As I began to write this article, I had a clear mind. I had slept a full 7 hours and had time to thoughtfully plan out what I thought was going to be an extremely articulate and thoughtful piece that would appeal to women across the board.
But then, my 3 year old wanted breakfast so I hopped to work on that, only to realize the dishwasher was clean and needed to be unloaded. As you can imagine, between serving breakfast, cleaning the kitchen and dishes, refilling the paper towels, and other various early morning tasks required to get my daughter ready for pre-school, my genius article was quickly forgotten.
Fast forward to now: It’s 7:30 PM, 13 hours later, and I am Googling how to have this article written for me because I no longer have the capacity to put together a thoughtful sentence, much less an entire article!
Being a woman in a relationship, married or unmarried, and with or without kids means you are likely in charge all the minutia; aka the mental load. This is not to say that men cannot take on the mental load, but from my point of view, women tend to the main “organizer”.
The mental load is all the mental work, the organizing, list-making and planning, that you do to manage your life, and that of those dependent on you. One task(s) that come to mind are making sure the shopping has been done, the fridge is stocked, and dinner has been planned for the whole week. Even if it’s a plan to go out, the nightly meal plan has been covered. It is exhausting!
Although we, as a society, have many discussions on the gender distribution of housework and childcare, the mental load is unexplainable but felt by many with no language to describe it. Whenever you take on the organization of your household’s daily tasks, you become the supervisor of your family and this casts the other members in a helping role.
So how are we expected to do it all? Women today manage the home, work, raise children, and manage various other tasks within their many familial relationships. Each one of the items listed above can be considered a full-time job in itself. So how do you balance? Do you make time for yourself? What are your best methods for staying sane? Share in the comments below!