reducing mental load Archives - Best Mom Blogs For Self-Care | Mom's Hierarchy Of Needs

How to Manage the Increased Mental Load Under Quarantine

I gave my son the same math homework twice, started my daughter’s Zoom call late and forgot to pull chicken from the freezer. That was yesterday. Because it hasn’t felt holiday-like, I forgot to buy jelly beans. Between debates about ‘carrying the one’ with my oldest and playing musical-rooms for video calls, I’ve been working at half-speed. When I spoke with my attorney, a mother of 3, to apologize for ignoring her emails, I admitted to fighting mental fog. She agreed and said, “I feel like I did when my kids were babies!” Exactly.

The mental load for Moms, from the to-do list in our heads, isn’t new. It starts when our kids are in diapers but it’s increased with COVID19. Big time. We’re relearning how to work, live and parent all at once, which strains our cognitive capacity. When the routines dissolve, school’s at home and housework multiplies, what are our options? Although we have to approach it differently, we can lighten the mental load during this surreal time.

Why we Can’t Concentrate

In most families, Moms remember the haircuts, permission slips and camp deadlines. This invisible choreography is at the heart of overdo and never-done. We tend to forget our brains have limits and it helps to understand what they are. I spoke with Dr. April Seifert, Psychologist and Co-founder of Peak Mind and she explained, “Any time we’ve got way too much on our mind that we’re trying Continue reading “How to Manage the Increased Mental Load Under Quarantine”

Is There A Better Way to Fight the Mental Load and Get Things Done?

A Book Review for David Allen’s Productivity Bible, ‘Getting Things Done’

We were 40 minutes into leaving the house, still a choreography of chaos, when my son said, “Mommy, they’re too tight.” I vaguely remembered a we-need-new-boots-discussion with both kids. That was 3 weeks ago. My tired brain, trying to lighten the load, threw that thought overboard.

The mental load is my constant companion. So, tasks spill onto the floor in unfortunate ways at inopportune times. Like when trying to get two kids in 6 layers of clothes out to sled before dark. Even before the boot incident, I knew I needed a systems upgrade. My new job, holiday madness and scheduling weeks of ceiling leak repairs, pushed things to a new low. I decided to consult David Allen’s tomb, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

In Most Families Mom Carries the ‘Mental Load’

We’re stressed from the invisible-never-ending planning for our families. However, before you get too excited about this book review, let me be clear, there’s no simple Continue reading “Is There A Better Way to Fight the Mental Load and Get Things Done?”

It’s Time for Moms and Dads to Have an Open Conversation

Share housework, childcare and the mental load with your partner!

Me: Visibly surprised to see my son on screen after calling to FaceTime with my husband. “Hi honey. You’re still up? Where’s your sister?”

Son: Moves the camera over an inch. “She’s right here.” My daughter, who doesn’t look up, is eating popcorn while staring intently at her iPad.

Me: “I actually called to talk to Daddy, can you put him on please?”

Husband: “Hey…”

Me: Hi. “Sooooo…. do you know what time it is?”

Husband: “It’s late, yes, I’m sorry.”

I ended the call frustrated. When traveling for work, I still micromanage from afar. Whether it’s homework, or bedtime, the routines fall apart if I’m away. I fret and we fight. I called earlier and spoke with the kids. This call, the after-bedtime-call, was to catch up with my husband.

My seat neighbor on the train looked at me, before he said, “If it makes you feel any better, we have that exact conversation in my family.” I smiled. Yes I  Continue reading “It’s Time for Moms and Dads to Have an Open Conversation”

Work Travel. Your Permission Slip For Self-Care

Serious fun away on business? Why it’s so great for you!

#MomsSelf-Care #MomsRecharge #MomsFindingSpace

Business trips are disruptive to fragile systems at home. Childcare logistics are upended and FaceTime stands in for kisses. It’s the professional requirement most Moms dread.

Shift Your Mindset

Moms tend to double-down on obligation. Although we drown in the to-do list at home, we keep up the stay-busy-with-other-people’s-priorities obsession on the road. Often well beyond the scope of a productive workday.

There’s a better way. Consider solo travel a rare opportunity for self-care. Once the pre-trip anxiety mellows into acceptance, ideally before you leave, get serious about enjoying this found-time.

Found time? On a work trip?

Not always. Last month, I returned from a successful, but intense meetings-ran-breakfast-through-bedtime kind of trip. At 3 am. On a Sunday. That happens occasionally…and no, that’s not the kind of trip I’m talking about.

Pre-kids, I disliked most business travel. Long days Continue reading “Work Travel. Your Permission Slip For Self-Care”

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”

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