You’re not alone.
For some women, the ability to be a stay-at-home mom is a dream come true—spending all day, every day with your children, taking care of the house and being a full-time parent. For others, leaving a career to take care of the kids can trigger serious strikes against self-esteem. It can leave you feeling lonely and trapped, and can lead to depression.
Stay-at-home moms (especially first time moms) can feel a sense of isolation and loneliness. Oftentimes, they don’t want to admit their feelings because they feel guilty, or fear what others might think of them. With all the joys that children bring, who would want to admit to feeling helpless, scared or lonely?
But on the other hand, who wouldn’t feel that way? It’s no secret that when you become a mom your life changes—drastically! When you’ve left a career to start a full-time job taking care of your kids, your entire world shifts and you’re bound to face emotional challenges along the way.
So, what’s a mom to do?
It’s important to remember that it’s 100% normal and natural to experience feelings of loneliness, helplessness or depression. Know that it’s healthy and quite necessary to talk about your feelings.
One of the best cures for loneliness is company and the best remedy for helplessness is help! And there’s no better place to find camaraderie, advice and socialization than in a group of moms who share in the same circumstances and feelings as you.
Lana Ackaway, certified Psychoanalyst and Clinical Social Worker in New York City says that many stay-at-home mothers may be depressed, but either don’t know how to get help or don’t want to take emotional responsibility for themselves. Joining a group of mothers who you can lean on for help and advice is often the best thing you can do!
Below are a list of reasons why every stay-at-home mom should join a mom group:
Of course, socialization is great for children, it’s how they learn to play nice in the sandbox—but socializing is just as important for moms too! Many stay-at-home moms complain of feeling isolated, which can lead to loneliness and depression.
With so many other moms in the same boat, there’s no reason to feel isolated. Adult conversations and friendships are not only essential components of emotional health, but they can also remind you that you are a person—not just a mom.
Many local mom groups have fun-filled schedules with everything from outings to local family-friendly places, to much-needed mom’s nights out. Joining a group with an active social calendar can help you fill up your week with as many or as few events as you can handle.
Whether you’re dealing with a fussy teether or a toddler who just refuses to try the potty, chances are there are other moms who have been there, done that and lived to tell. It’s reassuring to know that you’re not alone, and advice from other experienced moms is invaluable.
Aside from a sympathetic ear, fostering relationships with other moms is also great for hands-on support. Many women in local mom groups exchange childcare services, and help each other out with meals and chores during stressful times.
Whether you’re looking for future business contacts, or wondering where the best playground in town is, a mom group is excellent for networking. Word of mouth really is the best reference and when you join an active mom group, you’ll always be in-the-know of the latest local family-friendly spots and events.
Many mom groups also work with local family-oriented businesses and negotiate special incentives and discounts for members. You may find yourself saving money on everything from pizza, to admission to the neighborhood bounce house!
So, What Are You Waiting For?!
While iheartmoms is the perfect place to socialize with and get advice from other moms online, we encourage you to join a moms group in your area that can offer you friendship offline!
There are plenty of places to look! Many libraries, municipalities, and houses of worship sponsor mom groups. There are also several national mom groups that may have chapters in your area, such as M.O.P.S. (Moms of Pre-Schoolers) and M.O.M.S. (Moms Offering Moms Support). You can also check out websites such as Meetup or Craigslist to see if there are any local mom groups forming in your neighborhood.
We’re willing to bet that you’re not the only stay-at-home mom in your area, even though you might feel like you are! Join or start a local mom group of your own, and before you know it, you and your children will plant the seeds of a veritable garden of friendships!
Moms: do you belong to a local mom group?