The “Winter Blues” Are Real, Especially For A Stay-At-Home Mom

It’s nearing the end of January.
The holidays are over.
Real life has resumed.
(sort of)

We are about a month into the New Year and I feel like I’ve been behind for all of it.
The problem is, I just can’t seem to get motivated.
Does it really take a whole month to recover from Christmas?
(with three small kids, the answer is YES!)

The “winter blues” have hit me hard and I just can’t seem to snap out of it.

Maybe it’s because winter has just appeared, acting like a woman scorned; disrupting literally everything.
Or maybe it’s because in the past month my children have had more time off-school than time in-school and I’m climbing the walls. So are they.
Maybe it’s both. (It’s probably both.)

It’s Gets Old, Quick

I’m a mother of three young children so I’m very used to staying home a lot. And honestly, I’m a homebody so it works out.

But even I need a break in the mundane.
I don’t only need an escape for myself, but my children are in the same boat.

They feel it too.
There are only so many forts one can build, songs that can be sung and games that one can play; before feeling the restrictiveness of the cold and isolation of the indoors.

Even when we go out it’s not the same. When it’s in the single digits with wind chill in the negatives (like it is now), we have to sprint from place to place.
A trip to the grocery store involves running for your life from the breathtakingly cold air.
(at least in the midwest, our home)

The struggle to dress warmly and keep track of all the hats and gloves is enough to make me dread leaving the house, even with the yearning to go out becoming more and more present.

Depression And Anxiety Run Rapid

I find myself opting to curl up in blankets on the couch with my kiddos to watch a movie over doing chores.
Not a problem, until your pretty much actively ignoring said chores until they become overwhelming.

In my house right now there are mountains of dishes, laundry, and scattered toys.
And I have no desire to tend to any of them.
I don’t want to dust or vacuum or clean.
I really don’t want to watch Wreck It Ralph again, for the 1000th time.
I need new distractions for them, we need some sun on our faces!
and…
I just want to sleep until it’s warmer.

The tedium and boredom stirs and leaves an empty feeling. For me, it’s sometimes very debilitating.

You say just get up, just go out?

It’s not exactly that easy. Going out takes so much prep and children rarely make it easy.
I sympathize though, because having two fingers in a one finger part of a glove sucks.
(Team mittens for toddlers ALL THE WAY!)

But the whole process can be quite the endeavor.
So then the anxiety of getting ready to go anywhere kicks in, turning me into a person who dreads and avoids going out.
(Just adding to the problem.)

To top it off, I then feel guilty for not making more arrangements to go out, and guilty for neglecting my house.
Mom guilt, it’s great isn’t it?

AND, the world doesn’t stop, nor should it.
But, while I’m avoiding going out and other things; those things don’t just go away.
They pile up and become overwhelming, throwing me into a cycle of depression, because the time and effort it would require to catch up seems impossible to obtain.

I’m Not Alone

Winter blues are often associated with seasonal depression, and it’s not uncommon. In fact, in the United States it is estimated that 10% of adults struggle with this.

Meaning roughly 22 million+ adults in the U.S. are suffering from the “winter blues”. And I would imagine a good portion of those people may be stay-at-home moms.

So I’m not alone when I’m ignoring my overwhelmingly messy house to watch another episode of NCIS: Los Angeles.

If you’re a momma going through a “winter blues” phase, I am here for you!
I totally understand, and there’s no judgment here.

There are things we can do to combat the “Winter Blues”, and I’ll share an article on those next!

But, the most important thing we can do is try to lessen the guilt and stigma. Don’t get down on yourself for feeling this way, it gets to a lot of people and you are not alone!

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