Are you a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) who feels depressed almost on a daily basis? If your answer is YES, don't fret because you are NOT ALONE.
In fact in 2012, an interview conducted by Gallup.com with 60,000 women showed that stay-at-home moms are more likely to experience sadness, anger ,and even depression than working moms.
In all honesty, I am just like you and those moms who experience depression.
Don't get me wrong. I am happy being a mom and I love my daughter very much. But I am only human and I have my days.
For the last 18 months, I've been fighting on and off with disappointment, resentment, frustration, guilt, anger, worry, and loneliness. This battle began when I got pregnant and had to leave my job, and became a SAHM. Because I was so used to working and going out pre-baby, being stuck at home most of the time is very difficult. I felt as if the life I knew has ended. I resented so many things like my choice to stay at home , my lack of financial independence, my muffin top, bulging belly, stretch marks and even that long dark scar on my tummy.
I felt trapped and left-out by the world. I would get mad at my husband because I felt like he's not doing his share and felt envious when he goes out with his friends and I had to stay at home and take care of our daughter.
Then there's also guilt. I felt guilty about everything- when I lose my temper, when I go out with my friends, or when I buy something for myself. I slowly began to feel disappointed at myself for not being a happy, energetic and cheerful, and creative mother that I imagined a mother should be.
It was very easy to succumb to depression. But whenever I think of my daughter and how much she deserves from me, I feel the urge to slap myself back to sanity. I make a conscious effort everyday to beat the blues. Thankfully, I found plenty of advice on the internet. So here are a few of them and also a few from my own experience.
HOW TO BEAT THE BLUES
If you feel angry and resentful and you find these building in intensity then these might be warning signs of the onset of depression. It may be very helpful for you to know the symptoms.
- Feeling sad or unhappy most of the time
- Feeling tired all the time
- Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed
- Inability to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Loss of appetite or eating too much
- Feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
- Suicidal thoughts
It is difficult to tell someone we are suffering from depression let alone admitting it to ourselves but it makes a world of difference if we admit that we have a problem. This is, for me, a very important step.
Take time for yourself
We may not admit it and may even feel guilty about it, but we need a kid-free environment sometimes. A mini-getaway is not a bad idea. Take some time to be alone whether it's an hour or two out of the house, at the mall, salon or spa. It will rejuvenate you and keep you at your best. Be committed to taking a break from all your mommy duties at least once a month. Take some time too to doll yourself up. A shower every morning or a bath before bedtime and a dab of lipstick or blush can help you feel a lot better.
Go on "Date Nights"
It also important you take time for your spouse. He is after all your best ally. A date night could be an escape for both of you and an opportunity for you to enjoy the things you did as a couple before you plunged into the hectic world of parenthood. I always love my date nights with my husband. I try my best to set aside the guilt and enjoy our time together. When we come home to our daughter, we both feel renewed and revived.
Remember this is not a job
It is OK to be depressed. It doesn't mean you don't love your children or that you're a bad mother. Of course you love your children above anything else but you also need to love yourself. So try to remind yourself that motherhood is not a job. You don't follow a rigorous set of rules. Do not be too hard on yourself.