Mental Load

My husband and I talk about mental load a lot. Mental load refers to the non-tangible tasks needed to run a household. It includes things like remembering what needs to go daycare each week and what needs to come home, knowing what assignments are due, what books need to be returned from the library, and what special themes you need to dress your kid in for school, who is due for their next doctor appointment or dental appointment and which kid sizes need to be changed out for the upcoming season change or growth spurt.

We talk about it as a couple so much because we’re at odds about how the mental load is distributed in our household. My husband feels we have a 50/50 split because he does a ton of the physical household tasks. But you just read that the mental load isn’t physical. You can probably see where this is going…

I feel the split leans a little heavier toward me. Or a lot heavier? (It’s a lot heavier.)

Case in point: I tried to delegate some of my mental load to him this past week regarding a schedule change with my daughter’s afterschool program.

Me: “You need to inform her teacher and the secretary if you change her afterschool schedule.”

Hubs: “Okay. Can you send me the secretary contact?”

Me: “It’s should be in an old e-mail I copied you on.”

Hubs: “I can’t find it.”

Me: “You’ll need to look it up on the school website. That’s what I would do.”

Hubs: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

Hubs: **Walks away from the conversation and immediately forgets my transfer of the mental load to him.**

SEVERAL HOURS LATER…

My phone, right after school ends: “RING! RING! RING!”

Me: “Hello?”

Secretary: “Hi, is this Meg? We have your daughter here. She’s saying there was a schedule change?”

Me: “Oh, yes. My husband should’ve contacted you and the teacher.”

Secretary: “We didn’t receive anything. We just want to make sure she’s where she needs to be.”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that and I appreciate you double checking! She’s okay to go ahead with the change.”

Secretary: “Okay, we’ll send her along.”

Me: “Thank you!”

Secretary, knowing I usually e-mail these changes ahead of time: “My pleasure. Do you mind you contacting us next time there’s a schedule change instead of having your husband contact us?”

Me: …

Secretary: …

Me: “Yep. Yes. I can do that.”

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