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The Mental Load of Motherhood

How to Get a Break From the Emotional Burden of Being a Mom

Even if you have a wonderful partner who shares the labor of parenting, mothers often shoulder the bulk of the mental load that comes along with raising kids.

Moms, if you've ever felt like your brain could explode the next time something else gets added to your to-do list, keep reading. I'll share some of the top insights, tips, and pieces of advice that have worked for the many moms I've counseled.

If you're overwhelmed, you're not alone

First things first, there's something every mom needs to understand: you're not the only one who feels overwhelmed. It's easy to forget this simple fact, especially when you're bombarded by images and advice from seemingly “perfect” moms (especially on blogs and social media).

If you're still not convinced, just read these three accounts from fellow mothers:

I Wasn't Prepared For The Mental Workload Of Motherhood

This Comic Perfectly Explains the Mental Load Working Mothers Bear

The Mental Workload Of A Mother

Becoming comfortable with asking for help

Asking for more help is a double-edged sword. On one hand, being the de-facto family manager who doles out tasks is one of the main reasons you're so stressed out in the first place! You shouldn't have to ask for help, right? Well, not necessarily.

The key is to ask for the type of help you really need.

Here's a summary of one mom's solution (the emphasis is mine): “So I swallowed my pride on both counts and started asking for more help. 365 days a year, too, not just on Mother's Day. The trick was asking for the right kind of help: Rather than serving as a family micromanager, doling out random tasks left and right, I asked my husband to take on certain responsibilities as his own. Can you be in charge of remembering this thing? Can you be responsible for keeping an eye on that? Can you put a reminder in your calendar to check on that every Wednesday?”

According to this woman, the emotional burden she was bearing shifted dramatically. Her partner finally started to understand all of the “little” things that went into parenting and maintaining a home. As a result, she no longer felt like she was handling the emotional toll of being a parent on her own.

Taking care of your mental health as a mother

If the mental load of motherhood has made you feel anxious, depressed, or just completely overwhelmed, finding someone to talk to can help. Moms face all sorts of unique mental health challenges ( single moms are generally even more emotionally overwhelmed ).

Many women find solace in speaking with a trusted therapist, particularly one who's skilled in women's counseling .