Before becoming a mum I recall reading stories in the papers or hearing on the news how a parent had shook their child so much that they had caused great harm or even worse, death.
How? How could they do such a thing? How could they bring themselves to that level?
I now understand.
I’ll be completely honest here, there have been moments during the first 2-3 months of my darling sons life that I scared myself. When you’ve had very little sleep, you’ve changed and fed them and still they cry. Those are the moments when you can feel it, those are the moments when it can cross your mind. I’ve thought a few times ‘just chuck him off the balcony’ ‘throw him across the room’. I bet you’re thinking how dare she say such things, but I’m not the only new mum out there to think them. The difference is I know that I won’t action them, the only time I scared myself was when I held Robin firmly in front of me and in a stern voice said “shut up”. I know that doesn’t sound bad but when it’s not in your nature to act that way, it’s scary. The moment when that happened I finally understood how people can crack and end up shaking their child. I never understood how easy it could be even for the nicest of people.
After speaking to friends and them admitting it had crossed their minds too, I didn’t feel as bad. Not that those thoughts are a good thing, don’t get me wrong, but it felt better knowing that I wasn’t alone.
Some good bits of advice given to me, if your child is pushing every single button and the anger grows:
“If your partner is at home, no matter what time of day or night it is, pass your child onto them. If you’re home on your own firstly put them down in a safe place and walk out of that room. Lock yourself in the toilet or something if you need to, then count slowly to 10. You may feel bad that your child is screaming at the top of their lungs but surely that’s better than you ending up doing something you’ll regret.”