Being a stay at home parent is tough. This is just as much a job as any 9-5 position, but as a parent, you can’t clock out at the end of the day. It’s non-stop stress met with non-stop demands, and the pressure of it all can be overwhelming.
That is why many parents experience stay at home mom depression. If you have been feeling sad, helpless, overburdened and underappreciated, know that you are not alone. Here we will look into some common causes of stay at home mom depression, along with solutions available for you.
Note: This condition is commonly referred to as “stay at home mom depression,” but it can affect fathers as well. The causes, symptoms and treatments we discuss in this guide apply to all stay at home parents, not just women.
Causes of Stay at Home Mom Depression
Stay at home mom depression can come from many sources. It may be general depression that intensifies with parenting responsibilities. It may also come specifically from the responsibilities stay at home parents face. Here are some potential causes of SAHM depression:
- Feeling like a failure
- Comparing yourself to other parents, especially on social media
- Having a never-ending to-do list
- Financial stress
- Criticism from friends and family members
- Difficulties with your child, such as defiance or lack of focus
- Lack of recognition or appreciation
- Feeling unfulfilled
- Body image issues
- Striving for perfection in an imperfect world
These issues become significantly worse when you see other parents online. As you view their filtered reality, you immediately begin to question your own. How does her house always look so clean? Why are their children so well behaved? How does he afford all of that? These comparisons can quickly spark stay at home mom depression, in addition to the general pressures this position brings about.
Signs of Depression in Stay at Home Parents
So, how do you know if you are depressed? The fact that you’re reading this shows that you’re probably experiencing some form of stay at home mom depression. Nevertheless, here are some other signs to watch out for:
- Feeling fatigued throughout the day, even after a full night of sleep
- Not having motivation to do anything – run errands, clean, cook, shower, etc.
- Feeling overwhelmed by simple tasks
- Feeling helpless and alone
- Thoughts of suicide
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Difficulty sleeping at night
- Mood swings and irritability
- Unexpected emotional outbursts (crying for what seems like no reason)
Parenthood comes with great joy and great responsibility. If the responsibility you’re facing is shielding you from the joy, you may have stay at home mom depression. Thankfully, there are treatments available to guide you over this hurdle.
Knowing When to Seek Depression Treatment
Depression treatment is designed to reverse negative thought patterns and improve your quality of life. Are you someone who jumps to conclusions? Do you put extra pressure on yourself? Are you in a constant state of comparison? Through depression counseling, you can pinpoint what is causing your depression and find personalized ways to treat the causes.
In the second part of this guide, we will explain types of depression treatment for stay at home moms.