I try. I try really hard to be patient. I admit I cannot do it on days where Emma fusses about everything. Lately, she has not been taking her mid-morning nap. Maybe she is ready to drop the nap. Maybe she just wants me to nap with her on the bed. I wish I had an answer … but I guess nobody really knows all the answers to life? I got so mad to the point where I had accidentally taken it out on everyone. We were getting ready to go out for Father’s Day lunch, which I had arranged earlier. I was so frustrated with Emma not wanting nap. When she doesn’t nap, I cannot get anything done. I cannot pack and get ready. I cannot prepare myself for an outing. I cannot do much as she clings to me like glue. Yes, I have a temper. I can cry, I can get angry. But I am never allowed to cry and show my anger or frustration in front of my parents. It is “misbehavior”. It is “unfilial”.
Father’s Day my foot!
I will never forget what my father said that day. We argued bad. Lunch got cancelled. I ended up in tears. I always do at the end of it all. It is always my fault at the end of the day. Sure, I bear with it because they are still my parents. But I can never talk to them the same way again. I cannot tell them what I’m going through without a single understanding word from them. All I hear is judgement. I do too much of this. I do too little of that. I don’t do enough of this. Not a single word of empathy. Not even a simple, “That’s ok. It’ll get easier when she is older.”
They forget I am still human. They forget I feel so alone even though I am blessed to be living with them, I have their company and help. This is because nobody truly listens to me. I don’t have a husband come home to me every night after a working day. I don’t have a husband to spend every weekend with. My daughter expects 100% attention from me every … single … day. My parents expect my attention from me very single day too after they get home from work. Now tell me, where in all that do I get to breathe? I have all these frustrations and doubts, which I have nowhere to pour, and so it gets bottled up. And it reaches a point where it will explode. When it explodes, it backfires on me because I’m at fault again. So I can only punch the bathroom tiles. I end up taking it out on my daughter, which I feel terrible of doing even though I’m struggling to understand why she is misbehaving. For the first time today, I swore. I’m so ashamed of myself for saying those words as I held her in my arms, trying to rock her to sleep.
What the f*ck is wrong with you?
What the f*ck was wrong with me?? I’m losing my mind I think. At times like this, I really wish Emma can talk. Right now, I’m trying to discipline a baby blindly. There is no true communication. All I am doing is instilling fear, which I’m not comfortable with yet I still do it because of these pent up frustrations. The generation my parents came from believed in hitting as the ultimate solution to disciplining a kid. I have a hard time accepting an 11 month old understands that form of punishment. My mom hit Emma’s hand really hard the other day because she kept dropping things from the highchair. She clearly didn’t want to eat anymore, and wanted to get out of the chair. Somehow we keep forcing her. I forget when exactly I had allowed my mom to take over the situation. Emma cried. But she dropped her bottle again. Then, my mom hit her hand again. She cried, of course. But did she really get it at the end? I think not. What worries me is that she is starting to hit to get things she wants. She hits me. She hits her toys.
I had no choice but to write my parents an e-mail. Ironic, isn’t it? We live in the same house but we can’t talk face to face. That’s how it is in this family. I’d rather do it in words then have my parents misread my tone, my facial expression and etc. They always make a big deal out of it and nothing fruitful comes out of heart-to-heart conversations. I told my parents, they shouldn’t be disciplining Emma. It should come from me and my husband. The fact is, we will have different opinions about parenting. But this is my daughter. I’m going to raise her up, not my mother.
Emma … I truly don’t know what is up with her. Two weeks ago she was showing terrible signs of stranger anxiety. Now, she seems ok but the separation anxiety seems to be peaking. She squeals when she loses sight of me even when we are both in the same room. Sigh. I hope this is a phase for her as well. Although, I think I need to be ready as she may not want to sleep in her crib anymore. I think she figured out a more comfortable and secure place.