Parenting dilemma

Dear Internet,

Today I scolded my 10-month old baby. She was playing near the TV and tried to pull out the Astro card. I called her name several times but she was preoccupied in the way a 10-month old usually is. In the end, I said loudly and in a sharp tone, 'HEPP!!'

Khayla was startled. A moment later, she started to wail in fear - she has recognised when Mommy gets angry Mommy's voice will be scary and loud. It's so disheartening to see my little baby has started to fear me. It took her Daddy to pujuk and calm her down.

This was not the first time I showed anger to her. Yesterday when she refused to eat her meal and threw her spoon down, I scolded her. I pretended to hit her food tray, setting her in tears. I put Khayla on the floor and when she crawled to me, I refused to pick her up. She sobbed and then reached out to my hand - as if begging me to forgive her and also make everything fine again for her. I let her cry for half a minute before I took her tiny hand in mine. When I think about the way I punished my baby for being exactly who she is - a baby, I feel terrible and awful.

Not enough with that, I threatened her emotionally by saying bye-bye when she refused to listen to me calling her name. She knows bye-bye means I'm going away, which she hates. So she immediately looked up to me to make sure I wasn't. I knew then even when it seems harmless to trick her, it means for a second her heart was stricken at the thought of Mommy leaving her like Mommy always does in the morning on weekdays.

Dear Khayla,

Mommy wants you to know how deeply sorry I am for being a terrible mother who instead of showing you the right behaviour, punishes you through scoldings and emotional conflicts. I'm sorry baby. You're just a 10-month old baby who is still discovering your surrounding and has little understanding of the concept of rights and wrongs. All you understand is how much Mommy and Daddy love you and anything that contradicts with that knowledge of yours are surely frightening to you.

I love you to bits, my daughter.

Full of regrets Mom,
Me

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