Six Ways To Share The Mental Load
There are a lot of articles out there in the world that discuss how women take on a more significant mental load than men. It’s true: mothers and wives tend to think more about what goes on in the house behind the scenes than husbands and fathers. The mental load is the brain space that you give to all the stuff in life. The organising, the planning, the keeping track of all the things. From appointments to chores, childcare to calendar items, women tend to keep track of these things, and even in relationships where both parties work full time, women still take on all this extra.
Of course, we should say not *all* relationships work this way, but let’s go with the statistics. The only way to honestly know the mental load of your partner is to share everything – and we mean everything. If one of you deals with the car issues and the air compressor servicing, the other needs to learn about it to know what happens when something goes wrong. It’s the one of you who is cooking who will understand what’s required on the shopping list – so the other maybe needs to pick up the cooking slack to also share the mental load. You get the picture. So, how can you share it together and ensure that you’re individually not drowning?
It sounds easier than it is, but it’s time to stop being a perfectionist. You need to let go of the fact you think your partner is “doing it wrong.” Different is not always wrong, so if you think that your partner is wrong in how they do something, lower your standards and be thankful they’re doing whatever it is at all!
Don’t Baby Them
You are both equal grown-ups in an equal partnership. He can do the childcare and the cooking just as well as you can fix the car and call the air repair man. You’re both perfectly capable of doing your equal share of the jobs. Don’t baby your partner.
Don’t Be The Backup
In the same line of thinking, don’t give your partner an out. You’ve all heard yourselves use the phrase, “I’ll be faster if I just do it myself.” Sure, but that doesn’t help your partner to learn anything.
Family Calendars Work
As you and your partner have busy lives, input what you’re doing in a shared calendar. That way, before plans are set up, you can check the calendar and know whether there is space for what you want to do!
No More Follow Up
If you’ve tasked your kids with tidying their rooms and clearing their laundry, then it’s not up to you to follow that up and issue reminders. Otherwise, you’re keeping hold of the mental load!
Suggestions Are Not Instructions
If you have been asked whether something would look good in the house, don’t take that as an instruction to look at the thing that would look good. Suggest that they check it out themselves.
The mental load needs to be shared: chores and all!
Categories: Outside Contributors