If you’re thinking “Why do I feel so depressed as a stay at home mom”, I need for you to know that you are not alone. There are 1 in every 10 women going through this too. Myself included.
There is something about doing the same thing over and over again that just drives me crazy: dishes, mopping, sweeping floors (because kids don’t know how to eat without leaving crumbs everywhere), changing diapers, breastfeeding and eating at the same time, picking up toys, etc. The list goes on. This is not for everyone. Stay at home moms are depressed and battling anxiety for a reason. This is a full time job with no breaks and we are always overstimulated.
There’s so many reasons why most, if not all of us feel depressed as a stay at home mom, but, I think the isolation takes it away. The lack of social interactions with people our age is probably the biggest factor to this. We take care of little people that are extensions of us and we have to absorb all of their emotions all day, and if we had another adult to vent to, that would make a huge difference. People think that venting means, “give me advice” when in fact it means “just listen to me, I need a friend right now”.
I have been a SAHM for 5 years already and I can tell you this: this sh*t is no joke. The amount of work that is done during the day and the social deprivation takes its toll on me sometimes. Some days are harder than others, but nevertheless, all days are hard. And if I have $1 for every “all SAHMs do is stay home all day and sit on their asses” I heard or read on social media, I would be able to pay off one of my debts. Having to constantly explain to people with no children that being a SAHM is not all fun and games is challenging; they just don’t get it.
We are overworked, exhausted, socially deprived and usually struggle with anxiety and depression. It’s never-ending. Also, the constant pressure of making it seem like we’re okay when I’m fact, we are not.
I quit my job as an EMT and became depressed as a stay at home mom of 1 very quickly after. I was newly married and having a not-so-great relationship with my husband. I soon found out that I would have to stay home all day with my child, while still living with my mother and siblings, and I became dependent on him for financial support. It tore me apart since I always had a job and didn’t have to ask anyone for money. Fast forward 4 years later, I’ve added 2 more little humans, I’m still a stay at home mom, but now, I homeschool. So not only do I have to cook, clean, pick up toys, but I have to teach my kids how to read and write. It is very challenging but I’m trying to make it work.
What is expected from a stay at home mom?
With all of the challenges and tasks we face on a daily basis, I want to emphasize that we need to take care of ourselves. Being a SAHM does not mean we are slaves to the kids or our husbands. We are still human beings with our own identity, feelings, character and personalities that makes us, us. Yes, the anxiety or depression is there, but there are way to cope and work through it.
Being a depressed stay at home mom does not have to last forever. Here’s what you can do:
Journaling is good to write down all that you’re feeling and going through without anyone judging you or making you feel bad about your parenting choices. Here’s a journal I like
Talk to someone in your shoes
Who else knows about the struggles of being a SAHM than another SAHM? Having friendships where you can vent to and listen to without being judged is amazing. Find yourself a SAHM friend.
Make time for yourself whenever you can
You need “me time” as well! Start a self care routine where you can enjoy yourself again.
Ditch social media for a bit
Avoid those Facebook groups or social media platforms that give horrible advice. I was once in a FB mom group and noticed that almost all of the moms there lived in houses with yards and I was the only one living in an apartment building with nowhere to go. I had to leave the group seeing as most of the advice they were giving said “take the kids out to the yard and let them play while you sip on some tea!” Girl bye. All it did was make me more depressed.
Start a hobby or pick up a new one
Starting a hobby or picking up a new one might be good for sure. It helps you feel productive, accomplished and makes sure you’re in tune with yourself. Here’s a post with some hobbies to check out. Personally, I picked crochet. I got myself some yarn and the needles so I’ll be learning that soon! I can’t wait!
Don’t let being depressed as a stay at home mom change your outlook on life
Always live in gratitude. Know that being a SAHM is not only hard work, but it is rewarding. You see all of your kids’ milestones and their accomplishments, but what about yours? This can be a great time to pick up something you’ve always wanted, like going back to school to study nursing, law or business management. Learn to be optimistic.
Vibe out to high vibrational music
Everything has a vibration, music does too. Music can change our moods so it can be a powerful tool to intentionally raise your vibration. Nothing weird, I promise. For example, if you listen to a sad song about missing someone and remembering how they used to make you feel, you can start crying, you start to feel down. This is obviously not good because it’s making you feel bad. “High vibrational/frequency” music means that the music you’ll listen to, is about “positivity, power, clarity, joy, gratitude, health, balance, love, compassion, forgiveness, peace, understand and ease.” Listen to those! I feel like techno music is great with that. Put some high vibrational music and dance!
Talk to your partner
Communication is key in every kind of relationship. Communicate what you’re feeling to your partner. Men aren’t the brightest when trying to guess what’s wrong with us, so we have no other choice than to talk. Communicate your needs. If what you need is 20 a day by yourself (just to start off) you need to let your partner know that. You’re not going to get what and need you want unless you speak up.
Postpartum depression sucks and it can linger for longer than we’d like. Postpartum depression can last up to 3 years without clinical treatment after giving birth. This is serious. This is 3 years of sadness, and an overwhelming sense of emptiness. You don’t want to do anything. It’s serious and you may need help sooner rather than later.
Symptoms of being a depressed stay at home mom
- You feel sad, worried, overwhelmed and anxious
- You cry more than usual
- You feel angry or moody
- You have trouble sleeping
- You have difficulty focusing
- You procrastinate tasks
- You eat too little or too much (insert emotional eating post)
- You feel like you’re worthless and all you are is a SAHM and nothing else
Momma, it is time to heal. Being a depressed SAHM is something I know all too well and I have been taking the necessary steps to make that better.