Invisible load of motherhood and what you can do to help. Mom resting arms on table while supporting head looking overwhelmed.

The Invisible Load of Motherhood is Exhausting, What you Can do to Help

Learn more about the invisible load of motherhood and what you can do to help.

You are an incredible mom who is probably taking on more than you can handle. You have to take care of the kids, the household chores, your husband or partner, yourself, your pets and so much more! You are constantly worrying and feeling like you are failing all the time.

You are probably burned out and feeling exhausted

You are taking on the invisible load of motherhood and you are feeling overwhelmed and alone

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What is the Invisible Load of Motherhood

The invisible load of motherhood is the unseen and unacknowledged emotional, physical, and mental labor that mothers do to keep their families and households running. This includes activities such as managing the household budget, organizing childcare, and providing emotional support to their children and other family members. It also includes things like cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the family's health and hygiene. Despite all this effort, the invisible load of motherhood is often overlooked and undervalued.

The invisible load of motherhood can include physical labor, mental labor, and emotional labor.

Overstimulated Mom Toolkit

What is the Physical Load of Motherhood?

The physical load of motherhood can be incredibly demanding. It can range from late nights and early mornings, to carrying a child and all their gear, to lifting and carrying them around. It can also include managing a household, caring for siblings, and providing physical care and attention. As a mother, you are expected to be constantly available, and you are often physically and emotionally exhausted from the demands of the job. It is an incredible responsibility, but also a rewarding experience.

mother sad and overwhelmed with doing laundry

What is the Mental Load of Motherhood?

The mental load of motherhood can be described as the overwhelming and often invisible burden of managing the everyday tasks, expectations, and responsibilities of being a mother. It can include planning and organizing meals, activities, appointments, and errands; managing finances and paperwork; and providing emotional and physical support for everyone in the household. It can even include the mental energy spent worrying and preparing for the future. The mental load of motherhood can be incredibly taxing, and it is important to recognize that it is a unique challenge that all mothers face.

What is the Emotional Load of Motherhood?

Emotional labor is the term used to describe the physical and mental effort required to manage one's emotions and the emotions of those around them. It is a form of labor that involves self-monitoring and regulating one's behavior and emotions in order to create a desired outcome. This can include anything from managing a difficult customer service situation to navigating family dynamics. It is an important skill that requires a lot of energy and can be draining at times.

Motherhood is an incredibly complex emotional experience. It can bring a deep sense of joy, fulfillment, and purpose to a woman’s life, as well as a great deal of pride in the accomplishments of her children. It can also bring feelings of stress, anxiety, fear, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. The emotional load of motherhood is both unique to each individual mom and universal in its intensity. It is an emotional journey that can be both rewarding and challenging.

invisible load of motherhood in post it notes on car steering wheel

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Mother's Complete Unpaid Work all the Time

Unpaid work in motherhood encompasses any work done by a mother that is not financially compensated. This can include tasks such as taking care of a child, managing the household, and providing emotional support. It is often a thankless job that is often overlooked or undervalued but is essential to the well-being of the family.

Mom's Typically do the Majority of Invisible Labor

Why do Moms Typically do the Majority of Invisible Labor?

Mothers often take on the majority of the “invisible labor” in the home, such as cleaning, cooking, and other domestic tasks, due to societal expectations and gender roles that have been in place for generations. While this has been the norm, it does not have to be the case. Partners, family members, and other loved ones can help share the load to make the home a more equitable environment. It is important to recognize these efforts, as they often go unnoticed, and lend a helping hand whenever possible.

mother upset and overwhelmed, holding head in hands

Taking on too much Invisible Labor can have a Negative Impact on Mom's

Taking on too much invisible labor can have a negative impact on moms, both mentally and physically. Invisible labor is the unpaid, unrecognized, and often unnoticed tasks that are expected to be completed by moms. These can include tasks such as organizing the family calendar, arranging social and recreational activities, grocery shopping, and house cleaning. All of these tasks can become overwhelming, leaving little time for moms to take care of themselves. To avoid the negative impact of invisible labor, it is important for moms to set boundaries and prioritize their own self-care. Having a supportive network of family and friends who can help with tasks or provide moral support can also help to lighten the load.

How to Lighten the Load for Mom's

Moms often bear the brunt of the “invisible load” of household tasks, which can be overwhelming. Here are a few ways to lighten the load and make sure she is getting the help she needs:

  1. Make a list of all the tasks that need to be done around the house and divide them up between family members. 
  2. Take turns with grocery shopping and meal planning. 
  3. Establish a weekly cleaning schedule and have everyone help out with tidying up the house. 
  4. Offer to help with the laundry, folding, and putting it away. 
  5. Help out with pet care, such as walking the dog, brushing and feeding them, and cleaning out their litter boxes. 
  6. Take care of outdoor chores such as mowing the lawn, gardening, and snow removal. 
  7. Offer to run errands, such as picking up prescriptions and dry cleaning. 
  8. Assist with car maintenance, such as changing the oil and checking the tire pressure. 
  9. Offer to do the dishes, take out the garbage, and do other small tasks around the house. 
  10. Spend quality time with mom so she can relax and take a break from her responsibilities.

By dividing up the tasks, everyone can help out and make sure mom isn't shouldering the entirety of the invisible load.

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10 Tips to Help with the Invisible Load of Motherhood

  1. Prioritize self-care. Don't feel guilty about indulging in things like bubble baths, yoga classes, or going out with friends. Taking care of yourself can help you better manage the invisible load of motherhood.
  2. Ask for help. Whether it's a partner, family member, or friend, asking for help doesn't make you a bad mother. Let them know how you're feeling and what you need help with.
  3. Establish routines and rituals. Having regular routines and rituals in place can help make your day-to-day responsibilities smoother and less stressful.
  4. Practice mindfulness. Make time for yourself to be mindful and present in the moment. This can help reduce the stress of the invisible load and can even help you appreciate the moment more.
  5. Take breaks. Breaks are essential for managing the invisible load of motherhood. Take a few minutes for yourself to take a walk, read, or watch something funny.
  6. Set boundaries. It's important to set boundaries with friends, family, and your partner. This can help you protect your time and energy and make sure your needs are met.
  7. Connect with other mothers. Connecting with other mothers who understand the invisible load of motherhood can help you feel supported. Talking with other mothers can be a great way to unload your worries and share advice.
  8. Get organized. Organization is key to managing the invisible load of motherhood. Take some time to organize your home, your schedule, and your tasks. This can help make daily tasks easier and more manageable.
  9. Make time for fun. Don't forget to make time for fun activities that you and your kids can enjoy. Doing things like going to the park, having a dance party, or making crafts can help reduce the stress of motherhood.
  10. Seek professional help. If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't be afraid to seek professional help. Talking to a mental health professional can help you better manage the invisible load of motherhood.
mother overwhelmed with kids jumping in background

How to Manage the Invisible Load of Motherhood

Managing the invisible load of motherhood can be a daunting task. It is important to take some time for yourself and recognize that it is okay to ask for help. It can be helpful to create a schedule and stick to it as best you can. This can help you to prioritize tasks, and make sure you are taking care of yourself. Additionally, it is important to find a good support system. Whether this be family, friends, or other mothers, having someone to talk to and lean on can be a great source of comfort. Lastly, take time to relax and do activities that make you feel joyful. This may be reading a book, going for a walk, or trying a new hobby. Allowing yourself time to relax will help to reduce stress and make you a better mother.

Books to Help you with the Invisible Load of Motherhood

Fair Play- A Game Changing Solution for When you Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky and Penguin Audio

You can also get the Fair Play cards below to help you visualize the invisible load and help you have a conversation with your husband or partner to help share the load.

The Fair Play Deck: A Couples Conversation Deck for Prioritizing What's Important Cards by Eve Rodsky

How Not to Hate your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward by Gemma Hartley

You are a Good Mom Who is Doing so Much for Her Family

You are not alone.. You are not a bad mom.. You are a good mom, who cares deeply about her family. You work incredibly hard to help your kids, family, and household chores. Your work does not go unnoticed by me and I want you to know you are an incredible mother.

Get your Free Overstimulated Mom Survival Guide

In 5 minutes you will create an action plan to identify your sensory triggers and how to manage your emotions to help you become the calm and regulated mom you want to be. Just enter your email address below.

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The Invisible Load of Motherhood is Exhausting, What you can do to help

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