My vocation and struggling with loneliness and depression?

My vocation is marriage. I am a stay-at-home wife and mother. I love my husband, children, home, everything. But I am struggling with an inward rebellion against my vocation because I am lonely. On days which my husband is home, and we work side-by-side, or even if he is just keeping me company while I work, I am productive and cheerful. But then the workweek begins, and I have the long week of workdays without companionship yawning before me, and I feel myself slipping into a stupor.
I do not know how to keep up. I feel lethargic and lazy. But most of all, I feel very lonely. It is the number one reason why I spend too much time at the computer. Internet forums and Facebook help me to not feel so lonely.
My house is messy. My routines are in shambles. I am not thriving.

I don’t know how to overcome this. I know part of it is needing a kick in the pants, because I need to grow up and accept that loneliness is part of my vocation, and do the lonely work anyway. It is not necessarily the physical demands of motherhood that is the problem. It is doing them in isolation, with no one to talk to, that is the problem. Sometimes I think I should just start talking out loud to the Blessed Virgin, just to stay sane. But then I would be doing what appears to be crazy, for the sake of sanity. :rolleyes::shrug:

So I hope someone can help me out. How do I deal with the loneliness and lethargy that afflict me to the point where I feel like I want to run away from my house screaming? How can I deal with the fact that my work feels like spinning my wheels, because every dish I wash will be washed later today and twice tomorrow, too? How do I discern how much work to do during the day before my husband gets home? Ideally, I would like to accomplish all the work before he arrives home, and have only errands and yard work to accomplish on Saturday. But I am inwardly rebelling at having to do every last little thing all by myself.

Help me out. Either with encouragement or a kick in the pants! Please? :o

I wish I had the magic words to help you get through this. Know that you are not alone in this. I think all wives/mothers go through this at one point or another. Personally for me as tiresome as it might seem when I started feeling all the negative feelings creep up I really lean on the Blessed Mother to help pull me through. When it gets bad I make an effort to “up my game” in my prayer life.

Are you involved in your local parish? For me staying connected to other wives and mothers is essential… it helps me feel like I’m part of something bigger and really supports the vocation. I’ve had to work hard at this - the people don’t come to me, I have to seek out the friendships and really put hard work and effort into getting myself out there. I don’t limit myself to friendship with people in the exact same stage in life - I really think a lot can be learned from women in all stages of life.

We homeschool so I sometimes feel really isolated.

I would encourage you also to talk to your pastor if its affecting you spiritually - maybe he can guide you in helping find sources for nourishment for you.

Also, as far as the depression goes - I’m a believer that it can’t always be “prayed away”. If you’re really feeling hopeless you should talk to your primary care doctor about it. It could be something as simple as a vitamin deficiency that is contributing to your depression.

My depression struggles have always been situationally-dependent. I do not struggle with chronic depression, for which I am thankful. The better word is probably melancholy.

I am involved in the local parish. In fact, I am working on starting up a parish group for Catholic mothers, and starting up a Little Flowers Girls Club. I took on extra responsibilities so that I would be “forced” to get out there and be social and active and cheerful.

I am also a homeschooling mother, although this fall will be my first year having two children of school age. My oldest is rising 3rd grade and my second oldest is rising 5K. I also have a preschooler and an infant (3 months).

I am sure this is not PPD, or baby blues. I have done a lot of inner searching, to determine the nature of my malaise, and recently came to the conclusion that it has to do with my loneliness and my sense of “who cares?”, despite my love for my family and my personal desire for a tidy home and well-connected family.

How can I rely on the Blessed Virgin? I am a convert, so I am still trying to understand Marian devotion. I know myself well enough to know that I will not be able to force myself to pray a daily Rosary, but that Marian devotion will have to build up for me more slowly. So is there a way for me to begin relying upon my spiritual mother that works around and through my acknowledged weakness?

It doesn’t happen overnight. :wink: Maybe it would be helpful starting off with just a decade of the rosary during your evening prayers? I try to relate to her as a person… she was a wife and mother just like us. At night during my evening prayers I sometimes just try to empty my head of all the stresses to the day and give them up to God. Then I round it off with a rosary. Sometimes I fall asleep and sometimes I make it all the way through (trimuphantly!) Do you have a quiet corner in your house that you can use to just “get away” at the end of the day? Some great advice I got from another mother was to make sure that the bedroom was a haven at the end of the day. I try to keep it clutter free… keeps the bedroom relaxing for prayer time and also makes it a special place for my husband and I to retire at the end of the day. Our house may be in chaos, but the bedroom is a peaceful haven.

I’ve found great comfort in my devotion to Mary… it doesn’t take the place of my relationship with Jesus, but sort of is like the icing on the cake for me.

CoQ10 is a supplement which could possibly help. Oversensitive hearing can lead to depression. This is the age when fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue begin to creep in… Check w/your doctor.


Thank you so much for your responses.

A couple thoughts…

At the end of the day, my husband and I spend couple time before retiring to bed. That is precious time to us. So I do not have any time to spend in prayer or quiet meditation. That is a problem I need to address. Something must be sacrificed. Either couple time or quiet time. I cannot do both. :frowning:

About the oversensitive hearing…I don’t know how in the world you knew that I have oversensitive hearing, but I do! My ears are easily overwhelmed. In fact, I have a friend who is boisterous and loud and I cannot be around her very long before I have to back up and I start wincing and my ears start hurting. I hate that I respond like that because she is just the sweetest person. Also, I cannot handle a loud TV. And when the dishwasher, washing machine and TV are all on at once, I want to escape because my ears hurt so bad!

I know you have said about being a stay at home mother is important to you,

but do you have any hobbies and interests that helps keep the spark in life going for you. Something that you do just for you apart from faith.

Something that makes the weeks seem shorter as you await for that session to come around again. I am not a mother but I have my own difficulties and chatted with the new priest, well he was new when I chatted to him and not in the chat but he had awakend me to my love of just singing. All my adult life from being 15 to 44 I have sang in the church choir but a few years ago I fell out but continued going to church because it wasn’t God I had fallen out with… But that chat he was talking about in terms of loosing oneself into something. Slowly I understood and that is how the church choir and the community choir helps keep me going. I love just focusing on the songs we are learning to sing and singing them. I love concert nights when they come around in the community choir. It helps give me that buzz out of life. Since that chat I have found that there are numourous day to day living that I have sort of taken for granted but realise they give me that reason to live as one might say. I try hard at growing veg though the soil aint good. Going for walks which helps me with prayer but that a different topic.

I think what I am trying to say is give yourself some you time. Find something that interests you and join a social group in your area on it. I can’t afford the community choir strictly speeking, but I skip that week’s bills for a £50 per term. It worth it for me. We will find a way if we can see what purpose it has in our life. That way you will get out a little bit more and gradually make friends and you will find a way of a social life for you and being 100% mother. I am not lonely but do feel very alone sometimes. I know you got to find a babysitter etc? May be think about starting a mums group at your home even, or ask the parish priest if there is anything at the church you could join or start up. We always have had a toddler group in the past on and off and in September someone is starting it up again. May be that something to think about because that way you are not leaving your children ‘at home’ and you are mixing with adults who understand when the child is sick and tantrums and what to do about’s… :thumbsup:

Is your husband a practicing Catholic? My husband is not Catholic nor overly religious, but I finally expressed my need for some time at the end of the day to regroup. Happy wife = happy husband. Sometimes I get it before, sometimes after I spend time with my husband. It sounds like you just aren’t getting enough time to yourself. My kids are young like yours (although I don’t have an infant currently) For a few years I had to get up 15 minutes early to get my daily prayer time in. t was a sacrifice I needed to make until my husband I got on the same page. I understand the need for couple time and we have it scheduled every night, but for us if my spirituality is not being fed it affects EVERY part of my life, including my marriage.

One suggestion since you homeschool - I enforce quiet time in my house between 1-3 every day. The kids can be reading, napping, listening to audio books, etc. Anything goes as long as they are playing quietly. Maybe you could do something similar and line it up with whatever nap schedule you currently have with your youngers. That’s my “me time” that I spend getting caught up on housework, lesson planning, bible study, etc. For a while that was when my prayer time happened - otherwise it didn’t. Susan Wise Bauer wrote about it in the Well-Trained Mind and it was the best piece of advice I got from any book on homeschooling (and I read them all!)

My wife stays home with the kids while I work and, while she won’t tell me, I can tell she feels lonely. I think this is normal, adults need (and indeed deserve) the friendship and company of other adults, whether coworkers, relatives or friends, on a daily basis.

The best I can do is encourage her to have playdates with her friends who are also stay at home moms, and support her however I can with it. If that means I clean up the house the night before, or prep a lunch while she’s taking a shower (usually the first break she gets all day), I’ll do that. It’s also really amazing how often, on warm days, moms with kids about the age of ours will congregate at local parks, and these spontaneous friendships always give my wife a new glow in her eyes as she talks of our kids’ new friends.

If it helps, talk with a life coach, either through parish or a private organization. I’ve been working with one for about two months now to help manage anxiety and depression and he’s very much helped my outlook and helped me set priorities - much to my delight, he has encouraged my prayer life as well as my recontacting friends and setting up new routines. Sometimes it is just that kick in the pants that’s needed.

One other thing - whatever your husband can do to help, ask him to do. Share the workload. I know he’s tired after a long day, so are you. Carry the burdens together, have him wash the dishes while you do something else, and keep a nightly routine together of doing some together time, even if it’s just eating popcorn while talking about your days.

Hello mommamaree:
You might want to consider reading the writings of St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. He spoke and wrote about the vocation of the laity, either married or single, and how ordinary lay life can be sanctified. The vocation to marriage and the lay life is a pathway to God. His writings are very beautiful.

Doing the will of God is sanctity and the daily duties of your vocation are definitely God’s will for you. The humdrum of daily ordinary lay life can be tiresome and it can seem to be unexciting and uneventful. At the same time, this life is very rich if we have a supernatural outlook. The Holy Family lived a ordinary life just like other families. Jesus lived most of his life in the home at Nazareth working just like any other ordinary person. Yet Jesus was quietly redeeming the world with Mary and Joseph cooperating. We need to put on the mind of Christ and do our daily duites for the love of God and the salvation of souls just as Mary and Joseph did. The best example for you, mommamaree, in your vocation is our Blessed Lady. Meditate on Mary’s life and try to imitate her virtues and try to do things as Mary would do them and why she would do them.

Another wonderful example and teaching of sanctifying the little things of daily life is St Therese of Lisieux. God does not call most of us to do it would seem the extraordinary things the great saints did. St Therese became a great saint by sanctifying the little things of daily life. And although her vocation was lived out in a cloistered carmelite monastery, Pope Pius XI proclaimed her Universal Patron of the Missions alongside St Francis Xavier. Sanctifying our daily duties has an universal effect. It benefits not only our ownselves and our families, but the entire church and the whole world and even the souls in purgatory.

God bless!

Yes my husband is Catholic. We converted together. We are very much on the same page spiritually. He is also VERY helpful and is never disappointed in my efforts.

We are members at the swim and tennis club, and once I get the hang of keeping four kids from drowning, I plan to make daily pool visits. We also do the Family Film Festival during the summer with the other family friends.

I am a member of a local Christian moms group, as well as Lead Coordinator for the new Catholic moms group I am starting up at our parish. I also keep in touch with my friends via texting and Facebook.

I am blessed with many opportunities for social interaction throughout the month. This is a self-discipline problem relating to the lonely nature of work associated with my vocation. Until becoming a SAHM, none of my work was ever solitary. After 8 years at home, I am still chafing at solitary work, and my difficulties adjusting occur after the addition of each new baby, or each move or transition. I cannot seem to sustain any effort at routines for my “on my own” work, despite the fact I can clean like a pro if I have someone to talk to while I work. Sometimes, on the rare occasion I can talk to someone on the phone, I can crank out serious housework without feeling like I am lifting a finger. I wish I could work like that when I am on my own! And I really would love to develop a routine where I could get all the necessary work done during the workdays, which I think is possible, if I could build up my self-discipline at working quietly on my own. :blush:

Okay, thanks! I will read St. Josemaria Escriva’s writings and St. Therese’s writings. Maybe their inspiration will help me overcome my challenges. :slight_smile:

You don’t have to be a perfectionist with household chores. Don’t have the mindset that you are a domestic servant in your own home. I know how hard it is to keep things going, and I can tell you that every chore you do today will need to be repeated over and over again.

Hobbies can help. I am past the “housewife and mother” phase of life. Just a retired widow, and not dating or planning to marry at this time. I love to paint pictures and create jewelry. I also write. I remember when as a young mother I felt depressed often. I could not understand these feelings. One day I packed up myself and my daughter and went to my mother’s house for the day. I called my husband at work to let him know I was over there.

Want to hear the “kicker”? I went over there because I felt lost and lonely. Living in a strange neighborhood was one of the hardest things for me. But that particular day, I got up in the morning and discovered a gigantic centipede in the kitchen!

Our landlord would not hire an exterminator, (the cheapskate) and I was terrified of it. They are also dangerous because of their venom. I needed the comfort of my parents and could not stay there in the apartment all day, knowing that “it” could be lurking around, waiting for its chance to attack. Once when my father was visiting the apartment my husband was still out. I did not want my father to leave. He just said, watch some TV, take a warm shower, and just relax. Easier said than done.

Sounds like a horror story, doesn’t it? I was often depressed from the time I was a young child. At the age of 5 I feared my grandma would die on me. I feared being away from home without her. I feared the devil grabbing me in the middle of the night and dragging me off.

But marriage and motherhood did not change me that much. Mostly, to keep sane, I would go to the evening Mass when my husband came home from work.

I sometimes think about what Mary’s life was like toward the end of her stay on earth. These things penetrate my consciousness now that I am older. Did she live alone at times? It could have been hard for her, too. When I say the Rosary, I try to think of Mary and her way of life as well as all the mysteries surrounding her.

Meanwhile the children are most important…not necessarily the housework, although that’s important, too. Children can be great companions as they get older. When they start to talk and walk, they get interesting.

To the bolded statement: I don’t understand…of course, I am not a servant, but these jobs ARE my responsibility. The cleaning, the laundry, the cooking, the tidying…these jobs are all part of my job as a wife, mother and homemaker. Of course, I also make time for my children, reading to them, teaching them, disciplining them, cuddling and playing with them. And I make time for my husband, too. Every night after the kids go to bed, I spend at least an hour in his company, talking or watching TV. But the fact remains that I have real work to do, too, and that it is my responsibility to see that it gets done. Right? If I don’t get the work done during the workday, either the work does not get done (which is bad) or my husband and I must sacrifice our little bit of leisure time at the end of the day, or we sacrifice our family fun time on the weekend (or even worse, we sacrifice our sleep or intimate times). So while I do not view myself as a domestic servant, I am the person responsible for getting the work done, and if I don’t do a good job, I and my family live in a messy and uncomfortable home. And since my home is also my workplace, and it is where I spend the majority of my hours, I want to have a tidy and comfortable home to enjoy. But my productivity plummets frequently when I struggle and rebel inwardly with the drudgery and solitary nature of my work. :frowning:
I am doing better today, just because of the fact that I am facing my problems head on, both here on the forum and by slaying my dragons in my thoughts. :thumbsup:

You really are not alone. For me, the loneliness and depression struck after my children left home. Here are a few things that helped me:

I tried a variety of supplements and one made a huge difference - Slo-Mag (magnesium)

For some reason, it helped me to think not in terms of “alone” or “lonely,” but of being “in solitude.”

I learned that for me, this was a time of great spiritual growth because of my pain and suffering (depression and loneliness are painful and you do suffer!) God will use this to shape you. For me, I was led into a deeper prayer life. He may have a different transformation in mind for you - perhaps as a volunteer or something else, but be open for it!

I think it’s good to remember that your husband shouldn’t be the source of you being happy or feeling fulfilled - that’s a burden he can’t carry nor fulfill … that is God’s place!

Try to see this as an opportunity! Remember 1 Thess 5:
16 Rejoice always.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. :thumbsup:

First, prayng for you…

I can relate to the ear thing!

I don’t know what to say; thus I can pray for you. Talk with your dr and pastor.
Get help from Hubby with how to get YOU time. Also, from friends and other Moms.

and CoQ10 is best absorbed with a fatty vitamin or supplement, such as fish oil or Vit. E.
Had to mention that…

God bless

I am not a SAHM, but I do most, if not all of my family’s chores.; at least, it often feels like that. When I am doing something and I begin to feel sad, lonely, or frustrated, I stop myself, take a deep breath, offer it up, and whisper a short aspiration. “Lord, I love you. Help me.” is one of my favorites.

I also try to imagine myself as Martha or Mother Mary doing work for Jesus and the disciples. I pray the Liturgy of Hours in the morning, afternoon, and evening. The “hours” are not that long or difficult to say, and help me stay focused on Christ throughout the day. I imagine myself in the throne room of Heaven, praying the Church’s prayer with all the saints. When I am having a tough time at my work, I close my eyes, return to the throne room, and lay prostrate before the throne. These imaginings only take a minute or two, but they remind me of God’s presence and help me continue on.

I take the advice of St. Frances de Sales, and try to have an intention for everything I do. I stop before I begin and remind myself that even menial chores can be a sacrifice. Reminding myself of God’s presence and his perfect will give me a little more peace when it is sometimes hard to see “the big picture” of how my work fits into Christ’s. But, in the words of the psalmist, “a humbled contrite heart You will not spurn.” It is not so much our work that pleases God, but the heart we offer with it.

I am praying for you to be released from your depression. Pray often, and consider seeing your doctor if you feel it is too much.

To the highlighted red portion:
I hadn’t thought about it that way…although it is not just him, it is anytime I have company or someone to talk to while I work. That person could be a relative or friend, but it is often my husband because we share our lives and a home.
Hmmm…I don’t think I am relying on others to make me happy…but the reality is that I am happy when in the company of other people. Also, the reality is I work a lot more effectively if I have a deadline of sorts. Then I prioritize my tasks and go about my work in a methodical way, moving from task of highest priority to lowest priority. So lack of adult companionship and lack of deadline are very problematic for me.
Although, ironically, I did a great job of getting it all done when my husband was away on business for several months. I worked myself to the bone, and then went to bed soon after the children were tucked in and asleep. I kept up on housework and errands and everything, in the hours of 8 - 8. I wish I could get back that attitude of self-sufficiency and self-discipline, even though I get the pleasure of my husband’s company now, as well as his willing assistance. [But to be honest, the fact that I was utilizing the Mothers’ Day Out program and preschool and parish school during that time and had a couple mornings a week to myself probably helped my productivity during the times when I was at home. But none of that is even an option for me now.]
Why am I so complicated? If I could figure my own self out, and do what works for me, then I would be a lot happier! LOL. :stuck_out_tongue: As it is, I am confused about why I do the stupid or unproductive things that I do. :o

To the blue portion: Wow! My favorite prayer is “Jesus, I love you. Help me!” I didn’t know anyone prayed that way.

I like the idea of having an intention for everything I do. I need to think and pray about that idea.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

Read St. Frances de Sales Introduction to the Devout Life and the small booklet, “The Spiritual Directory.” The “Directory” is the practical application of the Introduction, and in it St. Frances offers examples of these little aspirations. However, to borrow his advice, we may also use what the Holy Spirit suggests to us. One of St. Theresa of Avila’s favorite things to say was, “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!”

This page may help you: Aspirations

Salesian spirituality is very practical; even though the “Directory” was written for religious, it is perfectly usable for laity. St. Frances’ exercises are simple, and the “Directory” is very straightforward. It’s helped me a lot; I hope it helps you:
The Spiritual Directory

Can you tell I’m discerning a vocation with the Visitation? :slight_smile:

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