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Haven't posted in a very long time. This question is more for mums with anxiety and stress, depression. I am mentally ill and find it very hard to look after my 5 year old. The difficult bit is when child refuses to do something and I have to repeat myself numerous times. It leaves me very exhausted and frustrated. I do take medication but sometimes forget and snap. I have a loud voice, which doesn't help the situation. As when I raise it it seems like I am shouting. This is my biggest guilt. How do you cope with similar condition? Do you feel guilty? I was feeling very suicidal at times. I know I have to stay strong and move on but it's very hard when you mentally feel like a failure. It's hard to look after a child when you can't enjoy life yourself.

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  • I have the excact same problem. You are not alone. I would love to see some helpful answers.
    – Korinna
    May 20 at 6:11

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My sister suffers anxiety and depression and did so while raising her son. She never asked the question "Could I do better?" and her son suffered. You've asked the question, you've spoken out loud your true feelings and your true concerns. Kudos to you, this is a great place to start.

Parenting comes from two places: the model our parents showed us when we were kids, and the parenting that we learn as adults when we have kids and choose to learn new skills. I grew up with Shouting, Screaming, and Spanking, so there were times when I had the urge to hit my kids. I didn't hit my kids, because I recognized that my urge to hit them meant that I had lost it, and I needed a time out. One change you might make is to see your urge to raise your voice as a clue that you need a break, and that's OK.

My son once told me I was a good mom. It was very sweet that he said this, but I corrected him by telling him that I am a good-enough mom. If I'm a good mom, then on the spectrum of parenting I can also be a bad mom. There are bad moms out there, but most moms are good-enough. Being a good-enough mom means that some days you're better at parenting and some days you're worse, but you're always there to love and care for your child. Children will grow up happy and healthy and strong with a good-enough mom. All you need to be is good-enough.

If you want to learn new parenting skills, like new ways to handle situations where you're repeating yourself, my favorite parenting program is Positive Discipline. Guilt and remorse for our actions show us where we need to grow. They are not who we are. They do not condemn us as parents. They are the signposts that say "do something else next time, and apologize to our child, if we need to do so".

You are a mom first, who carries the burden of anxiety and depression. But those are not who you are, as a person or as a mom. You are first and foremost a mother, a good-enough mother.

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    I would also add, that the only one to judge you in this situation are you and your child. So you do not need to make others happy, if you and your child are happy. For me this meant to reserve my power for my child, cleaning/tidy up when power is left over. And also to explain my child, that it is me, who has a limit (of nerves/power/...) and not the childs fault/punishment, if I need a break. Jun 20 at 15:15

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