Managing the Motherload

Before I go any further, I want to clarify that I’m not referring to this as ‘The Motherload’ to be sexist, stereotypical or inconsiderate – but simply because I do not know any fathers who experience this. I don’t doubt their existence, I just haven’t come across them.

So, what is The Motherload?

The Motherload is so many things, I feel exhausted just thinking about them, and that’s basically the problem right there.

The Motherload is all the thinking and all the doing of all the things that seem to come with motherhood. The Motherload is none of those things you read about in your baby book or you Prima Baby Magazine (anyone else?), it’s nothing you could have especially been prepared for, and it’s not something that magically vanishes as your children grow up – if anything, it accelerates and becomes even more weighty.

Mummy Fever

The Motherload weighs heavy on mums almost everyday but seems more intense during term time. It makes us feel exhausted, out of control, on edge and quite frankly pretty useless at times.

I’ve spoken to a number of mums about this, and it seems that there are so many who feel the same way. Do you feel the motherload? Do you identify with any of the things below?

The Motherload is…

  • researching, arranging, setting up payments for and dealing with communication to and from children’s clubs
  • making sure children have the correct kit for these clubs
  • transporting children to and from these clubs
  • dealing with any niggles, anxieties or issues relating to these clubs and ensuring they continue to serve the needs of your children
  • responding to communication from school
  • ensuring children have that £1 on the correct day for that charity event
  • making sure all school forms are filled out and returned – wondering if you need to lease a photocopier from COS Sales to handle all the paperwork!
  • making sure trip money is paid on time
  • ensuring homework is completed
  • helping with homework when needed
  • ensuring reading books are done and any reading records are completed
  • helping children to learn their spellings and timetables
  • ordering new uniform and school shoes and keeping a track on growth spurts
  • making sure they’ve got their wellies and waterproofs for forest school
  • making sure they’ve got their swimming kit for school swimming days
  • keeping track of non-uniform days or any dress-up days
  • being on-call for those phone calls from school you know you are going to get
  • replying to children’s birthday invites, arranging a gifts and transporting children to and from the parties
  • organising children’s birthday parties and communicating with all the other parents
  • thinking about, planning and shopping for family meals
  • cooking meals
  • making packed lunches and/or ensuring school lunches are paid for and booked
  • unpacking and putting away shopping
  • keeping a track of any items that need topping up like milk or bread or that ham for packed lunches
  • going to the shop to collect the items that need topping up
  • keeping a track of all family and friends birthdays
  • coming up with ideas for, ordering, wrapping and sending/delivering these gifts
  • keeping track of and arranging all family health and dental appointments, collecting any prescriptions and medications or creams
  • transporting and accompanying children to any appointments and arranging follow ups
  • sorting out clothes that no longer fit, passing them on to others or donating them
  • sorting out toys that children no longer play with, passing them on to others or donating them

These are just some examples of ‘The Motherload’. This is all in addition to some/all of the following:

  • working (whatever those hours are and whatever the location may be)
  • cleaning and other households tasks
  • laundry and changing beds
  • gardening/outdoor cleaning
  • hoovering and tidying the car
  • remembering to put the bins out and then actually doing it!

That’s all in addition to anything you want and need to do for yourself such as:

  • exercising
  • responding to friends and family
  • seeing friends
  • drinking enough water
  • or just have a bath!

The Motherload is not one thing. It’s all things. It’s not just doing all the things either, it’s the thought process that goes along with all the things.

Some weeks we achieve all the things and some weeks we crash and burn, and that’s okay – because if there’s one thing that mums these days agree on, it’s that – IT’S A LOT! It’s heavy and it’s intense and a large part of the time you are on high alert.

How do you feel about The Motherload? Let me know in a comment below. The Motherload is, I feel a podcast in the making, if only there was the time.

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