Taking care of kids around the clock can be hazardous to your mental health. It's a fact!
A Gallup survey of 60,000 women discovered that stay-at-home moms are more likely to have depression, sadness, and anger than working moms.
Sad, but not exactly a big shocker. It's a grueling existence. Something -- or someone -- always needs to be changed, cleaned, and preened. All it takes is a 10-week maternity leave for a new mom to realize that taking care of kids full-time is literally the hardest gig in the universe. It's no wonder so many woman are excited to get back to the grind. Basically, working moms are getting off easy.
They get up and out of the house every day and interact with the rest of the world. That means a steady stream of conversations that don't include references to the Wonder Pets and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! That isolation is probably the most painful part of being a stay-at-home and, no doubt, partly the reason 28% are diagnosed with depression.
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That doesn't mean career-driven mommies don't have their own set of woes. The survey revealed that 17% of working moms have depression too. That existence can be overwhelming for different reasons. Most find it impossible to give everything 100%. Something alway suffers, whether that's means missing deadlines or a school play.
And this whole mommy guilt thing is a killer. I am pained every time I think of one of my son's first sentences: "Mommy, don't go!" Ouch! Still, some women are better moms because they work. They feel like they have something for themselves, something else that gives a sense of pride.
That may make it easier for them to face the inevitable -- the time when your kids are indifferent to your existence. It happens to every mom, from the Carol Bradys to the Claire Huxtables. But the questions stay-at-home moms are left with is, "Now what?"
If nothing else, this survey proves one crucial point: all moms need something other than their kids to focus on. Charity, a part-time job or volunteer work can provide a sense of purpose that's always there as the kids grow up and even when they are long gone.
What do you think? Do working moms have it easier?
Images via Jerry Bunkers/Flickr