I am not who I was a year ago. Somewhere along the way God changed my heart and mindset about parenting children. I went from being okay with cry-it-out sleep training and spanking children to being so against both practices. I just didn’t know there was a better way. I sincerely thought my baby would not get enough rest without sleep training and I sincerely thought thumping and spanking young children was not only okay but a good way to help them learn. Boy was a wrong! I wish I could sit down with my past self and tell her: “There is another way that is not permissive parenting! You don’t have to be afraid of what others think. Do what you know is right for your baby. You should never intentionally hurt a child. God doesn’t want you to spank. It’s okay to respond to your baby’s cry and give him what he needs. He needs you.”
I’ve done things I regret. I wish I could take it back. When I remember who I was it seems so foreign to me now. How could I have been so blind? I feel so sorry. When I remember what I have done I feel like I just want to hug my boy tightly and cry. I pray he will learn to trust the new me and I pray I can be consistently there for him so he can depend on me. I pray that I will no longer fall into the trap of pleasing the “more experienced” people in my life. I just want to do what is best for my little boy. That’s what I have always wanted but I just didn’t know the truth about what that was.
Since Jaxon is not old enough to understand, here is my apology letter and confession to him. I believe in time he will be able to hear this and forgive me. For now I am struggling to forgive myself. I try to remember that I can’t hold my past self responsible for what I didn’t know yet.
I hurt you. I thumped your hand in the kitchen. I was trying to teach you not to open the cabinet under the sink. My heart was to keep you safe. You looked so betrayed. I decided to never hurt you like that again. I am so sorry. Your look inspired me to find a better way to teach you. I’m glad I was not too blind to notice your pain.
I ignored you in a restaurant. You were tired and crying and reaching for me. I thought I had to teach you to sit in your chair and wait. I thought my audience wanted me to treat you this way. I cried so much afterwards. What I did was not right. You were right. I should have listened to you. I’m sorry I let the wrong voices in my head paralyze me. I was afraid and didn’t know what I should do. But now I know.
I did sleep training. I put you in your bed alone and didn’t come back even when you cried and cried. I am so sorry. I will never do this again. You needed me and I was not responding to you.
I can’t believe this was me. I am so different now. I am ashamed of who I was. I am attentive to you now and I don’t focus on your mistakes. I will not hit you. I try to catch your subtle cues that you need my help. I am learning to parent you in a new and better way. I feel happier, more at peace, and closer to you. I try to work WITH you not against you. I love you. I always did. But I didn’t know how to really show it. Thank you for helping me learn these hard lessons. It was your patience and kindness and goodness that convicted me and made me seek for answers. You were good and pure and precious and I just didn’t know what I was doing.
I thank God for His mercy and grace. I thank Him that I didn’t have to continue on the path I was on. I thank Him for putting the answers into my hands so I could walk in the way of His love and peace. You are worth it, my sweet son. You are worth changing for. You are worth any judgements I receive for parenting you in a gentle way.