Battling Depression as a SAHM

Mother - posted on 09/07/2016 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I’ll warn you right now, the message in this article is the same at the beginning, through the middle, and at the end: if you’re fighting depression, make sure you fight to win.

A doctor once told me, as he handed me a box of tissues, “It’s OK to get depressed. It’s not OK to stay depressed.” It just happens that at that point he had delivered more than 2000 babies. I don’t know the exact statistics, but I imagine that means he had probably also taken care of 800 or so mothers. He definitely knew what he was talking about, and it has stuck with and helped me for about a decade now.

What does battling depression mean? For a lot of us, when we are depressed we do less, we stay in bed longer, we avoid talking to others and we exist through each day without a plan. Yet the idea of a battle is the opposite.

A battle has a few key components, and if you put them into your fight against depression, you will keep fighting to win.

A battle has strategy. Opposing armies don’t just wander around the battlefield; they plan, they organize, they communicate the plan, they take action. They are ready to fight BEFORE the battle begins.

A winning army prepares for the battle. They recognize where an ambush is likely to be and what their own weak spots are. They know when to bring in reinforcements.

No one engaged in a battle can take the ostrich approach. The ostrich approach is, bury my head in the sand and hope the problems go away. In a battle, you recognize that being able to see the enemy is a good thing.

Now put this into YOUR fight. Keep fighting to win!

Here’s some must do’s to help you win your fight:

Get up before your kids every day, day after day. Take 30 minutes to prepare for battle. Shower, brush your hair and teeth, and get dressed to your shoes. This alone is a big weapon in your arsenal: suddenly you are looking, feeling and acting like someone who is on top of things.

Face your enemy. Like I said above, it is actually a good thing to be able to see your enemy. Start recognizing what it is that gets you down. Is it some particular aspect of housework such as laundry, or meal prep? Is it the lack of interaction with other adults? Or not feeling useful? Is it that you feel you’re not contributing to the financial good of the family, or you’re missing your old career? Even if you think it is ‘all of the above,’ recognize each one as an individual enemy. You can take them down one by one! But first you have to honestly assess each one.

Win both the battle and the war. Don’t lose sight of your bigger goals when you’re battling depression. It is so easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’re doing a thousand loads of laundry or a week’s worth of dishes. If you haven’t looked at your goals for a while, set aside some time to re-visit them with your husband this weekend. If you’ve never set any before, start now!

What is today’s ambush? If you know that you have to do something today that is likely to lead to the blues, recognize that as an ambush. Remember this is a battle and YOU are going to win! Give yourself an incentive for getting through the ambush without getting snowed under, and make sure you follow through and DO the incentive.

Communicate your strategy. This is part of any winning army. Make sure you talk to someone sympathetic and tell them how you plan to win. Ideally this would be someone close to you, like your husband or mom, who has a vested interest in seeing you win this battle.

Get active. Remember, ‘battling depression’ is ACTIVE! Make sure you fight to win!

If you find this article encouraging, please do two things! First, forward it to encourage someone else, with credit going to www.successful-sahm.com. Then, join the free mailing list on that site, to encourage the mom that wrote it. :) Thanks!

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