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How to parent a difficult child when you have depression

Community Member
I have just started on anti depressants yesterday and I have 3 kids but my youngest is the most difficult, I am finding it increasingly difficult to be a good mum. My 4yo had a meltdown at the shops and I had everyone staring at me so I left without my shopping and she kept screaming and refused to go into her carseat so I could go home. After about 30 mins of her just sitting in the floor well of my car and me in my driver's seat balling my eyes out she finally went in her seat. I hate feeling like this and I love my kids more then anything but I know I can be a better mum. What more can I do? I am waiting to see a psych and it's obviously going to take time for my tablets to take effect but I can't keep feeling like this
4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

So glad you're here in this safe place.

Worry only brings ulcers. I was a worrying dad. My GP at the time early 1990's said "I've never seen a child die from crying". That hit home.

Secondly, your fears and feeling embarrassed isn't realistic in yhat the balance is out. Most shoppers aren't thinking bad of you, they are likely either laughing inside how your daughter is behaving or feeling sorry for you, not angry at you.

  • Ideas- organise child minding once a week and shop then, calmly. Avoidance is better than cure.
  • Shop with a partner or friend so you daughter can be removed from the store.
  • Try not to feel guilty moving your child physically. Take charge by moving her to her child's seat and forcibly buckling her up. This means you are in charge not her
  • Group therapy works as you get and overview of others thoughts, remedies and ideas
  • Meds take around 6 weeks to work. They are great but don't fix the core problems you are facing.
  • Engage the older children to take on more chores and responsibilities. It won't harm them
  • Pat yourself on the back often.


Beyondblue topic worry worry worry

Beyondblue topic the best praise you'll ever get

Beyondblue topic do we all expect a smooth road in life?

And this one, when your child is sleeping- Maharaji prem rawat sunset youtube.

And many other Maharaji videos.

Repost anytine


Community Member

Hi Tkat91,

Firstly, you are a great mum. Don’t forget that.

Depression doesn’t make you a bad mum.

Are you a solo parent?

Regardless, I had a husband who didn’t co-parent, but counter parent. (I had 3 babies in 4 years) I had help from of all people my mother in law. Don’t know what she thought of me, but father in law was very critical of me, especially when I had to return to work with small children. My husband was basically unemployed when our children were born. But I was still the bad parent.

The meds may help you with regulating your emotions at these stressful times. I think you did the correct thing in the car park with your daughter. There’s nothing more stressful than driving with an upset child in the back.

I rarely took my children shopping. I shopped late at night after their bedtime. As they got older, I switched to online shopping with home delivery.

Anti depressants are a good start.

After everything that you have been through, you are doing fine and things will improve.

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Tkat91

Welcome to the bb forum.

I can well remember the shopping centre meltdowns and car seat refusals with my own two kids some twenty years ago. I know it’s tough in the moment but, from one mum to another, it happens to the best of us and it’s okay.

Sometimes when we are dealing with a MH issue normal everyday challenges become harder and it’s easy to lose perspective. Please remember, you love your kids, they need you and you are doing your best even though you’re feeling unwell. No one can do more than that.

It’s going to take a bit of time for you to feel the benefits of your new medication. I’d like to suggest that you do everything you can to take some pressure off yourself.

If you have a partner it could pay to share how you are feeling and ask for support. Even if they could just come home early or do a bit more to help with the kids on the weekends.

You could also ask for similar support from family and friends, too. A few extra play dates at the homes of others will give you a break and the kids will have fun.

If none of that is possible, then please give yourself a break. Laundry never goes away but you can cut some corners cleaning. Same goes for cooking, take away and ready prepared meals are okay. And if the kids are bickering etc an extra movie or two won’t do them any harm.

The idea is to give yourself a break. Some extra time to rest and heal or do something you enjoy.

I will keep you and your children in my thoughts. Please post any time to let us know how you are getting on or if you want to vent or share. This community has your back.

Kind thoughts to you

Community Champion
Community Champion

hello and welcome.

when your child is screaming in a public place it would be normal to think everyone is looking at you.

I also notice you said you had just started medication as well.

Combine these and you feel really bad. Even without medication you (figuratively speaking) feel as though everyone is watching you.

Summer Rose gave some good suggestion on getting help.

I also think that if you were to write down the things you do each day there would be a big list of positive things. So I am sure you are a good mother, just the current situation is bringing you down. Also getting through the day can also be enough. Please try to be kind to yourself. You are worth it.