I just did something I swore to myself I’d try to never do.
I hit my kid.
Easy, mandated reporters. I only popped his hand. But it was out of frustration and now I am all dizzy and I want to throw up.
I do not want to punish my son with my hands. I don’t believe in it. I especially don’t believe I can teach him not to hit by hitting him.
I was spanked growing up, and now that I’m older and a parent, I think sometimes I was spanked out of fear, or frustration, or anger, or a combination of all three. I feared my mother growing up. I respected her, too, but at times, it was fear.
Joshua has gotten into this habit of hitting/slapping. I know that he’s playing when he does it because he’s laughing and smiling. But I don’t want him to do it. I don’t want him to think that it’s okay to hit people even in jest. I’ve tried holding his hands. I’ve tried Time-Outing him. I’ve talked firmly to him. And tonight? Without trying any of those things first, I grabbed his little baby hand and I popped the back of it.
Hitting him does not teach him not to hit. It teaches him pain and fear.
I seriously want to vomit.
It scares me that I reacted like that. I know that I am enough of my mother’s daughter to know that sometimes I act without thinking. I do not want to do that where he’s concerned. I never want him to fear me. Respect me as the authority in his life? Yes. Absolutely. But I do not want him to be afraid of me.
Even now, a good 45 minutes after the fact, I can feel the blood whooshing around in my head. I feel like the room is spinning and I can’t make it stop. I want to scream. Or slap myself. Or cry. But the tears won’t come. Only a shaking feeling in my head, legs, arms, and heart.
He didn’t cry when I popped his hand. He looked surprised. He pulled his hand away from me and didn’t even look at it. Dan looked at it. Which made me feel like shit. And then I saw that the back of his hand was red. And then I felt even more like shit. I still feel like shit.
What a horrible parent I just was.
I honestly feel like I cannot even comfort him. I am entirely not in the right frame of mind. I don’t even know what set me off like that. We had a great day and then we got home from the store and it was go-go-go to put away the groceries and get him in bed and start some laundry and do some dishes. And there’s the thinking ahead to having to wake up tomorrow and go back to work.
I think I just sort of snapped. On. My. Child.
He does not deserve that. And right now, I’m not exactly feeling like I deserve a kid as awesome as him.