Put the Baby Down and Walk Away


The other night when I was up with the little guy, exhausted, sick, and in desperate need of sleep, I got very frustrated when he wouldn’t settle back down to sleep.  I felt that familiar anger build in my stomach.  I hate that anger.  That all encompassing, helpless anger that makes me feel like a shitty mom. Only not really  because at the time all I can think is ‘go the fuck to sleep’.

I don’t act out on my anger.  Unless flopping around in bed, cursing into my pillow counts.

I did come close once.  It’s a very dark memory of mine.  Three month old, screaming, screaming, screaming at 3 am.  Won’t nurse.  Wasn’t in need of a new diaper.  Wasn’t even teething yet.  Just screaming because he was tired.  I paced and paced and paced with him, my anger and frustration and exhaustion building with every step.

I could feel my body wanting to bounce him harder than I knew I ought to.

I stopped.  Put him in his crib and walked away. I went into my room and cried and cried and cried.

When I was pregnant I remember reading all this stuff about not shaking a baby.  I thought, what kind of monster would do that!?  Who would ever want to hurt a baby!?

And then I found myself in that scary place.  I get chills just thinking about it.

From that moment on I knew that if there ever came another time where my emotions got the best of me that I would put the baby down and walk away.  Go into another room and breathe and collect myself.

Luckily it never happened again.  Not to that extent at least.  I still got and still do get angry (like the other night) but I keep it in check around my son.  It’s not his fault.  He’s a sweet, gorgeous baby who has no other way of communicating right now. In my rational state I know that.

It’s when I’m exhausted, run down, and stressed that I’m more susceptible to snapping.  Which is why I try extra hard to take care of myself.  It not only makes me feel better when I’m sleeping, eating well, and taking time to relax, but it makes me a much more patient and understanding mom.


4 thoughts on “Put the Baby Down and Walk Away

  1. I’ve had plenty of moments like that. All mothers do at one point or another. You will have plenty of more before your children are grown, but don’t beat yourself up. One of the worst things you can do as a mother is get inside your own head, letting it fill with doubt because often-times when that doubts seeps in, the more we think it, the more true it becomes. One of the best things you can do as a mom is exactly what you did, realize when you’re at that point in which you just need to take a moment. I don’t know you, but I’m sure you’re a good mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tendingtobaby says:

      Aww thank you. And like you said, I’m sure there will be so many more moments! I’m hoping it’ll be easier when he starts communicating though…


  2. Thank you for sharing this, I’m not alone. The overwhelming feeling can take over. I found putting the babies, I have twins, in the crib where they are safe and go take a shower. You can’t hear them screaming and it’s a nice place to regroup for 10 minutes.


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