You know that moment when you just want to scream "Oh my God why the hell am I the one to be doing it all!?"
That moment when the months of managing the kids, their activities, the pets and the house, while getting ready for the school year & holidays, staying on top of all-the-COvid-things, ensuring the mental, emotional & physical health of everyone in your house is ok and being constantly “at the ready” for when other shoe to drops (cuz you know it will at some point with all the quarantining that’s going on) … that moment when it all comes to 1 big climatic Love Eat Pray moment?
Do you? Do you know that moment? (Please tell me I’m not alone here!)
Cuz I do. I know it all too well.
I hit that moment towards the end of 2021.
I was exhausted. I was drained. I was emotionally shot…yet on emotional overload at the same time (an intriguing duality!).
I felt like I was flying solo with everything. And I was angry and resentful. What’s worse, I didn't have the energy to make time to stop, pause, and reflect on why that could be. When I finally did take that moment (after a few weeks of perpetual crying and irritability) I realized the root cause was that…
Oops, I did it again.
I did what I had done in my years as a new mother. I automatically stepped into the role of taking it all on and doing it all without engaging with my partner.
Reflecting back, it wasn't surprising that I had landed back in this position.
When the pandemic and lockdown hit, I had been transitioning into my new endeavor as a solopreneur. I had barely gotten started and I didn't have a boss (or rather, I was my own boss), so it made sense for me to take the lead on everything related to childcare and school.
Being a tad (ahem!) Type A, I willingly and excitedly dove right into the role. I donned my Martha Stewart hat and jumped in to creating schedules and researching activities. I spent endless hours trying to secure a time for online groceries. And while my husband did his fair share being the Parent on Duty (POD), I was the one taking the lead on managing school, extracurriculars and the emotional, mental and physical health of our child (plus our senior furbabies).
Over the next 18 months or so this trend continued. Even as things started to open up, we had to contend with a summer without Summer Camp and a school year with reduced hours (and class periods to be done at home). And, again, since my husband was the one with a full-time job and a boss…
…I began to take on more and more of the other family and household management responsibilities. Instead of divvying up extracurricular activities and doctor, dentist & vet visits, I automatically assumed ownership for them. In addition, the needs of our child and furbabies grew…and I took it upon myself to take all of that on.
The situation was further exacerbated when my husband took on a new job that landed him back in office full time. I felt that building his reputation at a new company was important so I (once again) took it upon myself to continue to hold on to all-the-things.
My days became filled with trying to get in a little bit of work before having to pick our son up at school and chauffeur him to activities or oversee his homework while following up on all-the-things needed to keep a house & family going.
It’s no wonder I finally hit the wall and had my "oops I did it again" moment. In hindsight, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner. Thankfully, once it did and I caught my breath…
…I let myself take a pause to reflect on how I had gotten to where I was - the place where I felt I was the one doing it all.
I was able to approach my husband with a request to start shifting the balance back to what it was. The request was simple, “Let’s start taking turns with childcare in the afternoons.” We had been down this road before and started to make use of the tools that worked for us before:
Scheduling using POD (Parent on Duty)
Family & Household Management Ownership Sign-up Sheet
We hadn't needed to use these for years because we had gotten into such a good groove, but it was time to dust them off and start again. I knew that if I kept all the stuff in my head, I would continue to own it all. And it was important to have a place where we could see who the POD was and who was owning family & household management stuff.
This week, we're giving our first stab at an alternating schedule a try. I’m getting back in to a groove of using the family and household management list to get all the stuff out of my head and off my plate. And, I gotta say, just having had that conversation with my husband and knowing we are moving towards a solution took the weight off my shoulders.
If you found yourself in a similar situation, have a conversation with your partner about the struggles you are having and your desire to find a solution. Then follow these three steps to ensure you're not the one doing it all:
Create a schedule with your partner utilizing POD time (Parent on Duty)
Work with your partner to compile a family and household management task list
Review the schedule and last list with your partner on a regular basis.
Are you ready to DITCH THE MENTAL LOAD OF MOTHERHOOD?
To kick it to the curb so that you stop the chronic overwhelm, exhaustion and frustration that comes from doing All-The-Things and weighs you down?
...the FREE Beautifully Krazy Life™ Facebook Group is for you!
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