Am I a bad mother?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by CircleSquare, Feb 4, 2010.

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  1. CircleSquare

    CircleSquare Member

    I can't help feeling that I am a bad mother, and I can't seem to change things. :(

    My daughter has just turned four, she won't start school for another 6 months or so. I am at home with her all day, every day, except weekends. I don't want to play with her, or read with her, or even talk to her. If I do, I feel panicky and trapped. I don't want to go to the park, or even the shops, with her, I don't want to go outside.

    When my husband come home, he plays with her, and he's happy to see her. I just can't find that in me any more. She's such a happy confident girl, and I'm worried that I'm harming her and she'll become sad like me.

    Even thinking about forcing myself to change things makes me panic.
  2. flyingdutchmen

    flyingdutchmen Well-Known Member

    the way you speak about your daughter you must love her alot, do you have any idea why you are afraid to do things together with her? something happend ? are you depressed or been depressed before ? something happend in your own childhood which you remember while you do stuff with her ? searched for help ?
  3. CircleSquare

    CircleSquare Member

    I don't feel much love, although I think I probably do love her.
    I'm fairly certain that I'm depressed, I have been on and off for nearly 20 years, although until we moved house I thought I had it under control.

    It might be because I just don't want to be doing anything at all most of the time, and she makes me feel trapped.
  4. Hazel

    Hazel SF & Antiquitie's Friend Staff Alumni

    It sounds to me like you do love your daughter otherwise you wouldn't be so concerned about how this is effecting her.
    Are you in the Uk? I suggest you see your family doctor if you haven't already, I think you would benefit from some treatment, does your daughter attend a playgroup or any activities where she can interact with other children, this might be good for her and for you.

  5. WildCherry

    WildCherry Staff Member ADMIN

    I agree with Hazel. It's obvious that you love your daughter, because you made this post. But I think you need to seek some treatment for yourself, and also find a playgroup for your daughter so she has the opportunity to be around other kids.
  6. LotusFlower

    LotusFlower Antiquities Friend

    I went and go through something similar with my daughter who is 6 now. I am always asking the dr if I am screwing her up. She assures me that the fact that I am worried about her proves how much I love her. Sometimes and I know how hard it can be I really do I had to make myself take her to the park, or a playgroup and most of the time she found someone to play with and I just was able to sit have a coffee and watch. You are not a bad mother; a bad mother wouldn't even care. I have had to make it a big point in my life to make sure my issues don't become my daughter’s issue. I don't play with her as much as daddy but I do things that I can handle, she sits on my lap and we listen to lots of music. We watch TV and movies together. I do things like let her play hairdresser with me that way I really don't have to do anything. In her short 6 years she has seen me hospitalized 4 times. There are also lots of great websites, ones that tell stories etc that my daughter loved that I was able to just play for her, and just sat near.
    You are not a bad mother and I think that is one of the hardest parts of dealing with mental health issues and being a mom is the always present feeling that you are a bad mom or are somehow screwing up your kids. The fact that you are aware of it is a good thing it also proves how much you care. I still struggle everyday with this. You can always PM if you want or need to.
  7. Flames

    Flames Member

    I think the fact that your asking this question shows you care.
  8. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    I don't play well with young children and I raised two daughters. I took my children to activities where they could play. In the summer time I would sign them up for summer fun groups. My kids loved it and I felt better about it too.

    Now that I'm a grandma, I find I'm still the same way. I interacted better with my kids as they grew up and I know I will with my grandkids too.

    What I do now (when I get a chance to see them) is I sit on the floor and ask my grandchildren what things are. It's fun to watch them tell me what the world is all about. It's also given me and idea about how much children know.

    You are not a bad mother. We don't fit into the mold of what commercials portray a mother as. Have you tried a mothers group?
  9. KittyGirl

    KittyGirl Well-Known Member

    If you can't play or go anywhere with her, you can still encourage her by telling her how great she is.
    It's important for small children to be told that they're cute and smart and silly by their parents. Just tell her the good things about her-- and even if you're afraid of harming her... or 'infecting' her with your own attitude; by telling her the positive things and that you love her- she will know that is how you feel.

    I know it's hard to be near people when you're so low... but for your daughter's sake; you can still be a good mum by telling her these things on a daily basis-- if nothing else.

    You're only trying to protect her, so you are a good mother.
  10. CircleSquare

    CircleSquare Member

    Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone.
    I know I 'should' force myself to take her places, I don't think it's a good idea for me to if I'm feeling panicky, I don't want to have a panic attack with her.
    Playgroups are not an option, she's too old for all the local ones, and the state nursery schools are full, because we moved here after the start of the school year.
    It all sounds like weak excuses, I feel so sorry for her, I just can't be a good mother to her :(
  11. TerrapinStation

    TerrapinStation Well-Known Member

    My ex loves her sons with all her heart. She also has major depression, bipolar and heroin addiction to deal with. When I was with her, and acting as substitute father for her kids, I also had depression, major anxiety issues and addiction (heroin/alcohol) to deal with. The thing is, kids expect their parents and all other adults to ALWAYS be "on" for them, when this just isn't possible. Best arrangement we worked out is that there was "kids time" (say noon to 5 pm-they had preschool until noon, blessedly) where the ex and i would play with, read with etc the kids, do whatever they wanted (within reason), basically be "on" even if we felt like crawling into a hole and dying. 5 was dinner time, and then 5-8 was"grown up time", the kids were to find ways to keep theselves busy, TV, video games, toys etc and the aduts could watch what we wanted, read what we wanted, in general act like adults. Then 8pm came and it was bath time and bed time (for the kids). Once they were in bed asleep, the REAL "grown up time" took place (cue porno music, break out the needles and spoons, etc)
    I think its a matter of time management and making sure they respect the fact that adults are not just there to cater to their every whim, that we (adults) sometimes have Other Things we have/want to do (like file tax returns, or read a non-childrens book) that are important and valid, and sometimes kids just have to make their own entertainment.
  12. Bubble

    Bubble Well-Known Member

    If you're unable to care for your daughter in a way you know you need to, then what about help from family? can your husband take time off his work to be with her? what about weekends? Use people around you to help, theres always someone out there.
    What about a nanny?

    If you cant use these options then you need to look at the resources you provide your daughter with if you arent giving her interaction.
    Make playdough or prepare a craft activity for her, she is 4 and that is a great age for her to get into these things. Look online for some colouring in pages and activities she can do. Dont just plonk her infront of the tv or put her in her room. this is a great site for learning materials.

    I sympathise with you as i know how hard it is to look after a child, i have 3 and it is the biggest challenge in the world.

    I hope this helps :)
  13. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hi circle, welcome to the forum, you sound like a great ,caring mom. If you didn't care you wouldn't be feeling so hurt by this.

    I think you should see your doctor about your anxiety(I know how hard it can be to leave the house, you could find one that will visit you at home, if you explain your situation to them).
    Also search for mother and baby groups in your area, it'd be a good way to get to know everyone and for your child to interact with other children.
    You can do this. :)
  14. CircleSquare

    CircleSquare Member

    Thanks everyone, I'm feeling a bit more positive today.
    My husband has been making an effort to be home a bit earlier, although he has to make up for it in the evenings, I know how lucky I am he can do this.
    I don't just sit her in front of the TV, even if I wanted to, she gets bored of it and turns it off herself. ;)
    She has playdoh and lots of imagination toys, playmobil etc, it's when she constantly saying 'mummy i want to play with you' and then clambering all over me that I really get down and feel like I can't cope, and she does this a lot.
    Today has been better, I have made an effort to give her some time (thanks, TerrapinStation), and we've been practising her reading and writing, and she's doing some drawing now while I'm having a break.
    We might even go geocaching again this weekend, if I can get myself out of the house, as a family. :)
  15. TWF

    TWF Well-Known Member

    Give her all the time you can. Don't want her growing up not knowing you, then rejecting you in the teenage years. What you do now shapes your and her future.
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