Question: Mental health?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2009
Question: Mental health?
47
Fri, 07-10-2009 - 1:11pm

I know that different women have different strengths and weaknesses, and what works for one woman may not work for another. And this board has devoted lots of energy to what's best for the children. But what about what's best for the mother?


I'm asking this because it's been a major concern in our family lately. Our children will be fine regardless of where they end up, and it's always been my opinion that happy parents = happy children. That said, have there been any studies done on depression and mental illness in SAHMs vs. WOHMs? My DH says that when I was WOH, I was always WAY more stressed out than I am as a SAHM, but that I really seemed to greatly enjoy my work. So that made me wonder... which group is more prone to depression and so forth? The bored SAHM or the over-stressed WOHM? (Yes, I know those are stereotypes!)


And on a side note, would you rather be calm and relaxed (if a bit bored at times) or would you rather be always on-the-go (even if it led to more stress)?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 9:01am

< I am a person that needs a lot of alone down time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2009
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 9:11am

I did start volunteering which did help. A funny thing about me many people volunteer or work because they want the adult interaction.
I enjoy volunteer/work situations most where I have a lot of independent time. For about 7 years I was the coffee lady at church. Because of the time it took for the coffee to brew I had 45 mins to an hour every week of being the only person in the church. I loved it.

But the best cure was them getting bigger.

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 11:15am
You wait and try not to go insane in the meanwhile.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 6:10am

I'm a lot like you. While I have a very gregarious side to me, I've always enjoyed solitude. And I just don't get it any more. I hadn't really zeroed in on this as being

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 6:11am

You too, huh?


Why does no one tell us these things before we become parents? Or do they and we just don't listen?


BTW, that white sauce recipe of yours worked

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2007
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 7:37am

"When you are WOHM, you have all the same household & family related stress PLUS work aggravation & frustration."

Why, where is the other WOHP? WHen I was a wohm, DH did more the household work than he does now. Now that I am a sahm, I do more, but he still pulls his weight.

Plus, since we are home all day the house gets messier, so there is more time spent picking up.

I found I had MUCH less "household" stress when I was a WOHP than now as SAHP.

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 8:40am
Oh good! I am so proud of you ;) Nobody tells you because it is not politically correct or something. The miracle of childbirth (which you will fully appreciate and savor in an unmedicated state) is supposed to evaporate your need for solitude, personhood or the space to think.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2006
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 8:44am

I am lucky to have a husband who helps, but he too works full time, so once again we're back to doing chores at night or on the weekends. I like my job, but when you add things like traffic and spending break & lunch time pumping, it adds to the hectic nature of being a working mother. It's unavoidable. When one parent is home, it's possible to get a few things done so that not all errands or chores are done on weekends. I'm not saying I had a perfectly clean, organized home, but I could fold clothes during nap time or take the kids with me to the grocery store on a Thursday morning while home.

Perhaps it's just my circle of friends and family, but I don't know anyone who returned to work full time and suddenly found life to be simpler, easier, or less stressful. I should add that my children (and friend's children) are all young- mine are both under two. Maybe things will be easier once they are school age- at least I hope so!!

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 8:52am

I am sure it can get hectic in many families. However, many factors go into the final stress index. It depends, for example, on how much each spouse works and how far from home they work. Do they have some flexibility in the work schedule? Do they use daycare or have a nanny? Do they have other household help?

My father has a second family and I had the chance to watch his daily life with 3 small kids in action a few times. It WAS hectic, but that was in large part because of other choices the parents made, not necessarily because they both worked.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2006
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 8:59am

"It WAS hectic, but that was in large part because of other choices the parents made, not necessarily because they both worked."

How true! I have a neighbor who is a SAHM, her children are school age. They are signed up for soooooo many activities that they're never home... she often complains about how crazy (and expensive) it is to cart the two kids here, there, and everywhere, and I smile and nod as if I truly feel badly for the self-made situation. Secretly I wonder though, couldn't your children just do one activity per season, or maybe two? Wouldn't that be easier, simpler... and if you don't want to do that, then stop whining!!