Lightening the Mental Load for Mother’s Day: A Dad’s Perspective
I’m a dad working at a company for moms so I’ve got the tea on what every mom wants this Mother’s Day. Forget the flowers and chocolates. Let’s talk about the best gift you can give her: the gift of lightening the mental load. Permanently.
What is the mental load, you ask? Great question, my friend. Remember that time you asked your spouse where the extra toilet paper rolls were and she knew the exact location? That's because she's likely the one who's been keeping track of it all along. The mental load is the invisible labor that moms often take on, like managing schedules, making appointments, and attending to the kids' emotional needs.
It's the emotional and psychological weight of always being "on" and making countless decisions throughout the day. Sounds tiring, right? It is.
For the past four years, I have been the primary caregiver of our children, so I have had to take on various tasks that require me to carry more of this invisible load. It’s fucking exhausting. Despite that, my wife likely still carries more of that weight than I do.
Research shows that almost 90% of moms feel solely responsible for their family's schedule, which is burning them out. As dads, we can do better. So this Mother's Day, let's give our spouses the gift they truly deserve: the gift of lightening their mental load.
Educate yourself: As G.I. Joe said, “Knowing is half the battle!” First things first, let's acknowledge that the mental load exists. Reading this article is a great start, but dig deeper. Talk to your spouse about it, read up on it, and truly understand what she's going through. Knowledge is power, gentlemen.
Share the load: Now that you're aware of the mental load, it's time to step up and share the responsibility. Take over some of the tasks she's been managing, such as scheduling appointments, coordinating after-school activities, or ensuring there are enough snacks for the kids to last the week—while knowing their allergies!
Be proactive: Don't wait for her to ask for help; anticipate her needs and offer your assistance. If you see her juggling too much, step in and offer a helping hand. Trust me, she'll appreciate it.
Communicate, communicate, communicate: The key to a successful partnership is communication. Have open and honest conversations about the mental load and how you can work together to lighten it. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work.
Stop the weaponized incompetence: You know what I'm talking about – it's when you "accidentally" mess up a task, so your spouse ends up doing it for you. It might seem harmless at first, but in reality, it only adds to the mental load our partners carry. So, fellow dads, let's make a pact to leave weaponized incompetence in the past and step up our game.
Show appreciation: Lastly, let her know that you see and appreciate all the hard work she's putting in. A simple "thank you" or "I appreciate you" can go a long way.
So dads, this Mother's Day, let's give the moms in our lives a break from the relentless mental load. Let's show them that we see them, we hear them, and we're here to help. After all, isn't that what partnership is all about?
Now go forth and be the awesome, supportive dads I know you can be. And hey, maybe throw in some flowers and chocolates, too. Just for good measure.