Raising children is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my entire life. Even though it can be so rewarding, I can’t help but feel like I am getting everything WRONG most days!
As a SAHM, our entire life revolves around our children. But how can we be doing any good at it if we can’t even take care of ourselves? I ask myself this all the time.
Skipping showers, being too worn out to clean, feeling sad and alone all while avoiding society so people don’t see my failures and frustrations as a stay at home mom- are things I know all too well.
Fighting The SAHM Depression Battle
Most of us feel guilty about our depression since it stems from staying home with our children. All too often, if we try to talk to someone or explain how we feel we are ungrateful- how dare we be depressed about staying home with our children and relaxing all day?!?!
One of the worst feelings I have is knowing that I need to clean my house; the dishes are piling and it makes meal times that much harder. The laundry is now at mountain top heights but it’s easier to shut the door and pretend it’s not there.
Nap time is usually the time to catch up, but on the days where the SAHM depression is overwhelming-I just can’t. I would much rather be able to actually sit in silence and play on my phone or get a cat nap in.
Only to be met with even more feelings of being worthless when they wake up. Why didn’t I just clean? I wouldn’t have to wash dishes every time my little dictators demand snacks and drinks. I don’t do anything right.
Don’t get me started on the feelings of judgement when my significant other walks in the door!
He doesn’t say anything- but he doesn’t have to. I know what he’s thinking, or at least I think I do. Before he gets a chance to say anything I am trying to defend myself but I still feel like a failure.
Does this happen to you? If you are a SAHM and you know all of this, well, then you are in luck!
Yes, I said you are in luck! No, I am not crazy. In fact with my coffee and silence at the moment. I feel pretty dang sane!
Identify Your Enemy!
The good news is that SAHM Depression is a REAL thing. It has a name, and any time you identify or put a name to your enemy; you can learn to gear up for battle!
You’re NOT a bad mom and you are not worthless! You have stay-at-home-mom depression.
It can make you feel sad and lonely, lazy at times and make you question your worth.
Learn To Fight Stay-at-home-mom Depression!
Now that you have come to terms with it being a real thing and accepting that you are not a bad mom, you can learn ways to fight it off.
I am not perfect, and I still have my days but I use my weapons and at times I can bring myself completely out of it.
I am not a doctor but I am also not a fan of medication. Coming from someone who has been on depression meds, I can tell you being a zombie is not helpful as a stay-at-home-mom. If you are on them and they are helping you, then by all means do what is best for you. As for me, I prefer a more natural approach.
These tips work for me, and you may find some helpful too!
- FORCE yourself to clean! Sounds crazy but before you decide that you are done listening to my advice, hear me out. Some days I just mope around the kitchen and living room DREADINGGGGG picking up anything. Just the look of all the clutter makes me want to quit. I have to push through it. I find that when I do, I’m in a much better mood. Things go much smoother in a clean house. But remember, if you just can’t, you are not a bad mom!
- Put on something positive! I used to like listening to music when I would clean, but now I listen to sermons from Pastor Steven Furtick. Now I know that is not every-ones cup of tea, but it has literally changed my life. You can put on motivational speeches or pod casts- but try to put something positive on to feed your mind.
- Get out of the house! Part of SAHM depression comes from being lonely and cooped up. Get the kids out and go to the park or for a nature hike. If shopping is more your thing- DO IT. But get out for a little bit and socialize.
- Me time is a priority! We NEED time to ourselves without the children so we can mentally reset. If you have nobody that you trust to watch your kids for some me time, get strict on early bed times! It works. My kids are in bed by 9 and that gives me some time to breathe before bed.
- Take a class! Yoga, art, pottery – you have to have some sort of interest. Get out in your community and unwind. I take pole classes at my local studio, and I love it. I enjoy the time away from home. My pole brothers and sisters are AMAZING! And I am so glad I found them. I made new friends with the same interest as me, and even after a short period of knowing me-they are here for me like family! The SAHM depression literally melts when i go to class.
- Play with your kids. Just because you are a mom doesn’t mean that everything has to be serious all the time. I can be upset or in a really bad mood and my oldest will ask to play hide-and-seek. At first I’m not really into it but I soon find myself stuffing my big butt in a closet with my youngest. And silently cracking up because we are having so much fun hiding in the dark from sissy.
- Yoga. I know I kind of mentioned it above, but you can just put on a beginners flow on YouTube in your living room. It is so relaxing and even the kids love it. Both of my kids do yoga with me at the ages of four and one!
- Remind yourself that your SAHM depression does not define you as a parent.
- Talk about it with people who understand. There are groups on social media that have a ton of moms in the same boat. Build a community and friendships with them. You don’t have to leave your house to make friends- and they may be the best friends you have ever had.