So many stay at home moms mental health is at risk. Moms shouldn’t have to suffer! We have 7 Ways to help combat stay at home moms mental health issues.
~This is a collaboration post.
Why So Many Stay At Home Moms Suffer From Mental Health Problems and How to Combat Them
Many people would think that it would be a super easy “fun” job. But the reality of it is that a mom that stays at home with her children sacrifices ample amounts of herself 24/7. Being a stay-at-home mom comes with a lot of responsibility and jobs.
Day to day pressures can become exhausting and overwhelming. The todo list truly never ends. And someone is always needing something. Being a stay at home mom can easily take a significant toll on a mother’s well-being, especially when nobody is making an effort to take care of her and her needs. Oftentimes a mother’s time is so focused on caring for others that her own needs get shoved way down to the bottom of the list of priorities time and time again.
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A lot of people may not realize it, but mental health problems are quite common in stay at home moms. People tend to think that being a stay at home mom is easy compared to going out to work each and every day and that a stay at home mom wouldn’t likely develop stress-related mental health issues. But the reality of it is, is that many moms do develop mental health issues related to stress. So many moms are struggling!
Understanding what the challenges that come with being a SAHM and addressing how important mental health really is and how we can be proactive in caring for moms that are struggling.
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What Stay At Home Moms Commonly Experience
Loss Of Identity
Have you ever felt like you don’t even know yourself anymore? So many moms feel like they lose themselves. Why does it happen though? This is something that often affects stay at home moms because they feel as though their entire lives revolve around the kids. They spend all day and all night with them and they’re constantly busy looking after them, which doesn’t leave much time for themselves.
Many moms don’t even take time for hobbies they once enjoyed because they are changing diapers, shuttling kids to doctor appointments, and trying to keep the house in order. And the worry. They are constantly worrying if they are doing enough around the house, or if their children are okay, and the list can go on and on.
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Before a stay at home mom became a parent, she was defined by her job or her hobbies. And guess what? That all goes out of the window when she becomes a parent. Losing your sense of self is incredibly difficult and it can lead to a lot of low feelings. It is so important that a stay at home mom focuses on being a fulfilled mother as well as being a good mom to the kids she is raising.
So, mom, yes you, I’m talking to you, make the effort to keep up with your hobbies and maybe find a job you can do from home (if you want to). Finding that sense of identity outside of your role as a parent is so important if you want to maintain good mental health.
Your diet has a big impact on your mental health and if you aren’t eating good, nutritious food, you’re far more likely to develop mental health issues. The problem is, a lot of stay at home moms don’t look after their own diet because they’re focused on making sure that the kids eat well and they don’t always have time to cook for themselves. I mean, I know that I am always just grabbing leftover chicken nuggets and apple slices that my kids didn’t get to. Aren’t you? Maybe I’m the only one.
Something that has saved me so much time is meal planning! It helps me know what I’m going to make for dinner and also keeps me looking forward to a good healthy meal (because getting at least one during the day is winning for me!). If you’re like me and need an extra push, try subscribing to our weekly meal plan and have it sent to you every week right to your email.
If you can, you should try to prepare some healthy freezer meals during the weekend so you can quickly heat them up in the week when things are super busy.
Preparing ahead of time always helps me with eating better!
Most people have two streams of income coming into the household before they bring a baby into the world. When deciding to become a stay at home parent, there is a lot of adjustment financially. Going from two incomes to one takes a lot of planning.
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A difficult financial situation is one of the biggest stressors and causes of mental health issues so it’s no surprise that it affects a lot of stay at home moms. Finding a side hustle might be helpful, but a better solution would be finding ways to budget your money better so you can afford everything that you need for the kids.
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Stay at Home Mom Isolation
Feeling stuck at home is real! Taking a baby or child out in public takes a TON of energy, and sometimes by the time you get it all ready to go you don’t have any left to go on the errand you intended to run.
It’s also so hard to feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to. Trying not to bombard my husband with all my thoughts from my entire day hasn’t always been super successful. Moms need friends, but they often struggle with finding friends.
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The feeling of loneliness is real and really takes a toll on a stay at home mom’s mental health.
Stay At Home Mom Depression
One of the most awful things many stay at home moms experience is depression. And what makes it extra difficult is the stigma that goes along with depression or any kind of mental illness. The thoughts and feelings that stem from depression can be VERY scary. But you are not alone! It’s very real.
Postpartum Depression is a long-lasting condition that can include feelings of extreme sadness, lots of crying, having a hard time bonding with baby, and much more. If you are experiencing something more than the common “baby blues,” definitely seek out some help.
If you are a stay at home mom and feel like you don’t know where to turn, go to this resource to get help!
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Stay at Home Mom Anxiety
Anxiety is often tied right in with depression. If a stay at home mom is experiencing depression, they are likely experiencing anxiety as well. Imagine feeling worried about EVERYTHING. Is baby breathing? Did I lock the front door? Am I acting normal? Is my baby eating enough?
Now, we all question these things. But someone who is experiencing anxiety tends to get stuck on them. Even if they check the front door and see that its locked they still continue thinking about it. Even if they see baby peacefully sleeping with even breaths, they can’t stop checking on them. Stay at home mom anxiety is real. The same advice goes for anyone experiencing anxiety. If you are a stay at home mom and feel like you don’t know where to turn, go to this resource to get help!
What Can Be Done to Help Stay At Home Moms Stay Mentally Healthy
Stay At Home Mom Schedule
Waking up day after day not looking forward to anything…it’s exhausting just thinking about it. Something that has truly saved me as a stay at home mom is having a schedule! It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or amazing. In fact, simple is better.
You may be asking how to get starting with a daily schedule when you feel like your child or children are dictating everything that is going on in the house. Well, let me help you out! Plan your day around what normally happens. Check out this morning routine that will jump-start your day!
Start simple. And do the same things every day!
Stay At Home Mom Schedule
7:10 Feed Baby
7:30 Shower/Get Dressed
7:50 Eat Breakfast
8:15 Have Playtime with Baby
9:00 Put baby down for Nap
9:15 Put Load of Laundry In/Fold Load
9:30 Load Dishwasher
9:45 Mom Time/Quiet Time
11:00 Get Baby from Nap/Get Baby Ready for Day
11:30 Run an Errand
12:30 Eat Lunch
12:45 Read Baby Books
1:15 Baby Tummy Time
1:30 Figure Out Dinner/ Prep
2:00 Daily Chore (bathroom, floors, ect.)
3:00 Take a walk
4:00 Finish getting dinner prepared
6:00 Baby Bedtime Routine
7:30 Put Baby to Bed
9:00 Mom Bedtime
As I said, it doesn’t have to be this exact schedule. But find something that works for you! Having a schedule will definitely help any stay at home Mom keep her sanity.
I know it sounds silly, but it works! Getting a good daily dose of Vitamin D is good for your health and helps you feel refreshed. When I was a little girl we lived in Washington where it was pretty much always overcast. My mom found herself feeling down and, through a good friend, found a day lamp that saved her sanity! She still feels that it helped her come out of a hard time of feeling gloomy to this day. So if you can’t get outside, invest in day light!
Also, make an effort to be around other people when you are outside and out and about. Strike up a conversation with a mom at the park or purposely start your walk when you know another mom is going out (because you see her walk by your house every day) so you can have a conversation with them while you walk your kids in the stroller. It’s the little things.
Take Care of Your Health
Make yourself a priority! If you enjoy working out, put it in your schedule. Get a gym membership and put the kids in childcare for an hour or two. Being able to have time away for a bit when I was staying at home with two kids under two truly made me a better mom!
Drink lots of water! Stay hydrated. I love carrying a water bottle with me around the house. It helps me remember to drink.
Eat! That’s right. I told you to eat. Stay at home moms are always so consumed with making sure everyone else eats. Plan for yourself. Do you like salads? Throw a few together at the beginning of the week so you can just pull it out. Do you like avocado toast? Make sure you have some yummy bread on hand with some delicious avocados ripe and ready to eat. Don’t starve! It doesn’t make for a happy mom.
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Get Ready for the Day
Getting ready for the day can really make a huge difference in the outlook of your entire day. Take a shower, get dressed, put some makeup on, do your hair! I know it always makes me feel so much more put together when I take time to get myself looking the way I want to. Trust me, it helps!
I know making friends after you have kids is really difficult. It seems impossible to find time to build a relationship with someone else. Here are some tips to help you find some mom friends:
- Try striking up a conversation with another mom at the park.
- Look for playgroups. (Lots of public preschools have weekly playgroups for kids around the same age to play together.)
- Go on Facebook and find local mom groups to join.
Start small. Small talk can turn into a full-blown friendship pretty quickly!
Stay At Home Mom Jobs
Try getting a job that you can work from home! You would be amazed at the amount of work you can do from your computer. There is always someone hiring for services they need. Websites like Upwork or Rev are a great place to start. Even working one or two hours a day can help you feel connected to the outside world, plus extra spending money for clothes isn’t too bad of a perk. Or start a blog! Email me and I can help you get started!
Find a Hobby
Find something you enjoy doing. It doesn’t have to be something you already know how to do. You’re allowed to learn something new. One of my good friends loves to make jewelry, another one like to make t-shirts, another likes to garden. There are so many fun things you can learn to do at home! Take a trip to the craft store and see what suits your fancy.
Mom’s Mental Health Matters
Your mental health matters! Don’t lose yourself in mom duties. Dirty dishes can sit in the sink for a bit, kids can play ABC mouse for a little while you get yourself together. Take care of yourself! Recognize if you need help and know that you are valued.
Are you a mom that has struggled with your mental health? Tell us in the comments what you did to help!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!