There is no denying just how challenging being a parent can be in general. However, there's an extra workload that is added to what moms must accomplish on a daily basis: the mental workload. Also known as the "invisible" load that we carry on our shoulders each day to not only get everything accomplished for our families, but to make sure that we remember to get everything done. Oh, and all that reminding, too.
A mom recently opening up through a Reddit Parenting subreddit on this topic and completely unloaded in the most relatable way ever.
The powerful post that is touching moms everywhere is called, "The Invisible Load of Motherhood is Killing Me Slowly. Just the title is spot on. The original poster (OP), wrote the piece under the handle cmillz87, shared that in addition to facing impending seasonal affective disorder (SAD), she's been "slowly succumbing to the very real invisible load of motherhood," Parents reported.
She started by saying, "I have effectively been battling this giant for almost 12 years, and it has finally caught up with me, now I feel like it’s killing me. If you are a mom and don’t immediately recognize the expression 'invisible load,' I can guarantee you are more familiar with it than you believe. You know all those things that you do, the things that go unnoticed—but if you stopped doing them would immediately be felt by the entire household? All those intricacies that keep everyone comfortable, aligned, balanced and organized. The things that everyone thinks happen magically and are necessary but after you put that last kid in bed (for the third time) leaves you screaming in a pillow or sobbing uncontrollably in the closet because you are exhausted and overwhelmed."
To make sure that all readers understood exactly what this invisible load entailed (ahem: Dads everywhere), she bullet point style made it incredibly clear for anyone who might not understand.
- Making sure your family is social
- Planning and attending get-togethers
- Knowing your kids’ friend’s names along with the names of their parents
- Remembering to send thank you cards
- Managing the family calendar while avoiding conflicts
- Changing out the seasonal clothing and knowing when and where to donate or pass on to a friend
- Doling out punishments and restrictions
- Changing rules as they age out, figuring out what is appropriate for them to watch or listen to, what apps they can or can not have
Then of course, moms are also:
- Keeping up with vaccines
- Lysoling all the doorknobs and light switch cover during flu season
- Planning dinner, snacks, and lunches making sure the kids aren’t overindulging in trash food
- Fostering healthy habits
- Knowing who is going to fight you at dinner because they hate carrots
- Asking themselves about their child's grooming schedule
- Coordinating with teachers, making sure no one is falling behind, staying up to date on class goings-on, pick up and drop off logistics, encouraging practices for music, sports, and other extracurriculars
- Overseeing homework
- Assisting with projects
- Picking up supplies for class parties
- Taking mental note of the "cool kid" and the bully at each child's school
- Noting peers who are positive influences
- Managing social media activity and screen time
- Navigating trends
- Worrying about and then explaining the latest and ongoing tragedies of the world
This is a huge weight that we carry around with us every single day and probably why so many of us are stressed to the brink. Since her honest words resonated with so many people, there were an outpour of comments in response saying things like, "It is reassuring just to know that you are not the only one that isn’t in love with being mommy 24/7, who is struggling to make it through her day-to-day or that the people who look like they have everything together fall apart more often than we realize," cmillz87 wrote.
"Again I’ll say, some days are better than others; some days I put a good face feeling like I’ve got it, other days I am one book bag on the floor from losing my shit. I am doing my best to improve my feeling overwhelmed by sharing more with my husband about things he can help me with as well as trying to make time alone more of a priority. Time to myself isn’t always possible but when I do have a few minutes, I use them to meditate, read or do yoga. I specifically choose these activities because I know even in short doses they have the biggest mental pay off for me."
Ending her post with saying that "the trenches of motherhood are real," we feel her so hard.