The mental load – and what to do about it

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Photo by Victoria Palacios on Unsplash

Just lately I have been so weighed down by the heaviness of all the things I need to think about (including the lateness of this blog post) and have noticed that I’m not the only one. There have been quite a few features about this ‘mental load‘ mums carry.

Is it a new concept? A by-product of modern life? Is it that we are more open in talking about these things in 2017 than our mothers were in 1977? (I will stick my neck out and say mothers are particularly – although not exclusively – affected.) Perhaps it’s just easier to talk about it because someone has coined the phrase ‘the mental load’ so we actually have a label for something that has been bothering us for decades?

On a day-to-day basis I know I have a large and heavy mental load. This is partly due to my particular circumstances. If having a child is a full-time job, then having a disabled child is like having a full-time job, with unreasonable overtime hours AND a couple of part-time jobs on the side. We are privileged in that we have family nearby and extra funds to pay for what Ted needs, but life is busy and we are on duty 24-7 (even with help) so things can quickly get too much to handle.

Is perfectionism sabotaging your happiness?

IMG_5853How often have you heard someone say ‘nobody’s perfect’? You probably accept that about your partner and your children, your parents, your best friends, your work colleagues… Everyone has their faults and they can drive you bonkers sometimes, but that’s life, right?

So do you apply the ’nobody’s perfect’ rule to yourself and your life, happily accepting your faults and being satisfied with ‘good enough’? Or do you find yourself striving for a level of perfection that you just wouldn’t expect from anyone else? You may think that wanting to be the best and have everything ‘just so’ is annoying but admirable, especially if you have come to motherhood from a competitive career. But wanting that level of perfect may just be your biggest saboteur. It can stop you getting things done and it eats away at your happiness. That’s the voice of experience speaking, by the way.