The life of being a mother has so many complexities that truly understanding it, or capturing it fully can be a daunting task. In talking with you today about this particular aspect of motherhood, it’s something that I feel is something as Moms we don’t take into consideration as a real part of our health and wellness.
Have you been feeling like your relationship with your husband has become, at times, more of a struggle than it used to be? Or, maybe you’ve been feeling completely drained after a full night’s rest so consistently that you think it’s your new way of being. Are you even finding yourself constantly worried about simply just keeping your kids alive? Perhaps you are wondering when the last time you took a shower was. There are so many physical manifestations of the mental load of motherhood, that I could ask you questions for the entirety of this blog, and the answer to all of them would be yes.
Mental load is a relatively new concept in regards to understanding motherhood, the effects that motherhood takes on the health and wellness of all mothers, and how this impacts your daily life. Interestingly, it was a French comic that first introduced the world to this concept three years ago. It’s truly amazing how an expression of art can have an impact on mother’s everywhere, isn’t it?
Today, I wanted to take some time with you to dive into the mental load of motherhood, as well as look at ways in which I’ve found can work to help bring you back to a space of gratitude and presence with your family.
One of the biggest parts of my own mental load during the first year of Ford’s life has been not feeling like that I can even ask for Brock’s help to do the simple things around the house. Taking the time to openly, vulnerably, and honestly communicate with your husband or partner can be a really scary moment as a Mom. You’re worried that you have to take care of it all on your own because it’s your “job,” and that it would make you less than adequate to not juggle every ball in the air successfully. But, trust me when I say, finding the courage to simply ask your husband to help with your children, or to take on more management of the household, is worth stepping outside of that fear. Remember, fear is False Evidence Appearing Real, and a mind fatigued by the mental load you’re experiencing from labor and household management can become rife with this false evidence. Asking for not only the emotional support of your partner, but for assistance in areas of the household that you cannot possibly manage, even if you feel you must, will leave you feeling supported, validated, and fulfilled.
Not feeling supported can lead to becoming overwhelmed with stress. This impacts and limits your ability to find those moments of grace, presence, and authentic appreciation for your child and your family that are so desired and necessary for a healthy state of mind.
Maybe you’ve seen the impacts of this displaying themselves as self-sabotage in your relationship. Things like keeping score, criticizing, being overly impatient, micromanaging, or even taking things personally that aren’t meant at all to be personal, are all signals of what happens as a mother when you’re trying to be superwoman!
Now, a woman who feels supported, like I do with Brock, is one who feels fulfilled and fully self-expressed. When it comes to our household and Ford, Brock and I find that balance necessary so that the mental load of motherhood doesn’t impact my own health and wellness, let alone our relationship.
Working together with your partner to manage the schedule of your home is vital. Who’s taking the baby to childcare this morning? Who’s going to do the grocery shopping? Finding time to meal prep together and connect with your husband or partner is something I can speak from personal experience that impacts my health in positive ways.
Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself. Run that warm bath with lavender at night and read a good book for an hour. Give yourself permission to connect with your own mental health because feeling connected to who you are allows you to be a more attentive, caring, providing, and loving mother.
What are some ways you can work together within your family to find the balance that will alleviate your own mental load?