You're the mum, not the maid

Have you been feeling the mental load more than usual lately?

Have you been noticing you're taking on a lot of the "default parent" tasks all by yourself?

  • Doing more of the household management tasks (cooking, cleaning, etc) because your partner seems more stressed than usual
  • Scheduling the doctor, dentist, vaccination, hairdresser appointments for the kids - and automatically being the parent to take them as well
  • Enforcing the boundaries at home - time to put devices away, time to tidy up, time to take a shower, time for bed, time for lights out and noticing that if you don't do it, it doesn't happen
  • Trying to keep everyone happy because you're uncomfortable with confrontation (even though they all want different things and none of those things are actually that important to you anyway)

Have you been finding yourself picking up after the kids or micromanaging when they do things like:

  • Take off their shoes and socks when they get home and just dump them on the floor where they're sitting
  • Get a snack, unwrap it, eat, it, and leave the wrapper behind on the table or floor
  • Ask you where things are when they are put away and easy to find (they just didn't bother looking)
  • Ask you where things are because they haven't put them away and can't remember where they left them
  • Leave things to the last minute (packing their school bag, brushing their hair) and freak out when it looks like they don't have enough time to do it at the last minute

I want to take a minute today to validate how frustrating this is.

You're the mum, not the maid.

You shouldn't have to take on more in order to make things easier for everyone else. That's not sharing the load, that's giving you the load.

Even if your partner has work tomorrow, they should help at home. You have work tomorrow too, whether that’s paid work (in the home or out of it) or unpaid work (keeping the kids alive, safe and cared for). 

Both are important.

I don't have a simple solution for this one, unfortunately. It happens over and over again and the only choices we seem to have are:

  1. Do it all ourselves and risk overwhelm and burnout
  2. Ask, remind or "nag" our loved ones to help more and risk them getting cranky at us
  3. Throw our hands in the air and give up for a while, let things fall where they fall.. and then a few days later pick it all up again because who else will?

So if you're feeling frustrated, please know you are not alone.

It's also not your responsibility to have "chosen the right type of partner and not settle for one who doesn't help".

Or to have "raised your kids to help more around the house".

Or to "just make the best of it because you chose to partner up and have children".

I don't have a simple solution or the perfect answer for this, but I will share one thing I do that helps a little.

Every now and then, I just up and take a beak.

I go to the movies by myself every week. I take a weekend away alone now and then, and even a holiday by myself for a week or two once a year, and I don't prep meals, go grocery shopping, or get the washing done before I go.

The times I take a break are the times the rest of the family realises how much I do, and learn that they can do it too.

It's easier for me to do this now that my kids are older, and if you have babies and toddlers, I promise, it will get easier for you too in a few years.

Not easy. But easier.

x Marissa