Navigating the Mental Load this Mother's Day

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It’s not long now until Mother’s Day. A day in the UK to celebrate and appreciate the incredible contributions that mums and, to be honest, any significant women and caregivers make to our lives. It is a day to show our love, gratitude, and appreciation to the women who have raised and nurtured us.

For many, though, the day can bring mixed emotions. It can feel like just another reminder of the tremendous responsibilities and burdens we carry. Just one day off. And for many, it’s still never really a break, is it? 

I don’t know about you, but we’re often faced with significant challenges, including juggling multiple roles as caretakers, breadwinners, and household CEOs! We often have to navigate the complexities of work-life balance while also dealing with the emotional and mental demands of being a parent.

One of the biggest challenges that I personally face is the mental load that comes with parenthood. The mental load refers to the invisible, emotional, and cognitive work we typically do to keep the home and family running smoothly. This includes things like meal planning, scheduling appointments, coordinating activities, and managing the daily logistics of family life.

I often wonder what would happen if I were to go on holiday for a few weeks - the house would fall apart! 

The mental load can be particularly heavy for us working mothers who have to balance the demands of our jobs with the needs of our families. Research has shown that working mothers often spend more time on household tasks than their partners, even when they work the same number of hours at work or earn more. 

This can create a significant amount of stress and overwhelm for women as they try to balance the competing demands of work and family. I always wanted to go back to work after having both my sons, but a full-time role and full-time home life can be a lot. 

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So, What Do We Actually Want This Mother's Day? 

While we're all different, many would likely say that what they want most is to feel appreciated and supported. 

Alone Time

Personally, for me, the perfect gift is always time. Time to rest, relax, and do something that inspires me mentally. This year, I’ve booked a guided walk around a nature reserve near us. I’m not taking the family - I want to do this for me.

Recognition

I think one of the most important things we can do this Mother’s Day is to simply recognise and say thank you to those special people in our lives who go out of their way to make a difference. Telling someone you love them, that they are appreciated, or taking on some of the household tasks, not just for a day but perhaps more long-term. 

Appreciation

Ultimately, what mothers really want is to be seen, heard, and valued for all that they do. They want to know that their contributions are important and that their efforts are recognised and appreciated. 

This Mother’s Day, let’s take the time to celebrate and honour the amazing women in our lives and give them the thanks they deserve.

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