Depression of a Stay at Home Mom

Part 1

I hid in the bathroom and cried. It’s become a normal routine for me now. Normal, to sit on the side of the tub, letting the tears pour down my face as I scream in agony into a towel. Just 8 minutes, I promise myself, as my emotions continue to overflow. Just 8 minutes is all I’m allowed before they come looking for me. I have it down to a science now. 6 minutes to cry, 45 seconds of a cold compress on my eyes ( I must hide the redness), and the last 45 seconds to compose my breathing. I will then slide the mask of strength and contentment over my face before I leave the bathroom.

My depression pushed to the back of my mind as I cook dinner, help with homework, bathe children, complete the housework, mediate sibling arguements, coordinate bedtime while fielding deliberate delays from toddlers unwilling to comply. Suicidal thoughts ignored while I organize everything for the following day. Always pretending and functioning through life.

The anxiety of not being able to complete my tasks, and of not being good enough. A tornado of what-ifs and negatives pertaining to myself swirling in my head. I make sure to hide this as my husband walks through the door. A smile, kiss, and “here’s dinner and how was your day?”

Soon it’s time for bed, albeit alone, as he is once again engrossed in another television series. I crawl into bed with the knowledge that at about 2am I will have to get up and go to the couch to wake him up. He will get into bed, fall instantly back asleep, as I lay awake with my thoughts of inadequacy. Sadness and lonliness permeating all of me. And when I finally doze off, I know I will again awake to start this all over.