mental load and lists

My cousin posted a series of memes depicting how women deal with managing the majority of the mental load in families. What is the mental load? Here is part of what she posted:

I realize this is a big portion of the reason why I love planners and lists. When all of these things – do we need diapers, does daycare need more wipes, we are running out of milk, what are we all going to eat tonight, what kind of house doesn’t have back-up ketchup, when is the last time I showered – are jumbled up in my head I begin to shut down instead of act. I lose sight of what is important and what should take priority; I start to feel bad, anxious, and extra tired. My mental capacity drops and I go on auto-pilot. I stop taking care of myself in favor of all the other things that need to get done. Often, this even leads to a mental breakdown.

Writing it all down gets it out of my head. Most importantly, I often can see it’s not as bad as it seemed while pilled in my brain. Not to mention the satisfaction received from crossing something off that list. What happens when something doesn’t get done?? I put a nice, little arrow on it and start over the next day.

I LOVE my SimpleSelf daily planner because not only is there space for nice, big, sexy lists, there is also space for that so very important self care:

Maybe, even, the best thing that comes from organizing my thoughts into writing on a physical page is that it often helps me understand I have the ability to say “no” to myself. I have an amazingly supportive husband and he is wildly capable of taking on a portion of this mental load; therefore, I can let him.

Although I do still fall into the dark hole of overwhelming panic when I find myself holding a screaming child in one arm while wiping down the counters putting dishes away throwing old food away remembering we have no back-up ketchup (do those cats REALLY need food or are they just being bitchy and oh no when is the next dog food order arriving whatever they can have scrambled eggs) wondering if that smell is coming from me trying to get dressed all while wondering where my supportive husband is. (Whew… that’s about how it feels when I try to do everything…)

But gosh darn she’s cute:

And the messy living room (or “den” as my Rhode Island-born partner says) is just, somedays (okay, most days) part of the package.

Peace & Cookies!


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