I like Dawn. Overall, I think she's probably a nice woman with a good heart.
What I don't like: her pleas to other players to do what she needs on an emotional level. Her pleading with Erik to stick with them and not ruin her game did make me slightly nauseated. Cochran handles things much better.
I haven't seen her "use her kids as an excuse" but it is kind of lame to ask someone to "give" you an immunity. What joy is there in wearing the necklace if you didn't actually earn it? How can that make you feel proud in front of your kids? It's lame.
What I like: I don't mind the crying. I think mentally, she's falling apart a little out there. That's not her fault entirely. Sure, you want to tell her to suck it up, but if she can't, she can't. She lets it out. Fine.
She's playing really hard... she's not playing as smart as Cochran, but she's playing as hard as he is. I think this game is agonizing for her, and I don't think it's a very good fit, actually... because she carries too much guilt with every decision she makes and has to rationalize it to make it ok again. I find it very respectable when two people form an alliance at the very beginning and stick with it. I think she has a great big heart, but she's a flake, and she waffles back and forth between the decisions she feels she has to make (being tough) and the hating those decisions (being sensitive).
Overall, I don't think she's a bad person at all. I think she'd be lovely to have a cup of tea with.