A recent study done, shows that 91% of working mothers have experienced some sort of depression. While that is a staggering number & I’m not educated on how the study was performed, I can’t say it surprises me. I’m not sure why the study was done on “working” mothers? Whether you have a 9-5 or work at home taking care of kids and a house, either way you are “working”.
I suffered from depression beginning with my pregnancy and I continued to experience it up until my oldest was about a year old. Of course I, like many others, did not go to the doctor concerning it. Perhaps this is why depression isn’t seen as the epidemic that it is.
There was the time factor. Who can take off work and has a babysitter to go to the doctor because you aren’t feeling like yourself and are feeling “down”? Then there is the “stigma” with depression. If you aren’t loving life (especially while & after having this “bundle of joy”) then something definitely must be wrong with you. And lastly, like everything else in life, you figure…eventually it will go away. And yes, eventually it did for awhile, but later down the road, I experienced a different kind of depression.
The first time was where I felt completely hopeless and bored with life. Not sure if it was hormones or simply because I was experiencing a dream of being a mother and had the “this is it?” life question? The second time came a year or two later, after the hormones rested and it was more of a completely overwhelmed, tired and burnt out depression. I couldn’t imagine my life being the same work, home, kids rat race for the next 18 years or longer.
I began working on a business to work from home thinking that would ease the stress some. Not so much. It did help with the tiredness of of the long days and commute, but with less pay, tax hell and my degree being wasted I concluded after 2 years, it wasn’t worth it. So now I’m back to a 9-5 again. However I will say that this time around, I am taking better care of myself. I’m not so controlling with the kids and am much more eager to let their dad and family take care of them.
The kids are also older, so that makes it slightly easier and more manageable. And the most important difference is making sure that I still do things for myself like I did before children. I have made a habit of writing (obviously) and still pursuing other dreams besides being a mother as well as taking an occassional Sunday long cat nap!! You wouldn’t think that these small things would help with depression, but they have made a huge difference for me.
I figure there are all types of depression & some probably need to be medically diagnosed and treated. But alot of things we can take care of ourselves if we just stop, listen to our lives and create a plan. Unfortunately, like with myself, it often takes many years of living & learning as women before we wake up and ask ourselves what’s important and what we really should be doing with our lives.