It’s real. So so real.
It’s not necessarily limited to moms but I definitely feel as though I see it complained about more from moms than anyone else.
I’ve tried explaining this to my own husband fairly frequently and I am lucky that he pretty much understands, but every now and then we slip back and I partially blame myself for it and partially blame him. We’ve both got our faults.
As a husband and father, helping is extremely nice. We appreciate it. What we don’t love? Having to tell you to do something. Sure, some people might find this to be perfectly fine. Many have probably accepted, but the thing about us having to say something to get it done is that it had to cross our mind.
It crossed our mind and it didn’t cross yours. Or maybe it did, but you didn’t do anything and take action on it and that means we had to think about it in order for it to get done.
Again, the action is extremely nice, but removing it from our brains so we don’t have to think about it? That’s truly the ultimate gift.
When I have to think about something, it becomes a source of stress. I can delegate it off and that’s nice, but sometimes being the person that has to think about every single thing in order to keep the wheels on the bus going round and round can be debilitating. Sometimes you just need someone to take the mental part out of it along with the action part.
People always joke that life goes to hell in a handbasket when mom takes the day off (or really any primary caregiver, it can be a guy also) because you learn all the small things that the mom really does that might never cross your mind until they became an issue to you.
Like making sure each bathroom has extra toilet paper readily available. Or making sure we’ve got enough cleaning supplies, towels folded and in the correct places, laundry sorted and put away, counters wiped down completely, etc. Things you take for granted because you come into the house and everything is already cleaned up. A diaper bag being packed, for example or knowing that you kid gets out of school at a certain time every day.
This most recently related to me in many ways but it was actually the opposite. I work nights and Ryan does bedtime. You know what that means? I don’t actually know really what happens with bedtime routines anymore. I take it for granted because I don’t actually do it. I found myself asking Ryan random questions about the nuances of the situation so that I could be completely prepared. In the end, we changed the entire bedtime routine to see if we could make it a little bit more effective, but I was flying blind. I didn’t know how Zoe liked to be wrapped up or if she took a bottle before she went to bed. I didn’t realize she fought it so hard lately since she’s been teething.
Ryan probably wouldn’t realize that Zoe likes to be in her Mamaroo for naps until I told him how easy it was to get her to go to sleep in there. He probably didn’t realize that giving her a bath calms her down until those words came out of my mouth. He unburdens me in many ways and I do the same for him in ways that I probably do not even realize.
Running a household is no joke. It’s a full-time job on top of everything else. It is so much less about the actions that physically need to be taken (although those are all something to be discussed as well) and is so much about the need to be “on” at all times in the sense that you are constantly thinking about everything and you can’t shut your brain off. Why am I so tired? Because I spend my entire life planning and making sure things run smoothly for the other 3 people that live in my household. I am constantly thinking ahead – do I need to wash bottles? Is the laundry flipped? When Zoe goes down for a nap, what am I going to be able to accomplish next?
SO. MANY. THINGS. ALL. THE. TIME.