Wondering if Stay at Home Mom depression is a real thing? It sure is, and here are seven ways to deal with it and other Tips for Stay at Home moms.
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Is stay at home mom depression real?
Stay at home mom depression is a real thing. Actually, of the roughly twenty-six percent of moms who choose to stay at home for at least the first five years after giving birth to or adopting a child, one fourth of those report symptoms of depression including loneliness, intense sadness, isolation, and feeling a lack of purpose.
What causes stay at home moms to be depressed?
There are several factors that may lead to depression in many stay at home moms. These may include:
- Change in Routine – Stay-at-home moms are either transitioning from the workplace or adding a baby to their schedule. Either way, there is a definite change in their routines.
- Change in identity – Moms who previously felt valued at a job for what they accomplished or produced are now exhausted in caring for children and home with little to no recognition. With this change in “career” or routine comes a shift in identity for women.
- Feeling of Isolation – many stay at home moms feel that the world is still happening outside while they are at home with their children. They often have no adult conversation unless they seek some out with other moms at play groups or MOPS groups or something similar.
- Exhaustion – being a stay at home mom is clearly one of the most difficult jobs in the world, especially when caring for infants, toddlers or even medically fragile children.
Why don’t stay at home moms talk about being depressed?
Staying at home is supposed to be a gift. They don’t have to “work” so what do they have to be depressed about. People claim that moms who stay at home are living the “easy life” because they “don’t have to work.” Clearly, people who think that stay at home moms don’t work have never stayed at home with a toddler.
Stay at home moms also don’t want to appear to be ungrateful for the opportunity that so many other moms would love to have to be at home with their babies. They feel like they cannot complain about how difficult the job of being a mom really is sometimes.
Seven Ways to Beat Stay at Home Mom Depression
Depression does not have to be an unending way of life for a stay-at-home mom. There are lots of things you can do to battle depression. Here are seven things you can do that help address the common causes of depression.
Connect With Others
Finding other moms to connect with can be an absolute lifeline for a stay at home mom. No one can understand what it is like to be in the trenches of motherhood like another mom who is right there with you. Fortunately, connection has never been easier than it is today. Even if you cannot find another “in person” mom or group of moms to meet with, you can still connect online through zoom groups who meet online and even Facebook groups like my Fifteen Minutes for Mom Group here.
We all need connection and communication with others. Stay at home moms especially need adult conversation after talking only with an infant or toddler all day. I actually feel like I need adult conversation even with having teens at home. Stay at home moms need to talk about their frustrations and how they are feeling. Many times, a fresh perspective or a simple hack shared by another mom or even just another adult can help.
Even if you have an issue that someone in your life cannot give you a solution for, speaking your thoughts out loud can help you identify and process your feelings and often, when your mind is clear, you will be able to figure our your own solution. This is called thought work, and it really works!
Because we are made in the image of a creator, we are made to create! Doing something creative is not only renewing for us, but relaxing and is super helpful in battling depression. Creative hobbies like painting, sculpting drawing, photography, even needle work lower stress levels and lead to an improvement in your overall health and well being.
If you do not have a creative hobby, choose one that seems doable and learn. If you don’t have time to leave the house for lessons, find a tutorial on youtube. Take it slow and learn something new and create!
Move Your Body
It’s old news now that exercise releases endorphins in the body. However, did you know that when you are stressed or depressed, a lower intensity workout is actually better for you? A short leisurely walk or five minutes of lifting small hand weights in your kitchen releases much less cortisol than a high intensity workout at the gym or with a trainer. You get all the benefits of the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin without the huge dump of cortisol. Bonus: this may also actually lead to weight loss. If you are interested in weight loss, I highly recommend this book by Dr. Chatterjee.
What you put in your body effects how you feel. If you take the time to feed yourself foods that will nourish, heal, and help your body regenerate, you will definitely feel better. There are several foods that are known to contribute to depression. Avoid these if at all possible:
- Processed Foods/fast food
- Processed Sugar (Join my 21 Day Sugar Free Challenge here!)
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Refined Grains
- Energy Drinks
- Processed Meats
- High Sodium Foods
Hydrate Your Body
We all know that drinking water improves your physical health in all kinds of ways, especially aiding in weight loss. However, research has also connected dehydration with depression and anxiety. Our brain works better when we stay hydrated, so do whatever you have to do to get in at least 60-80 ounces of water daily!
Stay at Home Mom Gear
Practice Self Care
Self care is a hot topic right now. There are lots of different opinions on what self care is and what is should be in order to be effective. We moms spend a whole lot of time caring for everyone around us. What typically happens is we spend so much time caring for others that we forget to care for ourselves. Eventually, we are trying to pour from an empty vessel because we don’t take the time to fill ourselves up physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This is why self-care is a must, especially for stay at home moms.
Most stay at home moms would say they do not have time for self care. I used to think the exact same thing. That is why I put together this list of 20 Small Ways to Practice Self Care as a Stay at Home Mom in 15 Minutes of Less.
Sometimes, when we are living the stay at home mom life, our days seem to all look the same. We wake up, feed the baby, change the diaper, clean up the toddler messes, the start the process over. Our days can seem to all run together. However, if you still set some goals for yourself and work toward them, you will still see daily progress. As a bonus, accomplishing goals gives us a feeling of satisfaction that can be a great combat for depression. If you have trouble choosing goals to set, you can find lots of ideas here.
Free Facebook Group for Stay at Home Moms
Join my free facebook group for stay at home moms here and get:
- Daily accountability
- Weekly live topical discussions
- Special guest lives from authors, bloggers and moms in the trenches who talk about parenting, relationships, health and all topics mom related
- Printable resources
- Live podcast previews!
More Helpful Articles for Stay at Home Moms
- Six Habits of Successful Stay at Home Moms
- Stay at Home Mom Goals
- Time Management Tips for Stay at Home Moms
- Jobs for Stay at Home Moms via the Work at Home Wife
- Realistic Tips for Stay at Home Moms via The Happy Mustard Seed