This is a bit long, please bare w/ me. I went w/ my Mother and sister today to take my DD for her 2 yr. pics. It was not the best experience. My daughter just decided she was in no mood for pictures, and it was a struggle. There was a lot of crying, and she struggled and fought and cried to get out of her birthday dress, get a diaper changed, and and put on her romper. It was a frustrating experience for sure. As I walked away to look at the pics and my daughter played in the waiting area, my mother announce in front of EVERYONE that my handprint was on my daughters back...essentially announcing I had abused my daughter. Naturally, I flipped. First off- yes, my daughters back was red and scratchy...She had just spent the last 10 mins. screaming, crying, struggling and fighting me to get dressed. On top of that, she and I have very very pale sensitive skin. I scratch myself in the slightest, and I get a red mark, and the same thing happens with my daughter. It is fairly common for my daughters skin to get red when she's upset or if she gets a bump or scratch, but there was no handprint. Secondly- I would NEVER EVER EVER harm my daughter in any way whatsoever. I love her more than anything, and I would never lay a hand on her. She's a toddler, and I am used to moments of frustration!
I immediately told her there was no handprint, and I didn't appreciate her implying I abused or harmed my child. I was embarassed this happened in front of strangers, and appalled that my mother would even imply such a thing. I scheduled another sitting w/ my daughter in hopes we might get some better pictures, and I'm embarassed to show up, b/c even if it's not true, the photographer heard this and now probably thinks I'm a scumbag. As we walked to my car, and my mother to hers, she once again brought up the handprint, but then said she didn't mean to impy I was a bad mother. I left in tears. Not only does it hurt that my mother would even think such a thing, but she has no business talking. We lived for 20 yrs. w/ my abusive step-father, and I have gotten years of counseling to get over what happened to me as a child. There is no way I would ever allow my daughter to be harmed, and I would never harm her. It just really upset me that someone who allowed ME to live w/ an abuser my entire childhood had the audacity to critique my parenting. Was I frustrated? Absolutely. But the difference is that my mother completely indulged my younger sisters and let them do whatever (even when I was treated strictly and horribly!), and I do not allow that to happen. If my DD is screaming and pitching a fit and hitting in ANY situation, I immediately remove her from the situation. My mother used to let them and then sit there asking what was wrong and what they wanted to tried to get them to stop, which it never did. She thinks I should behave in the same way w/ my DD, and she thinks I'm mean b/c she 'doesn't understand yet'. I believe she does. Maybe not entirely, but if I don't start teaching my DD there are consequences to actions now, she'll be 4, 5, 6, 7,10 and behaving the same way. Removing her from an area is not abuse!
My mother has apologized, and I will forgive and speak to her again in time. Life is too short to hold anger. But it was one of the most hurtful things anyone has ever done to me, and it makes me feel like deep down she must think I'm not a very good parent, which kills me b/c of what I was forced to endure for over 20 yrs. I think setting boundaries and limits and structure is the best thing you can do for your child, obviously along with loving them to bits and pieces. I am just so hurt and upset, and I needed to vent to someone.