Well, if you’re anything like me, you were flat unprepared for what the reality of being a stay-at-home mom would look like. I thought it would be “Leave It to Beaver” easy. When in fact my reality was more “Surviver.”
Why is that? A big part could be a sense of loss…loss of what you might wonder. You have this amazing new baby to snuggle and cuddle and take care of. Someone you’ve been dreaming about holding for months, if not years. But in the transition from working adult to stay-at-home mom you end up saying good-bye to parts of your old life, like a paycheck, or certain social activities and maybe even certain friends. You may feel under appreciated if not completely unappreciated. It’s not like your 3 month old is going to say “Gosh Mom, you’re doing an amazing job, I’m going to give you raise/extra vacation days for all the hard work and sleepless nights you’ve been putting in.”
For me the biggest contributor to feeling depressed was the isolation. I had this amazing new baby but no one to talk to during the day. All my friends were still working adults. I went from interacting with 20 some people a day at my office job to maybe, if I was lucky, talking to two people: my husband and the checkout lady at the grocery store.
We have an idea of the why so many stay-at-home moms feel depressed, but what can we do?
- Make a daily done list. Be proud of all that you accomplish everyday! Empty the dishwasher? Write it down. Make three meals and two snacks? Add it to the list. You get the idea.
- Make a daily appointment for me time. Whether it’s going out and getting your nails done, reading a book or exercising. Find something you enjoy that’s just for you and schedule time to do that everyday, even if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes.
- Invest in some personal development. Ever wanted to learn a foreign language, or maybe woodworking is something you’ve always thought was cool. Find a hobby and connect with other people who are also into it. Being a mom is amazing and a huge part of your life but that doesn’t mean you stop being a person with lots of interests and passions. Follow one of them!
- Join a mom group. Connecting with like minded moms is not only a pleasure it can be a life saver when you’re wondering “is it just me?” Knowing you’re not alone in your journey and that other women are going through the same thing is like balm for the mommy soul.
If you think you may be suffering from depression and not just feeling blue, please talk to a medical professional.