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To Sam

What is happening to her?

I am worried about my mum, her and my dad seperated a few months ago after years of fighting and horrible things so we have to share a bed and a bedroom at a friends house because we dont have anywhere to go.  Because of this I am with her loads and she is getting really sad and crying, and is constantly trying to make herself look better by not eating properly and always excersising, she is getting really thin and weighs less than me, she says she cant cope with me and that she can do nothing right. She has started drinking quite a lot and I am getting worried about her, she gets herself into really big states and ends up losing everything like all her cards for us to get money. What can I do to help her?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for writing to me about the difficult time you are going through at the moment. Things sound very tough and I can tell you're going through a lot of change and that you are offering mum a lot of support. Your feelings matter and it's important that you get the help and support that is right for you.

Everybody needs support in their lives. It's okay to get as much help and support as you need so that others know about the struggle that you and your mum are going through.

When any relationship comes to an end, it can make people have a lot of different feelings and emotions. It sounds like it may be this way for your mum. People also cope in different ways but it sounds like exercise and alcohol is really affecting the quality of your mum's life.

I'm thinking that getting some family support could help your mum get back control of her feelings in a positive way, instead of her negative emotions being in control of her. This could help boost your mum's confidence and self-esteem and may also help take the pressure off you. Think about who else in your family might be able to support your mum to help her cope. Would you be able to talk to them?

You sound really caring and supportive when it comes to looking after your mum, but she has a responsibility to be the adult and look after you. I'm wondering what it would be like to talk to somebody at school or maybe your mum's friend about getting her some help and support. You could get help through her doctor or through social services. Both will help the situation by looking at what support would be best to you as a family.

There are some other organisations that you can let your mum know about – these are Gingerbread, Family Lives and Relate. This may be something you want to explore with a counsellor here at ChildLine who will listen and help you work out your options and choices.

You’ve done so well to write to me and as it’s important that you never have to feel on your own with this. There is help and support available and I know that there will always be a counsellor here for you. You can get in touch with us online or on the phone.

Take care,


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