When I first became a stay-at-home mom, I never realized I could be faced with loneliness, boredom, or depression. It wasn’t that I thought that everything would be sunshine and rainbows all the time. It was just that I didn’t realize how lonely or bored or even depressed you could be as a stay-at-home mom.
Maybe this has become your new reality or maybe you are just curious or maybe you know someone who is suffering from depression as a stay-at-home mom. Whatever the reason may be, here is how to deal with stay-at-home mom depression.
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The Causes of Stay-At-Home Mom Depression
Before you became a stay-at-home mom, you might have been a teacher, student, banker, manager, or had some other kind of career. Your work, passion, and goals were recognized in the “real” world.
But once you had your little one, and made the transition to being a stay-at-home mom, you know hold the title (and only the title) of mom. Although, a very important title, and one you are happy to hold, it’s also possible that you feel like you lost your identity.
Because unfortunately, society does not recognize the contributions of a stay-at-home mom. The loss of identity can bring feelings of anger, loneliness, sadness, and depression.
It can be hard to balance taking care of your kids as well as making your goals and dreams come true. Plus, there is an awful lot to do as a stay-at-home mom.
Between taking care of your kids, laundry, running errands, keeping your house clean, the to-do list can feel overwhelming and neverending.
The Stigma Surrounding Stay-At-Home Mom Depression
Unless you are a stay-at-home mom, it can be difficult for people to understand what it is like, to understand your role, and to understand you purpose. It seem to those on the outside, like you have nothing but time at your disposal because you are home all day.
But being a stay-at-home mom is busy and a lot of work. Because of this, it can be difficult to share your complaints and feelings.
When I was married and a stay-at-home mom, my own spouse didn’t understand why I had any complaints. In his eyes, I was getting to stay at home all day, every day. To him, I was the lucky one because I didn’t have to go out and work.
Now to be fair, I was lucky to be able to be home with my daughter and watch her grow up. Currently, I am only able to be with her part time and I’m desparately trying to stay with her full-time.
At the same time, it is not easy being a stay-at-home mom, especially if you have complaints and are feeling depressed. And maybe it feels like you are alone and no one understands. You are not alone. At all.
5 Ways to Handle Stay-At-Home Mom Depression
1. Use Social Media Less
Although social media is a great way to stay connected with the outside world, it can make you feel less-than-perfect and like you will never be good enough. It makes you feel like your house has to be in a constant state of being spotless and you must be with your kids 24/7. (I know you love your kids. However, you don’t need to be with them 24/7.)
I wouldn’t dream of suggesting of completely doing away with social media because it is your lifeline to the world. Just use it less. (Unless of course you want to completely give up social media. Then by all means go ahead and do you.)
And everything you read or hear take with a grain of salt. Stop comparing or competeing.
2. Remember or Find Your Passions
It is important to engage in activities that are enjoyable to you, give you a break, and are for you. So think back to before you were mom and what you liked to do.
Let yourself indulge in these passions. Or maybe you aren’t sure of what your passions are and you need to find something new.
Allow yourself to discover your passions or in the very least hobbies. Honestly, it could be anything. Sewing, knitting, writing, or starting a blog to name a few.
3. Join a Mom’s Group (Either Online or Offline or Both)
It can be helpful when dealing with depression to talk to other moms, especially stay-at-home moms. They completely understand your struggles and what life is like as a stay-at-home mom.
If you have friend that are moms, use them as your support system. If not, you can meet other moms at places you visit with your kids; aquariams, parks, musems.
If your depression is making it difficult to leave the house, you can meet other moms online. Through online support groups, forums and blogs.
Writing down how you feel, what is happening in your life can help you feel better. Make sure you don’t censure yourself. Don’t try to write only what you think you should write. Just write.
Another type of journaling that can help is to do a gratitude journal. Write down what you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. You can write down a few items every day or just one thing a day.
5. Schedule “Me” Time
It is important to have uninterrupted time to yourself. Because you deserve it.
And so you can recharge and renew.
It can help you feel reinvigorated.
If you can’t afford to hire a babysitter, then have a family member, a friend, or your spouse watch you little one, so you can do something entirely for yourself.
There is no shame in returning to work or even getting a part-time job if you are desperate. But if want or need to stay home then these tips can help you to work through your depression.
If the depression is affecting your day to failure or feels like too much to handle, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.