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Burnt Out

Community Member

Hi All

I am a 27 year old mother of a very full on 5 year old girl. Her dad died traumatically infront of her when she was 3 years old, and she struggles to express emotion since. She suffers massive separation anxiety when it comes to school or even just giving me a moment to myself, I struggle to even get her to sleep by herself. This clingyness is causing me to get so frustrated and I often take it out on her which isn't fair. I don't even know what I'm expecting from this post, but maybe someone somewhere has some advice on how I can help her and stop resenting being a parent. The day in day out never ending fights and tantrums about the smallest things are sending me crazy, I hate the way I feel about being a parent. I feel so guilty because I know it's not her fault, but sometimes I just want a break from her..

13 Replies 13

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Looie94,

Warm welcome to the forums, and thank you for posting here. Parenting is a really tough role, and it requires so much sacrifice/patience/unconditional love to bring up a child. You've been doing your best in being a mother for your daughter, and you're very strong and courageous for bringing her up as a single parent.

I'm really sorry to hear about the tragic loss in your family, and how much it has impacted you and your daughter. I can't imagine what it's like for both you and your daughter, to have experienced such a tragic loss right in front of your eyes... May I recommend you to give the Beyond Blue Hotline a call at 1300 22 4636 (They're available 24/7). They'll be able to point you to the right direction for the help that you need if you explain the situation to them.

You're not alone in this Looie94, and I'm happy to listen to you if you'd like to chat more as well. Stay strong, and hope to hear from you soon!


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Looie94~

My I say in the gentlest possible way you are looking in the wrong direction? It is 2 years since your little girl's dad died in horrible circumstances and I'm assuming he meant a lot to you. If not my apologies for the assumption however the below still holds true.

So now you have your own grief and loss to contend with as well as a little girl that needs constant help and looks to you for it all. Plus the practical aspects of living, chores, shopping and all

How do you expect to cope wiht all of that just becuse you are a mum. You are human, you get tired, frustrated, angry and resentful -and want a break. OK that's natural and does not indicate a lack of love or being a bad parent - just being human who, like every other in the world has limits.

May I ask if you have considered a child psychologist for your little daughter and a grief councilor or psychologist for yourself? You both have gone through something nobody aught to, and both of you need knowledgeable support.

Apart from that may I ask if you are facing all this alone, or have others to lean on? Maybe someone to babysit, maybe someone just to talk frankly with and hear care in their voice as they listen?

Being alone can lead you down the path of self blame as there is no one to provide perspective -and a measure of comfort.

To survive for two years with these burdens shows love and strenght, please don't put yourself down

You are welcome here -to say whatever you like - anytime


Community Member

G'day Looie94,

I've spent a bit of time googling for "support for grieving wives with children" to seek out help to suit your circumstance. I'm hoping you find something useful below or above from other posters...

Beyond Blue has a webpage on Raising Resilient Children. Which links to Managing Emotions.

Responsive parenting blog, shows a whole heap of blogs that may assist you.

Raising Children . net, has a webpage titled, Persistent sleep problems in children and teenagers.

Feel the Magic . org, has Parenting Resources for Children & Teens, they're not aimed at 5 year olds, but there is an really excellent pdf titled "What to Expect During the Grieving Process" for 7 to 13's, which will certainly give you some ideas for now and into your girls future.

Kind regards, dng.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Looie, and a warm welcome to the site.

I am not a doctor but perhaps your daughter could be suffering from PTSD when she had to witness the tragedy of this traumatic passing of her father and although she might not be able to express herself it's important to notice how she reacts with her behaviour as to a clue that she has not overcome this terrible incident because she is too young to know how to react.

Her clinginess and separation anxiety is a result of what she has seen and could be afraid that she may also lose you, even after two years, however, being so young she doesn't know how to cope with it, except to attach herself to you.

I know as a parent you want some freedom in life but unable to achieve this because of your daughter, and as she is now 5 years old you are entitled to ring Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 who have trained counsellors who can relate and be able to talk with her, even at her young age, which may then give you some relief.

These counsellors help children at any age and will be able to talk to her and talk her language.

We'd really love to hear back from you, whenever you're available, so please do.

My best.


Thanks for your reply JT,

sometimes I forget I'm only human and some days will be harder than others. Overall she's a pretty cool kid, I guess we just clash because we are so alike.

Community Member
Hi Croix!
I probably worded it badly, we were separated from the time she was 3 months old so it didn't hit me as hard as it hit her. While he wasn't a completely active parent her last memories of him aren't good ones (she was alone in his house when he passed) and she relates sleeping to death. hence so many of our sleep issues. I am looking into kinesiology as an alternative to therapy because of how young she is I don't know how she would react. Thank you for your reply!

Thank you D'n'G!

We were separated from the time she was 3 months old so if anything I only grieve the backup parenting I lost, not the person. Thank you for doing some research for me! It's very much appreciated.

Community Member
Hi Geoff!
I definitely think she suffers from some form of PTSD from the incident, I've never sought counselling for her because of her age and because she doesn't talk to anyone including myself about what happened or what she feels.

Dear Looie94

Warmest regards to you and welcome to our group.

As others mentioned, I also think it would be advisable for you to book a visit for yourself as well as your daughter with a Counsellor or a psychologist.
For little kids like her there are also therapies that are tailored for the age. One of them is called Play Therapy. It is led by a child and helps the child to express all the feelings that accumulate after a loss and a tragedy which little kids are unable to recognise and name as we adults do. Just an example.

It is extremely difficult to deal with kid’s tantrums, screams etc when you are physically and mentally exhausted. It’s like a torture except it’s your own child and once all settles down we struggle with our guilt of loosing patience or whatever else. And it can last for months or years.
I am so glad you reached out. This group is a great start.

Take care Luv.