As schools start up again, families find themselves readjusting their routines to accommodate for changing schedules and the busyness of the school year. As a mom, I find that not only do I have one thousand things to do in any given day (laundry, meal prep, washing dishes, just showering!), but there are a thousand things that I find myself thinking about. A mom’s mental workload, organizing things “Behind the scenes,” to manage a busy household is enough to keep us busy, let alone working a full-time job.
Delegating Tasks To Spare Mom’s Mental Workload
Many articles have been written about the mental workload of moms (of course, there are certainly some dads that are in this boat too – I see you!), but every family may find a different resolution to sharing the workload. Figuring out how to manage the stress of all that needs to be done can be very overwhelming for moms and it is so important to be proactive in how you delegate tasks. While it may appear helpful on the surface to have help with vacuuming or cleaning the bathrooms, there are other “invisible” tasks that need addressing.
Invisible Task That Build Up
So what are these invisible tasks that weigh on our minds as moms? How do we delegate them in a way that feels manageable? Personally, I find that breaking it down into categories can help. Once it’s broken down and written out, it is easier for both parents to see all of these “invisible” tasks in the light of day.
- Scheduling appointments for the doctor, dentist, and haircuts
- Keeping track of school closures, early dismissals, planning alternate care for sick children, snow days, and school vacations. Check how your school alerts you of snow days. You may be able to sign up for alerts with an app from your local news station.
- Being responsible for checking in on homework, class projects, school events, parent/teacher conferences, and field trips
- Signing up and managing after school activities, playdates, birthday parties (and buying presents!)
- Buying/supplying weather and activity appropriate clothing and shoes. Keeping track of hats, mittens, scarves, boots, and coats goes hand in hand. Be honest…how many pairs of mittens did you have to replace last winter?!
- Simply checking in and be aware of your child’s social/emotional well being
Divide and Conquer
Dividing the categories between parents and knowing that the other party is responsible for keeping track of these tasks can lighten the mental workload that might otherwise fall on one parent.
Using a color coded family calendar is another great way to help keep track of who is responsible for what. At the beginning of each month, sit down as a family and figure out everything that needs to be done. Choose a color (either sticky note, marker, dry erase pen, etc…) for each family member and map out who is responsible for what. This is a great opportunity to add chores in for the kids as well (also taking a few household responsibilities off of your plate!). Here are a few family apps that may be helpful as well!
Take Care of Mama
Last, but possibly most important, schedule yourself at least one hour of “responsibility free” time each week. Of course, more is great if you can get it, but knowing that you have at least some time carved out to get a massage, read a book, go for a solo drive or walk, or watch that tv show you want to catch up on can do a lot for your mental health. Taking care of the family and managing the household is a huge job, so take a moment to take care of you too!
If you are looking for some extra help around the house, consider hiring a household manager. The team at Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny can help find you a match that suits the hours and job responsibilities you’re looking for. Fill out an application to start your search for a household manager today!
About The Author
Sarah Proctor has worked with young children for over 25 years as a teacher, childcare director, nanny, and mom of two girls. She has her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from UMass Amherst. In addition, Sarah has her Director 2 certification from the Department of Early Education and Care.