A WOMAN’S SHARE: THE MENTAL LOAD
Have you guys heard of this? I read an article on it last year in the New York Times (although there have been several articles written on it before and since) and I’ve never quite gotten it out of my head. And I don’t know how to fix it.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this phenomenon, prepare to have your mind blown.
The fact is, whether you stay home with the kids or you work, the role of CEO of the household tends to (not always, but a lot) be occupied by moms. Men expect their partner to ask them to do things, to delegate. In doing this, he is viewing her as the manager of household chores. He gets mad when she explodes because he “would have helped if she just asked”. What men don’t understand is that having to ask means we women are still having to keep a running tally in our heads of everything that needs to be done around the house.
At any given time, I, as a wife and mother, have a running list of groceries, meal plans, calendars (which must go out about a year at a time), bills, doctor’s appointments, laundry, when the kids might need new clothes, my own work stuff, when the last time the dog was walked, etc. The mental load means always having to remember.
The result of bearing it is utter exhaustion, and eventual explosion. The below illustration sums it up rather perfectly, I think!
I mean, pretty accurate stuff there, huh? The fact is, even if you have a husband who helps with chores, his chores wouldn’t be possible without the wife magically making them so in the background. For example, my husband takes out the trash every week. But he wouldn’t be able to do that if I hadn’t spent time researching a garbage pick up service (our town doesn’t have one) and paid the invoice every quarter, or kept trash bags on hand. You see? I can delegate chores, and I’m thankful for the help, but it doesn’t take much if any of the mental load off my plate.
Does this resonate with you? Do you have tips on how to get your partner to share the mental load? Shoot me a message on Insta and let me know! @goodjane.co.
Also please read the entire illustration by Emma called You Should’ve Asked here: https://english.emmaclit.com/2017/05/20/you-shouldve-asked/