Being a stay-at-home mom allows you to spend precious time with your children during their formative years, but it’s important to also spend time with adults. Socializing with friends, attending group meetings, or sharing your concerns with other mothers can improve your emotional health and make you better prepared to deal with the pressures of full-time childcare. Here are six reasons why adult interaction is crucial for stay-at-home moms.
It helps to prevent depression
A survey of 60,000 women found that stay-at-home mothers experienced more sadness, anger, and depression than working mothers. Lack of sleep, financial worries, and stress can all contribute to feelings of despair, and social isolation only makes things worse. Stay-at-home moms often struggle to keep up with the constant demands of childcare and housework and then feel guilty about not being a perfect parent. If they have no one to talk to about their emotions, a low mood can tip over into clinical depression. It’s important for at-home moms to interact with other mothers who can sympathize with what they’re going through and reassure them. Mother and toddler groups that meet on weekdays provide an environment where stay-at-home moms can share their concerns and provide each other with vital emotional support.
It builds self-esteem
Many people derive a great deal of self-esteem in their careers. Being praised for a job well done, getting a bonus, or being promoted can make you feel valued and appreciated. Stay-at-home Moms receive scant praise or reward for the work they do. In addition, much of that work is routine and boring rather than challenging. Few people are proud of themselves when they finish putting away another load of laundry. At-home mothers can maintain their confidence by getting involved in adult groups where they have responsibilities and opportunities to excel. Joining a volunteer organization, sitting on a committee, or taking a class can greatly enhance your sense of self-worth.
It reduces loneliness
It’s no surprise that loneliness is a common problem amongst stay-at-home moms.
For many people, work and socializing are interconnected. They converse with colleagues on the job and over lunch and then join them for a drink on a Friday evening. A woman who leaves her career to raise children often finds herself estranged from former co-workers. Even close friends may distance themselves from a world of screaming toddlers and dirty diapers. Stay-at-home mums can keep in contact with their old social circle by arranging regular meetings outside the home. Ask Dad or a babysitter to look after the kids for a few hours every week while you catch up over coffee.
It relieves stress
Being a full-time mom is a stressful occupation. Children are constantly demanding your attention while you’re trying to cook for them or clean up after them. Dealing with tantrums in the supermarket or fights between siblings can leave you feeling frazzled and exhausted. Chronic stress may lead to emotional problems like anxiety or depression and contribute to physical problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Social support is vital for stress relief. Getting out of the house and doing something fun with your adult friends can revive you and lift your spirits. Even taking your kids to a playgroup where you can interact with other mothers will help to reduce your stress levels.
It helps you maintain a healthy relationship
When stay-at-home moms are socially isolated, they often come to depend on their husband or partner as their only source of friendship and connection to the adult world. He may come home from work to hear a long tirade about what the kids got up to rather than questions about his own day. He may struggle to provide his spouse with the sort of empathy and understanding she needs. Total reliance on one person for the other’s emotional support can put a strain on any relationship. Meeting with other full-time mothers who can relate to your problems will take some of the burdens off your partner.
It makes you a better mother
Lack of adult interaction and a sympathetic ear can make full-time moms sad, lonely, angry, irritable, and fatigued. They may become increasingly impatient with their children and no fun for kids to be around. Children are happier when their mother has good self-esteem, a playful sense of humor, and the energy to keep up with them. Leaving the kids with a babysitter so that you can go out with adult friends or attend a social group is better for them than staying home and becoming depressed. You’ll return to your kids revitalized and better able to cope with the demands of motherhood.