The moment we begin our parenting journey and a mum chooses to become stay at home wife and mom, the reality often does not match our expectations. We want to give our children complete attention and help them grow. However, sometimes stress takes over because things are not the way we pictured.
The life of a stay at home mom can be relentless and overwhelming, leaving mothers feeling defeat, sadness, and resent. Many mothers suffer from a stay at home mom depression. This article will explore why some mothers prefer to stay at home, what is stay at home loneliness and depression, and how we can all help to deal with it.
Why be a stay at home mom?
You must be wondering why mothers decide to become stay at home wife and mom. Here we have a few reasons why staying at home is a common thing these days.
Staying at home with kids will allow you to have special bonding time.
- You will be there to enjoy all the firsts of your little ones.
- It will allow us to understand their emotions and deal with them.
- Your kids will know that you are always there for them.
Know what your kids are being taught
Mothers who leave their kids with daycare or nanny are always worried that their kids may learn something bad from them. However, staying at home will give you the satisfaction that you are teaching your kids. It will allow you to help your children develop good habits.
Easily manage chores
Being a working woman makes it hard to manage work, kids, and chores. Due to which you often feel stressed out. A benefit of staying at home is that you can easily manage chores.
Working women often have to hire a nanny or pay for daycare services. It can be expensive sometimes. However, as a stay at home wife, you can easily save this money. It will allow you to take proper care of your kids and you can save the extra bucks for something else.
What are the challenges of being a stay at home mom?
A common misconception people have is that being a stay at home mom is easy. Mothers who stay at home have loads of free time and they enjoy it. In reality, mothers have to deal with some serious challenges when they decide to stay at home for kids. Here are a few challenges that you may not even notice.
Mom loneliness is the first problem that mothers often have to deal with. When husbands are out for work and babies are sleeping mothers often feel alone. As well as, they have to handle all the tasks without any help which also leads to the feeling of loneliness.
You feel guilty or judged
Mothers while staying at home for kids often feel guilty or judged. When tantrums suddenly start and mothers are unable to understand what the child wants. It often causes guilt because we believe the myths that mothers know everything.
Mothers are often judged based on how they take care of their children. Moreover, it is a common issue in all societies which is the biggest trigger for depressed moms.
Mothers often have to leave their job to stay at home, and can become completely dependent on their partner for finances. Thus, if you are a working and independent woman it might become hard to adjust in such situations.
A stay at home wife often suffers from the issue of loss of identity. All of a sudden everyone is concerned about the baby. No one pays attention to the mother. Besides that, she is often ignored.
Lack of appreciation
Mothers often face a lack of appreciation. Thus, they often work more than professional job owners but they never get the appreciation they deserve. It often leads to staying at home mom depression.
Is stay at home depression the same as Postpartum depression?
Stay at home mom depression is different to postpartum depression, which is a mental health issue that affects 1 out of 7 new mothers. Although, postpartum depression can spiral out of control if not treated, it is thought to typically only occur during the postpartum period. On the other hand, depression due to being at home can strike at any time.
28% of mum’s will suffer from stay at home mom depression at some time. Thus, they are often diagnosed with depression as compared to mothers who work.
Stay at home fathers can also suffer from stay at home depression; parents who decide to stay at home can all become stressed out or feel isolated.
A contributing factor is because work like having a full-time job but without any break or rest; domestic unpaid labor can be a much higher workload than a conventional job! It is not just long hours but cleaning, feeding, diaper changes, scheduling, sleepless nights, and tantrums which are the biggest challenges. Besides that, parents who stay at home by themselves manage all these tasks with no to little support.
Symptoms of stay at home depression
The symptoms of stay at home mom depression can be from mild to serious. You need to look out for the following signs.
- Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, emptiness, and worthlessness are persistent.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Restlessness, frustration, and irritability.
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities.
- Lack of energy.
- Weight and appetite changes.
- Difficulty remembering and thinking clearly.
- It gets hard to concentrate or make decisions.
- Stomachaches, headaches, back pain, or fatigue.
- Thoughts of suicide or death are recurrent.
How to avoid stay at home mom depression?
As you already know that stay at home mom depression is a real thing and a serious issue. Dealing with depression is tough but these tips might help you in the process.
- Write down your feelings in a journal, start your blog, or become a part of the community. This can give you the freedom to let all negative feelings out.
- Give yourself some free time and space. Make the evening about yourself and do what you love.
- Assure you to have realistic expectations when it comes to staying at home with babies. You should always be ready for surprises.
- When the baby is sleeping, try to get sleep as well. Besides that, chores can wait because the rest comes first.
- If you notice that your symptoms are aggravating, you need to consult a therapist as soon as possible.
Overcoming stay at home mom loneliness
Loneliness is one of the serious issues that come with staying at home. Here are a few things that might help you overcome feelings of loneliness.
- Try to spend some time outside your house; even if only in the garden. Take your child with you to spend some quality time together and get some sun on your skin and fresh air.
- Make friends who can connect with you and understand what you are going through. Moms who can understand your situation can often bond over shared experiences.
- Try to make time to Workout – such as Yoga or Pilates which can help you to feel relaxed, or weight and resistance training to let off steam.
- Pick up a hobby that can help you stay busy or keep your mind off things – reading, painting, craft, writing are all great things that can be done at home, but hobbies that take you out of the house (like dancing, hiking or swimming) can be even more valuable.
- As a stay at home mom you always have the option to work from home on creative endeavors like online contract work, blogging, web design, graphic design or consulting.
We need to understand that stay at home mom depression is a serious issue. Many talented, hardworking, and career-oriented women leave their jobs and business for their kids and home. We need to appreciate their sacrifices and provide proper support and help. Thus, the loving support of a partner and family is the only way we can reduce the increasing rate of depressed moms.
If you are struggling with loneliness and depression, please speak up. Talk to your partner, or engage with a counselor or therapist who can help you work through these complex feelings.