Is homemakers’ depression real? well then, mothers have it too

Published: 08th November 2016 10:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2016 03:26 AM   |  A+A-



Express News Service

BENGALURU: ‘Is you wife experiencing ‘Homemaker Depression? It’s Real!’
Well of course I had to pause on my hourly Facebook scroll (new year resolution: disable Facebook account)  and click to find out if I had ‘homemakers depression’. This is what the opening  lines of the article said:
‘Is your wife’s low and irritable mood taking a toll on your marriage? You come back home and you find your wife all dull and gloomy by staying at home all day? She might be suffering from depression. Read ahead to know and understand more about how depression in homemakers can be a thing and how to manage it!’
Now I put aside my misgivings at the suggestion, that a man might come home to something other than a full on parade every evening, and continued reading.

The article went on to list feelings (sad, low, flat, unhappy, miserable), symptoms (poor concentration and memory) thoughts and behaviours of women with ‘homemakers depression’ before listing handy ‘tips’ for husbands on how to help. These included: Take care of your wife (with fruits and omega oils), give her brain a boost (Sudoku!) and pamper her (a cuddle and salon appointment) amongst others.
Of course the article ended with a suggestion of getting professional help (just a click away on the site.)
Nowhere did the article mention children, and while it seemed to be speaking to young, newly married women one could easily apply these symptoms to mothers too.  

Now, I’m not a doctor. I don’t have a degree in psychology. I speak purely from experience as a mother of two children who has spent a considerable chunk of time (close to 6 years) at home looking after them.
I’m pretty sure I’ve had ‘homemakers depression’ (if that indeed is a real term). The feeling of having not ‘accomplished’ much at the end of the day. The exhaustion, self doubt, resentment… I’ve experienced many of the things listed in the article.

Raising a child (for women) has become a hugely isolating, pressure filled experience. Many mothers I know, though married, admit that they feel like they’re single parents, doing it alone. Because the are literally, doing everything alone.

What really helped me was my husband helping out. Making beds. Getting children ready for school. Buying groceries. Clearing the table after dinner. Putting kids to bed. But no where in the article, in not one place, did it suggest that the husband could actually alleviate these symptoms by simply helping their wife by pitching in with chores around the house.

Of course, if you’re depressed or have postpartum depression, then even what I’m suggesting won’t be enough. That requires professional help. But if you have the symptoms of ‘homemakers depression’  then tell (don’t ask) your partner to pitch in around the house. Stop waiting for them to magically start on their own. Chances are you have a better shot at solving 18 across than that happening.  
Indian men currently do about 19 minutes of unpaid, household work on a daily basis. Now THAT makes me depressed.

If you’re a husband reading this and you think your wife has ‘homemakers depression’, please note: Sharpening a pencil for your wife so she can do the Sunday Crossword is great. But only if you’re making Sunday lunch while she does the crossword.

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