There was a little girl, who had a little curl


And when she was good, she was very, very good

And when she tired, she was fucking unbearable!

I know those aren’t the original words to the nursery rhyme, but those are the words that have been going through my head for the last 2 days. And just after I had gone on and on about what a good girl she was being lately in a recent post. When Sara first wakes up in the morning (provided she’s had a decent amount of sleep) or when she wakes up from a nap, she is the most pleasant, most smiley, most fun and funny child to be around. I really do love being around her and playing with her, and watching her make all her funny faces and giving “Baby-tan” (really Popo-chan, but Sara has named her Baby-tan, so who am I to correct?) her bottle and taking “wan-wan” (one of her many stuffed dogs) for a walk. But god forbid she’s tired and/or doesn’t get her way. Good lord, just kill me now!

I suppose these types of tantrums are natural for a child her age, but how on earth do parents get past this stage with their sanity intact? The funny thing is, she has never been a big cryer. Even when she was first born in the hospital, she never cried unless she was hungry. In fact, her lack of crying worried me at first she cried so little, and when she did cry she always got over it quickly. Even now, for the most part, unless she’s tired she rarely whines or cries, even when she falls or hurts herself. She could be bleeding out her ears and there are hardly any tears. Of course there are at first, if she’s really in serious pain, but even then she’s over it in a matter of minutes.

So maybe I should be considering myself incredibly lucky that until now I never really had to deal with lots of tears. Though anyone who knows my daughter, knows that we’ve had other issues, like with super-human amounts of energy that are impossible to contain, and wear the fuck out of me, but at least she was happy and laughing and entertaining others. Maybe it’s been the lack of crying so far that has left me unprepared for the tantrums that we’re now experiencing.

Up until now she has pretty much let me know when she’s tired and ready for a nap. She’ll lay down next to me, or ask to be held, or once in a blue moon she’ll lay down on her own and fall asleep. Lately it’s been getting harder and harder to get her down for a nap too. Arrrgh!

Just a little venting of parenting frustrations, and I know it’s only going to get worse when there are more of them to care for, but seriously sometimes I feel like I am being tested by the powers that be as to how much I can take before snapping. I’m afraid this does not bode well for when there are more children in the picture, does it?

Seriously though, how do you do it without harming your child or yourself? I don’t mean physically necessarily, because I really don’t think I would ever be violent towards my child (though sometimes I do have daydreams – is this a bad sign too?) But once in a while when I get really frustrated with whining and crying and tantrums for no apparent reason and I raise my voice and yell for her to be quiet, I feel so guilty directly afterward.   She’s still just a wee thing, and she depends on me for absolutely everything, and if something is upsetting her, she is obviously depending on me to make it better and then I go and yell at her, and I feel so awful because the one person that she totally and completely trusts has just gone and left her feeling all alone in the world. I suppose I could be over analyzing just a tad, and probably projecting a lot of how my mother made me feel when she yelled and screamed (which she did a lot of, and that is the #1 reason I don’t want to yell and scream at my daughter) on to Sara, and also how I feel when Akinori and I argue because I always feel like I’ve been deserted by the one person I trust in the world when we have a fight.  Before I was even pregnant with Sara, my worst fear about having children was that I would turn into my mother, and up until now, there was really nothing to test that. No real reason to lose it and go ballistic and gnash my teeth at my children or scream at them in incredibly public places and make huge scenes. Are we all doomed to fuck our children up for life? I know so many people who have issues with their moms, but I also know lots of people who have really great relationships with their moms. I want my relationship with my children to be great, forever and ever. I am a good mom…I am a good mom…


About Brenda in Nagano

Originally from Chicago, I knew I was destined to spend the rest of my life in Japan the moment I set foot in the country at the tender age of 16. However, I was quite intent on spending that rest of my life in a major city with a full on career, until my Japanese Prince Charming came trotting down from the mountains of Nagano to sweep me off my feet and whisk me away, turning my whole life plan on its head. Two months after moving to Nagano I gave birth to our little Princess Charming, so now I am officially a SAHM and teach a little belly dance on the side.

5 responses »

  1. Deep breaths! There’s a big difference between disciplining your child (which is an act of *love*) and verbal or physical abuse. My mother was the opposite of yours, she let me get away with murder! And our relationship is crap, because to me, it seemed she didn’t love me enough to care when I was bad, because she could never be bothered to set boundaries or correct naughty behavior.

    *Sigh* It’s a very delicate balance. I’m a firm believer in “corporal punishment” I don’t hesitate to spank my kids if they need it. And I yell too. But I don’t think they’ve been damaged at all. They’re happy, smart, loving, well adjusted kids and I have a great relationship with all of them. But you have to do what feels right for YOU and YOUR family. I think you’re a great mom. You love Sara, and she knows it. She’s still so young, and things probably will get worse before they get better, and probably worse again when the bambino is born, but you’ll survive! And it will all pass (eventually, LOL)!

    Wow. That was kind of long!

  2. I’ve felt like that. I often feel guilty for shouting of having such a short fuse. I have daydreamed about doing things in a moment of weakness – the latest was fueled by no sleep and just wanting ten fricken minutes on my own.

    Sometimes I wonder if my behavior is going to have a long term effect. Other days I know I am just doing what I need to to get through the day with everyone still in one piece.

    I imagine it will get worse before it gets better but like Bryn said, you will survive and it will pass.

    If you like I can send Granny K up there and she can spend the next 8 months or so telling you how being angry and yelling at your child will effect the baby…..

    I still get it – every bad thing the children do somehow stems from my behavior and my gene pool.

    Arrrh, mini rant of my own.

    Hang in there.

  3. Oh brenda, you are a wonderful mother! The fact you are worrying about it, shows you are a good mother!

    I (personally) don’t think actually, raising your voice is going to have any effect on her whatsoever. I am of the school of thought that over-mollycoddling and being TOO consistently nice to children and not having enough “discipline” (even when they are being little bastards) will probably have a worse effect on children in the long run than the odd angry mummy moment will. Of course we all want a wonderful relationship with our kids, but at the end of the day we are their mothers first, and friends second, and we need to just do our best.

    I know Emi is a little younger than Sara, but we are going through the same tantrum nonsense. If I take something away from her she throws a mega bitch fit, its not even funny. She is also going through the stage of hitting and kicking me when she does not get what she wants at the moment. I also try not to physically discipline her, but I have started using a “naughty corner” and it does seem to be working a bit better.
    The Doc has said she has probably already hit the terrible 2s… and I want to cry sometimes!

    I was (and still am sometimes) terrified of my mother, but at the same time we have a really good relationship now. I do remember the first and only time I told her to “F%$& off” under my breath at age 14, and about half a millisecond later she had me pinned up against the kitchen wall by the collar… aaah memories. . . I never did it again mind you!
    I also remember being age 3 and being taken to the local childrens home/orphanage with my lunchbox being packed with pants, for being so naughty. My mum got in the car and drove about 10 meters up the road and just left me there, until I agreed never to do it again (IT was stripping naked and running around the supermarket leaving a trail of clothes behind me.)
    She also once hit me on the backside with a hairbrush and broke it in half.

    Anyways the point I am making is … when we were all kids they didn’t have the same approach to child discipline as we do now. Now we tend to be an awful lot more patient as mums because we understand children a lot better, and we have many more ways to connect to other mums and childraising information. But still I turned out not badly I think, despite the beatings and psychological scarring! So did you. In fact so did most of us who were physically disciplined by our parents.

    Im not saying beating is right, of course, but I think if we are sensible about our approach to mums and our kids, everything will be just fine 😀

  4. I agree- I think worrying about being a good mummy or not means you’re well on the way to being one (if not already there already!)

    I probably yell at Meg once every two months if that. Amy? Daily! It is water off a ducks back to Amy and she still pretends she can’t hear me. Meg? Well I pretty much gave up on yelling at her when I turned around and yelled STOP THAT! from about 3m away and she peed herself. That freaked me out. That she was so terrified of me she peed herself? wow. Baaaaaad mummy. I think you know your kid and what you need to do to get through to them. My mum never yelled at me that I can remember. She would save up all our discretions and tell dad when he got home and then we’d be in for it. Result? I thought my mum was weak and my dad was a brute. You just can’t win sometimes, huh?

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