Being a stay-at-home mom is a tough job anytime, but especially these days when there are so many extra responsibilities and burdens added into the picture due to the coronavirus. In addition to parenting around the clock, many stay-at-home moms are now guiding their children through virtual learning and managing bustling homes that are far more busy than usual.
Being a stay-at-home mom comes with many rewards, but the job—yes, being a stay-at-home mom is definitely a job—can be challenging, lonely and isolating, and some women even feel a loss of identity. Sometimes, being a stay-at-home mom is even associated with depression. According to WebMD, studies show that depression is more common among stay-at-home moms than among moms who work outside the home.
What contributes to depression among stay-at-home moms?
Many stay-at-home moms are constantly burdened with feeling like they’re not getting everything right and that they should or could be doing more. Many also compare themselves to other moms and feel like they’re not good enough. It’s common for stay-at-home moms to worry that they should be cooking more and their house should be cleaner, they should be spending more time with the kids, they should be excelling in other areas, and the list goes on. It’s important to remember that no one is perfect, even if it appears that way from the outside—especially on social media.
Being a stay-at-home mom can be isolating.
Women who head to the office each day often have numerous opportunities for social contact. In contrast, being a stay-at-home mom can be far more isolating. Many stay-at-home moms have limited contact with other adults throughout the day, and this loneliness can contribute to depression. One way to deal with isolation and loneliness is to take some time to let someone know you’re feeling isolated—they may be feeling the same way. Another suggestion is to do what you can to prioritize getting out once in a while so you can be around other adults in a way that feels good and fulfilling to you.
Some moms feel a lack of appreciation.
The to-do list is never-ending when you’re a stay-at-home mom. Many stay-at-home moms feel like they’re constantly busy, but find it hard to pinpoint exactly what they’ve accomplished. They also feel like others may not appreciate all that they do throughout the day. To feel more accomplished, try making a list of everything you do throughout the day—this will let you see how many important contributions you make to your family and may help you feel more important and appreciated.
Here’s what to do if you’re feeling depressed.
If depression is interfering in your day-to-day life or feels overwhelming, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider or a mental health professional. Trained professionals have many resources to help you out.
Some other ideas are to reach out to a friend to talk about your struggles, join an online support group, try to prioritize spending some time outside your home, and set a goal or find some type of activity or hobby that gives you a sense of purpose. Of course, if you miss getting outside the house to go to work, finding a full or part time job might be a good idea to consider, too.
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit www.aoafamily.com. We have offices in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Casa Grande, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler.