The other day I spanked my kid. I'm not proud of it, but I did it. I was exhausted physically and just lashed out. Nothing life alterating - one quick pat - but emotionally it sucked. For both of us.
I wrote about it at my Babycenter blog. Thank you Maggie, for commenting so soon. I'm bracing for the backlash from moms who not only never spank their kids, but cook everything from scratch and never let them watch tv. How do they do it?
My mother would kill me. Not about the spanking, but about talking about it. Hailing from Boston and, in being in her 70's, she's of the conservative ilk that, "Some things are just private!" But here's the deal. I know I'm not a child abuser. I just lost my cool. And if it can happen to me, I'll bet O.J.'s soon-to-be-guilt-free trial that it's happened to most of you. If you say you've never done it, I don't believe you. But if you really haven't done it, please go to my Babycenter post and let me know how.
Anyway, despite hardly ever spanking my kids, I've instituted a no-spanking policy. It's too easy to lash out in anger. I never want to have to worry about crossing the line. So it's about more scheduled breaks for me. More time with my husband, like Sunday night, when just the two of us sat at dinner together and chilled out. In fact, we did that on Saturday night, too. Which leads me back again to the point of sometimes, no matter what kind of support we get, we still lose it.
I don't ever want to be pushed to that emotional frustration again. Stink is only 4, for Godsake. What will I do if he knocks up a girl at 15? Throw them in the river? Time to get a handle on my emotions and take the advice I throw to the kids, "Control my body. Control my language!"
In closing, I want to give a shout out to Rex. Someone at a party on Saturday night asked me where Rex was. I was honest. He was home taking it easy. I used to feel bad about that... take in everyone's pitied looks (and sometimes comments) of "ooh, that must be so hard." You know what? It used to be. But it's not now. I love that I'm confident enough that I can do stuff without my husband and come home to a lovely, warm environment. I'm social and he's a homebody. It's that simple. And guess what? He's not losing it emotionally on the kids. He's not screaming and yelling. He knows his limits, and in knowing them, he is the most accessible for me for when I need it most: at home, during the quiet hours after dinner and pre-bed, when the kids want stories and loving Papa to wrap their arms around them. Thanks, Rex, you grumpy old man.
More of my writing can be found on Babycenter.com. I write under the name Andrea Frazer and can be found in the Momformation Section.