If you’re a mum, you’ll know exactly what I mean about living with the mental load.
It’s the in-your-head to do list that never stops. More and more jobs are added daily, making it feel as though you’re trying to stuff a giant sleeping bag into a sack that’s too damn small.
What’s the sexiest thing in the world? Sharing the load, of course. Post continues after video.
The appointments, mufti days, library books, car servicing, excursion notes, childcare, presents, groceries, birth control, quotes, raffle tickets, home readers, hat parades, meal planning, cleaning, dog walking, bin day, nits, thank you notes, after school activities, canteen, bills, gardening, gold coin donations, play dates, holiday bookings, lunch boxes. You know, just, ALL THE THINGS.
It wasn’t until I listened to a podcast interviewing organisation and equality guru Eve Rodsky that I thought to myself, ‘When did I become the person in charge of all the things? And how do I give some of them back?’
Much of the time, us mums take on these tasks from the beginning. We get VERY GOOD at the tasks. Too good. So good that nobody else can do them ‘right’ so they don’t even try (and you don’t ask).
The Quicky discusses the solution for managing the neverending to-do list. Post continues after podcast.
You wouldn’t let your partner just ‘have a go’ at packing the nappy bag for you one day because (you are certain) you would end up at Target with a poo-covered baby and a nappy bag containing zero wipes or spare clothes.
So you just let the mental load rain down on your head. Until you find yourself driving around at 9pm looking for a red t-shirt that is PLAIN WITHOUT LOGOS for the school play and you just pull over and think, ‘Is this my life?’
Or you end up having an emotional meltdown when you see happy snaps on Facebook from a birthday party that your child was supposed to be at, but you missed it as you forgot to write it on the calendar (*raises hand*).
Why won’t we just… share?
Discussing her new book, Fair Play: Share the Mental Load, Re-balance your Relationship and Transform your Life, Rodsky suggests that to share the load with our partners we write down everything (on separate cards) that needs to be done. Like, everything.