If you are a stay at home mom with depression, can I offer you a virtual hug?
Because I’ve been there.
I’ve cried the tears no one else has seen.
I’ve felt completely lonely yet wanted my own space.
I was overwhelmed with it all but also underwhelmed and disappointed.
But it didn’t stay that way.
And it doesn’t have to stay that way for you either!
In this post, I want you to know that you are not alone as you battle stay at home mom depression and you can overcome it!
Stay at home moms are on call all. the. time.
They don’t get time to themselves or scheduled lunch breaks. They are changing diapers, cutting food into bite size pieces, making crafts, reading books, playing outside, wiping away tears, and listening to little ones questions and cries all day long.
It is draining on the body, mind, and, heart. It can wear a momma out.
Stay at home mom depression is a real thing.
STAY AT HOME MOM with DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS:
- You lack joy as a mom.
- Taking care of your home feels like a burden.
- You don’t have energy to care for yourself.
- You are overwhelmed by everything.
- You are tired and irritable.
But it’s hard to admit that we struggle with stay at home mom depression. In fact, it’s hardly ever talked about. Although, thanks to the internet, the message is being spread like this post from Momma’s Tired.
But in every day life it is not something we generally talk about. After becoming a stay at home mom, you may have even wondered,
“Why didn’t anyone one warn me about stay at home mom depression?”
I believe it isn’t talked about because society doesn’t understand how in the world we could be depressed while we are “living the life”!
In their eyes we have what they want:
No boss. No time clock. No commute. No co-workers.
I mean, the world envy’s stay at home moms!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people I’m a stay at home mom, and I get a reply about how lucky I am or how they are jealous of me or they wish they could stay at home with their kids too.
Also, it is hard to admit that we struggle with stay at home mom depression because most of us choose to stay home.
We gave up careers and traded in bigger paychecks so that we could be home with our kids.
So why aren’t stay at home mom’s happy?
I think it boils down to a few things.
We’ve forgotten to take care of ourselves.
We haven’t figured out why we are stay at home moms.
And third, we don’t understand our worth.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT YOUR DEPRESSION:
1. Take care of yourself too.
It is so easy to focus on all the needs of your family and household that you forget to take care of yourself. But in order to take care of everyone else, you have to have something to give them.
You cannot give from an empty cup.
Make a list of the things that fill your cup and energize you.
Do you do those things? If not, it is time to start making those things a priority.
For me, I need to wake up before my kids.
In the morning, I do a short 10 minute exercise video or sometimes I literally just walk around my living room doing knee lifts and swinging my arms. Anything to get my blood pumping. 🙂
Then I enjoy a cup of coffee while I read my Bible and pray.
I do all of this in the quiet of the morning by myself. As an introvert, I need this quiet alone time to start my day. It makes me a better mom and wife.
Here are some quick ideas for taking care of yourself:
- Get enough sleep. You may need to go to bed earlier.
- Drink enough water. I love using my insulated tumbler.
- Take breaks throughout the day.
- Allow for quiet times when you have a chance to think.
- Plan to get out of the house and interact with adults.
- Keep a gratitude journal and focus your mind on positive things.
A resource that helped me tremendously was the book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine. She now has a very affordable Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Course!
I love Crystal’s down to earth advice. She offers real solutions to the overwhelm. When you take small steps, over time you will see big changes.
Her course helps you dump the overwhelm and finally feel like you can breath again!
2. Clearly state WHY you are a stay at home mom.
It always rubs me the wrong way when people refer to me as “just” a stay at home mom. I know they probably don’t mean anything by it and aren’t trying to hurt me.
But when I hear the word just in front of stay at home mom, it’s like they are saying that stay at home moms “don’t do anything.” They just stay home.
Don’t give into that lie. What you do as a stay at home mom has far reaching influence. You are making the home and your family a priority.
Our parents give us our first sense of love, security, and self worth. So the fact that you choose to pour into your children’s lives day in and day out, reading the same book 5 times in a row and patiently dealing with toddler temper tantrums means you are letting your family know they are important.
But in the midst of it all, it can become routine to a point where you forget WHY you are doing these things.
Remember that you aren’t just washing the dishes. The reason you have dirty dishes in the first place is you provided a meal for your family’s physical needs.
You aren’t just folding clean clothes. You are making sure your husband has clothes to wear to work and your kids have clothes to wear so they can learn and grow.
You aren’t just listening to your child talk, you are letting them know you love them and are interested in what they have to say.
If there is a homemaking task that is especially hard for you or makes you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to write down the many reasons why you do it.
Then refer to that list, when you feel discouraged.
3. Find your self worth outside of being a mom.
Society often equates self-worth with job titles. So as a stay at home mom it can be hard to feel like you have self worth.
When I first became a stay at home mom, I had just stepped down from teaching for 9 years. That was 9 years of having a job title, dressing up for work every day, carrying out responsibilities, and following a routine and schedule.
- No job to get ready for each day.
- No job description telling me what my responsibilities were.
- No schedule to follow.
Here I was in the middle of what felt like nothing. I felt like I was a maid and my whole life revolved around my kids.
Do you ever feel the same way?
Make sure you are doing things besides taking care of the home and kids.
- start a new hobby
- pick up an old hobby that you may have given up
- start a blog or YouTube channel
- set personal goals
- read books
- meet up with friends
4. Take your job as a stay at home mom seriously.
While you may not have an official job with a paycheck, you have what is the MOST important job of your life and you need to start thinking of it that way.
Treat your role as a stay at home mom as a job (that you love).
- Get dressed every day.
- Follow routines.
- Plan out your tasks.
And remember that above all else you are glorifying God with what you are doing. Here are some verses that helped me realize what I was doing as a stay at home mom has high worth.
Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
Psalm 127:3 “Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from him.”
I made a free resource for you. It’s an easy to use checklist for taking care of your home and yourself.
Download your FREE Balanced Mom checklist!
Want to read more? Here are 3 simple things to do when you are having a rough day.