Failing in all aspects....

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Failing in all aspects....

Postby Stressedmum » Wed 12 Sep, 2012 3:10 pm

I am a mother to two girls aged 3.5 and
18mths. We moved to a country town from
the UK almost two yrs ago. My 18mth old
was born blind in one eye which she had
to have removed two mths ago and now my
3 year old is having behaviour issues,
she isnt socialzing or behaving at pre
kindy or home and she is being assessed.
My husband works away and i am finding
it difficult to make friends due to 3 yr
olds behaviour, kids dont want to play
with her. Life has thrown us such
challenges... i am finding it so
difficult to be positive and feel i am
failing in all aspects of life at the
moment. I dont know where to turn
really :-( will it ever get any better?
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Joined: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: Failing in all aspects....

Postby NgalaOnline » Thu 13 Sep, 2012 9:41 pm

Hi StressedMum

Thank you for your post. First and foremost, I do not think you are failing as a mum - I think you are being very courageous to seek help during a trying time. It sounds as though you are in a very difficult and stressful situation which would result in many parents feeling despairing. Parenting can be a very difficult and challenging time for many people and it is very common for parents to feel isolated and alone. Guilty feelings regarding parenting are also extremely common. In your situation you are not only dealing with the demands of caring for two small children (which is exhausting and difficult for most people even in the absence of other stressors) you are also dealing with a child with a health problem, a child experiencing behaviour issues, a partner who is away for work, a lack of family support due to distance from relatives, social isolation and the stresses of being in a new country. Geographical issues and corresponding lack of ability of support services can also have an impact. Given the number of stressors upon you it is very understandable that you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed right now.

I would strongly encourage you to speak to a professional about the feelings you are having. The Ngala forum is limited in its ability to provide advice that may be relevant to your individual circumstances. If you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness, persistently low mood or feelings of depression it is very important that you discuss these feelings with someone and obtain some further support. The Ngala helpline, your GP or Child Health Nurse are appropriate avenues for discussing the way you are feeling.

In the situation you are in, self care is very important but also difficult to find time for. Discussing your feelings with your partner is important. You may be able to look at ways in which you can prioritise finding some "time out" for yourself - such as your partner caring for the children for a time period when he is home so that you can do some activities you enjoy, or paying for a babysitter or "mother's help" to come in and assist with the children to give you some respite once or twice a week when he is away for work. Looking at getting support with housework (such as hiring a cleaner) may also alleviate some of the pressure for you. It is helpful to also examine avenues of potential support - are there any friends who could provide some support to you? Is there a church or volunteer organisation in your country town that may be able to provide assistance to you? In Metropolitan Perth there are some organisations such as Meerilinga and CLAN that can provide family visisting services to provide assistance, it would be worthwhile discussing your situation with your Child Health Nurse to find out if there are any local services that may be of use to you.

Socialisation for yourself is also very important. Being alone in your house with your children, especially with a partner working away and no family nearby, can feel very isolating and oppressive to many mums. If you feel you are unable to take your daughter to an environment such as a playgroup, daycare or kindy program, it might be helpful to look at whether there are local programs that you are able to do with your daughter that dont involve as much interaction between children such as story time at the library or a kindy gym program. These types of activities get you both out of the house but allow you to be alongside your daughter to support her and limit the amount of social interaction she is required to have with other children. Many parents will be understanding and supportive if you are able to explain that your child is undergoing some social challenges at the moment and that you are trying very hard to support her to learn some appropriate social skills. You may like to see if there is one or two other local mothers that you can explain this to and then try to have some play mornings with those mothers. Often children will cope better with playdates if the play is not in their own home, where their own toys are being used by another child. You may also like to explore whether your child is able to cope better with playdates with older or younger children, as some children are more socially threatened by peers of their own age.

Having a child that is undergoing behavioural issues is very confronting and upsetting for many parents. It is easy for parents to feel that they are to blame, and to feel ashamed by the behaviour their child is showing. It is important to remember though many children do go through challenging periods where they find social interactions difficult, and often children do successfully move through this phase with time. It does sound as though you are doing all that you can to help support your child, including having her medically assessed. It is important to try not to blame yourself, and to give yourself credit for all of the many things that you do on a day to day basis to love and support your children in their development. You mention that your child is being medically assessed - if it is found that your child is suffering from a developmental delay or other condition it is important to mention to the paediatician your feelings of social isolation and the difficulties you experience with socialising your daughter. There may be funding that you can access or support services such as early intervention services or supported playgroups.

Ngala has several services that may be of assistance to you. The helpline staff would be happy to talk to you further about your feelings and also the behavioural challenges you are experiencing with your daughter. Ngala can also offer a telephone or webcam consultation to address specific behavioural issues that you may like assistance with. If it is possible for you to travel to Perth Ngala also offers several group parent education sessions that may be of benefit to you including "Guiding Children's Behaviour 2-5 years" "Families Moving for Work" and "Parent's Working Away" and "Transition to School". Information can be found here: Ngala services for different regional in WA can be found here:

Parenting WA is another helpful organisation that can help parents with behavioural strategies for their children, and can also help parents to access various community services and groups. Information about Parenting WA and the phone number for this service can be found here: ... fault.aspx

This website may also be of use to you:

I do encourage you to continue to reach out for help, and to discuss your feelings with the Ngala helpline or your child health nurse. You have two small children at challenging ages plus a lot of additional factors in your life, so it is very understandable that you are feeling overwhelmed at the moment. Best wishes.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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