Mom Feels Like A 'Failure' After Spanking Her Daughter

She has never spanked her daughter before and feels guilty that she let her emotions get the better of her.

mom consoling upset daughter and touching her shoulder fizkes / Canva Pro

A mom has admitted to feeling incredibly guilty about the way she handled her unruly daughter and is seeking advice on how to not react the same way in the future.

Posting to the subreddit "r/Parenting," a 24-year-old mother claimed that she doesn't know how to feel after using a parenting technique that she previously refused to follow.

She feels like a 'failure' after spanking her daughter despite being against parents hitting their children.

In her Reddit post, the young mother explained that she had been cleaning the bathtub when her 3-year-old daughter wandered in. Concerned for her safety, she calmly told her daughter to either leave the bathroom or stand by the door since she was using bleach and their bathroom was quite small.


"She sat right up next to the tub. I asked her if she wanted to leave by herself or if she wanted me to pick her up. She didn't reply and continued jumping on the toilet," she wrote. With her daughter continuing to not listen, she picked her up and began carrying her out of the bathroom herself.

Mom Feels Like A Failure After Spanking Her Daughter Photo: Nastasic / Canva Pro


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However, while carrying her daughter, the little girl began throwing a tantrum. She was hitting her mother in the stomach and chest, and screaming in her face. At this point, she immediately put her daughter in a time-out, sitting her on a chair in the corner of the room.

The time-out didn't work though, and her daughter began to run around the room. Fed up with her daughter's behavior, she grabbed her and spanked her. As soon as she did it, the young mom admitted to feeling incredibly "low" and a "failure" as a parent.

"I'm very anti-spanking, in my house. I've never hit my daughter and I'm always good about talking to her when she does something wrong. I believe strongly in natural consequence," she added. Seeking advice from Redditors, she questioned if there were certain things she could do to ensure this never happened again.




"What could I have done differently in this situation? I couldn't leave her in the bathroom to calm down because I had chemicals in the tub. Maybe the best solution is not doing things that she can't help with when she's awake, I guess."

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A majority of people agreed that she shouldn't let this incident define her as a mother.

"Give yourself some grace. Try hard not [to] do it again," one Reddit user wrote, even giving the young mom some suggestions for how to handle this situation if it happens again. "But we're having success with logical consequences: if you don't leave the room, I'll have to take you out. But I have to finish cleaning the bathroom, so the longer you keep me from doing that, the fewer books we'll be able to read tonight at bedtime (or the less time you'll have with [something she likes], etc.)"


"Also, try to lower your expectations just a little bit. She's a kid. If it doesn't seem like you fully create a chain of accountability occasionally, it won't turn her into a monster. Pick your battles."

Another user added, "Every mother needs a break. You can’t beat yourself up over disciplining your child. You didn’t beat her or anything. You spanked her."

"Now, I’m assuming you’re against physical discipline and that is perfectly understandable. All you have to do is let her know that you’re sorry for the spank. She may be 3 years old, but she will understand that mommy didn’t mean to do it."

Other Redditors recommended that if she finds herself getting frustrated or annoyed at her daughter in the future, the best thing to do is take some deep breaths, and maybe walk away for a minute if she becomes too overwhelmed.


At the end of the day, no parent is perfect, and there are moments throughout childrearing when certain things don't go to plan.

It's better to accept and move on than dwell and work yourself into a tizzy about being a "bad" parent when that isn't the case.

It's good that this mother recognizes that she shouldn't have spanked her daughter, and has self-awareness about the entire situation. The best thing she can do is move forward, apologize to her daughter, and try to explain to her that sometimes people get upset but, obviously, it's not an excuse to resort to hitting or violence.



All parents are simply trying their best, and sometimes they make mistakes, but it's clear that this mother has nothing but unconditional love for her child.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.