About Rest for the Weary

I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

depression and the homeschool mom


Like snow enveloping the yard during a blizzard, so too can depression fill your mind and soul before you realize how treacherous it can be.  Actually my depression was more of a slow, steady flurry instead of a wild blizzard.  Little wisps of sadness snuck in and took up residence to where it became a familiar friend instead of the foe that it really is.  It can be so sneaky that it can mask as tiredness, busyness, weight gain or others.  For me, I thought I was just a busy, tired mother of a lot of children, which was true, but it was more than that.

 Stay-at-home moms, and homeschooling moms in particular can be prone to depression because of the sheer amount of energy and work it takes to accomplish this task.  If it isn’t recognized and managed, it can do a lot of harm.  Depression is a liar and can make mothers believe things that simply aren’t true about themselves.  For me, depression told me that I was doing a horrible job as a mother and led me down the searching for the best way trail and straight to the comparison trap.

So, how can mothers tell if they are depressed or just worn out?  The first thing I always recommend is to get a check up with your doctor as it is not always easy to identify depression on your own.  But here are a few things you can ask yourself that I found were true for me. 


1.        Lack of motivation.  This was a big one for me.  I took this symptom as being tired.  I just didn’t want to get out of bed each morning and face another day.  But I did.  It was sheer grace that kept me going, but I thought I was just tired.

2.       Difficulty making decisions and concentrating.  Oh, this was another biggy for me.  Again, I blamed it on being tired.  I had the worst time helping my children with higher math problems, not because I couldn’t do them but because I had a hard time focusing on the problem at hand.  Decision making became unbearable to me because I was constantly worried whether I was doing a good job.  I was locked in the fear that I would make the wrong choice so I waffled.  A lot.

3.       Low self-esteem.  Like I said earlier, depression lies to us.  It will magnify your short comings, making you believe there are problems when there are none.  Moms are usually their own worst critic, but moms suffering with depression can be brutal on themselves.

4.       Feeling hopeless and helpless. This one goes with the previous one.  Usually we are critical of ourselves which leaves us feeling hopeless.

5.       Changes in eating or sleeping habits.  This was hard for me to distinguish because I was always waking with a nursing infant, and I ate on the run.

If any of these ring a bell or you just suspect you might be depressed, get help.  Depression is manageable and doesn’t have to knock you off your feet until you can no longer function.  Do it for your family and yourself.  You deserve it. 


  1. Thank you for this post. You have helped me see reality. I am suffering from all of those symptoms and just brush it off as being a tired homeschooling mommy of 5. Now I think it may be more. Our days are becoming filled with fights and tears and quite honestly, heartbreak. Thank you for showing me that I am not alone! Ps I also have blog if you ever want to check it out. (Shameless plug there!! )

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Please take care of yourself. Depression can be a sneaky thing, and it doesn't have to be this way. I will check out your blog! Lisa

    1. I actually had an appointment today and was able to talk to her! Thank you so much again. When I read this post last night I was in tears, but today, after talking to the doctor I do feel more hopeful, and that feels great! Keep up the great posts, and thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog!

  3. Hi thank you for this. I haven't even started homeschooling yet and have only heard the negatives of public schools these days but because I already feel all of the above I decided to do more research I'm so afraid of hurting my boys if I find I can't cope. I really am unsure of what to do. I would like to try preschool at home. We live in Africa there is a school nearby maybe not the best but I need to make a decision homeschool or not! Three friends are homeschooling and doing a good job but I find myself comparing myself to them and feeling completely inadequate and this makes me feel depressed. I want to be the best mom I can be for them and give them the best life with God's help and grace. I don't want them to be stuck at home with a depressed unmotivated mom because I'm dwelling on my own fears of failure but maybe there is hope and a way of overcoming this. I will keep reading here. Bless you!

  4. P.S. someday are worse than others. Other days I love the thought of being able to give my boys a richer curriculum and being involved but am I setting a trap for myself or should I at least try? If it doesn't work for us I can change?

  5. Anne,
    Thanks for writing. Yes, you can always give it a try and if it doesn't work out, make a change. That goes for putting them in school as well. Nothing is permanent. Since your kids are young, you have time to try to help yourself before you start officially homeschooling. Depression lies to us about what kind of job we are doing. It magnifies every little thing. Please keep sharing if you feel led. God Bless you. Lisa

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  7. Thyroid disease has many of these same symptoms. It is often called the silent disease.