19 answers

Stay at Home Mom Anxiety

Hi! I am a new Mom (33 years old). I just quit my job a month ago and am staying home full time with my 5 1/2 month old baby girl. Just the last couple of weeks I have been feeling extreme anxiety. I can't tell if it's from being a new Mom, having baby need me all the time, changing my life after working at a job for 10 years, just being stuck at home most of the time without a schedule. I feel so guilty for feeling such anxiety around the baby and the fact that I should be happy about my new living situation getting to be at home all day with my baby. My question is: Am I the only one going through this??? I keep feeling that I'm the only Mom who has gone through this. Will it ever end??
Your comments are appreciated!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I appreciate all of your replys! This is such a blessing to connect with other Moms.... I took the advice of Sarah K and went to the postpardom websight. I am waiting for a reply to see if I can get some help. I know that this too shall pass and that with the Lord Jesus I can do all things! I really thank all of you and if anyone else has any more wisdom to share I am still checking the posts!!

Featured Answers

I haven't read the other posts but something that has helped me organize my days is having a weekly list that is broken down by days with things like clean bathrooms, vacuum, clean out fridge, laundry, etc. I only have about two items per day so it is not overwhelming. I am not a big cleaner but it helps me get things done. I also have a monthly list of deep cleaning items that get done every six months. Again there are only two projects per month but you could do more depending on how busy you like to be.

1 mom found this helpful

I went throught the exact same thing at 32! (its only a few months later). It was a big shift to stay at home, and it was hard because the baby is totally dependant on you. Sometimes I did not feel like wanting to be home. I actually ended up getting on anti depression meds recommended by my OB, I am on a very low dose, but it really helped, I now very much enjoy being a stay at home mom (most days!) I love watching my seven month old grow. I have a lot of friends who just had babies...and its so common to feel this way...no one tells you before hand! a lot has to do with hormones....
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You are not alone girl! Being a SAHM is so hard. Not that being a working mom isnt. But when you stay home it's like you ____@____.com so hard to find the right balance between spending time with your child, quality time, keeping up with the housework, cooking, and still being your person aside from mommy homemaker and wife. I became a SAHM when I was 31. I had always worked and been very independent, spent my own money, and felt very strong and able. Becoming "incomeless" is hard. While it's "our" money soetimes it doesnt feel like that. And now that I have two babies, I feel like I NEVER get time to myself. My hair has been in a wet, messy bun for a year now LOL. I always struggle with wanting time alone and wanting to be with them, wanting to be myself but always wanting to be their mommy too. You're totally normal, don't beat yourself up. Take a breath and realize you're now doing the hardest job you ever could. But the most rewarding!

3 moms found this helpful

You just had a baby 51/2 months ago - your anxiety is normal - and not just because you are a SAHM. Your body is still changing - your hormone levels don't return to "normal" until almost a year after birth of a child. Even working Moms are experiencing anxiety at this stage. Just remember to eat right, try to get enough rest and exercise (before hubby leaves for work in the morning is best time) and know this is just a phase after childbirth that you will get through soon.

2 moms found this helpful

The beauty of work is you know what you need to do. Do A, B, and C and we pay you X. If you do really well you get a bonus.

Motherhood has no such structure. Do A, B, and C with one child may put the child in therapy where another flurishes. Just forget about that bonus if you get anything it is the grief that teens will give you. Way way in the end, when your child marries, or not, and has a child your bonus is that they think you did a good job and raise their child the same way.

Will it end? Yeah they move out, then they have kids and drop them off at your house and it starts over.

2 moms found this helpful

I think this is a very common feeling. But what you need to try to determine is how much anxiety are you feeling and is your level of anxiety "normal." That of course is a very tough and somewhat subjective answer. In the mental health field one of the cut offs from healthy to unhealthy feelings/actions is the effect it has on your day-to-day life. Is your anxiety consuming you? Is it stopping you from participating in fun daily activities with your child? Does it interfere with your daily life? Does it overrule your general sense of well-being and happiness?
There are some reputable websites you can go to and read about postpartum issues and seek support. If you feel your symptoms are excessive you should talk to your doctor or a counselor to see what can be done to help you. It is a tough transition and you shouldn't have to do it alone, seek out support and help.
http://psychotherapy.com/mom.html
http://www.postpartum.net/
I wish you the best.

2 moms found this helpful

The walls are closing in on me as I type- I know how you feel.

Make a schedule for yourself. Like, clean the bathroom on Monday, kitchen on Tuesday, pay bills on Wed, etc. It gives me a sense of accomplishment giving myself things to do by a certain date/time (I work from home).

Get out! Your little one is too young to see the world like you do (that will change when she gets a little older, kids REALLY re-open your eyes!) but go to the park or take a walk down the street, and make mental lists of things you'd like her to experience as she gets older, like little things you appreciate... like a child playing with their puppy, a bird perched just so in a windowbox, whatever catches your eye. It will make you remember that there IS a world outside of the normal mundane routine ;)

Once you get into a nice schedule between YOUR life and the baby, you'll feel better. You'll get there, I promise :)

2 moms found this helpful

I think most mothers have anxiety with babies. Most mothers with new babies need more rest than they're getting, and that is an anxiety-maker in itself.

You have both a new baby AND a new job (SAHM) and it's a challenge. Women who were full-time homemakers before their babies arrived have adjustment challenges as well. You have lots and lots (and lots) of company.

What will help? If you liked to work on a schedule in your former job, make a schedule, but a different kind. You know what you need to do; you just are not sure when you can get it done. But write a list of things you will TRY to do today. Put one load of laundry through the washer and dryer every day. Get outside every day with your baby - grocery shopping, walking around the block, any excuse to get some sunshine and fresh air. Put playtime with baby on your schedule. Put get-your-feet-up-for-ten-minutes on your schedule (it MIGHT happen). You want to adjust your type of planning to the work environment you're in.

When you're homemaking, what seem to be puny little things (that load of laundry, for instance, or a stack of dishes) add up to big things when you've done them. Don't discount the "little stuff" you are doing.

Do you feel more comfortable with some sort of mission statement? Then write one. You may want to revise it over time. It might help you to know just what your objective is, not just where you are now.

Don't try to make yourself feel happy. Your ARE happy to have your little one. The rest of it is a job that is new to you. You're learning how to meet the challenges, and after a while you'll come to enjoy the benefits.

2 moms found this helpful

You are not alone and your feelings are normal. What helped me the most was going somewhere every day. I would go to Target or the mall or the park or the library just to get out of the house. It gave me a reason to take a shower every day! Once my babies were on a regular sleep schedule (about 6 months of age), our days were more predictable and scheduled. Do a few morning chores and shower during baby's morning nap, then go out for an hour or two, make lunch, fold laundry and watch Ellen during baby's afternoon nap (or take a nap yourself!) My other advice is to try to meet other moms with little ones. Strike up a conversation at the park or the library... it can be lonely to not have another adult to talk to all day! Also, find a hobby that you enjoy doing. I like to do digital scrapbooking and now that my kids are older (6 and 3) I take a kickboxing class twice per week for some "me" time. You will get through this stage... best wishes!

2 moms found this helpful

I felt like that...I also had PPD lol! I do think that part of it is being out of our normal funk! It is hard to go from working with others who can do their own thing to a baby who can't do anything lol! No more alone time! No more showers without wondering what the baby is doing or can you finish before the baby wakes up lol!

It is a big change!!! I have a friend who stopped working when her kids were 3 and 2 and she also went thru this feeling!! So I guess it wasn't all PPD! It just takes some time to adjust!

Humor helped me alot! I stopped watching all serious or sad movies and only funny shows! If I couldn't laugh then I knew I had a problem and had to get out! ALONE!! I wish you luck! It does get better! I swear the first six or seven months are the worst! Once the baby starts self entertaining it picks up speed and they rush into toddlers!! They run around get into EVERYTHING and communicate so much better!! My favorite age is around ten months thru 30 months!! Once they get to 3 a whole new attitude takes over and the "terrible twos" are nothing!! lol!

1 mom found this helpful

You have gotten a lot of great answers. I agree that it is common to feel this way and that you might need to get some help if it gets too bad. But do not feel guilty or ashamed of getting help it is better then the alternative of being a mess so you can't enjoy your new baby! I had a lot of problems after I had my baby and it took some meds and a bit of time but I am back to normal. And I love being a SAHM. That said some people just don't function well being a SAHM and if you would do better working then do! Maybe you only have to work part time but do what is best for your family! Congratulations and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I think the best thing to do is go see a counselor and have them help you determine if it is a normal level or anxiety or not. No one but you and a trained professional can decide. Staying home is hard, I work mornings then stay home with the kids until my hubby comes home at 10pm...working is by far easier than staying home! (IMO). I still have days where I get anxious because parenting alone....all day long...is really hard. Getting out really helps, getting a gym membership is totally worth it, and finding playgroups or mommy groups to join is great too.

1 mom found this helpful

When I first stayed home I had the same thing. I felt like I wasn't doing anything. I used to teach school and I didn't just teach school I was at work at 6:30 to help write curriculum and LEP plans for the school district, then taught 4th grade after teaching I tutored students for an hour and then had 2 hours for dinner and grading and taught English to Spanish speaking parents so I wasn't home till 10:30 every night. So when I quit teaching to stay home with my first I was at a loss as to what to do. My house was so clean that I had neighbors and friends jealous. Eventually I fell into the routine of being a mom and getting busy just being with my children. Now my twins are 4 and I went back to work part time and can't believe how much time it takes and how I live for the weekends and summer so I can just hang out with my children.

1 mom found this helpful

just because you are a "SAHM" does not mean that you need to be at home all the time! make a schedule for yourself that involved going and doing something for part of the day. start looking for playgroups, storytimes, museum activities, stroller strides (excercise with baby) classes, etc. network with other moms. I love getting out for the first part of the day and then I kinda relax/do home duties for the afternoon. use the time to really get organized, plan meals, find a project, etc.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi--
Your hormones are changing rapidly right now as your body readjusts after pregnancy. A lot of women get anxious from these changes. There are some natural remedies you could use to help balance your hormones. I'm happy to explain them all to you if you are interested--I know some people don't consider that route so I don't want to push it on you. I can say that it worked for me.

Also, keep reminding yourself that this stage of a child's life goes VERY fast. When I would start to get anxious I would remember that for this very short time I could hold and rock my baby and enjoy every new sounds, every new discovery. If the dishes aren't done or the house is a mess or I was too tired to think, I still focused on how cool it was to have this little person. It really helped ground me and focus me. Now my little ones are 7 and 3 and almost totally out of the baby phase in every way. I look back and can say that I held my babies as I much we both wanted and I didn't miss a single first. While it is tough when you are going through it, remember that this too shall pass. And pass very quickly. Try to enjoy every little joy and record every little memory in your mind. It's all about living in the now :-)
Congrats on your new motherhood!
J.

1 mom found this helpful

It will end. Promise. When my son was born I was 35 and 'ready', but not really READY for the shift in my life.

I think because it's our baby we all think we shouldn't have anxiety or angst in relation to the monumental change in our life. But it's just that - A MONUMENTAL change in our life! And change is hard no matter how much you want it..and with babies/kids it usually is seldom as perfect as we imagine so that makes it hard too. Add in the sleep deprivation and presto! You've got yourself an anxiety attack! :)

But TRULY-it will pass. Suddenly you will just be like...gee...what the heck was my problem...it's a confidence thing-I mean the hospital sent you home to take care of another freakin' human being and even if you think you have a clue having your own is nothing like being a cool auntie or awesome babysitter. You want to do the best job possible for your sweet girl so of course you are taking your own baby steps and second guessing yourself..nevermind ALL the advice you get, which sometimes makes you question your own judgement.

BUT again-it will pass...just don't beat yourself up over it, (try not too), get out of the house more-even for just a walk, develop a schedule and make sure when your husband gets home that you get some 'me' time.

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't read the other posts but something that has helped me organize my days is having a weekly list that is broken down by days with things like clean bathrooms, vacuum, clean out fridge, laundry, etc. I only have about two items per day so it is not overwhelming. I am not a big cleaner but it helps me get things done. I also have a monthly list of deep cleaning items that get done every six months. Again there are only two projects per month but you could do more depending on how busy you like to be.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't feel guilty for feeling this way.... its natural... I have been staying home with my 17mon old and I too get anxiety and I'm 25, i completely understand ... you just have to create a schedule for you to keep busy and your mind occupied... it will only get better if you keep busy...

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.~
I stopped working when I was 6mos pregnant with my 2nd child. She is now 4. When I first stopped working, I was "ok". I had to stop early because of issues with my pregnancy. At that point I was unsure if I was going to be a SAHM, or go back to work. The decision came easy once she was born. It was fine at first because you're so preoccupied with a new baby. Once everything fell into place for me and became more routine, that's when it all hit me. I missed having adult interaction and felt stir crazy because there's only so much you can do with a baby. It lasted for a while, maybe 3-4 months or so. Eventually I developed things for me to do to keep buys, not that a baby isn't enough :) As long as you still are able to do something for **you** once in a while, that will help a lot. Even if you bring your little one with you, just get out and have lunch with a girlfriend or something like that and you will feel much better. I was only 24 when I made the change from working to a SAHM and, like you, it was a difficult transition. But, you will get used to it, and trust me, you will start enjoying it more and more!
Congrats on your baby & especially for being able to stay home with her!! It is a wonderful feeling being able to do so!

1 mom found this helpful

I went throught the exact same thing at 32! (its only a few months later). It was a big shift to stay at home, and it was hard because the baby is totally dependant on you. Sometimes I did not feel like wanting to be home. I actually ended up getting on anti depression meds recommended by my OB, I am on a very low dose, but it really helped, I now very much enjoy being a stay at home mom (most days!) I love watching my seven month old grow. I have a lot of friends who just had babies...and its so common to feel this way...no one tells you before hand! a lot has to do with hormones....
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.
All of these replies are very true. You are not alone, and because I am going through this currently I really hope it will pass. I know it will though as most things in life do. What I feel helpful is first off prayer, and then being able to adapt. I had been in the corporate world ever since graduating from college. And as stressful as it was nothing compares to quitting your job, reducing your income and taking care of another human being basically on your own. My husband works far and he is a good father but I make most of the decisions with our daughter and I feel like a failure when things don't work out the way I want them to. Babies are always changing so there is no constants and what may have worked for us yesterday does not work out today and it causes us to have to change our game plan, and some days we do it better than others. I think the key is to just keep on growing and finding accomplishments in little stuff like cleaning the kitchen, taking out the garbage doing laundry...I tend to over react and over correct, I have to stop that I like to internalize and not tell my husband what I am feeling so he does not stress, but it has dawned on me that this is not always the best approach. I am now okay with letting him know how I feel if it is that imperative to my well being, so he is aware and can help out as needed. I try to save the "me" time for the weekend when he can spend more time with his daughter. Just take it day by day and do go out with your little one you will find it helps more than you can imagine. Once these feeling subside the joys of being a Mom and sharing all of life's journeys with your child will surpass that nagging feeling of anxiety and guilt... Hope this helps.

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