Can Mindfulness & Modeling With Our Kids Overcome Impatience?

Regain Presence Despite Mental Load Overwhelm

After conducting an anonymous survey with 225 Moms, to gauge how the ‘mental load’ from carrying the always-on to-do list, affects everything from careers to health and family relationships, 79% shared they experience increased anger, worry and distraction with their kids.

“…Throughout dinner and bedtime, I feel like I’m pushing my kids off, like ‘I’ll look at your picture…after I finish unloading the dishwasher,’ or ‘As soon as I’m done making your sandwich, I’ll be right there.’  All they want is my attention but I just don’t have it to give unless I want to do two hours of chores after they go to bed, which I don’t!  I try to get it all done before they go to bed…(after) I can take a shower, then sit down and rest.”

Mom Is A Utility

We preach the value of attentiveness and focus to our children. Yet unmade beds and unread messages vie for our mindshare. Constantly. In most families, Mom-energy powers everything from hugs to planning playdates…leaving little space for the trial, error or antics of childhood.

“They view me as regularly stressed… There’s really no full down time between what I need to do and the kids’ schedules.”

“I have less patience when I’m overburdened, which leads to being short tempered…and less engaged with them. I feel like I can’t stop and play Legos® or help with a craft because I have TOO MUCH TO DO!!!” Continue reading “Can Mindfulness & Modeling With Our Kids Overcome Impatience?”

Ask for More! The Roadmap to Equal Partnership At Home

#MomsSelf-Care #ShareTheInvisibleWorkLoad #StrongCouplesBuildStrongFamilies

In most families, household and childcare logistics fall to Mom. The complexity of scheduling everything, from doctors appointments to play dates, is more laborious than you think. Stress, from juggling impossible schedules and the always-on mental to-do list, becomes oppressive. By the time we realize it’s unsustainable, we’re exhausted and desperate for relief.

Eventually, the epiphany that one person needn’t ‘own’ all of the kid and household planning in a two-adult family, brings hope. Until then, trying to renegotiate with our spouse, kicks off an unexpectedly draining and emotional chess match. Love for our kids is unconditional, but the spousal bond is different. We trust and commit with strings. We expect mutual support of our dreams and well-being.

“Even mothers who work for pay are still doing twice the amount of housework and child care as fathers,” Continue reading “Ask for More! The Roadmap to Equal Partnership At Home”

Overwhelmed? How To Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time!

Book Review and Conversation with Author Brigid Schulte

#MomsSelf-Care #WhysBehindMentalLoad #TriumphOverStress 

Choose Differently

We lined up for questions. ‘Why do I feel guilty about not baking the cupcakes’ and ‘How can I make time for myself when work expects email replies 24/7?’ There were over 200 women in that room, seeking ‘Life Hacks for Life Zen.’  Brigid Schulte, best-selling Author and Journalist, was a voice of reason onstage amidst growing panic that achieving ‘life Zen’ as a busy Mom was akin to catching a unicorn. By the tail. She eloquently shared her story of change, from stressed-out Mom, to enjoying greater balance.  She said we could “buy into what society wants for us or choose to live differently.” Noted. I was so impressed that I introduced myself to her.

Before we spoke again a few weeks ago, I devoured her book,  ‘Overwhelmed: How To Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time’.  How can Moms ease the relentless pressure? With a steady rise in ‘girl power’ messaging everywhere from the arts to business, why are we (still) trapped by a punishing schedule of obligations?

Frenetic Families

“I was unaware of the pressures Continue reading “Overwhelmed? How To Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time!”

Couples Win When Mom’s Mental Load Is More Fairly Balanced

#MomsSelf-Care #ShareTheInvisibleWorkLoad #MentalLoadSurveyResults“I want to SMOOSH his face!  He is a teacher and is home for the summer, but I’m the one scheduling everything – he takes the girls to the appointments, but I have to be the one to set everything up. I work 50 hours a week and come home to a messy house, no dinner, and kids who want to run to Target. The thing is: they simply don’t ask him about haircuts or shampoo or sweatpants or whatever, so I do it all.”

Disillusioned 

In most households, the planning and logistics for all things kids and household falls to Mom.  One friend aptly described the mental load, “…it’s like having one thousand tabs open in your mind. All.the.time.” This imbalance leaves many partnered Moms feeling disconnected, disrespected, frustrated or lonely in their relationships.

When asked how the mental load affects the partnership with their spouse or significant other, 80% admit Continue reading “Couples Win When Mom’s Mental Load Is More Fairly Balanced”

3 Step Plan to Reduce Stress, Boost Joy & Reclaim Holiday Magic

#MomsSelf-Care #StressLessForHolidays #MomsHavingFun #FamilyJoy

The appliances looked iridescent, they kind of shimmered under all the flour. It was almost beautiful.  I tried to ignore the ache in my back. Every muscle needed rest.  I had one more batch of dough in the fridge and two sheets in the oven.  The smell of butter, chocolate, pecans and pine needles permeated our home. Wonderful, holiday smells… but I wanted to cry. I estimated another hour of hard-core cookie making before I could sleep and it was nearly midnight…every container was filled with cookies & I hadn’t even stared packing the glossy red tins yet. The baby would be up (again) to nurse.  I felt stuck in my own over-do.

That was two years ago. I have a hard time saying no and disappointing myself feels even worse than disappointing others. Continue reading “3 Step Plan to Reduce Stress, Boost Joy & Reclaim Holiday Magic”

Why The Mental Load Matters To Your Career!

#MomsSelf-Care #MentalLoadStress #MomsGrowth #MomsDevelopment

“Instead of arriving to work fresh I’ve been up for 4 hours, changed 2 poop diapers, brought one kid to camp, the other to daycare and feel successful if I managed not to leave my gym bag with one of the kids and have taken the baby’s bottle bag with me to work. I arrive to court at 9:00 am and I feel as though I’ve already slayed a dozen dragons! With any luck, there isn’t unidentified goop on my suit.”

The mental load is damaging the relationship to career for 62% of over 200 surveyed Moms*.   Many feel distracted, disengaged and hollowed out juggling work demands and everything-household.  After fighting for years to establish our professional selves, the double-bind of it all crushes the spirit and pulls the same precious energy needed to problem solve and innovate.  Essential skills to thrive in most careers.

There are limits to human attention and working memory.   If you’re paid for strategic solutions or deliver creative output, the mental load’s insistent tug competes for that cognitive space and presence.

“I could have lost my job about 2 years ago.  The stress was so bad from taking care of home and work…I was paralyzed with fear of doing it wrong.  I was diagnosed with ADHD (got meds for that) increased (my) anxiety and depression meds and started seeing a counselor.  That helped, but shortly after that I got pregnant with my second set of twins.” Continue reading “Why The Mental Load Matters To Your Career!”

Boost Happiness & Tame The Mental Load With Radical Self-Care

#MomsWeighIn #MomsSelf-Care #DitchTheInvisibleWorkLoad #Part2MentalLoadSurveyResults

Whether it’s hunched over the smartphone to block playground sunshine, pushing a stroller with one hand and fielding texts with the other or frantically muting grocery store noise during conference calls, Moms are working feverishly to fit ‘everything’ in.

Despite the slickest list-making, to-do-tackling tech out there, the volume and breadth of responsibilities that fall to most Moms – from salary negotiations to scheduling play dates — spills onto the mental list…competing with every other thought in our working memory.

The mental energy required to plan and track the logistics of modern households, drives the ‘mental load’ a persistent source of overwhelm for 98% of surveyed Moms.¹

“I’m short and snippy with others. I’m broody and just unhappy. I’m pissed at my husband and everyone around me because it’s all my burden to deal with and everyone else seems perfectly oblivious…” Continue reading “Boost Happiness & Tame The Mental Load With Radical Self-Care”

Beyond Burnout. How The Mental Load Affects Moms & What You Can Do About It!

#MomsWeighIn #MomsSelf-Care #TameTheInvisibleWorkLoad

Postcards From The Isle of Overwhelm  

98% of the Moms surveyed* feel stress from carrying the mental load, the always-on invisible to-do list that results from the ‘everything household and kids’ oversight handled by Mom in most families.

When asked ‘how do you know you’ve reached a point of burnout?’ the effects are felt everywhere – from a perpetually bad mood, impatience with children and loved ones, to hives and headaches.

  • 22% can tell by their change in mood
  • 21% of Moms notice changes in behavior
  • 7% experience physical changes as a result of mental load stress
  • And half (50%) experience some combination of all three.

“I leave my phone in the fridge. I know I ate lunch- but I forgot what I ate. Wait…did I really eat lunch? I find myself more short-tempered…yelling and frustrated. I’m typically very objective and non-emotional. Essentially, I’m pulled away from the core of who I am.” Continue reading “Beyond Burnout. How The Mental Load Affects Moms & What You Can Do About It!”

How Is the Mental Load Affecting Your Life? Share Your Thoughts!

#MomsHierarchySurvey #MomsWeighIn #DealingWithStress

I looked over at the baby monitor, noticing the increased brightness from the row of blue lights. Crossing the kitchen, to listen closely, I could hear my daughter stirring ever so slightly.   The sharp ‘hiss’ of the oatmeal volcano streaming over the saucepan’s edge interrupted my thoughts….

“Sh*t!” I dashed to lower the heat on the stove while rapidly stirring the offending bubble dome back into submission. Continue reading “How Is the Mental Load Affecting Your Life? Share Your Thoughts!”

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