According to the now 23-year-old, who wrote about her experience in a Facebook post that has since gone viral, she was often told how “lucky” she was to be able to stay at home with her children rather than returning to work, but actually finds it extremely “lonely”.
“When I told them I was a stay-at-home mum, and planned to be for quite a few years, they would always go on to say how lucky I was,” she wrote. “Or how I should be so appreciative for that opportunity. But all I could think in my mind was: ‘Then why do I feel so f***ing lonely all the time?’”
And while she acknowledges that she is “very grateful” for being able to stay at home with her children for four years, Fladager said that no one prepared her for the downsides and the mental health struggles that come with being a stay-at-home mother.
She continued: “Nobody tells you about how much you will lose your patience. Nobody tells you that you won’t leave the house sometimes for days. Nobody tells you how hard it is asking for help when you need it.”
According to Fladager, being a full-time mother also means being “stuck” in the same routine every day, and feeling as if you have not done enough, “no matter how many hours are in a day”.
Fladager then goes on to explain that just because she is able to stay at home with her children doesn’t mean “I can’t talk about how hard it is.”
She concluded the post reminding other stay-at-home mothers “you are not alone”.
“We all struggle to find ‘me’ time,” she wrote. “We all struggle asking for help. We all struggle with feeling isolated. Being a stay-at-home mum is f***ing lonely.”
In response to the post, which has been shared more than 75,000 times, Fladager has received both criticism and support.
Some have reminded Fladager that being a stay-at-home mum is a “privilege” – and one that many mothers are not able to experience.
“Get a part time job? I just don’t get how you can be so blessed and then complain,” one person wrote. “I was a stay-at-home mum for two years. I would always make trips to the park or to get 50-cent ice cream or take walks just to get out of the house. It’s what you make of it…”
However, the post has also resonated with hundreds of other stay-at-home mothers, who have agreed that it can be lonely.
“Perfectly said,” one mother wrote. “I have been a stay-at-home mum for 14 years. It’s so very lonely, but there are so many ups. I am so very grateful that I was able to raise my kids and continue to do so. Try to find time for yourself and stay positive. It gets better.”
Another said: “So very true! I feel the same way. I’m lucky, happy, sad and lonely all at the same time. Thank you for sharing this story.”