Bad mommy!

Since I brought my daughter home from the hospital I haven’t had one moment of frustration with her. Not ONE. I have found everything about her to be precious and cute and sweet, because I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!
When she cries? Precious. Poops? Totally precious. When she stares at me at 1am instead of sleeping? The cutest thing in the history of cuteness.
Until last night.
She would not go to sleep unless I was holding her. Everytime I’d lay her down, she’d start fussing, which eventually turned into crying, so I’d have to pick her up again. I did this all night. Something in me snapped. I got angry with her. I started to cry. I was rocking her, but instead of sniffing her hair or kissing her cheeks, I had resentment towards her for not letting me sleep. I couldn’t stop crying.
Finally, around 2am I couldn’t take it anymore. I brought her swing in my room and put her in it. I figured I’d see if that would put her to sleep, then I’d try yet again to put her in her crib. I laid down and waited for her to start crying again. She never did. Until 5am this morning, when I realized I had left her in her swing all night.
I now feel like shit, like the worst mother to have ever lived. Granted, she was sleeping, but I shouldn’t have left her to sleep in there.
And I feel so damn guilty for getting upset with her. She was probably crying because her tummy hurt, or maybe she was just restless and needed me to comfort and love her. Instead, I got mad at her. Every time she looks at me this morning, I cry and I tell her I’m sorry.
I don’t ever want to feel that way about my baby girl ever again. She’s so helpless and innocent. I don’t ever want frustration to get the best of me the way it did last night.
I can’t even stand myself this morning.

36 thoughts on “Bad mommy!

  1. ginger

    Yvonne,
    That is totally normal. I remember when my Janie (who is now 7) was born and wouldn’t sleep. I finally put her in the carseat/carrier beside my bed and she zonked out. I let her sleep there all night.
    I felt bad, but hell, she was comfy and asleep, so she must have liked it, huh? Just like Gabby and the swing.
    Everyone gets annoyed. I felt the same thing when Janie kept calling me yesterday…. Mommmmaaaaa, MOOOOOOmmmmmAAAAA….
    Then I thought, OMYGOD! What if I never heard that again! And I felt like SHIT and a bad mother.
    We are normal. and FABULOUS! :)

  2. Tracy

    Quit feeling bad, Yvonne. If you had slapped her, or shaken her, or thrown her across the room, THEN you should feel bad. You did what it took to get her to sleep – and sometimes if they have a gassy tummy, being upright, or in the swing position helps that. Kelsey used to LOVE sleeping in her baby seat – and she took I don’t know how many naps there. As long as she got some sleep, and you got some sleep, you’re both better for it.

  3. Jen

    Don’t hate yourself for feeling frustrated, especially when you are sleep-deprived.
    Ginger and Tracy are right. And none of us want to feel that way about our kids, especially when they are babies, but unfortunately, we still do. And you probably will feel that way about her again– and if you don’t, will you promise me to go out on a lecture tour, develop a DVD, and start teaching seminars on how you did it?
    You might even be able to walk on water.

  4. Jen

    I know your in-laws would freak, but remember the magical breasts.
    If you can learn to nurse her lying down, you will probably have fewer nights like that. She is probably experiencing a growth spurt right now (which they do between three and six weeks) and will want to nurse constantly to pick up your supply (and I had a huge supply too, but mine still did it).
    You’ve got them, so use ’em.

  5. Canadian Lauren

    Please don’t feel bad at all. My youngest loved to sleep in her swing. It is the only place she would sleep, that or her carseat. We finally got her to sleep in her crib.
    PLEASE do not feel bad at all. There is nothing wrong with her having slept in her swing. WE have all had those kind of nights, and if that is what works, do it so you can get some much needed sleep too.
    YOU are NOT a bad mother at all.

  6. sweetie

    there you go again…self hatred at it’s very worst…we all go thru that shit….sleep deprivation has been used as torture, remember???. So lighten up on yourself. Do you know how much balls it takes to confess to your innermost bullshit everyday?? Personally I couldn’t do it and I respect the hell out of you for it. One time I slept with my baby in the bed and he fell in between the crack of the bed and the wall…he was about 8 weeks old, thank God no harm no foul…but I felt like shit too…cried and everything. Another thing-me and my sisters used to say that if you wanted your baby to learn how to roll over quick just leave him sleep on the bed and one of these days he will end up on the floor. Is that even funny? I know that sounds awful but honest to God all of our kids are doing great…so anyway your story is not soo soo terrible..I got nothin but luv fo ya girl.

  7. Shelly

    Stop making yourself feel bad. You’re normal. No one has an endless supply of patience. My daughter sleeps in a vibrating seat most nights for about 3 or 4 months. Don’t know why but it worked. She slept so I could sleep. I was happy.

  8. Lisa

    Seriously – what they said. There’s nothing wrong with letting her sleep where she will sleep. It’s not like you moved the swing into the shed before letting her fall asleep there! Sleep deprivation IS torture, and exhaustion is sheer hell. Frustration is normal in those circumstances, and letting your daughter sleep where she will while you get some much-needed rest is OK!!! Hell I thought you were going to say you actually did something to be worried about!

  9. yvonne

    Ok, you guys are right, letting her sleep all night in the swing wasn’t so bad, at least we both GOT some sleep. I think I feel more upset about how angry I felt towards her. It scared me.
    She smiled at me a little while ago and I feel better already. :)

  10. susanne

    Yvonne, if she hadnt liked it in the swing and had felt uncomfortable, she would have told u so, loud and clear . Sometimes us mothers have to be very ingenious with them lil babies:) *keep smiling*

  11. NinaKaye

    When mine was little and I put her in the swing, I’d feel guilty if she was in there more than 30 minutes a day. But, in the end, she turned out fine. (Well, she’s weird, but then so am I. heh)

  12. Lessa

    *points up* What they said. It’s totally natural to get frustrated, and to let the baby sleep wherever they will. My youngest refused the breast (and she’s JUST left me for her FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! *SOB!!!! while dancing a jig of joy – an odd sight I admit*) and she hated to be cradled close while she fed or drifted off to sleep. I caught so much crap about putting my feet up and putting her to sleep while she stretched out along my thighs, but dammitall, it was the only thing that worked! to this day she loves to crawl up in my lap and stretch out (though now she no longer fits that way. *L*) and relax – even if she rarely sleeps there anymore. IT worked though, and that’s all that matters. My oldest slept in his car seat, my middle one a bassinet until she no longer fit in it and then we had to use blankets as barriers to make her crib seem smaller – she was the big time cuddler. Still is, even at 10. and I lost count with all three of them how many times I sobbed in frustration and begged for them to just. go. to. sleep. already!
    So the point of my long winded ramble? You’re normal, she’s normal, you’re both fine, and you’re a wonderful mum!

  13. Another Pam

    I remember feeling that way too. On more than one occasion sadly.
    Just thinking it’s fucking 3am and you HAVE to go to sleep. I HAVE TO SLEEP. I remember ALMOST thinking he was doing it on purpose.
    You know it gets better…soon.
    Hang in there.

  14. Kate

    That babyswing is a GODSEND. Use it all the time if you must! We used it a lot with Olivia (now 4) because she was unable to sleep laying down due to medical issues. She’s fine now but let me tell ya, the first several months were bad. I was angry too. But, it DOES get better. I am not at all saying that Gabriella has any medical issues. Just sometimes, the noise and motion of the swing just soothes them to sleep!
    : – )

  15. sarah

    honey.
    THIS makes you feel guilty? THIS???
    if i had a dollar for every time i let javi sleep in the swing…i’d be a rich, rich woman. THIS IS WHY GOD MADE THE ELECTRIC SWING.
    you were FRUSTRATED? you wished she would let you sleep? So…you were HUMAN? fOR SHAME!!
    Let yourself off the mommy hook, sweetheart. Everybody’s fine. Especially Gabby.

  16. Michelle

    I think just about every mother who owns an infant swing has done this. Do what works- she will be just fine and you will be better for it because you got a good night’s sleep. A well rested mother is much better equipped to handle the day than a tired, frustrated one. My oldest was colicky and the damn swing was the only place his fussy butt would sleep- so be it, I got some good sleep too when I finally broke down and let him sleep in it. And he’s 4 years old now and just as smart as a whip and there is no hint of psychological damage done to him. And believe me, I broke down and sobbed and fussed right back at him many times during those early days of his colic until I discovered the magic of the swing.
    Stop beating yourself up, hon- exhaustion and frustration takes it’s toll on every mom at some point or another. She won’t remember a single thing about last night. Believe me, we have all said and done things in a moment of sheer exhaustion and frustration that we regret later. You are human afterall.
    Just know that sometimes you have to take care of yourself too and if the swing will allow you to do that, then use it. A happy mama is a rested mama.

  17. sarcastic journalist

    Hey! We had that last night from 430-almost 6am. I TOTALLY understand. She did the exact same thing except she WOULD fall asleep but would wake up the second my hand would TOUCH the bedroom door.
    Swaddling her (you know, in blankets) has really helped us. It has helped her sleep longer, perhaps because she tends to wake herself up with flailing arms and legs.
    Its normal and I know how you feel. I’m so glad that I have you and stacey and jen at the hackworths and lauren pierce to read because you’re going through the same thing as me.
    You’re still a great Mom! You even love her poop! I don’t think I can say that, though I tend to find it funny.

  18. Trish

    Once I was doing something, can’t remember now, and my oldest (now 3) fell asleep in the saucer. (Yea, the thing that allows for the child to stand upright?!) It was cute, but I couldn’t believe it happened. Kids will be kids. Swings have straps and all the comforts of other sleeping areas (least most modern ones do) so, I’m sure she was fine. Especially if she wasn’t fussing. Kids sleep in more awkward positions in a booster seat, than the do in a swing. I’m sure she was fine. And, she’ll probably doze off a few more times in that thing, you’ll see.

  19. Poppy

    Sounds like my morning. Clara Jane has spent hours fighting sleep to the point where my head’s about to explode.
    Hell, when Clara Jane was a newborn, her doc told me to let her spend the occasional night or naptime in her swing or carseat. It won’t hurt her and it’s much better for her than letting her get so overtired that everyone’s about to go over the edge.
    You’re alright. Really. You did what was ultimately best for Gabby – you made it possible for both of you to rest. That’s what counts.

  20. ben

    Hey, at least you didn’t leave her out in the car all night.
    Not that.. anybody I know.. has actually done that. And really, after a few short years of therapy the kid turned out ok.

  21. Andy

    No harm done at all, Yvonne.
    Gabby needs her sleep too, and if she can get that in the swing then that’s all well and good.
    Some parents find a drive around the neghbourhood in the car can help — but best not to drive if you’re tired yourself.
    If Gabby will feed from you lying down, great. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep like this; bad things happen when Mom’s roll over in bed onto their infant.
    You’re a great Mom, you love Gabriella, and you persisted until you found a solution that’d work for both of you!

  22. Langus

    Stock up on batteries because this will not be the first time this works!
    My kid is 14 and he slept in his swing many a nights, he is normal, happy, well adjusted and he loves his mama!
    No harm, no foul.
    Also, regardless of how much you love her and how absolutely precious she is, this will not be the last time you get angry with her. Really. Be careful about setting the expectation for yourself higher than any other human could reach.
    xoxo

  23. shy me

    lack of sleep sucks. makes us feel crazy. i swear, my boyfriend snores one more night and i can’t account for my behaviours…. i NEED TO SLEEP.
    so. forgive yourself

  24. yvonne

    plug his nose and make him gasp for air. That’ll teach him! (and stop the snoring for a few minutes) Not that I know from personal experience…

  25. MrsG

    Yvonne, the hormones are going, the no sleep, sweetie cut yourself some slack. Where was Tony (stomping my little foot) he can help at night too. As far as leaving her in the swing…she was comfy and slept, she won’t know the difference in a week, a year when shes twenty. You are a great mommy!

  26. Vickie

    Hell if you feel bad about having left her in her swing, imagine how the dad felt a few years back that I heard about in the news…This guy was packing up all his crap, you know, newspaper, briefcase, coffee, and the baby in the babycarrier that he was going to fasten in the seatbelt. Well, he was running late, he packed up his car with his newspaper, briefcase, coffee,,,,,,,
    Um, well, he sort of forgot about a fourth item he carted out to the car, the item he had put ON THE ROOF OF THE CAR WHILE HE WAS PILING ALL HIS OTHER CRAP IN THE CAR, and AS HE DROVE OFF HE COMPLETELY FORGOT THAT HIS INFANT WAS IN THE BABY CARRIER ON TOP OF THE CAR.
    HAPPY ENDING: The carrier apparently bounced off the car and into a big bush by the side of the road, and the baby was no worse for the wear other than a few scratches from the bushes.
    I wonder if the guy is still alive because he either a) had a heart attack, or b) was shot dead by his wife.

  27. Empress

    Oh, geez, I always kept my kids in a bassinet right by the bed. Then, when they woke up at night, I’d reach over, let them latch onto a boob, and we both slept happily for the rest of the night. Then in the morning, I’d switch sides for that first feeding – you know – to keep ’em even! Heh!

  28. Hed

    I used to always take the car seat with me when I was visiting my parents, and she would go in there next to the guest room bed where I was at night. Worked out really well. Babies are also at lower SIDS risk in the upright position, on their backs.
    I wouldn’t worry about it at all. You took care of the two of you.
    It’s just as important to take care of yourself. If you don’t, you will not be as equipped to take care of your children.
    Stop feeling guilty!!!
    You did the right thing.
    -H

  29. Jen

    It’s actually safe to sleep with your children. The concept of families splitting up to sleep is pretty recent and pretty unique to our western children.
    The only times you really have to worry about their safey are if you are using heavy drugs or drinking heavily, so you’d roll over on them and not know it.
    Really, the literature out there says it’s pretty safe. I did it for years and years and years without incident. And WITH sleep.

  30. vanessa

    you have no reason to feel guilty! every mommy gets frustrated with their babies once or twice! completly normal and doesn’t mean that you love them less! when my now 4 year old was about a month old she wouldn’t sleep. when i walked with her, she cried! when i rocked her in her chair, she cried! when i layed down in my bed with her, she cried. when i sang to her, she cried! i even went so far as to drive around town at 3 am to get her to sleep and she cried. BUT! When I was carrying her carseat into the house, and i set it down on the floor for a second to take off my shoes i realized that she had stopped crying, but was still awake. her eyes were drooping so i ran upstairs and got her blanket and mine and i covered her up and layed down on the couch. i woke up at 9:30 the next morning and she was still sleeping peacfully in her carseat! i know that a car seat isn’t a good place for a baby to sleep the entire night, but it was the only place she would sleep! same with your baby…she just didn’t want her crib but for some reason settled with her swing! it’s okay! not like you have her in there everynight! forgive yourself for it this time!!!

  31. melly

    I’m sure that it’s already been said, but fuck it, I need you to know that I am still here for you even though we are both so busy:
    Parents get frustrated. Especially when parents aren’t sleeping or eating enough. There is a reason that when you are pregnant with your first child, everybody tells you that if you find yourself getting angry, just put the baby in the crib and go have a time out.
    You’re only human. A tired, overworked, stressed out human who is really fixated on losing weight, and if you’re anything like me, you probably aren’t eating ENOUGH.
    I love you and you love that baby. You have nothing to feel bad about at all.

  32. rae

    Now why didn’t *I* think of something that inventive (ie putting baby swing in bedroom)… don’t feel bad, Yvonne… all these other ladies are speaking the truth. You’re allowed to feel frustrated and tired and bluesy and bitchy… you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t just one month after giving birth (to such a beautiful little lady, might I add!!). Hang in there, hon.

  33. lex

    I’m sure having a sane mommy the next day made it up to her. I clearly remember having done the same thing with Isa was having one of her all-night-long crying-but-refusing-to-sleep episodes. Give yourself a big hug for me. You’re a great mom!

  34. Mindi

    Yvone, Yvonne— If you’re a bad mother then I should be in prison. My son slept in his swing most of the time. I didn’t feel bad. Heck, if he was happy enough to shut up in the thing, I was happy enough to put him there. If he stayed fussy after he was fed and changed, then I put him in the swing. So what? I didn’t leave him there for DAYS for God’s sake. You didn’t hurt her. You got impatient and you recognize that. If you didn’t get irritated at your children at some point in time you wouldn’t be a mother, you’d be a saint.

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