Are stay at home mothers more unhappy?
Last week we posted on our Facebook page a link to a very interesting article that stated ‘Stay at home mothers are more unhappy than those that work’. Many of you commented and so we thought we’d blog on the subject to continue the discussion.
The article refers to a study published online in Springer’s Journal of Child Family Studies. The study states that women who believe in ‘intensive parenting’ are at risk of a range of mental illnesses including depression. Those in this category believed that ‘women make better parents than men, that mothering should be child-centred and that children should be considered sacred and fulfilling’. It concluded that many women were in danger of suffering the ‘parenthood paradox’ where their ideology increases feelings of stress and guilt. Whereas the article raises the question of what is meant by ‘intensive parenting’ and whether SAHM’s all employ this approach, it does have some interesting insights.
We’ve blogged on SAHM ‘V’ Working mums and on being a Stay at home mum before and like most could only conclude that both options carry a certain level of guilt, both have their pros and cons and there is no right or wrong choice except what is right for each individual. However, one of the reasons we started MTAM is because we are passionate about all mums being fulfilled in themselves as women as well as in their role as mother. It concerns me that mums are putting their children first at the detriment of their health. As we’ve said time and again a ‘happy mum means a happy child’ – whether you choose to work or not.
What the findings of this study raise for me is not the conclusion that all mums should go out to work, but that all mums need to have something for themselves – Some time that is dedicated just for their own fulfilment. It also confirms yet again that we somehow feel guilty if we dare ‘indulge’ in any ‘me-time’ assuming it is somehow going to harm our children or lead to their neglect. We have to stop this false martyrdom style parenting and truly believe that we are the best example and parent to our children when we follow our dreams and live out life to the full right in front of them – fulfilled and happy!
Are you a stay at home mum who sometimes feels depressed and wishes you could work?
Are you a working mum who sometimes feels depressed and wishes you could stay at home?
What are your thoughts on these findings?