Mental illness such as depression is very real, and even though there is a lot of awareness about how prevalent it is, there is still a lot of stigmas attached to it. The only thing that will completely help remove the stigma that is attached to mental illness is by continuing to spread awareness.
And, depression can affect anyone for a variety of reasons. There is a lot of information and education about postpartum depression where the moms (and dads) develop depression after the birth of a new baby. However, postpartum depression is not the only type of depression that mothers face. Especially if they are staying at home moms (SAHMs). Because depression among SAHMs is also extremely prevalent and needs to be discussed a lot more than it is.
Understanding Stay at Home Mom Depression
Anytime people picture SAHMs, they may visualize moms with their babies going to the malls with their mommy friends, and meeting them up for a coffee at Starbucks in their yoga pants. They may even see them as drinking wine and eating bonbons during the day while watching daytime television. However, that is not the average SAHM’s reality.
In fact, SAHMs are stuck at home tending to their babies and other children while taking of chores and other housework all alone. And this becomes the daily life of these moms as well as their identities. As a result, the majority of SAHMs end up suffering from depression. And, according to the GALLUP survey, SAHMs are more likely to develop depression than their working counterparts. Now, let’s talk about what factors contribute to SAHM depression:
- Lack Of Respect And Recognition – The SAHM stereotype mentioned in the previous paragraph is a contributing factor to this form of depression. SAHMs are believed to stay at home with their kids and do nothing all day. That is extremely far from the truth. They are working very hard to run the home and care for their kids and they also know that they are not respected and that their hard work is not recognized by outsiders. This most definitely is a contributor to SAHM depression.
- Tedium And Monotony – A SAHM’s role is to keep going house chores and rearing their kids which involves changing diapers, doing laundry, cleaning spit-up, running errands, and preparing meals. There is no life outside of this for the SAHM. That most definitely can be a strong contributor to depression.
- Isolation – Contrary to the belief that SAHM’s meet their friends at the mall or for coffee at Starbucks, many SAHM’s in fact doesn’t have time and energy to see their friends. They also may not have many friends due to the fact that their lives simply revolve around their kids and tending their needs. Many SAHMs also receive a lot of judgment from others. All of this combined contributes to isolation which also is a risk for developing depression.
- Lack Of Added Income – Maternity leave in the USA is not as generous as it is in many other countries. And many mothers end up having to give up their jobs because childcare is expensive, and they are not comfortable with others watching their kids. That means they are not able to contribute to the household income and which means that their funds are tighter unless their partners are making a six-figure income or more which is not the norm. The lack of funds available can easily lead to depression.
After learning how real SAHM depression is, you can see how prevalent the condition really is even if it’s not discussed which it needs to be a lot more. Fortunately, there are ways to combat SAHM depression which will be discussed below:
How To Combat SAHM Depression
Combatting SAHM depression is simple by taking the following steps:
- Eating Well And Exercising – SAHMs can help combat depression by eating well and making time for themselves to do a 20-minute workout. Eating well does not have to involve time-consuming meal planning and cooking. There are simple ways they can eat healthily by sticking to fruits, vegetables, complex carbs such as whole-grains, and lean proteins and healthy fats. Meal kits are available for this purpose.
- Spending Time Outdoors – This is difficult to do when it is raining or during snowy wintery and cold days in colder climates. However, during the warmer times of the year and even during milder winter days, it is important for SAHMs to get outside with their kids. They will be in contact with nature and take in the sunshine which is excellent for their mental health. This must be made into a habit because being outdoors is helpful.
- Connecting With Other Moms On Social Media – There is plenty of mom Facebook groups that are geared towards SAHMs who are struggling with isolation and depression. The trick is to look for the groups that have strict rules for no bullying and judgments allowed. Otherwise, that can make matters worse.
- Take A Course On How To Overcome SAHM Depression – The best investment that any SAHM mom that is suffering from depression can make is the one she can make in herself. That is enrolling herself into the On How To Overcome Stay At Home Mom Depression course created by a mom coach and counselor which will teach her how to find happiness at home. The course will teach SAHMs suffering from depression excellent coping skills and strategies, and how to live a healthy lifestyle. There is lifetime access as well so there is no rush to complete the course at a given timeframe. This course is any depressed SAHM’s saving grace! And in order to receive updates on upcoming courses that are also beneficial for SAHM’s, then it is important to join this mailing list.
SAHM depression is very real and can be quite debilitating, but with these tips given as well as the course available to help SAHMs combat depression – happiness and health can easily be achieved for SAHMs!