Friday, May 18, 2012

Mommy Wars: The Great Depression

It's not the first time I've seen a reference to how Stay-at-home moms are more liable to be depressed than working moms. Today a news story was making the rounds about a new study on the subject confirming what we already know.

Yes, being a SAHM can be isolating. That's no big secret. Isolation equals loneliness. Loneliness equals depression. But not for everyone! For one thing, most "stay-at-home moms" don't stay at home very often.And many of us jump at the chance to socialize. We meet each other at the playground. We join playgroups. We participate in mommy-and-me music classes. And when our children get older, we of us volunteer our "free time" to worthy causes.

Opting out of the workforce can be difficult. I've had some tough days at home with my son. I went through a couple of tough years with my daughter, from the ages of two through four (until she gained the ability to reason). But through all of it I've felt so lucky to be with my children and to be such a constant influence in their daily lives.

Here's the part I don't get: Why is this issue so important that it warrants study? To me, the research is divisive. It comes across as just another piece of ammunition in the Mommy Wars. And while it's hard not to notice the differences between the two opposing groups, there are similarities that are not to be missed. (I've outlined the basics of the study below.)

About half of ALL mothers suffer from "stress." It was a pretty close call on the "anger" front as well. And the outcome wasn't that different in the "worry" category, although I'm still a little confused about exactly what the word "worry" refers to. I mean, don't we all have worries? And for those who denied worrying in the study, I want to know what they're smokin' cuz I need a vacation.

SAHMs Working Moms
worry 41% 34%
sadness 26% 16%
stress 50% 48%
anger 19% 14%
depression 28% 17%

At any rate, this mommy is anything but depressed. A little tired, maybe. But I'm fairly certain that that's one thing we moms all have in common.