Stay at home mom depression is a real thing and it can seem almost impossible to overcome.
Being depressed is seen in a variety of ways.
- 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.
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.
But it’s hard to admit that we struggle with stay at home mom depression. In fact, it’s hardly ever talked about.
You may even have 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 we 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.
Let’s talk about what to do about all of that.
You can watch the video of this post too.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AS A STAY AT HOME MOM
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.
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.
FIND YOUR SELF WORTH AS A STAY AT HOME 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.
Do you ever feel the same way?
I encourage you to think differently about your role.
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.”