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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5824
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a girlfriend who has moved 2000 kms to be with me,

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hi, I have a girlfriend who has moved 2000 kms to be with me, she also has a 20 month old daughter who has been raised completely by her mother. this was her choice to move here where leaving behind her friends and family. we are in love and I glady taken on the responsibility to father her child which creates a financially stable up bring for her and her mother. she's been up for 2 months and is happy but dealing with her child and not getting help off her mother to give her some free time for herself and us, plus a complete life change without her friends is starting to get to her, for e.g getting in agitated moods and boredom, and no longer the child's one day day care school she went to every week. I am studying psychology and coinciding for the past 6 months plus working 12 hrs a day, so I'm away most the day. she's had an anxiety attack once and I can see she can't cope with the stress and the almost completed full time attention she provides for the child. assuming I'm the male role figure or father in this situation, I try do as much for them emotionly and physically to take the stress and keep them c comfortable. I have a very strong mind set and have an approach with dealing with stress e.g seeing the positive in every situation and disregard negative! I Know there's tools you can use to have a positive outlook on every situation. appreciation! to build energy is to feel love, to feel love is to see beauty, to see beauty is to appreciate! and you can find that in absolutely anything I believe.. therefore I try to add opinions towards things that she isn't coping with, just a better way to look at it or how to start training her child to understand that the things that upset her mother are not to be done and not right, so she learns what is right or wrong which evidentally will slowly take the pressure off the mother. But she disrigards my opinions by blaming the child's actions on things happening around her, which she is in a loving environment. the mother is hearing my thoughts as if I'm trying to be smarter then her or start fights which is very frustrating because I'm only trying to help. her not coping and over stressing is directly effecting our relationship and her well being. I'm assumed the father to help but don't have a chance to try, which is effecting my moods highly and I'm just the bad one for thinking this because she doesn't understand I can and need to help or I won't have a place in this relationship. is there any advise I could get about how to do about this? p.s sorry about the novel

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question. It sounds like your girlfriend feels very overwhelmed by the responsibilities of parenting. Some people have the temperament to be a parent and the energy to deal with the high demands of an active child. However, there are others who find the day to day routine, lack of breaks and constant attention needed to cope with a toddler just too much. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just a matter of what one person can handle compared to another.

Although your advice to her is correct and appropriate, it may not be what your girlfriend wants to hear. She simply may not be able to listen and incorporate your advice into her parenting style and therefore becomes upset instead of relieved. What you may want to try is to just listen to her. Sometimes people find great relief in just complaining or expressing their feelings to someone who doesn't say anything or very little at all. It can be very difficult to sit and here all of these distressing emotions from someone and not say anything (particularly if you are studying psychology and have a deeper understanding of what is needed) but often just having someone listen helps the person get the emotions out of their system and reduce their stress.

You may also want to find ways to spend some time alone with your girlfriend. Hire a babysitter and go out or buy dinner and eat together with candlelight after your little one is in bed. If you have the time (it sounds like you are quite busy), you may also want to take a day out with the child so your girlfriend can do something on her own. Just having even a few hours to herself might be enough to recharge her.

And anytime you can provide relief to her, even if it is sometime later in the day or the next day, it can give her something to look forward to so she can handle her stress better.

Also, it may help to remind her that this is a difficult stage of development but it will not last forever. Some time very soon the child will be in school and your girlfriend (and you) will have more time to be on your own and develop other interests outside of parenting.

Unfortunately, because your girlfriend has left behind most of her supports, she only has you for now and that is a lot on you. She may find some benefit to joining a Mommy and me group or something similar to reach out to other parents for support. The more she can socialize the better she will feel and the less she will depend solely on you for help.

I hope this has helped you,


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