SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (Good Things Utah) — As a mother, managing work, relationships, family, and a household can be an overwhelming task. This invisible work is known as the mental load, which is a term for the effort required in managing a household and family. Cassidy Duhdway from Purple Sky Counseling joined us on the show to open up the conversation.

Unfortunately, it often falls on the woman, or the default parent’s shoulders. The mental load is the planning and preparation of the actual cooking, cleaning, shopping, managing childcare, school, and other parenting responsibilities. It can lead to feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, and exhaustion.

According to research, the mental load can ruin relationships, create unnecessary stress on intimacy, and make it difficult for either partner to feel their needs are being met. It’s essential to talk about the mental load and have a conversation when you have privacy. Find common ground and use “I” statements to make sure everyone is informed.

Purple Sky Counseling offers three solutions for navigating the mental load:

  • Do some research, such as podcasts, books, workbooks, etc., and utilize this information before and after the conversation.
  • Start sharing the load by assigning and dividing tasks. Begin with agreed-upon baselines.
  • Step back and allow your partner to do the task in their way, not necessarily the way you want it done.

It’s crucial to understand that judgments from friends and family and cultural glorification of motherhood can lead to feelings of shame and failure. Therefore, don’t be afraid to seek help or contact Purple Sky Counseling for further assistance.

Managing the mental load can be a difficult task, but it’s essential for your mental health and the overall wellbeing of your family.