What it really feels like to be a depressed stay at home mom is really hard to explain. I know from experience. I was diagnosed with depression early in 2016 and I have been trying to explain it ever since.
I think depression in a whole is something that is hard to explain.
Unless you have actually felt it, you really have no idea what us depressed humans feel on the daily. Chances are you have felt depressed at least once in your lifetime, and you might have even been diagnosed with chronic depression. If you haven’t, hopefully I can fill you in on how it really feels to be a depressed stay at home mom.
There are certainly some days where I just don’t want to get out of bed. The alarm goes off and I open my eyes and I immediately shut them again. Although I don’t necessarily go back to sleep, I just lay there for a few minute wishing I didn’t actually have to get up. But, I do. I have to get up and get ready for the day. The best I can.
The day starts pretty normally. I make coffee. I make breakfast for the kids. I start a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher. For a moment there I feel like this could be a great day.
The kids finish breakfast and I get them set up with something to do. I am cleaning up the breakfast mess and BAM! I am hit with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. I think that is a great example of what it really feels like to be a depressed stay at home mom. Hopelessness.
Depression has this way of making me feel so damn hopeless.
I often have no hope of getting through the day with out breaking down. No hope for actually accomplishing anything productive. No hope for just feeling happy.
In those moments of hopelessness, I also feel so incredibly weak. And being weak is not something I can easily relate to. I am always the strong one. The one to keep it all together. But, in those moments of total darkness and weakness, I am not keeping it together. My mind is racing with a million thoughts, I cant focus and I am a wreck.
There are some myths about depression that some people are not aware of. Most people (who haven’t been depressed) think that depression equals sadness. And while I often feel an overwhelming feeling of sadness, more often I feel angry.
Sometimes I can rationalize my anger. Life is extremely stressful, my husband is ill today or the kids are not getting along or listening to me. But, the reality is, more often than not I cannot rationalize or explain my anger. I’m just angry.
Tired: what it really feels like to be a depressed stay at home mom.
This is the perfect example of what it really feels like to be a depressed stay at home mom. Tired.
On those days I get up at the last minute, rush around to get the kid to school or feed them breakfast and then I plop my ass on the couch. I stay there all day binge watching whatever show I am watching on Netflix, only getting up to asses the basic needs of my kids. Those days the house (and the kids) are a mess, I haven’t showered and the kids stay in their pajama’s all day.
A quick note to you mom’s who have these days, too: It is okay to have these days. It really, truly okay to have these days where we just need to stop and feel. Feel those feelings of hopelessness, anger and tiredness. If you don’t take those mental days to feel how we are feeling, we will just suppress those feelings. If I take those days and face my feelings head on, the next day is always a little better. Always.
As a depressed stay at home mom, I cant help but feel guilty.
I believe that motherhood and guilt go hand and hand. But, if you are battling depression, the guilt can be crippling. That guilt is the strongest at night, when the house is quiet and everyone else is asleep. I lay awake wishing I could have pulled it together enough to play a board game with the kids after dinner. I wish I could have had enough energy to pull out the paint and glitter to make a beautiful mess. Mostly I feel guilty for not being the happy, fun mom my kids deserve.
That happy and fun mom is in there though and she shines so bright on the good days. Those good days are the light in the dark and hold so much hope. The hope that often is hard to find.
When we have an afternoon of dancing, laughing and actually enjoying my babies, I find that hope. I feel less guilty and more happy. Those are the moments and memories I try and force into my brain when I feel so low. Those are the moments that keep me going.
If you think you are a depressed stay at home mom, I urge you to reach out. Reach out to me, your spouse or a professional. Talk to your doctor or find a therapist. Also check out any of my posts from my Mom Depression category.
If you aren’t depressed, or even a mom, I hope I was able to shed some light on depression, especially for stay at home moms.
Please feel free to leave a comment and connect with me. Share with me what it really feels like to be a depressed stay at home mom, for you.