It’s A Smacking Shame!

I feel so ashamed of myself! I smacked the baby’s hand yesterday. More than once. Three times in quick succession. Not very hard, not even hard enough to make him stop what he was doing that I didn’t like but I smacked him all the same.

I know some people agree with smacking children, they think it gives them a sense of authority and teaches them a lesson but I am not one of them. Other people say they were smacked themselves and it never did them any harm. I’m not one of those either!

I WAS smacked as a child. It DID do me harm.

I’m not saying my Mum was a monster or a bad person for doing it. She was a single Mum with a broken heart and finding it hard to cope. She was out of control with her discipline of me and she made mistakes. She smacked me too much and it didn’t do me any good. She has apologised to me and said she wishes she had got help for her depression at the time. I was a very difficult child because it was a very difficult time for me. My parents had just broken up, my Dad was living in another country with another woman and my Mum was just so sad. I missed my Dad. I thought it was all my Mum’s fault that he had left. No one explained to me that it wasn’t and I’m not sure I’d have understood anyway. My Dad was my hero and I thought he could do no wrong. I blamed my Mum and I was, even though I was only 5, horrible to her. I don’t blame her for not being able to cope for a while and I don’t blame her for doing the wrong thing. It was a very difficult time for her too. She never, not once, corrected me and told me it wasn’t her fault, I think maybe she should have done!

It’s not until you’re much older that you can see a situation for what it really is. Piece the bits together and realise that you were completely wrong. It didn’t take me many years to work out that my lovely Mum was actually the innocent party and was hurting and missing my Dad as much as I was. It didn’t take me long to realise my hero was actually human – although I don’t think I’ve ever quite forgiven him for that. It was a pretty easy picture to put together. By ten I had it all sussed. At 5 I just was rebelling at the heartbreak of my Dad leaving.

So I was smacked. I remember it and it was horrible. I was smacked daily for a while and it only took the very slightest of things to make my Mum do it. I used to scoot quick as a flash around the back of my cabin bed to get away. It’s not a pretty picture of a memory. It was a difficult time. I never let up and would scream over and over and at the top of my voice ‘I WANT MY DADDY BACK!’ My poor Mum. No one was looking after her and it isn’t fair.

My Mum and I have an amazing relationship now. We argue (I argue with everybody) but she and I are closer than you could ever imagine. Times in our past haven’t been brilliant but underneath it all always we are as close as close can be. When it’s just you and your Mum with no one else growing up then that’s the way it is. She’s brilliant my Mum. She’s funny, eccentric, blindingly intelligent, generous and just a wonderful Mum and Gram. I don’t hold grudges about it all in the past but I do remember and it serves to make me know I don’t want to smack my children.

But I have done. Only ever a few times with Florence and in fact not for a long time, however, I have done it on occasion in moments of frustration and when I’ve lost control for a second. I guess I am human too. And now I have smacked my Jimmy too – terrible. Sometimes I guess we all just snap but he is just a baby and she is just a baby, they don’t deserve their Mummy to snap and give them a smack. (I have to say again that it’s not a whack, more a tap really but it’s still not who I want to be!)

My explanation? What tipped me over the edge? Well, Jimmy twiddles my other nipple while he’s feeding and he squeezes it so hard it brings water to my eyes. I repeatedly move his hand away and tell him no. Sometimes I shout at him when he does it which is also out of control behavior but I can’t admonish a raised voice now and then! The nipple twiddling is the worst element of breast feeding for me because it hurts. Florence used to do it and eventually she stopped and just fed normally again so I know he will too but it’s SO excruciating. When I smacked him it was after telling him no about a hundred times (he understands what no means) and then he did it again while digging his nails through the flesh of my already very sore from the pinching nipple. And I snapped. I’m very sorry. I really, really am.

I don’t agree with smacking. I don’t think it serves any purpose and I wish I didn’t lose my control EVER and I wish I could say I had NEVER smacked my children. I will try not to do it again in the future. So that’s it. My smacking confession. I feel so ashamed of myself!


The children have been getting on superbly well this past week and have had great moments of togetherness. Together in their play, together in their just sitting watching television and together in all the giggles they’ve been having. It’s so wonderful to see and I guess it means that Jimmy is growing up.

For Florence he is no longer just a tiny, tiny baby who cries and doesn’t do anything but demand Mummy’s time and she has a play mate constantly at hand. Something I never had growing up and one of the reasons I really want a big family! Of course she does keep saying that she’d really like a girl baby too, as she has done since Jimmy was born. I asked her the other day if she would swap Jimmy for a girl baby (I think she would have done in the beginning) and she said ‘No, Mummy, I just want a girl baby as well. I want Jimmy AND a girl baby who will be my friend. I want you to have a baby in your tummy or maybe twins!’

Well… Not just yet perhaps but I do like the way her mind works!

Florence and Jimmy 1
I’ve noticed that I rarely get a picture of them together but this week I’ve got loads!

The children and I are off on another Haven holiday next week so I might not post much but in the mean time please do follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby.

One thought on “It’s A Smacking Shame!

  1. Don’t beat yourself up about it Ruth. We all feel so frustrated sometimes that our words don’t get through to the little ones that sometimes we resort to a little smack. As they say actions do sometimes speak louder than words! I like you don’t condone smacking children but have given Áedán his first smack a couple of months ago. Not proud of it but he had been given several warnings of what was coming if he didn’t do as he was told. I did talk about it with him afterwards so he understood why I did what I did.
    I was often smacked as a child and now understand why it may have been necessary and don’t blame my parents at all!
    Don’t feel ashamed, we’re all human and you’re a bloody great Mum! Xxxx

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