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Stay-at-Home Mom: Why We Get Depressed
Stay-at-Home Mom: Why We Get Depressed
There is tremendous turmoil going on among women today, where almost everything traditionally feminine is being challenged as a result, self-doubt has been created. We find homemakers and mothers asking themselves, "What am I doing here? Who am I? Who cares about me? Who loves me? Who needs me?" Many women are facing an identity crisis that is causing severe stress, anxiety, and depression.
In this era in which the marriage vow "So long we both shall live" has been replaced by "So long we both shall love," marriages are definitely taking a beating and the crisis experienced by many women has taken its toll on family values.
More than ever before in the history of psychiatric medicine, women are seeking help for depression, anxiety and related emotional disorders. More women than ever before are committing suicide. Married women, many with children, and we hear them say, "I'm not going anywhere; no one really needs me; no one loves me; and I don't think anyone even likes me very much." Women, even those with husbands and children, find themselves lonely and they are being convinced that tomorrow won't be any better than today.
Although there are many reasons why women get depressed, television, social media, movies, books, and magazines must share a lot of the blame. Women feel they are being degraded and indeed they are by being sexually exploited universally by the powerful advertising industry. In many tv commercials, social media, and magazines it is difficult to understand if a product is advertised or if a woman's flesh is for sale. Whether intentional or not, the media also sends women the message that if she is a homemaker and mother, she is a helpless victim, being cheated and that life is passing her by. This is totally wrong to strip a mother and a homemaker of her dignity and respect. No woman should be made feel inferior just because she stays at home raising and nurturing her children and doing the duties she feels God gave her to do.
Many positive opportunities for women result from the Women's Liberation Movement, especially in job opportunities, business, industry, politics, etc., but women have been hurt by the tenet that males and females are identical except for the ability to bear children. Men and women are very different; anatomically, emotionally, chemically, hormonally, socially, and sexually. Every cell of our bodies are different, because we carry a different chromosomal pattern. The emotional, physical, and often the spiritual needs are different from those of men.
Self-esteem, self-respect, self-worth is necessary for every man, woman, and child. The absence of self-esteem is a prelude of depression and emotional disorders. The self-esteem of a man primarily develops from his job; from being respected for his work; for earning money; for being respected by his employer, employees, clients, or patients. Although many men never realize it, much of their self-esteem is instrumented by their mates. Women who work also develop self-esteem from their careers, but only on rare occasions is a woman's vocation her primary source of developing her self-esteem. The most important and certainly the primary person in the development of a woman's self-esteem, is her mate. A husband is with people during his working day, therefore his need for human contact is met. A mother at home with her children all day, depends on the relationship with her husband for her needs. Regardless of how much she loves her children, the core of a woman's emotional life, her self-esteem depends on her husband.
Marriage is supposed to be a sacred commitment between two people who love one another, with the man vowing that he will love his wife as his own flesh. This is a God given commandment, not a suggestion. With fifty percent of marriages ending in divorce, one tends to wonder, how sincere are we when we commit ourselves to the ones we love and to God. For certain, we know that women take their commitments, whatever they may be, much more serious than most men. Even in the best marriages, there are times when one or both partners feel great, times when they are apathetic and times when they are admittedly negative. There must be serious commitment of the will to provide long term stability in marriage.
Whether she works in the home or away from home, the working day of a married woman with children doesn't stop at 5PM. Certainly her husband is tired from his day on the job, but she is also tired and stressed. She could use help with the children, with the house chores and preparing the family meal. While many men are ready and willing to share some of the burdens and responsibilities inside the home and raising a family, others are little more than just another child for her to serve and care for. Love is the ultimate factor in all marriages, but much too often love changes to resentment when the woman is exhausted from her days work and then night after night, assume the responsibility for all the needs of her family, while her mate watches TV or goes out with the guys. Not only does she feel cheated and neglected, her children already feel cheated because the average father spends less than ten minutes a day in personal contact or conversation with his children. As a martial relationship disintegrates, which it obviously will in time without the commitment of both partners, the children will be seriously affected. Absolutely nothing creates insecurity for a child faster than watching his or her parents marriage collapse.
Constructing a happy, healthy and successful marriage requires a man and woman whose love, consideration, respect and dedication to one another, is more important than any jealousy or self-interest. Although many couples apparently enter into marriage as if it were a game, it is a serious uniting of a man and a woman where caring, sharing and compromise are essential rules of standard. It takes two committed people to have a successful marriage. It only takes one unwilling partner to destroy it.
Special thanks to my grandfather who wrote this article and allowed be to share some of his amazing writing that never got published. He is the most insightful and intelligent man I know, and I hope I can follow in his footsteps. Love you Poppop. Thank you for letting me share this for you.