Depression can be a hard subject to talk about but, postpartum depression can be even worse. You may have heard of depression and postpartum depression. Let’s define them a little more. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It can affect how you behave and lead to a lot of emotional and physical problems. Postpartum depression is usually stemmed from an increase and imbalance of hormones that are trying to regulate after having a baby. But sometimes that depression does not always go away for stay-at-home moms. Stay at home moms are often responsible for taking care of the house and taking care of the kids throughout the day alone.
Have you ever caught yourself crying out of nowhere while washing bottles, clothes, or changing a diaper? Being a stay-at-home mom can sometimes feel lonely, repetitive, boring and stressful. When you are a stay-at-home mom, you rarely get that adult conversation and adult time that your brain so desperately needs. Many women dream of being a stay-at-home mom, but the dream is not always what we imagine. When we are living that dream, we can feel isolated, alone, and sad. And then there are those guilty feelings towards feeling this way about something you wanted to do. Stay-at-home moms may have an unrealistic expectation of keeping “it” together, always looking nice, having time to play and teach the kids, cook meals, and having a clean house everyday. Depression for stay-at-home moms is a real thing and sometimes we don’t always understand why we might be feeling this way and how to cope with it. What causes stay-at-home mom depression you might ask? Here are a few things that might contribute to stay-at-home mom depression.
1. Repetitive tasks and a feeling of lacking any type of accomplishment:
If you are taking care of a newborn, typically your day is on repeat all the time. Eat, sleep, change, repeat, and repeat and repeat. The to-do list that you have created seems never ending and even though they seem like small chores, they end up piling up and becoming a never-ending cycle. No matter how many times you do it and finish a task, there is always another one right there ready to be done.
2. Long hours:
Being a mom is not a 9-5 job, it’s a 24/7 job. It is a job that you cannot get away from. It starts from the time you wake up to the time you close your eyes to sleep.
3. Stressful job:
Being a stay-at-home mom is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. Trying to keep a little human alive while also dealing with your own things can be extremely hard. Even after the newborn stage you then have to teach your kids how to be kind, how to deal with their emotions, how to be independent and so many other things.
4. Lack of appreciation:
A mom rarely ever gets appreciation for the work she does daily. When you have an outside job, jobs try to give appreciation so that they keep their workers. Moms often have thankless stay at home jobs. Mothers often take care of everyone, leaving little time for themselves.
5. Lack of sleep:
This is probably the biggest contributor to a stay-at-home mom’s unhappiness is the lack of proper rest and sleep. Going to work every day with only 2 hours of sleep can be miserable. Moms do it on a daily without fault.
6. Lack of personal adult interaction:
Lack of adult interaction and conversation would drive anyone mad. Especially if you live far away from your family and friends. The loneliness can really start to set in.
7. Other people’s point of view:
Other people may make you feel like you do not have a right to complain or be depressed as a stay-at-home mom. This is simply untrue. Everyone is human and we must respect that people have different experiences and handle things differently and that is okay. Feelings are real and valid no matter what your situation.
It can be overwhelming and isolating to navigate the demands of motherhood without a support system or regular social interactions. Finding strategies to prioritize self-care, seeking professional help, and connecting with other moms who may be experiencing similar feelings can all play a vital role in managing and overcoming stay-at-home mom depression. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there are resources available to support you every step of the way. Below are some coping skills to try.
1. “Me time” is so important for a stay-at-home mom:
You have to be able to take a break from your 24/7 job and do something just for yourself. Even if it is just for 30 minutes. Take a bath, go get your nails done, read a chapter from that book you’ve been itching to read, take a nap, anything that is just for you… DO IT.
2. Ask for help when you need it:
As a stay-at-home mom with depression, you might be triggered more than normal and lash out on those around you. This may be because you need some help but did not know how to ask for it without feeling frustrated. You may feel like you shouldn’t have to ask, that others should already know you need help but, sometimes people don’t want to step on toes and so they wait for you to say, “hey I need your help with this”.
3. Create a schedule:
Having a structured schedule is not only good for the child but also mom. If you have a schedule you stick to, then you can incorporate some “me time” into that schedule. We are creatures of habit and routine and sometimes just having that daily routine and schedule can relieve a lot of stress off our shoulders.
4. Find new mom friends:
Join online groups or try to hang out with other mom friends that can relate and talk with you about what they might have done to help during a stressful situation.
5. Lastly, stop comparing yourself to others:
There is no sense in doing the comparison game. We are all different and handle things differently and that is okay. Know that you are doing your best and just work on doing what is best for you and your family.Go find yourself again momma, YOU CAN DO THIS!