parent opinion

The moment between Kate Ritchie and Maggie Dent that you're not supposed to talk about.

Women are very tired of having to carry the mental load for their loved ones. 

There is the never-ending 'to-do' list of work or domestic chores that permanently cycles through our minds, the worry about loved ones, and the inner critic that constantly reminds us of all the things we might have done wrong 10 years ago. 

It can be hard to switch off from this demanding voice, and the bigger our responsibilities or families; the greater the mental load can be. And this truth is hard for some of the men, husbands and dads in our lives to full understand or appreciate.

Well-loved Aussie actor and broadcaster, Kate Ritchie, ended up in tears yesterday on her evening radio show 'Witzy and Wippa with Kate Ritchie' after parenting expert, Maggie Dent, spoke about the mental load for women and the difference for men.

The segment has since gone viral on social media as women comment on and share Maggie's incredibly relatable words. 

Watch Maggie Dent chat on the Fity and Wippa with Kate Ritchie radio show. Post continues below. 

Video via Instagram @kateritchieofficial

"Can I show the slight difference between mums and dads?" Maggie says to the Nova hosts Kate Ritchie, Ryan 'Fitzy' Fitzgerald and Michael 'Wippa' Wipfli in the studio.


"Like, when you go to bed at night. Because the singular focus of most males means 'I'm going to go to bed and go to sleep' and so you go to bed and go to sleep. So the mum comes to bed to go to sleep, but we're biologically wired to make sure that we're caring really well because of oestrogen.

"So we'll go through every decision we made during the day from you know breakfast, right through [to bedtime] and you know well [worrying that the kids] didn't eat enough broccoli and did I have enough for them in the lunchbox."

As Fitzy and Wippa question if this is "a female thing", Maggie explains that it is not just the daily chores list that mums scroll back through and "beat ourselves up" about, but we worry about future and past events too.

"Then suddenly we're wondering if they'll get into university and then we've gone back and regret something we did at our 21st and then we've come forward to the kids again and are comparing [them] to someone else. 

"Then we've gone, 'oh my god, my eyebrows, I need to book that in,' before remembering there's a load of washing [to deal with]."

The highly relatable mental load train of thought that Maggie describes has Kate Ritchie nodding along before she gets emotional and starts to cry.

"This is the Mum Brain," Maggie exclaims to Fitzy and Wippa.

"This is the mental load we carry for the people we love. 


"What I want sometimes is for our dads to recognise is that we're wired differently and we want the dads to jump in and say 'I've got this!'"

After watching the clip online many hundreds of women jumped into the comments to relate to Maggie's words and Kate's emotional reaction.

"Yes!!!!!!! This is why I need to listen to podcasts to get to sleep at night," one woman writes on Facebook.

"It’s not because they’re boring and make me go to sleep, it’s because it’s the only way to stop the inner dialogue and relax!"

Another woman had to show the clip to her husband to help explain her feelings on the subject.

"I cannot bring this up without my husband becoming defensive. I literally cannot even explain it properly before it is shut down. I shared this video and asked him to watch it. I heard Maggie say the same thing last week to Hamish Blake, and he also tried to interrupt her. It makes the men so uncomfortable, but they NEED to listen!"

As Kate says, this mental load of inner dialogue just "never stops" and it is for so many women just too much to carry alone.

It's time for the men and dads in your life to not just listen  - but sit in that discomfort and learn from it.

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Senior Lifestyle Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram.

Feature Image: Instagram @kateritchieofficial / Canva.

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