While being a mom is extremely hard no matter your circumstances or choices, stay at home moms face a unique social situation that can be overwhelmingly isolating and somewhat unfulfilling. Due to this, stay at home moms report higher levels of depression, as well as feelings of sadness and anger.
The monotony of folding mountains of laundry, continually stepping over messes of toys, sweeping too many crumbs away all coupled with the daily challenges of raising a child can take a mental toll. This is all done on little sleep and with little help depending on your partner's work schedule and level of engagement. It certainly isn't the relaxing time that others may believe it is. It's a lot of hard work that never ends. You never leave and you never clock out.
These feelings are scarier the first time around. Becoming a first-time mom is daunting enough but couple that on top of the loneliness and possible postpartum depression. Everything could start to seem like you may have made a mistake staying home. That is a normal feeling, and you're not alone. More and more women are staying home out of necessity rather than choice which is another factor in any unhappiness. Once you add one or two or more kids to the mix, your life becomes a chaotic blur that you're expected to manage. It's a doozy.
And some months, even years, you rock that and are on top of it but other times you aren't so lucky. You give so much of yourself and gave up so much of yourself. Stay at home mom depression can occur at any stage in motherhood whenever. A lack of social interaction can be painful in the most surprising ways. Humans need human contact. We need to laugh and connect with others.
Sure, this is what playgroups, parks and the library are for but one can only do these things weekly for years before it gets old. You'll cycle through how you feel about all these little kid activities. Stay at home moms often find themselves feeling inferior to their working counterparts. Bringing in a monetary income is seen as a positive thing. And as we enter the 2020s, women are seeking even more equality and have made it clear that we're equals in all sense of the world.
In a case of the grass is greener on the other side, working moms have goals and lives outside of their homes. They get to interact with other people. Many working moms enjoy their jobs and relish having something as their own. Stay at home mom don't get that.
Still, we cannot deny or ignore how amazing it is to be there for every moment of your child's life. You'll likely see all of the firsts and develop an invaluable bond. You get to attend every class party and hear about their day at school. Then why are so many women so unhappy?
A plethora of reasons. These women feel and miss the days before kids when their nights were spent dancing and weekend mornings were slow. They don't have the same energy they once did or the same drive. We live in a society that looks down on women for merely staying home. There is a stigma associated with being "just a homemaker" that shouldn't exist.
According to a large Gallup poll, more than 41% of stay at home moms suffer from depression. They suffer from sadness and anger. These moms work hard at home but don't feel the same level of joy and appreciation that they had before motherhood. Being mom takes a lot of time and energy and with no outlet, you'll feel sucked dry.
Do what you need to do as a mom. If you want to work, go back to work. If you need to take a class, do it. Find time for yourself and commit to it. Get out of the house and be brave. Don't forget you and who you are. The girl who once ran around with wild hair and no cares is still in you. Find her.