Babies and small children can be a real joy when you are fit and well and on top of the world. But if you’re below par, they can change almost immediately into fiends. And if that happens, your feelings towards them can change just as abruptly. It was no surprise to me to read in Dr Dalton’s book Once a Month that so many babies are battered when their mothers are suffering from the aching miseries. There are lots of difficult and involved reasons for this horrible experience. One of the most powerful seems to be that the parents had the baby in the first place so that it could love them. Another is that they don’t understand why their baby cries and the crying makes them angry. Another could be that they’re completely out of gear because they haven’t had enough sleep for far too long. A baby who cries night after night for months on end can reduce even the most patient mother to a shred of her former self, and break down even the most loving self control. I don’t believe premenstrual tension causes women to batter their children, but the miseries could be the final straw that makes you take violent action.

If you find that you are far more severe, or even unkind, with your children during the days when your period is on the way, you really do need an extra pair of hands to help you.

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