7 ‘Must’ that feed the depression of mom who stays at homeDave Smith
If you are a mother who stays at home to take care of your children, you know that full-time parenting can affect your well-being, no matter how much you love them. Work itself is emotionally demanding, and you may feel that society underestimates maternal care compared to having a career. It can also be socially isolated.
If you feel sad and discouraged in your role as a mother who stays at home (SAHM), you are not alone. For many women, these feelings can become a full-blown clinical depression, with recent studies finding that SAHMs are more likely to be depressed than mothers who work outside the home.
(Fathers who stay at home also face difficulties, but here I will focus on mothers, since women are usually fathers who stay at home and are twice as likely as men to experience depression.)
Depressed or not, SAHMs often feel that they are somehow not doing enough, or “they are doing it wrong.” Many of these thoughts are shown as “should,” as in “I should be able to understand why my child sleeps very badly.” These duties can wear you out, even contributing to depression over time.
While many of the factors that can lead to SAHM depression are beyond your control (for example, if your child with teething wakes you at night), your thoughts are an important area where you can make a difference. With practice, you can retrain your mind with thoughts that serve you better.
These are some of the common duties that could be being said as SAHM, and how to deal with them. I should want to be with my children all the time.
Being with children, even when they are yours and you love them more than life, is hard work, especially when you are in charge of their day and night care. It is perfectly natural to want some time away from your
Children, everyone wants a break. In fact, many moms choose to work even if they don’t need it financially because they prefer to have regular full-time parenting breaks.
I should have everything together as other moms do. You can compare yourself to other mothers, including those who work outside the home, and feel that you are failing miserably. It can be said: “I don’t even work! I should have an always tidy home and be able to organize better birthday parties for my children.” But really, nobody really has it all together.
It can be very useful to talk with other moms, especially those who are willing to be honest with you about their own struggles. Mothers understand it as only mothers can do it, and without the possible complications and defensive attitude they can encounter with their partner. I know that my wife finds it tremendously useful to talk with her fellow mothers about the things she is dealing with, even more useful than to talk about the same problems with her husband (imagine!).
I must find complete satisfaction in being a mother: full-time motherhood is often represented as an exquisitely rewarding job, which it can be. The exhortations of the elderly parents to “enjoy every minute, it happens so fast!” They add to the feeling that being a mother should provide the maximum sense of satisfaction. You may think that something is wrong with you if you feel that something is missing.
Actually, motherhood is an important role that does not define you completely. You were a person and a woman before being a mother, and it’s easy to lose other parts of yourself in the endless demands and expectations of being an SAHM. Look for ways to reconnect with life-giving activities that are part of your true self.
I should feel happier: a related belief is that you shouldn’t have spells to feel depressed, even depressed. The moms in the ads are always smiling (unless it is an advertisement for antidepressant medications). The truth is that your mood makes perfect sense depending on your circumstances, mentality, energy level, etc.
Feeling better can be a worthwhile goal, there is simply no need to hit you for feeling a little hit. Remember to spread a little grace, wherever you are. If you have felt depressed, is there a small activity you can plan this week that can bring you some joy?
The needs of my children must always come before mine. Being a father implies sacrifice, no doubt. Just bringing a child into the world has a great burden on women’s bodies and is full of risks even with modern medical advances. Whether or not you bore the child, you will sacrifice countless nights of good sleep. Even your own activities of daily living, such as showering and preparing a meal, generally go to the background of your child’s needs.
In the process, you can forget that you even have real needs. You may have a habit of giving others forget that Mom also has needs. But even Super Moms are human, and will eventually suffer if their needs are not met.
What comes to mind when you think of your own needs? What could you use more, that would not only fill your cup but allow you to keep the work you do?
You should not feel that this is so difficult: parenting is hard work. It can be physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting, and there are no paid vacations or sick days. Even raising “easy” children is like running an “easy” marathon. So, if it feels difficult, it’s because it is.
That said, there may be ways to lighten your load a bit. For example, if your children are old enough, maybe you can make them do more homework. Personally, I found it very useful when our children were old enough to start cleaning the table, unloading the dishwasher and taking out the recycling, which allowed me to do the work of other parents.
I should be more grateful. Gratitude has all kinds of benefits, but to say that “I should” feel more grateful sounds like a condemnation, which is doing something wrong. A simple change in language can be much more useful, for example, “I would like to be more grateful.” Expressing a preference instead of a trial not only eliminates implicit guilt, but makes it easier to make the desired change.
Here is an invitation to start neglecting homework: keep in mind today when you say it should be different in some way. As you identify your duties, start questioning them: is it really true that you
“Should”? – And even let them go. Start rethinking your duties in a way that is more friendly to yourself.
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