Staying Happy and Healthy as a Stay at Home Mum
The average working mother would dream of being able to ditch their jobs and stay home with their children. They wouldn’t have to answer to anyone, worry about tight deadlines and cranky co-workers, the morning commutes and long company meetings. They could simply focus their efforts on raising their children, tending to the house, and indulging in their personal endeavours. From the outside in, it would seem like a dream come true.
And it is – to a point.
The Other Side to being a Stay at Home Mum
There are lots of stay at home mothers who would agree that not having the burdens of a typical career free up their time and make it easier for them to focus on their families and their homes, but it is not without sacrifice. Unfortunately, many women after a few months of transitioning to being at home, find themselves depressed. They begin to feel helpless, hopeless, unappreciated, and alone. Some even self-medicate with prescription drugs or alcohol and end up having to look to resources like a drug rehab for women near Newport beach.
Living with depression is never the answer, nor is trying to get through each day by masking your emotions or symptoms with drugs and alcohol. All of this can have a lasting impact on your family. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, drained, or especially sad lately, it is best to take action.
Common Causes of Depression
Why in the world would a woman ever be depressed about being able to be there for her family 24/7? It would seem like there aren’t any reasons, but here are some common causes:
- Home consumes you – when you’re home all the time, you’ll find that that “free time” you once had gets filled with odd and end jobs that need to be done.
- Expectations change – remember when your kids would be thrilled that you were able to get out of a meeting early to bring them a book they left at home or when your spouse would be thankful that you were able to take their clothes to the cleaners? Now, those things are expected of you (you’re home all day right?).
- Boredom/social isolation – one days when there’s really nothing to do you’ll find yourself twiddling your thumbs. You can’t call your coworkers and disrupt them at work, making new friends seems impossible as an adult, and so you just sit home.
- Loss of accomplishment – as stressful as your job once was meeting those deadlines or working on projects you were passionate about give you some sense of accomplishment. At home, you’re “expected” to do the things you’re doing for your family so the sense of accomplishment may not be the same.
Signs You’re Depressed
How do you know when you’re depressed as a stay at home mother and not just a bit stressed from being a parent in general? Here are a few signs:
- Lack of self-care not caring about personal hygiene
- Days where getting up is a struggle
- Periods of sadness or moodiness
- Resentment or disdain towards your family
- Loss of energy or motivation
- Physical aches and pains
- Trouble eating and sleeping
- Feeling unvalued, unloved, or hopeless
- Self-medicating with drugs or alcohol
What Can You Do?
If you are depressed as a result of being a stay at home mum, it doesn’t mean you have to start looking at wanted ads. There are plenty of women who have experienced this and got through it by choosing to focus on the good. Here are some suggestions:
- Create a routine that includes self-care and relaxation
- Find a few hobbies that interest you – perhaps even a small business
- Connect with other stay at home mums for support and companionship
- Talk openly and honestly with your family about your depression and express how they can help.
- Make it a point to spend an hour or so outside of the house daily
- Pencil in ‘me’ time, even if that means staying in a hotel away from the kids for a night.
- Set personal and family goals and take actions towards achieving them
There is a great joy to be had in being able to stay home and raise your children, but it doesn’t come without some sacrifice and change. If you’re having a hard time adjusting, it is imperative that you don’t turn to behaviours like holding it in or self-medicating. Instead, identify what’s making you sad, look for solutions, and seek help if things get out of hand.