Mental Exhaustion: A Comparison of The Thought Life of a Mum And Dad After a Day at Work
Mental exhaustion. It’s what mums experience everyday.
It’s the constant thoughts that run around a mum’s head the moment she wakes up to the moment she lays her head on the pillow.
The thoughts range from planning for the day to organising the kids and making sure everyone has what they need and are where they ought to be on a given day. A mother knows if she doesn’t think ahead, it will cost her in some way later on.
One mum, Meredith Ethington, decided to write down a running list of her after-work thoughts and compare them to the thoughts of her husband after his day at work. The lists couldn’t be more polar opposite. And it’s something all mums would resonate with.
As written on Facebook:
“THOUGHTS MUMS HAVE AFTER A LONG DAY OF WORK:
OMG. This house is a mess.
Do we have enough bread for lunch tomorrow?
I need to have a talk with the five year old about honesty and have him return that toy he ‘borrowed.’
I hope I can get some sleep tonight. Like, actual real sleep where I have a dream, or twitch, or something. I should buy a sleep mask.
Did I put the laundry in the dryer?
Did I hit send on that email?
Is it too late to register the 8yo for soccer that is six months away?
Are they caught up on their shots for school?
Do we need more cat food?
I should clean out their closets.
How is the ceiling fan THAT dusty? Like, for real. Why is there so much dust on a fan that spins all day? How is that even possible?
I keep seeing spiders. Need to call the exterminator.
I hope that we get into that good preschool and not the shady looking one that for sure has a hand foot and mouth infestation.
I hope I bought the right sunscreen and not one that will give them a rash.
When was the last time I watered my flowers outside?
I should wash our sheets.
I bet Karen washes her sheets every week.
I need a freaking vacation from mum life, but who would remember that we need more ramen noodles?
I will cut someone if I don’t have any chocolate after the kids are in bed.
THOUGHTS DADS HAVE AFTER A LONG DAY OF WORK:
I’m going to lay down here and take a nap real quick.”
The lists couldn’t be more relatable or predictable.
The Facebook post received over 1000 reactions and was shared over 500 times.
After her post, Meredith put a comment about her husband, saying it wasn’t a dig at him, but a simple comparison of the mental load women carry everyday.
TRUTH: My husband is amazing. He does dishes after work, helps put kids to bed, and works really hard WITH me at the end of a long day, so I’m more than happy that he gets a quick nap in. This is more about the MENTAL load women carry that men often don’t. Not a shot at my husband who is an amazing provider, husband and father.
While many mums could relate and see the post as humour, others saw it for what it was: that mums and dads think differently.
One commenter wrote this response, “Different, not better or worse. The thoughts and worries that plague me are simply different to those that plague my husband. The best solution: Take a “nap” with him, you’ll both feel better!”
While another wrote this, “My husband is amazing … helps out tremendously.. but when he’s done, he’s done. My brain does not. #momlife”
And that may just be the problem for us mums. Maybe we need to think less and just live in the moment more.
Will the balls fall out of the air if we took that nap or closed off our brain for a moment? Maybe our busy mind is a sign we need to slow down and focus on one thing at a time and not all the things at once?
Maybe we wouldn’t be so exhausted by the end of the day!
If only I knew how to turn off the switch to my brain!