Entertainment And News

Mom Still Wracked With Guilt For Yelling At Her Son Over 5 Years Ago — 'I Feel Like A Monster And Can't Believe I Acted Like That'

Photo: SvetaZi, JPRFPhotos / Shutterstock
Ashamed mom with hands over her face, sad little boy

A mom took to the "r/breakingmom" subreddit to share a parenting regret that she's afraid to tell anyone in her real life, and to ask for advice from fellow moms.

"This guilt is killing me and I need to get it off my chest," she started. "The fact I’m even typing this out is sickening to me. I am so ashamed and embarrassed."

When her now-seven-year-old son was around two-and-a-half years old, she was struggling. She and her husband had just moved away from their family, she was a full-time student, and her husband had a long commute to even longer shifts at work.

"I was pretty much going from a humongous amount of family support to absolutely zero," she wrote. "Honestly aside from finances and weekends (where my husband needed to catch up on sleep so he wasn’t very actively involved on weekends either), I was pretty much a single mom."

The mom explained that she feels extremely guilty for yelling at her son — even though it was over five years ago.

She described two instances where she got so frustrated and overwhelmed that she yelled at her son to the point where he looked afraid. 

"Once was that he had lost the TV remote for about the billionth time," she wrote. "I told him to sit on the stairs and I YELLED at him while he cried."

RELATED: Mom Doesn't Regret Sharing A Video Of Her 11-Year-OId Daughter Throwing A Tantrum Despite Comments Saying She Should 'Throw Her Away'

For the second occurrence, she can't remember what he did that made her send him to his room, but when he slammed the door, it was the last straw. She followed him upstairs where he was lying in bed, and yelled in his face. "The fear in his eyes just haunts me," she wrote 

The guilt for yelling at her son seemed to bring up her own childhood trauma. "I had a pretty rough childhood where me and my siblings behaved like angels purely based on fear of what the punishment would be for acting out," she shared. "We were raised in an extremely religious household where we were shamed and scared into behaving well." 

Because of her own childhood, she vowed to be a better mother, and gentle parent as best she could.

In the years since her "outbursts," things have improved. She moved closer to family support, and her husband got a new job that allowed him to be more actively involved in childcare. "I rarely even raise my voice," she said. "I’ve tried to make up for those two instances." 

Even so, the guilt of yelling at her toddler eats at her. "I’m not exaggerating when I say I cry myself to sleep at minimum four times a week for the last four [expletive] years because I feel like a monster and can’t believe I ever acted like that," she wrote. "He was so tiny and innocent and I can’t believe how insane I was to treat a baby like that." 

She ended her post by asking for advice on how to move on from the guilt and make sure that she hasn't traumatized her child.

RELATED: Mom Battling Cancer Tells Her 17-Year-Old Daughter That She Will 'Never Forgive' Her Unless She Shaves Her Own Head In Solidarity

Fellow moms came together to comfort and empathize with the mother, as well as share some advice.

Some commenters urged her to talk to her counselor about the guilt she is feeling. "You are not a monster and you need a place to start processing your emotions around these incidents," one wrote. "Everyone has moments where they make mistakes, especially when under huge amounts of pressure."

This type of mom guilt is far from uncommon. According to Healthline, mom guilt describes "that pervasive feeling of not doing enough as a parent, not doing things right, or making decisions that may 'mess up' your kids in the long run." It's entirely normal and something that you must work through.

Other commenters pointed out that it is likely her own childhood that has exasperated these experiences. "I have a feeling that you are dealing with a lot of trauma from your childhood, and you have become a bit fixated on these two incredibly minor (in the big scheme of things) incidents," one Redditor wrote.

The trauma that you experience growing up doesn't just disappear when you turn 18, rather it requires work and time to heal. In the meantime, you must be kind to and have empathy for yourself, even in your weakest moments. It's hard to break generational cycles, and the mere fact that she posted this, shows that she is trying.

Several commenters emphasized that point. "Now you need to work on forgiving yourself and acknowledging you are NOT your parents, and you are doing well," one wrote. "We all believe in you, and we want you to stop torturing yourself over something every single parent on the planet has done."

Regardless of past trauma, this is something that all moms experience.

No matter how skilled you are at emotional regulation, everybody has bad days. The important thing is that you apologize and move on. "Moms are human too. I have never felt more human than when I became a mother," another Redditor wrote. "I have similar stories. All you can do is love them harder now and make sure they know it wasn’t their fault."

Parenting is one of the most difficult and stressful things a person can do. No one is born a perfect parent and it is inevitable that you will make mistakes. The important thing is that you have grace for yourself and do the very best you can for your child. 

RELATED: Woman Explains Why She Does Not Ever Want A Son — 'Sorry To All The Boys And Men Out There, But I Just Can't'

Audrey Jaber is a Boston-based writer and Assistant Editor for YourTango.