I Keep Failing as a Mom

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m a single mom of a 20 month old little girl. She and I moved out of her dads home last November 2011. He and I stopped attempting to have any type of relationship earlier this year after I got fed up with him always dating Multiple people and never making my daughter and I a priority. So now I am on my own in an apartment taking care of her with zero financial help from him. Things are extremely tight financially for me. I have a full time job but I don’t make much. It’s so bad that I can’t even afford my own car or even day care for my daughter.

I have to use my mom and her other grandmother for help wih care while I am working. My mom also drives me everywhere that I need to go because of not having a car. It doesn’t seem like the worst situation in the world but to me it feels that way. I feel this way because first not having a car causes some major issues. 1st I don’t always have a way to pick up my daughter And her father helped with this up until the last month. So I am stuck scrambling around trying to make sure she is home safe everyday.

Now I have help with care but it’s not always safe help in my opinion. My daughter spends most of her time with her dads mom and she is a daily weed and cigeratte smoker in front of my daughter. She also doesn’t live in one place so where ever she is is where my daughter has to go so that I can work. Sometime she is even in a house full of strange men and it scares me so much because I don’t want anything to happen to my daughter. I used to have panic attacks after dropping her off because I was so afraid.

My own mother won’t watch her for a huge portion of the day because she doesn’t want it be bothered with her. She feels like she already has to drive me to work so why watch her too. I’m so constantly stressed about it all. Worrying about my daughter worrying about money and how I am going to pay for everything that I am constantly thinking of the worst things that can happen. I have panic attacks all the time.

I’m so ashamed of my life too. I lie to everyone about the simplest things an after I do it I can’t understand why. The lies build up and I can’t seem to find my way out of them. I can bare the thought of people knowing how awful my life really is.

I also eat for comfort. I have gained so much weight that I have gained over 30 pounds in the last year. I hate myself for it so much. For everything actually. It’s too the point that I can’t even look at myself In The mirror because I feel so ugly. I am so overwhelmed.

Right now I am one step away for losing our apartment and all I can think of is maybe I should give my daughter up for adoption. I can’t provide for her and she deserves south better than me. I’m not a good mom. I love her and try my best to make sure she gets what she needs like protection when I’m not around. I may always be this loser and I don’t want her to have me as a mom and be so disappointed to be related to me. I feel like I need some serious conuselling but I can’t afford it and I wouldn’t be able to get there if I could.

I used to always feel suicidal but since my daughter was born I don’t want to kill myself anymore. But I do feel down all the time. I never want to socialize or do anything normal but be her mom. I don’t feel worthy of other people. So why should I go out with friends. I hate my life. I hate my job and I think that I am starting to not want to be a mom anymore. I can’t handle it. All the stress and the no time away from my daughter is too much to handle and I feel like I am at my breaking point.

A: Please stop beating yourself up. Sometimes life is indeed very unfair. You are right to be worried about what your daughter is experiencing in her grandmother’s home. You have every right to be anxious about your entire situation. Feeling overwhelmed is absolutely normal when you’re in an overwhelming situation!

You need help, not judgement from your mother, from your ex, or from yourself. Please contact the Department of Human Services in your city. Make an appointment with a counselor to talk about what benefits are available tor a signle mom. You may be entitled to help with paying for a licensed childcare provider. You may be able to get help with housing, job counseling, and other assistance. They may also be able to help you get child support from your daughter’s father.

Please don’t be embarrassed to look for government help for now. It’s there for just this kind of situation. You’ve done everything you can to do things on your own. Now you need a boost to make a good life for yourself and your daughter. Once you get some relief and feel more stable in the present, you’ll be able to figure out what you want for a future.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Sep 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). I Keep Failing as a Mom. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/09/02/i-keep-failing-as-a-mom/