There is something called the Mental Load...it is spoken about in many blogs, articles and books. It is the bi-product of our modern 'equal' society.
Before I delve in, I am not, as always, generalising the whole population. This article may or may not relate to you.
“A Mother’s Love” art installation set up in Spain by
Asociación Cultural Octubre de Torrelavega
to illustrate the weight on mothers.
I speak to many women in my job and this is a common theme: the load we bear. The never ending check list in our heads, the 'unimportant' things that are actually crucial to the effective running and locomotion of family life.
Not so long ago, women's roles were very different and we had clear social divides. The man was the 'bread-winner' he went to work and brought home money. The woman, well she raised the children, kept house and cooked (thank goodness that changed as no man would want my cooking every night!)
Then we evolved! We took the jobs that once were only for men, we voted, we had our say and we became 'equal'....but did the Mental Load change?
Are we the first port of call when anything needs doing?
Are we still filling the fridge? *Mental note to self: don't forget to take the chicken out the freezer!*
Are we responsible for the childcare and childcare help?
Do we organise appointments and clubs? *Don’t forget football at 3pm has changed venue this week.*
Do we fill in the forms and sort insurance?
Do we deal with the banks and the doctors appointments? *Vets on Wednesday, go to school in the car so we aren't late*
Do we chase letters that aren't complete?
Do we schedule in the children’s activities and their transport? *I need the big car tomorrow otherwise I can't fit all the children and the extras I need to take.*
Do we clean and wash and sort and put away?
Do we work and work hard?
At what point does this mental load become too much? How far do we get pushed before we can't take anymore? We are, after all, the 'safe' place, we are the place our family and children feel safe, the place they can lash out and explore their emotions, we are the owners of the 'blame bin'!
The 'blame bin' is where when things go wrong that blame falls, this may not always be you Mamma but you sure are an easy target.
"The fridge is empty...haven't you been shopping?"
"What's for tea...why isn't there anything ready?"
"I can't find my top...I put it in the wash"
"Where's that paper? I left on the side, you have tidied it away"
"I need that letter that was delivered last week, it was here...you tidy up. Where will you have put it?”
You may also be a handy place to pocket the 'judgement jar'
"You aren't very house proud!"
"You're so disorganised"
"You need to start planning"
If - like me - you work your socks off, you love your children, you love your job and you love your family, you may feel the intense guilt of sending your children to childcare, relying on relatives and contantly asking for support.
If this is you, you can probably relate...and whole-heartedly sometime I feel I am not enough.
I want to give 110% in everything I do and I am BAD at maths and I've learnt you can't give everything 110%.
So we feel like we are failing, failing by doing everything at a standard far below what we want to be our best.
I feel guilty that I take time away from my children when they're small, that they get passed from family member to family member, that sometimes they are little s**ts for them! I feel bad for forgetting things that I've written down on post-it notes on the fridge, door and car yet STILL forget. I feel bad for having to answer emails and calls when my children want my attention. I feel like a bad parent sometimes. I hate not being the best I can be.
My jar is full....my bin is full....
BUT Mammas this okay because this is not forever, this is now and you are...
You are ENOUGH
You are ENOUGH
You are NOT perfect...nobody is and if they tell you they are they are lying!
Surround yourself with people who lift you up and support you!
You are a Mum and I see you and you are more than ENOUGH!