The mental load of Motherhood. Far out where do I begin?
The toddler needs breakfast, he will want to make it himself, should I move the bowls down a draw so they're easier to reach? What about the milk if I buy 1L it's easier for him to pour but the 2L is better value. The baby needs breakfast now too, what's the safest way to serve avocado to a 9 month old? And on and on it goes. The safety and well-being of our kids, scheduling, chores, budgeting, it all seems to fall on our shoulders. The burden is high and with how complicated life is, admittedly by our own fault, it's not going to ease any time soon.
We can value the principles of slow living and implement simplicity as much as possible, but being the Matriarch of a household doesn't give you unilateral control over everyone's choices and the way they want to live their lives. So we support and tackle the chores as best we can no matter what we're going through personally.
Ask any Mum how she is going and she will tell you the mental burden of motherhood is heavy. Lol, no she won't, she will smile through the exhaustion and tell you she's good. So, what do we do to help? Well, in my opinion the best thing to do is to go with it. Lean in. Telling a mother 'oh they will be fine! You should relax and let Dad handle it!' Isn't going to either reduce the burden nor ease her worry. Empathise, offer tips or hacks when asked, for example I like to have a formula dispenser filled with pre portioned serves of formula so I can more easily make bottles one handed and I swear by Click & Collect and microwave meals for convenience. I started a whole business around convenience! Starting a baby brand offering pre packed nappy bags for new Mums to take one worry off their long list. When we learn as we go we can be a safe space for each other and the Mums in our life, let them say 'it's a lot isn't it' without judgement.
Having understanding of the mental load of Motherhood is kind of like joining a club. A very non-exclusive dive bar club where the floors are sticky and the drinks are expensive but they play RNB from the early 2000's so we keep paying the $20 entry to take 1000 pics on the dance floor of our adorable kids doing any seemingly mundane task, wait. I mixed my metaphor. But you get my gist.
So what do we do about it? We plan, we schedule, we vent to our friends and delegate as best as possible and keep on going. Best of all we help the other new Mums who have just stumbled in the door looking bewildered at the blatant sticky layer on the floor. We take them under our wings and ask to see photos of their kids, we swap tips about dinner prep and laugh about the fact we gave them $20 and a full night sleep for this sticky, exhausting, intense and wonderful club.
Emma is the founder and CEO of Angus The Label, Mum of two and Step Mum of two. A self described tree hugger Emma brings a particular bougie vibe to sustainability and minimalism through her company and loves to build community within her space.