The weight of the responsibility of being a mother and parent can be crushing. On top of that, there is a part of motherhood that I could not have prepared for. I’m talking about the invisible load of motherhood. All the things you think about, schedule, make a list for (oh my gosh the LISTS!), all the agendas you keep in your head at all times, and all the tasks you complete that no one notices. This mental load is not something that you can see completed, it’s not visible. This lis is never completed, only added to. For example, if you do the dishes at home, that’s a visible task, you can see the end result, a clean sink and sparkling dishes. Doing the laundry, also visible and you can see the end result. Trying to figure out how much food you still have in your house and creating the grocery list to go shopping, (or for some of us who have given up on going into the store – ordering groceries), pre-planning the meals for that week, writing Thank You cards, remembering Grandma’s birthday, dusting, organizing and cleaning the refrigerator (at least my family never notices), noting everything your kid ate that day hoping they ate enough vegetables, and on and on and on…ALL of that is invisible. You don’t see those results when you walk into your home to find that it’s a total mess, and the seven tiger figurines that you already picked up four times today are back out in the middle of the floor.
So ladies (and fellas and partners) let’s give ourselves a break this holiday season. That invisible load isn’t going anywhere, it’s part of parenting that we signed up for but didn’t read the fine print on! So cope with it, because it’s a stressor that you need to work through, not fight against. Find the time to relax your mind. Try meditation, or journaling. Try mindlessly watching a tv show or youtube channel WITHOUT feeling guilty that some visible task in the house still needs completed. Or give your christmas cookies a break and maybe take a walk on the dreadmill…(talking to myself on that one!). There will ALWAYS be something that needs to get done, but it may not need to be done right now. Elf on the shelf? Nope, not today little buddy! Even that mischievous elf needs a break sometimes!
And for the partners who aren’t charged with the Invisible Load To Do List, recognize that the invisible load your partner is carrying is bigger than Santa’s sack of presents that he carries for one night, and they carry it ALL YEAR. So maybe do something extra special to show them how much you appreciate all they do to keep your kids fed, your household running and your lives together! No better time like the PRESENT to show your partner how much you love and appreciate them. And do not just get them a robe…(insert eye rolling here). Although I did actually put a robe on my wish list this year!
Stay good friends!
Want more content on working through stress versus fighting against it? Stay tuned for the next one!