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Carrying The Mental Load

You know that feeling. The one that makes you wake up, sweating, in the dead of night. The one that has you rushing through your day, checking off tasks at the speed of sound but not really paying too much attention. The one that makes you feel like you’retreading water, seriously in danger of going under, but you forgot to pack your rubber ring because, well, you had a million more things to remember! It’s there in the morning as you prise yourself away from the only place you can (kind of) relax and it’s there when you slink back under those precious covers in the evening. Let’s face it, lady, it’s never going to go away. And what is it, exactly?Why, it’s The Mental Load...and you’re it’s not-so-proud owner.Count with me now –how many plates are you spinning this second? If you’re like a lot of women these days, you probably don’t even know. Man, that’s a lot of china. Imagine if it all came crashing down?We know who’d end up cleaning THAT mess –just add it to the to-do list.So, we can’t let that happen...andwe go on spinning and spinning, all the while getting dizzier and dizzier until we’re downright miserable.Take a little break from this blog to make a note of your own personal ‘Load’ –if you can, try to do it monologue-style...it’s more effective. If it’s anything like mine, it might look like this;Ok, so I’m out with clients now until 7, then got to rush home to breastfeed the kid to sleep, get a quick tea and sort out the washing. I need to get that t-shirt I boughtfor her birthday and try to adjust it –that means getting the sewing machine down from the attic and hoping it still works...oh god, the attic, I really need to sort it before the ceiling falls down on our heads! I’ll have to write some blogs at some point tomorrow and sort out the fella flagging the yard. I need to go shopping, too, we’re low on everything. I can pick my contact lenses up while I’m in town and then go straight to work from there...shit, I need to get birthday cards and wrapping paper and boxes and balloons! And helium! Where the hell do I get helium?! I wish I could drive but I’m only 3 lessons in –how long is THAT gonna take?And that’s where I begin to get overwhelmed. Add to that the housework, a sad attempt at a social life, an unhealthy dose of Mum Guilt and a hulking, dark cloud of a feeling that maybe me and the husband don’t have as much sex as we used to...and you can hopefully see my point. The Mental Load is made up of all the things that wouldn’t get done if it weren’t for you. Think about what that would look like for your household! We tend to be the glue that holds it all together. Some of us were thrust into that role without being consulted and some of us cast ourselves as that character willingly. Either way, it’s probably got you wondering whether it’s always going to be this way.The short answer? Yes.



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