Being a mom is a full time job. Being a stay at home mom is full time on overdrive! I too am a stay at home mom, and for the past 6 years I've experienced almost every conceivable feeling and emotion regarding every day mom life since going on maternity leave after my first son was born. When I went from maternity leave to full time housewife and mom, things were great at first- I felt empowered, free and overjoyed to have full autonomy and control over my own daily schedule. But it wasn't before long I started to experience down days and the ebbs and flows of being a stay at home mom.
At times the feelings of lonliness, guilt and sadness seem like they will never end... day after day waking up feeling down and sad. When days creep in like this it can throw things off but when a down day creaps in weeks at a time there is more going on. These are all signs of depression. Now I know you're a strong capable and confident woman, but you probably feel weak and misunderstood right now. Its important that you don't let your feelings cloud your judgement in these moments. Depression doesn't mean you're weak - and although there is a wide spectrum of depression, if you're feeling low for more than just a day or two its time to start listening to your body and identify the next steps to get you back on track.
I know it can be tough juggling all of the responsibilities that motherhood throws at us. There is often times absolutely no break from the daily routine and it's hard facing each day on the wrong foot and still finding the strength to run errands, make dinner, wipe toddler tears, fix broken toys and get the laundry squared away. Feeling unstable and not knowing what could make you snap for no good reason doesn't make the job easier either.
Then comes mom guilt, guilt for a million different reasons; guilt for not earning money for your household, guilt for wanting to go out by yourself, guilt for not wanting to tuck the kids in at night, guilt for the house always being a mess, guilt for resenting your partners job and time away from the house.... guilt for everything!
I'm writing here to tell you though, that you're doing a great job. Being a mom doesn't come with all star recognition, it doesn't come with an annual banquet or award. Heck, sometimes our significant others don't even notice that we're around doing all of these things, and it can be, at times, a boring and lonely job to say the least. But what makes it all worth while and the most important part (IMO) is the children. We are truly fueld and motivated by the love we have for our children and that makes motherhood the most rewarding. As stay at home moms we get to set the schedule and nurture our children in ways that create strong family bonds and emotionally healthy children. Keep perspective of why you chose to stay home in the first place.
You are not the failing blubbering mess that you sometimes feel you are. You are a complex human being who has her own unique likes, dislikes, , motivations, habits and so much more that makes you the perfect mom to your children. It's time to break the barriers and harness what makes you unique and special and bring that into raising your children. There is not a one size fits all and we are not measured by what other moms think of us, what some blog or YouTube mom says her schedule is nor by how many cupcakes we can crank out for the upcoming bake sale. It's time to embrace that you do things differently and fitting in with the overachieving unrealistic mommy crowd isn't worth it. Make motherhood and being a stay at home mom the best time of your life, something that you can look back on in old age and be thankful its something you had the privilege to experience, because this life doesn't last forever. This time of struggle will also not last forever and before you know it your littles will be grown and off planning their own future.
Our children don't love us because the laundry is always clean, or that you cooked for 2 hours to make the most amazing dinners. They aren't judging us either for whipping up a PB&J instead of a 2 course vegan friendly kids brunch. They just love us and need us to be who we are and to give them love an attention... that's the real job.
You're not failing because someone else is doing it better (reality check: they probably aren't) Comparing yourself to other parents is just harming your mental health. Comparing yourself to others that are doing what you want to do will just make you feel more inadequate than you already do. Keep yourself in check and things in perspective.
Embrace the bad days, get help if you think you should and keep finding joy in each day - even through temper tantrums and potty training. ;)
For more on anxiety and depression and motherhood here on Modern Housewife check out