Mother writing things down her to-do list on a piece of paper with her children in the background. This depicts the invisible mental load of motherhood.

8 Ways to Lessen the Mental Load of Motherhood


Motherhood is such a beautiful and rewarding journey as a mama, but it can also be overwhelming and hard at times. Dealing with taking care of our child(ren), alongside everyone else, is challenging. Most mamas would agree that one of the biggest challenges of motherhood is that of dealing with the “mental load”: The famous two words that you’ll hear every mama talk about.

In motherhood, the mental load is the overwhelming to-do lists and responsibilities that we undertake on a daily basis. Picture having 30 open tabs on your computer window right now. Overwhelming just looking at it, right? Well, that’s what the mental load of motherhood looks and feels like, except it’s all stuck in our heads. The invisible mental load can feel very heavy and can cause a lot of stress. So, here are a few tips on how to manage the mental load and give our brains and bodies a little break!

1. Delegate Tasks

A mother delegating the task of making dinner to her partner in order to lessen her mental load.

You can’t do it all on your own. Single-handedly taking on all the house chores and the responsibilities that come with taking care of a child is unsustainable. I know it can be hard to ask for help, but you truly need it…and deserve it.

Split certain tasks with your partner and let them fully take care of them. Take out trash Tuesday? Not your chore anymore! The more equally you delegate, the lighter your load will be. Also, seeing your partner being more involved in tasks can make you feel less alone in doing work. Go teamwork!

2. Ask for Help

Other than asking help from your partner, you can ask for help from your friends and family. This will look different than the help your partner can provide. For example, you can ask a family member or friend to join you for an appointment or help you organize your week. Sometimes, having the company can make doing chores and having a walk more light and fun.

3. Establish Your Support System

A mother talking to her therapist (her support system) in order to help with the mental load of motherhood.

A support system is really good to have in order to vent. Have you ever felt so stressed or upset about something that you just needed to let it out, and once you did, it just felt better? A good support system will help you release your emotions and feelings. This support system can consist of friends, family, neighbors, or even a therapist!

4. Set Your Priorities

Setting your priorities can help you determine which things are more important than others. Whatever falls into the “less important” scale can be put off to the side and be dealt with another day or another time. For example, maybe one thing at the top of your list are certain chores like grocery shopping or organizing your meals for the week, and other things like passing the vacuum one day are less important and can wait another day or two.

Making your priorities clear can help your “brain” feel more organized and allow you to let go of things that aren’t a rush.

5. Write Things Down

A mother writing her to-do list for the day in order to lessen her mental load.

Writing your thoughts or your to-do lists down on a paper or a journal can really help in relieving some of that noise in your head. It’s a form of release. Visually seeing it written down will feel like you emptied it from your brain and it can help reduce the overwhelming feeling of having too much going on in your head. Doing this will make the tasks seem less like a “mountain” of things to do.

6. Create Reminders In Your Phone

This is basically the same thing as writing it down. However, with reminders, you can write it down and actually forget about it until something is due. Create reminders for appointments, watering your plants, etc.

7. Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care is important so that you can focus on tuning into yourself. It’s so easy to get caught up with taking care of everyone else as a mom, but we too often forget about ourselves. Practicing self-care can be particularly helpful for stress and overwhelm; two of the most common symptoms of the mental load. We invite you to read our article about self-care for mamas where we provide simple ways in which you can take care of yourself as a mom.

8. Learn to Let Go

A mother taking a breath of fresh air as she learns to let things go in order to lessen her mental load.

You can’t do it all. I know the feeling of wanting to get everything done, but sometimes, it’s just not physically possible…or, it’s just not worth the stress. Learn to let things go; learn to let a little mess stay a mess for another day; do the laundry another day. Things can wait, especially if you’re not feeling up to it on a particular day. Parenting is a full-time job, so it’s only natural to not be able to do it all!

To Conclude

The mental load of motherhood can be overwhelming and stressful. That’s why it’s crucial to have your support system and your own ways to take care of yourself. These tools can help lessen the mental load and make your to-do list and responsibilities seem more manageable. Hopefully these tips can help you in your motherhood journey and relieve some of that stress!

Was it hard for you to manage the mental load? How did it affect you? Comment below!

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