Covid-19 has meant more stress for moms. During this pandemic, moms are, more than ever, shouldering the burden of what is known as the mental load.
Have you heard of it?
The mental load refers to the invisible but still necessary relentlessly endless to-do list, the role of remembering “all the things”, being keeper of schedules, the marker of deadlines, and the organizer of all the needs of the home.
And this mental load, typically and primarily, falls on mothers.
In this time of international pandemic, moms are feeling the weight of this mental load, and here are ten reasons why:
- More women are working from home, on average, than their male counterparts and with children at home, this work is often disjointed and takes longer.
- Being at home means being confronted all day long with all the needs of the home.
- Women caregivers at home, whether working or not, are facing additional social-emotional needs of children during this time.
- While at home, due to social distancing and stay at home orders, women are finding fewer spaces of mental escape.
- Planning for home needs without easy access to all that make it possible to meet the needs of home (food or supply scarcity, quick trips to the store, etc).
- With social distancing in place, any additional outside of the home supports (grandparents, neighbors) can’t be relied upon.
- Stress. Moms who are at home all day with stressed out, anxious, bored, or frustrated children are stressed and strained to the max.
The mental load refers to the often invisible, but still necessary, relentlessly endless to-do list, the role of remembering “all the things”, being the keeper of schedules, the marker of deadlines, and the organizer of all the needs of the home.
- Moms who are essential workers outside the home are still managing children of all ages stuck at home, each with vastly different needs for school and basic needs, shouldering the duties of the home, long after working a full day of work outside the home.
- Economics. Some moms are not working or working less, and this hit to the family economy and the potential space women see themselves in as contributors to the family can take a financial and emotional toll.
- There is no real end in sight to social distancing or economic re-opening in ways that would have immediate relief for moms at home.
If you are feeling a heavier mental load, Cindy Adams at The Leadership Circle and Laurie Greco at The Ohio State Universities Wexler Medical Center share some insights that might be useful.