One week later
Oh, internet…words can’t express how grateful I am. I felt so very alone and so very…BAD. I think if someone had asked me Are you the only mother you know who has smacked her child? I would have said uh, no, but that’s very different from having individual people whom I know to be GOOD, both at parenting and in general, share their stories or their fears. Thank you. I was able to tell my spouse. I was afraid he’d whisk the children away to an undisclosed location to keep them safe from me, but he was like, aww, I’m sorry. I’ve come close many times. I think that under-reaction might actually have been upsetting, too–except that you guys understood that I was seriously upset about the whole thing.
Anyway, thanks to your kind words, I was able to let go of the self loathing. Which hasn’t made me suddenly patient. But more vigilant, more sensitive to the signs that things are going sideways and that I need to get out of the room.
I DO think we’re in a tough cultural moment. Many of us had smacking or spanking (my parents spanked) or even hitting modeled for us, and we’re setting ourselves this massive challenge of doing things differently, and it’s so stigmatized that we can’t talk about it, so we don’t know where to turn if it happens… So thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me turn to you.
It’s not all beating on children and hiding in the bathroom, though. Let’s have something soothingly trivial, shall we?
The lovely thing about winter is that it’s grey and depressing all the time.
No, wait, that’s not it. It’s that since I’m not working in the garden, I can catch up on sewing projects. This weekend I finally got around to making aprons for the babies. I followed Mama’s Rule, whereby toddler appreciation is inversely proportional to effort expended, and used up itty bitty pieces of rabbit fabric I’ve had for years, resisting all efforts to get fancy with topstitching and pockets and whatnot.
After squabbling violently over who got which one, they posed for some pictures.
Very American Gothic, no?
And then they got their aprons all dirty trying out a new muffin recipe. The muffins were really complicated, created a shitload of dirty dishes, and tasted quite gross.