Being a stay-at-home mom is not an easy job. You do it all: cleaning the house, cooking the meals, running the errands, dealing with tantrums, wiping noses, etc. In the digital world of keeping up with the picture-perfect Pinterest mom, is it any wonder stay-at-home moms are vulnerable to experiencing depression?
You shouldn’t feel ashamed if you are battling depression. Your feelings and experiences are valid. You aren’t alone. In fact, 28% of stay-at-home moms experience a struggle with depression. It takes a village to raise children, and you can surround yourself with your village to help you through your struggle.
Motherhood is a rollercoaster ride. There are highs and lows. Moms traditionally are the carriers of the mental load for the household. How do you keep going when you’re in the trenches of the lows?
Get dressed — If your go-to is the stereotypical stay-at-home mom “uniform” of a shirt, leggings, and a messy bun, take the time to get dressed. Take the time to wash your face, brush your teeth, and do your hair. Sometimes just taking a few moments to put yourself together can help you feel like a brand-new person. It really is the little things sometimes.
Exercise — Take some time for yourself and get some physical exercise. Physical exertion can be a natural mood booster. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate workout plan. It can be as quick and simple as a stroll around the block of your neighborhood or a quick yoga video at home.
Get some vitamin D — Sunlight and fresh air can do wonders for your mood. Bonus if you’re getting outside for some exercises too. An even bigger bonus can be getting out to a playground or park and you can wear the kids out playing or may even give you a chance to meet other moms!
Take a break — Make time for yourself. The saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” is around for a reason. It’s not sustainable for you to always be on duty. Schedule time for a girls’ night out or a way to get some relaxation time. It can help you to feel refreshed and be back on your mom A-game.
Let go of the mom guilt — You are a good mom. Mom guilt lies. There is no one perfect way to raise children. If you are worried about being a good mom, you’re a good mom. If your kids are safe, fed, and have a roof over their heads, you are doing a great job. Everything else will fall into place.
Therapy —Virtual therapy can give you a judgment-free and confidential space to vent frustrations and learn how to cope in healthy ways.
Find your village — FInd and make a good support system of adults. Try to find other stay-at-home moms who understand what you’re going through. Reconnect with old friends who knew you before you were “mom.” Becoming a mom doesn’t steal your identity, it adds to it.
Keep it real — Those social media posts only show what the poster wants you to see. It doesn't show the behind-the-scenes of messes, tantrums, and struggles. It is okay if your home looks like kids live there, you’re still a good mom!
Moms can be professionals wearing all the hats and hiding when they’re actually struggling and even feel like they’re drowning. Signs you’re struggling with deep depression shouldn’t be ignored. It takes bravery to admit and seek the help you need. Red flags you shouldn’t ignore can include:
Thoughts of harm — If you find yourself thinking of death, yours or your children’s, you need to seek help immediately. You should also seek help if you are having thoughts of harming yourself or your children.
Loss of interest — If you find yourself struggling to be engaged with your favorite pastimes or hobbies, it could be a sign of worsening depression.
Changes in appetite — If you suddenly find yourself gaining weight due to out-of-control eating or losing weight due to not eating, it could be a sign that your depression has worsened and needs attention. Drastic changes in your weight can be concerning for other health reasons as well.
Changes in sleep — Drastic changes in your sleep routine can trigger other mental and physical health issues. Deepened depression can cause you to sleep more or less than your normal amount.
If you are experiencing any big behavioral changes and suspect you need help, please don’t hesitate to seek help. You don’t have to go through the struggle with depression alone.
Life is complicated and messy. When it comes to mental health, we believe there’s no one-size-fits-all. At Halcyon Therapy Group, we understand just how important you and your unique situation and perspectives are. That’s why we offer a suite of services tailored specifically to you and your needs. You deserve better, and we are here to help. Book your complimentary consultation today and start living the life you always dreamed of.