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Mental load: what do you NOT do

  1. periwinklebee

    grapefruit / 4449 posts

    @LCTBQE: Hah, the last time MIL was around she kept telling me I needed to buy DH new socks and underwear after she saw the pile of clean laundry. I gave in because it took like 20 seconds on Amazon and you gotta pick your battles (and he did appreciate it, probably more than any other 20 seconds I spent on him), but I semi-hated myself afterwards for taking on that traditional of a wifely role...

  2. Mrs. Toad

    persimmon / 1095 posts

    I don't:

    1. Take care of bills
    2. Pay any attention to the car other than filling it up as needed and noticing warning lights while driving
    3. Usually plan dinner and cook
    4. Take out the recycling and trash
    5. Call maintenance if something isn't working correctly
    6. Vacuum/Sweep/Mop - We both sweep often under the table though
    7. Decide on providers (cell, internet, etc)
    8. Find babysitters and set up babysitting
    9. Vacation planning - We decide upon dates together and often decide which flights together, but he handles most of it.
    10. Birthdays for his family (kids (3) excepted - I usually buy the kids gifts. No gifts for other family members)

    We split a lot of kids care, but I do a majority of making sure the clothes are the right size. I do laundry and most of the cleaning.

    We split getting groceries, but usually have a running list of needs.

  3. LBee

    pomegranate / 3895 posts

    @LCTBQE: It's not all sunshine and roses, but I will say I don't feel any resentment towards him anymore. The reality check regarding the stuff I wasn't willing to give but that I feel burdened by (mainly, doctor's appointments) made me realize that if I'm not willing to delegate it, I can't really be an ass that he isn't doing it. Plus DS still hasn't had his 4 year check-up so it's not like I'm killing it at my "mental load."

    He also reminded me that prior to our marriage he didn't send gifts to his parents and that was their norm. Just because I decided I want to send gifts to them doesn't mean that it's my "mental load." They are 100% fine receiving nothing from us (they've said that). I just like shopping and buying for people (my love language). I have to acknowledge that just because we got married doesn't mean that suddenly he's going to take on all the things that I view as "right" (giving gifts to family) and that if he doesn't that it's my cross to bear. Just my two cents

    @chicalgobee and me often joke that our husbands are lucky you can't amazon prime a body bag!

  4. Mrs. Toad

    persimmon / 1095 posts

    @periwinklebee: I have bought new underwear, but only because I was going to the store anyway. He's picky about that and usually does it himself. I'd have him do mine, but I'm also picky about that.

  5. LCTBQE

    nectarine / 2461 posts

    @periwinklebee: from everything you've said about her I'm kind of surprised that your MIL herself ever stopped buying his socks and underwear. also ETA I literally one week ago bought my husband new underwear as a stocking stuffer--so we're in good company with mrs toad I guess I was just looking for presents that weren't a total waste of money and wouldn't have cared if he kept wearing the same ratty stuff, my attitude on that is that it's his choice, right?

  6. periwinklebee

    grapefruit / 4449 posts

    @LCTBQE: hah hah, probably only because he wouldn't tolerate it

  7. Hypatia

    kiwi / 500 posts

    My husband:

    1. Works full time (I stay home)
    2. Cuts the grass
    3. Does outside home repair stuff
    4. Takes the trash and recycling to the curb and brings it back
    5. Puts the baby to bed while I put the preschooler to bed (if he’s home, his schedule varies)
    6. Picks up the groceries for the orders I place on his way home

    I do everything else. But I feel like that’s only fair, since his full time job is X and my full time job is being the manager of our home. Taking care of the home isn’t a trivial, “extra” thing, and since I stay home, it makes sense that I take 90% of it on as my responsibility (of course it’s different when both spouses work). It reminds me of this quote from GK Chesterton.

    “But when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun at Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets cakes. and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”

  8. LCTBQE

    nectarine / 2461 posts

    @LBee: YES, EXACTLY EXACTLY re buying his parents presents--this was my problem with the article from another thread about emotional load from a week or two ago--the difference between how you think things *should be* and what actually needs to happen is, IMO, where a lot of the unnecessary mental load gets tacked on.

  9. Kaohinani

    grapefruit / 4144 posts

    @Hypatia: Great quote!

  10. Mama Bird

    pomegranate / 3127 posts

    We split most things 50-50, but DH does all the people stuff. Getting phone numbers for classmates' parents, handling the family's social life, even calling back my parents when I'm too "peopled out" I really love that he does this.

    Also laundry, and cutting the kids' nails. It only took me six years to get over the fear of cutting tiny little baby nails!

    @LCTBQE: ha, my MIL also did that for DH! It made sense because clothes stores in her neighborhood are much better than ours. Now that she's gone, I'll have to step into her shoes there. I've got new slippers and socks as DH's present, but deep inside it makes me sad - another reminder that she's gone.

  11. cyntist

    coffee bean / 42 posts

    This thread is pretty much confirming that I really do manage practically everything in our house. Without requests from me, my husband:
    1. Does his laundry.
    2. Mows the lawn and does most of the snow removal.
    3. Keeps the water softener full of salt.
    4. Scoops the cats’ litterboxes, but this is temporary, because I’m pregnant. And I always have to remind him.
    5. Should schedule his own doctor and dentist appointments, and his car maintenance, but he only ever actually does the car ones. The others just don’t happen.
    6. Starts and cleans the Roomba.
    7. Does daycare dropoff and pickup for our toddler.
    8. Earns more than I do, though we work the same number of hours with similar stress levels.

    He does do quite a bit, and he’s really stepped up since I’ve been having a difficult pregnancy, but if it were left entirely to him, our son wouldn’t have clean clothes in his closet, the bills wouldn’t be paid, we’d constantly run out of essentials, and the house would be vacuumed but otherwise dirty. And everything would be put away in the wrong place, so we wouldn’t be able to find anything.

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