The First Step In Managing The Mental Load Of Motherhood

managing the mental load of motherhood

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Is anyone else here tired of being in charge of everything and ready to take the first step in managing the mental load of motherhood? …then keep on reading!

Some days it might be nice to be in charge. Everything runs smoothly and exactly to your liking. However, the moment you need some time off, want to take a break, or just having an off day, it seems like the sky is about to fall. You then realize that you’ve made yourself indispensable and it feels overwhelming.

How Do I Drop My Mental Load?

The reason many moms are carrying the mental load of the family is that they are not aware of it. It’s happened in automatic and until you can point it out, it remains on your shoulders. Historically women have been the caretakers of the home, so we are talking about generations of learned behavior from both genders. This makes a change that much more difficult!

Carrying the mental load of the whole family is exhausting, especially when you are also working a full-time job. If you are seeking to find more time in your life, today is the best day to change the family dynamic. You are down the path of having other adults in your family unit take on some of that mom to-do list.

Stop being the CEO of the family and start sharing those responsibilities with your partner.

This checklist will help you put into writing your mental lists and includes 6 main categories for families living with toddlers.

Share the weight of motherhood with your spouse and start enjoying your life again.

    3 Step Process To Drop Your Mental Load

    1. Understand

    2. Write Down

    3. Communicate

    How Do I Explain My Mental Load To Others?

    The best way to help others understand the weight of your mental load is to practice talking about it. It can be hard to formulate an issue that you don’t quite fully understand. Sometimes the feelings of overwhelm from your mental load could appear as just a personal issue, rather than a family one.

    Below are a few example phrases you can use to start the conversation of your mental load, in an attempt to redistribute the mental to-do list of the family.

    Ex phrase 1.

    “My mental load is a running list of tasks in my mind. We all have them but as moms, we tend to take over the list for the whole family. This includes everything needed to go through the day such as meals, pick-ups, phone calls, appointments, and so on. It’s basically a second full-time job on top of my existing one. I need help.”

    Ex phrase 2.

    “Although I know you do a lot for this family, I have realized that I am the default caretaker for our child and it is starting to become too much for me. In order to complete all the required tasks, I need to keep a running to-do list in my mind. I have written down everything I do to keep our child’s life running smoothly. Let me show you…”

    Ex phrase 3.

    “I have realized that I carry all the mental responsibilities for the care of our child. It’s no one’s fault that it happened this way, but I’d really appreciate it if we can sit down and I show you how much I am doing. Maybe then we can talk about rearranging some of those responsibilities”.

    How Do You Share The Mental Load Of Parenting?

    Parenting is like playing team sports. It works best when everyone knows their roles and can coordinate accordingly. If you are lucky, this can happen naturally, but for the majority of families, someone becomes the master coordinator and everyone else their assistant. Moms tend to become the CEO of the family and in this case, it’s an unpaid, unseen position.

    The first step to sharing the mental load of parenting is to write down what is required in your child’s life. This is everything from sun up to sundown, varying needs of the seasons, and everything in between. Organizing your mental to-do list will appear to be an impossible task. Luckily I am here to help you get started.

    Download these worksheets to start getting your mental load on paper. Only then can you can have a productive conversation with your partner on how to change things up.

    You can use this free worksheet to follow along and get your mom’s to-do list under control!

    List Of Mental Load Tasks

    The easiest way to manage the mental load of motherhood is to pretend that you are leaving for a week and need to relay everything to the adult in charge.

    I like to start with a total brain dump and just jot everything that comes to mind. There doesn’t need to be any underlying organization to what you write, just put it down on paper.

    A few areas that usually come up are morning routine, meals, clothing, getting ready, hygiene, getting out of the house, screen time, family communications, toys, expenses, medical, child care, social life, clean up.

    The next step is to start organizing all the different areas of your child’s care into main headings. If you are not sure where to start I suggest these in my mental load worksheet –>which you can download for free here

    1. Daily Routine
    2. Seasonal
    3. Weekends
    4. Medical
    5. Child Care
    6. Meals

    Next, for each main category, write down the whole to-do list for each. As you follow along with this exercise you’ll notice just how much you have been carrying on your shoulders.

    You Are Not Responsible For Everything

    When the weight of the to-do list is stopping you from enjoying your life, it is time to simplify and delegate. The mental load is most often carried by women, so don’t feel bad if you have found yourself in this type of family dynamic.

    It actually found that women with high-paying careers are more likely to carry the mental load of the family. (I guess it’s that type A personality shining through).

    It’s never too late to make positive change. Understanding that you should not feel responsible for everyone’s well-being is a HUGE first step in managing the mental of motherhood. I believe that YOU got what it takes to push through and relieve yourself of being responsible for everything.

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