3 simple tips business owner mums can use to get their husband to ease their burden of carrying their family’s mental load.
This is a common complaint in many parent boss households:
- “My husband would have no idea about the kid’s activities, their school stuff and everything I do for the home. He leaves everything to me, but I work as much as him. It makes me so frustrated!”
- “I’m so tired. I get home from work, to ‘start my second job’ taking care of everyone and everything at home. I feel like I’m just living to service everyone. I need some help with everything!”
Leigh and I have been business owners for 20+ years, parents for 12, and married for 16. We get how overwhelming and never-ending dealing with the mental load of our parent boss life can be.
You have built this amazing life together, but it takes a lot to keep it functioning.
This is what we call the mental load. The thoughts, the organisation, the worry, the stress of making that life ‘work’. Juggling all the balls. Trying to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
Keeping up with the school notices, making sure the dog went to the vet, paying all the bills, having food in the house to eat, staying compliant on your obligations to your staff, making sure the car has petrol for the school run in the morning. All of it!
It is a lot and traditionally in many households, it was the Mum who kept this all under control. And in the past, Mums didn’t work full time, so they had more time to make sure that everything was done.
Times have changed.
But in the 21st century, some things have changed. Mums are working more – many FT, so they have less time to spend making sure everything is taken care of.
But, even today, in many homes, it is still the Mum that takes the lion share of the family’s mental load.
And it is leading to many Mums feeling burnt out and frustrated with their husbands (or partners) for lumping them with taking care of it all.
So how can you get your husband to step up to the plate, take on his share of this life that is half his, and give you a break from feeling like it is all up to you?
Here are 3 things that we use in our Parent Boss Life to deal with our family’s mental load:
Share a calendar
We both have iPhones and we have a family calendar on there.
Everything gets put into the calendar:
When bakery bills are due.
House bills are due.
Appointments for all of us, like the dentist.
Our support team – cleaner, lawn guy, laundry pickup, grocery deliveries are coming.
When the bins need to go out.
We are talking everything!
The key is to put alerts on them.
One that pops up 2 days before they are due, so they get on our radar. Then we can work out who is taking care of what.
And another that pops up that day a couple of hours before, so we know to make time for it in our day.
We have found this to be the easiest way to communicate with each other about what needs to be done.
Ditch the fights – get help with the day to day, in both your business and your home.
Leigh & I are both busy with the business. We both do our share with the kidlets.
Our days off were spent doing chores – cleaning, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn. And it used to lead to fights because one of us hadn’t cleaned the bathroom when it was our turn.
Likewise, with the business. It is enough some days to get the bread out, and have someone to serve customers, let alone trying to do the books or marketing ourselves.
So, we decided that we couldn’t do it all and we needed some support.
At work: we got a bookkeeper, a person to help with in-depth cleaning of our equipment, fridge compressors etc, and we taught staff to do ingredient ordering to name a few things.
At home: we switched to grocery and meal delivery services, got a cleaner and a guy to mow our lawns. We even outsource washing our bedding and towels to a laundry service.
And it really has been the best decision we have made for us.
They help with the mental load by taking some of the chores off our plate. They are professionals that we have hired to help us and they can do the job better than us, in half the time.
It has given us so much more time. We can spend it together as a family, or on growing our business.
Don’t even debate this in your head about how you ‘should’ do it all yourself. Just choose one chore you want to ditch at home and one at work and organise the people to take these off your plate.
You will kick yourself that you didn’t do it sooner, when you see how good it feels to ease the pressure on your time and your mind.
Are you being your own worst enemy?
Now there will be some Parent Boss Mums out there who won’t like this question, but here goes anyway.
Are you creating a lot more mental load for yourself, because you don’t think that your husband does a good enough job cleaning? Or he can’t look after the kids properly? Or he doesn’t buy what you want him to buy when you send him grocery shopping?
If you have a particular way you like things done, is this limiting you from handing chores off to your husband at home, or a staff member at work, because no one does it as good as you?
If you are saying yes on the inside, then chances are, you have had your husband try to help you with a chore and you have either communicated to him silently or told him flat out that he hasn’t done it right.
That his way is the wrong way, and your way is the only right way?
When this happens, they will either gladly hold up their hands and back off, leaving you to it (they didn’t want to do it anyway and they will gladly let you have at it) or they get frustrated themselves, because you won’t acknowledge that while their way might be different to yours, it can be just as good.
If this is you, then you are just creating a rod for your back and hogging all the mental load to yourself because you won’t allow anyone to take it from you.
So how can you get frustrated at him, when you won’t give up control?
This man was good enough for you to build a life with. Grow a business with. Have children with. But he’s not good enough to clean the kitchen because he doesn’t clean it properly.
What is this control costing you?
If it is REALLY that important to you that he does things a certain way, then show him why you like it that way and explain that it makes you happy. And if he loves you, then he will want to make you happy.
And if he can’t get it to your exacting standards, then hire a professional who can and take the pressure off the both of you.
Either way, if you won’t allow him to take some of the mental load off you because he doesn’t do it right, then you really can’t complain about carrying all the mental load by yourself.
And years from now, when you are tired, resentful and burnt out from carrying it all by yourself, will it really have been worth it to have that control?
Isn’t your sanity, your time with your loved ones and your peace of mind worth more?
Loosen up the reins there Parent Boss Mama and give yourself a break.
For us, as long as things get done, who does what is irrelevant. One of us, both of us at different times, or outside help.
Our mental health, time with our loved ones and our ability to keep up with this Parent Boss Life long-term, are all way more important factors to us, than arguing over how something gets done.
So, take these 3 tips and have a chat with your hubby or partner. Do they feel that you let them in? Are they even aware of everything that you deal with on a day to day basis?
Do they have an issue with you bringing in outside support, both at work and at home?
If your husband loves you and is dialed in to how you have been coping, then they will have seen that you are staggering under the weight of it all and they will want to lighten the load for you. Let them.
And get more time and space in your Parent Boss Life, with a lighter mental load.
If you need help lightening your mental load, working as a team and training staff to take the day to day off your hands, we can help!
Schedule a call with us where we can talk about your Parent Boss Life and how you can begin to ease the burden of your mental load. Life is too short and too precious not to.
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