35 answers

Stay at Home Mom Depression

I am not the type to go to the dr for any little thing but I am going soon for my yearly woman exam. I want to talk to the dr about an antidepression meds, bc i feel like I am mildlydepressed. I call it stay at home mom depression. I love being home with my daughter but I have noticed the past few months that I am very moody, I am tired alot but I can sleep at night, I have no motivation to do the simplist daily things, and I am getting very uncomfortable leaving the house. Anyway I don't know what to say to the dr and I feel weird bc i have never seen this dr before. I don't have a dr anymore that knows me, i fired him. Any advise?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all of your great advise. I have been trying to keep busy and we have been getting out more. It is hard especially when we onl have one car. I haven't decided if I will talk to my dr or not. I have been hearing some scary things about anti depressents so I am not sure yet. Again thanks for everything!

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I know how you feel. I have been a stay at home mom since 2000 and I would get very moody, and didn't want to go anywhere. I now do Mary Kay just when I want to and service the customers I have established. But I moved to Texas in April and have no family here and what has helped the most is I have found a new friend, has a child same age as my 3rd child and we workout together at my house and we help each other paint rooms we want to get painted or whatever else we have going on. I am considering doing my MK part-time again to give me an outlet one night a week. I hope this helps. My girls are 3,5, & 7. I even tried wellbutrin but it made me shakey.

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Hi C.. I'm sorry you're going through this - have you tried meetup.com? It's a Mommy site where you can meet Mommy's at playdates and other get togethers - it may help you to be around others weekly.

D.

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I think you did a wonderful job explaining yourself. Just be honest with you doctor.

And I don't think it's an issue of being a stay at home mom verses a working mom. I think it's what you choose to do with your time, Are you motivated? What are your goals for the day? I can suggest a great website that can help you to schedule your day www.flylady.net

Alex wrote that at least as a working mom I get to get away from my children for eight hours. I find that highly offensive, it is not by choice to get away from my children. Basically it boils down to being a mom/wife is a hard job, we take different directions and some are able to stay home and some mom's work outside the home. So I guess me working is my "me" time.
I think what it would be like to be a stay home mom and I know that I would have to plan things other wise for me it would become so easy to stay in my pajamas all day (then what would I do on the weekends). Maybe a mom group would help you, to talk to other people in the same situation.

C. I wish you the best and good luck at your doctors appointment.

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Hi!

I have to say that I know what Alex means. On one hand, I'm thinking "well when you work outside the home, you get a lunch hour, when you need a change of pace you can go to the snack machine or go talk to a co-worker, etc. As a stay at home mom, sometimes even checking e-mail is only possible during naptime, which is not even guaranteed every day. Then I realize, that as a stay at home mom I am able to take a nap when he's sleeping, or have lunch with my working friends, and go to the mall when everything's been re-stocked from the weekend rush!

It comes down to there being good points for each scenerio. Being an at-home mom is REALLY hard some days. It's not about lounging in your PJs and watching TV! It's about entertaining a little one all day long! :o) The days that I'm not feeling well - or it's too cold - and need to stay in are the hardest becase the kids want to get out and about. And at the end of the day, when you're counting down until 5:30 when hubby gets home so you can go to the bathroom BY YOURSELF (a luxury) and he says "I need some time to unwind from the day" it's a little frustrating.

Just know that most at-home moms are in the same boat as you are. Find some stuff around your area to do during the week... it's really nice to be able to look forward to an outing. Check the parks and recretaion center for your city (look it up online) and see what their baby programs are. Your local library has story/song time for different age groups. By doing these things (free, or extremely low cost - like $5 a month) I have something to do Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

What area of town do you live in? Hang in there, try to look for some activites to sign up for and see if that helps before you try medication. You might just need a little boost. :o)

T.

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Hi C.,

I am a SAHM to a 13 month old girl and I can relate to some of the things you are feeling. I left a high paying, high intensity career to stay at home with my daughter, so my life has changed dramatically in the last year. It has been very difficult at times for me to figure out just what my purpose is in life now since I have no project plan or goals or meetings to keep me "on track."

I have to agree with some of the other people that said getting out of the house at least a few times per week is key. I was always going somewhere when my daughter was very young (the mall, Target, a walk around the block, and especially the gym). Now that she is a little older and walking, it is sometimes harder to go shopping with her since she wants to be down running around. When the weather is nice (which hasn't been often lately unfortunately), we have started going to the park. She really likes to be outside. I would definitely recommend joining a gym, health club or the YMCA so that you can get some exercise and your little one can play with some other kids giving you a little bit of a break. I think that might help you to feel a little better.

One other thing that someone else mentioned is getting a babysitter or putting your child in daycare for a few hours once or twice per week. I TOTALLY recommend that too if you have the means to do it. When my daughter was 8 months old, I started putting her in a Mother's Day Out program at my church one day per week from 9-2:30. This gave me an opportunity to do some things for myself. I also spent an hour each week of that time volunteering so that I was giving some time back to others in my community as well. This helped with the idea of having a purpose other than feeding, diapering and playing with my little one (all of which are highly important as well, but sometimes just don't feel like it). I also attend a ladies' bible study at my church one morning per week for 2 hours. If you're a Christian or would just like to spend some time learning something new, this would be a great way to get involved with other women and make some new friends. I'm not sure where you live, but I would be happy to give you the info on our bible study.

I haven't had any problems with actual depression, so I can't speak to what that would be like. But, I will say that it isn't something you should be embarrassed about. There seems to be a stigma associated with it that is entirely inappropriate. So, if you need medication to stablilize yourself until you can get back on your feet, then by all means do it! You have a job to do in taking care of your baby and you can't do that if you aren't healthy. Explain your symptoms to your doctor (even if it's a new one) and let them determine the next steps. If you think you can try some of the things suggested in this forum and do without the medication until you've given some other things a chance, then great. But, if your doctor suggests trying it, then you should. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of your family! Also, if you can manage it, take some time to yourself. Go get your nails done one Saturday and let Dad watch the baby. You'll feel like a new woman!

Best of luck to you. I know this parenting thing is hard, but it's so worth it. Hang in there...you're doing a great job!

V.

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I think what you're going through is perfectly normal for a stay at home mom. I have my days as well. I LOVE spending time with my son, but having an 8 mo old as my best friend can be a little lonely. I have many girlfriends but not many have children and the few who do, are working Moms. My fiancee works ALOT so basically its just me and my little guy. There are days where I just have no motivation to do ANYTHING. For example,today: Its 3 in the afternoon and I'm still in my jammies from last night. :/ Although my excuse today is that I have horrible PMS cramps and my son is teething and being a little more difficult than usual. He is currently napping so I'm taking this "quiet" time to use my email and do laundry. I know once I put a little make up on,get the baby dressed, and step out, it will be a great mood lifter. Sometimes we go to Borders and check out the childrens books section. Sometimes we go to lunch and I'll take a magazine or book for myself and a toy and bottle for the baby. Sometimes I'll even go to the mall because working hrs are the best time to go as there are not many people there. And sometimes we'll even go to a matinee. There is never anyone at the movies during the day on a work/school week. :)
I also stongly recommend putting your baby in part time daycare or hiring a babysitter for a few hrs a day once a week. I take my little one to a small in home daycare once a week so that I have a day to myself to excercise,read,or just BE. He benefits from social interaction with other babies while I am indulging in much needed ME time.
Many people think I have it easy because I get to stay home all day with my baby. The only people who know how difficult it REALLY is, are other women like myself. Moms who work at least get those 8 hrs a day to do something other than caring for and waiting on an infant hand and foot 24 hrs a day. Sometimes they can be hard to please! And then hubby gets home and you'd think he'd take some of the pressure off but instead says,"im tired. I've been working all day." Sigh.
Still, I cherish the moments I spend with my baby as time is the one thing you cannot get back. And while he's napping,I'm going to end this email and get myself dressed so that when he wakes any minute, I can take us outside to enjoy whats left of the day. What also helps me get through this time is to remember that this is such a small fragment of time in the big picture. In 10 months, he'll start school and before I know it, he'll be a 6 yr old boy who'd rather go play with his friends instead of hanging out with boring 'ol Mom. This "baby" time is short...its also precious. Naturally, you are going to have down days due to the constant attention you have to give to your child as it can wear you out. But seeing him smile or noticing a flicker of undersatnding in his eyes because of something he learned from YOU makes it all worth it.

Good luck. :)

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I feel the same way very often too. I found for me, I have to write out a routine to help me, otherwise I will stay in bed, and not accomplish all of the many things I need to do. It has helped a lot.

If you start with the basics, like a routine, maybe eating healthy snacks throughout the day, put on some make-up and go out to run errands or window shop, take a walk with your daughter in the stroller, and maybe get a little excersize DVD (yoga booty ballet, yay!) for 15 minutes a day will help dramatically. If these don't help you either, go and speak to a Dr. Many are quick to prescribe meds without getting down to the source of the gloom. (And the source I have found with many women/moms is the lack of routine and purpose and a rut in their lifestyle).

Don't be embarassed to tell a Dr., they are used to hearing these things!!! Just tell him or her everything that you wrote us. Bring a list if you need to and read it to him. Depression can be a chemical imbalance where meds will help restore that balance. However, if after you take the meds, you don't change the routine up as well, it's still easy to fall in the same rut again.

I want to warn you do NOT take Effexor what ever you do!!! I have heard many horror stories and a very dear friend is weaning off of it, and it is making extremely ill, physically and mentally. This drug is known to do this, some people have to take it for the rest of their lives b/c it is so dangerous to wean off of. And if you miss a dose... it's just terrible. Many people are trying to have it taken off the market.

Zoloft or Prozak I hear are safer, do some research so you will know a little bit about it before you talk to your Dr.
Just know that you are supported and a lot of women feel these same things.

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I second what Mary said, get your thyroid checked and a test for mono. I was really depressed and tired a few years ago and found out I had mono. Learning that I did helped my mood alot and a round of drugs helped too.

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I understand I battle with depression all the time. You just need to explain to him everything your feeling just like you did in your post. More than likely he will give you something for it. I was on cymbalta til I got pregnant and then switched to prozac. My OB doctor didn't feel comfortable with me being on cymbalta while pregnant since it just came out. I liked the cymbalta. Once I was pregnant my depression went away so I didn't take the prozac. Cymbalta helped me to lose weight too. I lost 25 lbs in 2 months. Prozac worked good for my mom she was on it for years. Do you ever have any time to yourself with out your baby. I am a stay at home mom and I find that if I get a evening or two a week to myself it helps. Remember you need time for yourself too. Maybe someone can watch the baby for you while you and hubby go out or maybe hubby can watch her for you while you go with a friend shopping for an hour or two. I hope this helps.

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HI C.,
i'll be short and sweet, you've gotten a lot of good advice! Try not to go the medication route. its hard to get off of them later and they have side effects. involve yourself in your local MOMS club chapter, they are great. also you could start a home business. i've done both and they've both given me the adult interaction i needed after i decided to stay home 2 years ago!!
good luck!
J.

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