We all know the role of a mother is no easy task, but there are a lot more responsibilities that are burning mothers out - and they often go unseen.
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The backbone of the family
A smooth day for the family doesn’t go without mothers zooming around to complete every little task for the day. From making personalised breakfast for the children to scheduling appointments, planning the children’s tuition and training, replenishing the family’s toilet paper, even searching for her son’s misplaced textbook! When compounded along with the 101 little chores that need to be done to let the family operate a smooth problem-free day, these tasks often go noticed - only until it hasn’t!
According to a survey in 2019, a great proportion of mothers (61%) report handling household work all by themselves, with 62% having less than an hour to themselves in the previous day, due to the constant presence of some kind of obligation they needed to worry about or fulfil. Mothers are generally in charge of everything that goes behind the scenes, which keeps the show running.
From handling daily household chores, ensuring the proper upbringing of their children, and attending to their spouse’s emotional needs, mothers themselves won’t realise the magnitude such a responsibility bears until you list them out yourself! The mountain of tasks are taxing mothers mentally and are plaguing them with waves of stress, worry and guilt - and most of it goes unseen by the family. This is why some mothers are suffering a painful silence, and it is slowly burning them out! How then do they get a break from this invisible load?
Passing the hot potato
The solution isn’t bizarre, and you might have thought of this before but the only way mothers can relieve their burden is to spread some of their load to the rest of the family. After all, a family always support each other!
Breaking the barrier
If you’re a mother, you’ve probably thought of trying this solution before but got held back for several reasons. Part of you still wants to be in control - having been so used to running the show, it may be hard to let your spouse get certain things done his way. Furthermore asking for help is never easy, especially when society expects so much of Mother’s, it requires you to swallow some pride and muster on a little courage.
Start small and start right
Change is never easy and so is transferring responsibilities. Start by asking your spouse to take on little tasks for you, but make sure you ask for the right kind of help! Rather than micromanaging and issuing random tasks here and there, get your spouse to take on certain roles as his own. ‘Can you be in charge of reminding us to take out the trash? Can you be responsible for putting a reminder in your calendar every Thursday?
Engaging your spouse or a family member this way meant that you won’t have to remember to ask for the help you needed. It takes off a slice from your mental load! More than this, it also allows your spouse to realise the uneven dynamics of the household, which allows them to empathise and step up on roles they could help with!
Build onto to bigger responsibilities
By giving a sneak peek of how the household operates behind the scenes, your spouse can slowly take on an equal-sized load in the house. It may start with smaller responsibilities like chores, such as taking out the laundry and doing the dishes after dinner, to bigger things like handling the scheduling of your son’s tennis training, or offering to attend a parent-teacher meeting. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself having pockets of time you can spend on yourself. Beyond that, being able to share the mental load with your spouse or family member may improve communication between both of you and strengthen your family ties.
Acknowledge their help
Every once in a while, always remember to remind your spouse or loved one how much you appreciate their help, such as emphasising how much less you need to worry about. Asking for help may be difficult, but remember that most of us are married to good people, who wants to care for us. We just don’t know how to communicate the help we need, and they don’t know how to offer it! All we need to do to show them our struggles and tell them the areas we need help in.