Recent research has found that stay at home mothering – particularly intense mothering – could put women at risk of negative mental health outcomes. Women who center their existence around their children believing that the job of parenthood is sacred and all that is required to feel fulfilled may be at risk, says psychologist Kathryn Rizzo.
Why mothering can be so difficult
Being a mother requires a wide variety of skills and abilities. It is job that is challenging in the extreme; many women who have worked outside the home rate it as their most challenging ever. It then follows that women can find it more stressful being a full time, stay at home mother than a working woman.
Mothers were asked to fill in questionnaires in response to various statements. They were asked to give their feelings about what was more difficult working or being a parent; whether the needs of a child should always be paramount, whether parental happiness was dependent upon children and so on.
Psychologists looked at possible reasons for stay at home moms being more likely to be stressed and depressed. It has been postulated that stay at home moms may feel isolated and less a part of the world around them, which could be among the reasons for this. It could also be that women who stay at home feel less fulfilled in life, which contributes to their sense of unhappiness.
Tips for stay at home moms
Stay at home mothers need to retain their pre motherhood identity and contacts and friendships. Just because of the onerous task of parenting a mother doesn’t have to drop out of her social circuit.
Also make friends with other stay at home moms – for company, comfort, support and insight. This will also help you make play dates among your children so that you have some valuable ‘me’ time – a favor you can return at a later date.
Have your own style of mothering. Don’t let other seemingly perfect moms intimidate you. Even less should you feel the need to imitate and emulate other moms. Both you and your children are unique and it goes without saying that what will work for your situation will be unique as well.
Remember to enjoy your time with your child or children. Each stage of growing up is unique and each milestone your child reaches will be a source of joy. Remember your child will never be 5 years, nine months and three days old ever again! Play with your child; bond with your child and enjoy eachprecious moment of a fleeting childhood.