaking the bathroom floor and a basket of towels and extra bath toys I have in there. I was honestly mad. I took the boat from him and told him it was time to get out of the bath and yelled that he was a bad boy. He then grabbed the wash cloth that was full of water and started flinging it around adding more water to the bathroom floor and my feet. I raised my voice even louder and told him to stop. Then, I realized, OMG, I sound like my parents. WTF is wrong with me? It’s a bathroom and it’s just water. He’s having the time of his life and I’m yelling at him before it.

So, I quickly apologized to him and gave him a kiss. Luckily, I do not think he was phased by me yelling at him…thank you God. I sat down on the wet toilet and nursed my son and let my toddler continue his bath time fun. I analyzed my actions. I cried just a little. What had caused me to freak out? I mean, I was really yelling at this kid for the most stupid thing. Then, I realized, this is something I’m going to battle my entire lifetime as a mother. I’ve unfortunately inherited a bad temper and the ability to freak out on a moment’s notice about nothing. Thank you Mom and Dad. Awesome.

Today is another day where I struggled between choosing the loving, kind, optimistic version of myself standing on one shoulder versus my parents who are standing on the other. In this situation, I acted like my parents used to when I was little. I flipped out on my precious little boy for nothing. It hurt and I didn’t like it one bit. It brought back a flood of memories that I don’t think I wanted to deal with today.

When I was growing up (between the ages of 5 and 16 or so), I have vivid memories of my parents screaming at me, beating me, screaming and beating each other, and cussing like sailors. I was beat for things that my little toddler did today. One time, my mom had my brother and I in the bath together (I was around 7 and he was about 2) and I threw a bath toy at him. I have no idea if I did it on purpose, but even so, I did not deserve what I got for it. My mom yelled at me and slapped me and I came back at her and told her to stop (you have to understand she did this on a daily basis and even my 7 year old self was tired of it and knew it was wrong). My dad heard what was going on, came in the bathroom, removed my brother from the tub, took off his belt, and beat me…naked. All the while my little brother was watching, crying. I had belt marks on me for days.

One time, I wet my pants in the middle of my bedroom floor, and was beat with the buckle side of the belt for that. Ouch. My mom threw shoes at me, and my dad chased me behind the bed and into corners and beat me with the belt. I can still picture the corner of my room and can still remember crouching down into the tightest position I could get to minimize the parts of my body that would be hit.  Now, I realize that many people believe in spanking children…to each his own. But, I was beat people. I was made to wear long sleeve shirts even when it was warm out to cover up the welts. In my book, this was not punishment, it was abuse.

Not only was I beat with the belt and hit with shoes, I remember a few instances of being pinched and having my hair pulled by my parents. And, one time, when I was 16 years old, I stayed after work and talked to some friends in the parking lot for 30 minutes and got home later than my dad expected me to, and I was dragged up a flight of 6 carpeted stairs so hard that the skin was ripped away from my kneecap. I was then dragged down the hall of my house and thrown into my bedroom….at 16 years old! I understand I was home later than I should have been, but I wasn’t doing drugs or drinking or any of the like. I was talking to some friends. My dad had even called my job and they told him I was in the parking lot talking to friends because they could see me. I did not deserve what I got. The next day we had family portraits with my dad’s new wife’s family, and I had picked out a shirt and skirt to wear. I still wore it and wore white hose with the skirt, and you could see the huge bandage on my knee. My step-grandparents asked me what happened, and my dad had already threatened that if I told anyone I would get it worse, so I told them I fell at work. I hated lying. I hated covering up my bruises. For years I wanted to tell what was happening to me, but I was always threatened by my parents that if I told, I would be beat within an “inch of my life.”  To this day, I still have no idea what that means, but at the time, it sounded awful and I believed them.

In addition to the physical hurt my parents bestowed on me, I was also hurt verbally. For as long as I can remember, my dad called me a cunt.  I can’t believe I even just typed that word.  It makes me sick to my stomach.  He called my mother and I that all the time.  I didn’t even know what it meant when he first started…I was probably 7 or 8 years old the first time I heard it.  7 or 8 – still in elementary school!  Who does that?!  That was the worst, but I was called every name in the book…all the way from ingrate to mother fucking bitch.  I’ve never written those words out before – it really makes me uncomfortable to do so.  I have that little knot in the back of my throat when I think about it.  My dad wasn’t the only one doing the name-calling.  My mom did the same thing, but for some reason it hurt worse coming from my dad.  My mom had always mistreated me, but there were times when I felt like Daddy’s Little Girl and when he treated me so.  I desperately wanted to be his little girl.  But I felt more like an inmate and he was the warden…which makes sense because he has been in law enforcement for most of his adult life.

So, back to today.  I didn’t call my son any names and I did not hit him, but I yelled at him…for something stupid.  It scared me.  I don’t want to be like that.  I will NOT do what my parents did to me.    I hated them for it, and it still hurts to this day to even think about it.  I understand that my son will need to be corrected and disciplined.  I’m certainly not going to set him up for a lifetime of doing what he wants and walking all over people, but I’ve learned from my experiences that beating your children and calling them names only meant for the scum of the Earth is not the answer.

My son is napping right now, and I plan to give him a big hug when he wakes up.  I love both of my sons more than life itself.  I’d die for them and I want them to feel so much more love than I ever felt as a child.  I do not want them to have memories of me yelling at them, calling them names, hitting them, or any of the like.  I do want them to respect me, and I believe they will, only if I show them the same respect in return.

I guess I should thank my parents for teaching me how NOT to parent.

Love your children.  They are precious and innocent beings.  Don’t take your time with them for granted.  It goes by quickly.  Don’t mistreat them, they will only hate you for it.

All the best,

Someone’s mom

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4 responses to “Don’t call your daughter the “c” word. *Warning-not nice words listed here.

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  1. oh my goodness. im so sorry your childhood was bad but it sounds like you are doing well with yours. someone is lucky to have someones mum 🙂

  2. @Tinkerbelle86 — Thanks so much for reading and for your sweet comment 🙂 It means a lot that you stopped by! I hope my kids grow up feeling that they are lucky. I plan to do everything I can to make them feel that way. Wish me luck. Have a great day!

  3. I’m so sorry you had an unsafe childhood. I’m sure you feel so guilty every time you snap at your kids, wondering if it means you bear some of your parents’ terrible traits. But everyone loses their tempers so I hope you won’t worry too much. The fact that you recognize your behavior is a very positive sign!

  4. @Undone Mother – thanks so much for the vote of confidence. I certainly need it. I have a good friend who went through some crazy stuff growing up, and she and I are both scared to death of turning out like our moms. We both are new parents and talked just last week how we have to ensure we make an effort every day not to be like them.

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