The Weight of the Worrying Woman at the Holidays: Seasonal Mental Load


I’ve read all about the mental load that women carry. In relationships, women tend to do most of the mental labor. Seasonal mental labor includes researching toys, choosing what gifts to buy family members on both sides, planning holiday visits/trips, making lists of what to pack for the trips, making lists and budgeting for large meals, taking stock of decorations, choosing and purchasing new decorations, deciding who to bake cookies for, choosing where and when to get a photo with Santa, deciding who to send Christmas cards to and getting their addresses, and on and on and on.

I enjoy some of this! I really do. But it’s a lot. And it’s on top of the regular mental load that most women carry (you know, the list you go over in your mind before bed while your husband is sound asleep next to you). For me, it’s also on top of my full-time job.

I don’t mean to husband bash, and I really don’t think it’s all their fault. Society trains women to take on this seasonal labor. Women have been in the role of managing and running a household business for a long time. Most men aren’t taught how to decorate or to keep current on the mailing addresses of their extended family members. But this can change.

I’m asking my husband to help. He’s awesome, so I’m sure he will. He will help me decide what Santa to visit, what card format to choose, who to mail them to, and so on and on and on. I have to consciously make the choice to ask him to help instead of taking all this on myself. And I’m going to teach my son how to bake, and how to decorate, and how to make a list of items for a large holiday meal.

The holidays are all about sharing, so let’s share that mental load! What’s weighing on your mind right now?