Understanding the mental load of motherhood is like peeling back the layers of an onion—there’s so much more beneath the surface. It’s not just about changing diapers and meal prep; it’s the mental gymnastics of remembering doctor’s appointments, school projects, and who likes their PB&J with the crusts cut off, as I’m sure you know.

This invisible workload can really take its toll, leaving you feeling like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. By shining a light on this hidden hustle, you can empower yourself to make changes, get support, and feel so much better.

Understand The Mental Load Of Motherhood

Before we dive into overcoming the mental load, let’s first start with defining it.

The mental load of motherhood refers to the invisible and often unrecognized work that mothers undertake to manage the various aspects of family life. It encompasses not only the physical tasks of childcare and household duties but also the mental and emotional labor involved in planning, organizing, and anticipating the needs of the family. This can include remembering appointments, coordinating schedules, planning meals, managing household finances, and providing emotional support to family members.

The mental load can be relentless and overwhelming, as you might find yourself constantly thinking ahead and juggling multiple responsibilities simultaneously.

Despite its significant impact on your well-being, the mental load is often overlooked and undervalued, contributing to feelings of stress, exhaustion, and burnout.

See Yourself As Important

Seeing yourself as important, on par with how you view your kids, can be a game-changer in reducing the mental load of motherhood. Often, moms prioritize their children’s needs above their own, putting themselves last on the list. But acknowledging your own importance means recognizing that your well-being matters too. When you prioritize self care and set boundaries around your time and energy, you’re better equipped to manage the mental load more effectively. By investing in your own needs and nurturing your own sense of worth, you become better equipped to delegate tasks, ask for help when needed, and create a more balanced family dynamic. Plus, modeling self-value teaches your children the importance of self-respect and empowers them to take ownership of their own well-being as they grow. So, remember: you’re not just a mom, you’re a vital member of the family team, and treating yourself as such can lighten the load for everyone.

You can start doing this simply by practicing the mantra: “I am important,” “I matter,” and “my needs matter,” or “I’m a person who matters in this family.”

I do this in my own life and it is wild to see the difference between how I tend to take such better care of my kids than myself. With more intentionality, it evens out so my needs are met, too.

CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast on how to overcome the pressure to do it all.

Add In Self Care

Adding in self care is like giving yourself a breath of fresh air amidst the chaos of motherhood. It’s about carving out intentional time to nurture your own well-being, replenish your energy reserves, and reconnect with yourself outside of your role as a mom. Whether it’s indulging in a bubble bath, going for a walk alone, or simply enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in the morning, self care is essential for recharging your batteries and reducing the mental load. When you prioritize self-care, you’re better equipped to handle the demands of motherhood with grace and resilience. Plus, by modeling self-care for your children, you’re teaching them the importance of prioritizing their own well-being and setting healthy boundaries—a valuable lesson that will serve them well throughout their lives. So go ahead, mama, take that time for yourself—you deserve it!

There are six types of self care. Learn all about them here: Six Types Of Self Care Blog Post.

You Don’t “Have” To Do Anything

Reminding yourself that you don’t “have” to do anything can be incredibly liberating, especially in the context of motherhood. While there are certainly responsibilities and tasks that come with parenting, recognizing that you ultimately have a choice in how you approach them can shift your perspective entirely. Instead of feeling burdened by obligations, you can reframe them as choices that align with your values and priorities. When you realize that you’re not forced into anything, but rather you choose to do things because they align with your goals or bring you joy, it can bring a sense of empowerment and ownership over your decisions. This mindset shift can help you approach your daily tasks with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and purpose, making them feel less like chores and more like opportunities to invest in what matters most to you and your family.

Check out my Instagram account where I post content to motivate you to feel empowered by your life @mom.onpurpose.

Have A Team Mindset With Your Spouse

Approaching parenthood with a team mindset alongside your spouse can be a game-changer in navigating the mental load of motherhood. Instead of shouldering the responsibilities alone, recognizing that you and your partner are a team allows for a more equitable distribution of tasks and a shared sense of responsibility. By communicating openly and collaboratively about the division of labor, you can work together to find solutions that work for both of you and play to each other’s strengths. This means not only dividing tasks but also offering each other support and encouragement along the way. When you approach parenting as a team, you can lean on each other for help when needed, celebrate victories together, and weather the challenges as a united front. Ultimately, fostering a strong partnership with your spouse can lighten the mental load and create a more harmonious and fulfilling parenting experience for both of you.

Remind yourself of this mantra: “We’re on the same team.”

CLICK HERE to listen to the Marriage Tools podcast.

Make Requests

Making requests of your spouse is not only acceptable but essential in managing the mental load of motherhood effectively. Your partner might not always recognize the specific tasks or support you need without clear communication. By expressing your needs openly and respectfully, you empower your spouse to provide assistance and share the load more equitably. Remember, it’s not about assigning blame or expecting mind-reading abilities; it’s about fostering a collaborative approach to parenting and household responsibilities. Whether it’s asking for help with childcare, household chores, or simply requesting some time for yourself, making requests allows you to advocate for your needs and strengthen your partnership. So don’t hesitate to speak up and let your spouse know how they can support you—it’s a win-win for both of you.

Stop Trying To Earn Your Rest

Stop trying to earn your rest—this mindset shift can be revolutionary in combating the mental load of motherhood. Rest is not a reward for completing tasks or meeting expectations; it’s a fundamental need that deserves prioritization regardless of productivity. By releasing the notion that rest must be earned, you give yourself permission to prioritize self-care and recharge your batteries without guilt or hesitation. Recognize that rest is a vital component of your overall well-being, and it’s okay to take breaks and practice self-compassion, even when there’s still work to be done. Embracing this mindset allows you to approach rest from a place of self-love and necessity rather than obligation, leading to greater balance, resilience, and fulfillment in your journey as a mother. So give yourself permission to rest, mama—you deserve it simply because you’re human.

Download the Mindset Mantras for the Mental Load here.

Do Less

If busy is your drug of choice then rest will feel stressful. So, give yourself permission to do less.

Doing less can be a powerful strategy for lightening the mental load of motherhood and reclaiming your time and energy. In a society that often glorifies busyness and productivity, there’s immense pressure to constantly be doing more. However, embracing the idea of doing less allows you to prioritize what truly matters and let go of non-essential tasks and commitments. It’s about shifting your focus from quantity to quality, finding joy and fulfillment in simplicity, and giving yourself permission to slow down and savor the present moment. By intentionally scaling back on your to-do list and setting realistic expectations for yourself, you create space for rest, reflection, and connection with your loved ones. Remember, it’s not about doing everything—it’s about doing what matters most to you and your family. So give yourself permission to do less, and watch as the mental load begins to lighten, leaving room for more peace, joy, and fulfillment in your life as a mother.

Inside the Mom On Purpose Membership you get tools and classes to help you get more done in less time AND learn how to rest and enjoy leisure.

Get Out Of The Victim Mentality

Getting out of the victim mentality is a powerful step towards reclaiming control over the mental load of motherhood. It’s about shifting from a mindset of helplessness and blaming external circumstances to one of empowerment and accountability. Instead of viewing yourself as a victim of your circumstances, recognize that you have the power to change your perspective and take proactive steps to improve your situation. This might involve reframing negative thought patterns, setting boundaries, and seeking support when needed. By embracing a mindset of resilience and agency, you can navigate the challenges of motherhood with greater confidence and resilience, ultimately lightening the mental load and reclaiming your sense of well-being. Remember, you are not defined by your circumstances—you have the power to rewrite your story and create the life you desire.

Get inspired with the weekly Mom On Purpose Newsletter here.

Validate Your Feelings

Validating your feelings is an essential aspect of managing the mental load of motherhood. It’s about acknowledging and accepting your emotions without judgment or self-criticism. Motherhood can bring a whirlwind of emotions, from joy and fulfillment to frustration and overwhelm, and it’s important to honor each of these feelings as valid and worthy of recognition. By allowing yourself to feel and express your emotions, you create space for self-awareness and self-compassion, which are essential for maintaining mental well-being. Whether you’re feeling exhausted, anxious, or simply overwhelmed, take a moment to pause, breathe, and validate your feelings. Remember, it’s okay to not be okay, and seeking support from loved ones or a professional can be incredibly beneficial. So be gentle with yourself, mama, and remember that your feelings are valid, and you are not alone in this journey.

Tell The Story Of You Being The Hero

Every mother has her own unique journey—a story of resilience, courage, and unwavering love that deserves to be celebrated. In the narrative of motherhood, you are the hero—the protagonist of your own story, navigating the twists and turns of parenthood with strength and grace. It’s a story of late nights and early mornings, of endless diaper changes and soothing tears, of sacrifices made and milestones celebrated. It’s a story of fierce love and unwavering dedication, of holding your child’s hand through life’s challenges and cheering them on as they spread their wings and soar. But amidst the chaos and the challenges, there are moments of pure magic—the first time your baby smiles up at you, the sound of their laughter filling the room, the feeling of their tiny hand gripping yours as you explore the world together. These are the moments that make it all worthwhile—the moments that remind you why you’re the hero of this story, the guiding light in your child’s life, the source of endless love and support. So embrace your role as the hero of your own story, mama, and know that your journey is one of strength, resilience, and boundless love—a story worth telling and worth celebrating every single day.

Be Someone Who Believes She Has Help

Being someone who believes she has help, even before it’s physically present, is a powerful mindset shift that can transform the way you navigate the mental load of motherhood. It’s about cultivating a sense of possibility and optimism, even in the face of challenges and obstacles. By believing that help is available and attainable, you open yourself up to opportunities and resources that you may not have previously considered. Whether it’s reaching out to friends and family for support, exploring community resources, or investing in professional assistance, the first step is believing that help is possible. This belief empowers you to take proactive steps towards creating the support network you need to thrive as a mother. So trust in the power of possibility, mama, and know that help is out there—you just have to believe in it and take the first step towards creating it.

A Final Note

As a mom, the mental load can often feel overwhelming and isolating. But as you navigate the challenges and joys of parenting, remember you are not alone. By understanding the mental load, prioritizing self-care, and shifting your mindset, you can lighten the burden and reclaim your sense of well-being. Embrace the role of the hero in your own story, believe in the possibility of help, and know that you are worthy of support and celebration every step of the way.

So take a deep breath, mama, and remember that you are stronger, more resilient, and more capable than you could ever imagine. You’ve got this.