#29 - Tips on Splitting the Mental Load with your Partner

As working moms (and soon to be working moms!), we quickly come to realize that while we can do anything we can not actually do everything.  And while it sometimes may seem to be difficult, asking for help is in fact helpful! (Click here for tips on how to ask for help - http://www.liveworklead.com/top-tips-tuesdays/2017/5/9/24-tips-on-asking-for-help)

But beyond the logistics, what about the planning and the organizing that has to happen BEFORE you can even get into the details of DOING what actually needs to happen.  What do I mean?  It's all the stuff that we keep in our head, the lists of to do's, the groceries we are thinking about adding to our list, the doctor's note we need to get to send to the day care, the clothes that are getting too small and need to be replaced... it adds up!  Feminists are calling this the "Mental Load" and I recently saw this great comic that truly spells this out: https://english.emmaclit.com/2017/05/20/you-shouldve-asked/

So what to do about it?  And how do you get help with the mental load?  

In complete transparency, this is something I seriously STRUGGLE with!!  So this list is just as much a reminder for me as it is for you!

1) Ask your partner to sit down with you and plan the week.  Start to create your list of to do's together.  In the beginning, you'll likely still be the one mostly coming up with this list, but the key to this exercise is to actually get your partner to better understand the mental load you carry.  

2) Split up tasks, but start from the beginning.  It's not enough that your partner agrees to go to the grocery store.  They need to be the one who also assesses what's needed, creates the grocery list, and then actually goes and shops! 

3) Let them do it their way!  Trust me, I can be a bit overbearing and type A, but part of getting my partner to truly help with the mental load means trusting in the way that he does it!   So back to the grocery example, you have to start to be flexible - maybe s/he picks up a different brand or decides on a different vegetable.  Whatever it is, you have to trust that they are executing based on their own assessment of what's needed.  Any when they have to go back to the store to pick up more formula because they didn't have it on the list, you know they'll always remember to check going forward!


New Mom or Mom-to-Be?  For information now, join Babies.Bosses.Balance.  A new virtual group coaching program designed just for you.  


Here at Live.Work.Lead. we are on a mission to support women in transition, especially new moms and we are working on building up a new community focused on the professional career women turned professional career working mom!  I'd love your feedback!

What are the two things you struggle with most as a working parent or that are you worried about as a soon to be working parent?

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Mary Beth Ferrante