Why are moms always the punching bags?

Modern Parent


My son is 20 months old and going through this fighting his naps phase. He kicks and screams and refuses to sleep. I try to rock him, rub his back, put him in his bed and cover him with his blankets, stroke his hair, give him his space but nothing works. He refuses to sleep and doesn’t want me to hold him but if I leave to let him cry it out he screams more. It takes me 45 minutes to put him down for naps and he’s never been this difficult. But with all the flailing and leg kicking and head tossing, I’m getting knocked around constantly. And he has never ever done this before.

During the day he bites me constantly, and trust me I’ve tried disciplining him every way I could imagine, I’ve even tried smacking his hand lightly thinking he’d get scared but he just laughs. Nothing has worked. He climbs me all day and normally I don’t mind but his little feet dig into me to the point he’s leaving bruises. He scratches my arm when he wants me closer. For dinner tonight we were at my parents and he refused to eat and I tried holding him and he wouldn’t sit still. He gets so excited he headbutts me like twice a day, accidentally but it hurts!

Tonight, oh man I’m trying to put him to sleep and again the tantrum. He’s flailing in bed and suddenly I get a strong backhand to my face. It was accidental he didn’t mean to but I literally was like kid what are you doing. I couldn’t help myself I just started crying. It freaking hurt and I’m just so so tired of always taking the brunt of this kid's energy. I know like all of these aren’t on purpose and of course, he doesn’t mean to hurt me (except the biting I’m working on that) but I’m so tired of being the only one who has to take all of his mental, emotional and physical hits all day. And I know that’s my job, I’m his mom and he is my whole world. And he’s not normally this rough.

He’s rambunctious and active and always finding something new and I love all these qualities about him but it’s never daddy getting the hits, or smacked or dealing with getting bitten literally only me! Maybe it’s because we are attached at the hip and I’m with him every day. Maybe it’s because moms always see the worst behaviors because our kids are the most comfortable with us. I’m his safe space and I love that more than anything on earth. But please tell me this will end soon.

I’m so exhausted.

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New York City, NY

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