In recent years, we have been talking more and more about mental load. It's a lot thanks to the comic strip "Fallait demande" by Emma, a French artist.
In Quebec, journalist Maude Goyer became interested in the phenomenon after receiving hundreds of testimonies from breathless women. She also wrote a novel about it, "Mom went to get milk".
But by the way, what is mental load?
It is the fact of planning and organizing all the tasks of the household. It is to plan the schedule of all family members. It is said that it is an intense cognitive load and an invisible work done mainly by mothers, therefore, women. Why that? Because before the 1970s, women traditionally stayed at home to raise children and take care of the maintenance of the house while men were the providers. However, since the 1970s, women have also entered the labor market… without necessarily relieving themselves of all the time and energy required to maintain a home and raise children. Thus, the division of the planning of the tasks as well as their execution is not equitable between the parents.
Rather than saying "mom hasneed help with the laundry”, why not say that the clothes need to be washed, dried, folded and put away instead? In doing so, we do not imply that this task automatically falls to the mother and that the involvement of others is only a help. It becomes everyone's responsibility. The same goes for all the other household chores, of course!
Sharing the Mental Load
Some families share custody of the mental burden: one week, the mother is in charge of scheduling the children's medical appointments, who makes the grocery list according to the meals on the menu as well as the management of the family calendar, to name only these examples and the other week, it is the father (or the other parent, obviously considering that not all families are not straight parents).
A family affair
And what about performing the tasks themselves? We also share within all the members of the family. Obviously, we take into account the age of the children and therefore their motor and cognitive abilities for the execution of these chores.
The site savezvousplanterdeschoux.com offers a chart of tasks according to the age of the children. We can thus see what children are capable of doing according to their age and be inspired to have our children perform some of these chores.
Working as a family team involves first showing the children how to do a particular household chore. Then maybe a littlesupervision will be necessary, but soon the child will know how to do it. He may even take pride in it, which is saying something.;)
We can easily rotate household chores according to each person's interests. Thus, each child has the privilege (yes, yes!) of vacuuming over the weeks.
A great way to build self-esteem
By feeling involved, by actually doing something for their home that they love, children will feel proud. This pride in experiencing a success, being congratulated and thanked, as well as giving a helping hand to his parents, encourages the child to develop his sense of competence, which is one of the components of self-esteem.
Also, since parents have fewer tasks to accomplish than we do everything as a team, we have more time to spend with the family doing pleasant activities or just… relaxing. Set