Women don't 'Whoa' Part II

Women don't 'Whoa' Part II

Ahhh let's revisit the mental load, the never-ending to-do list. That voice in the back of your head running through things that need to be done, organised, decisions that have to be made, what tasks can be delegated all while trying to work / have a chat to your friend / watch tv / eat dinner in peace / go to sleep, etc.

Sound familiar?

Is there any way of totally getting rid of the mental load bar taking a long holiday with no phone by ourselves or with a good friend, possibly knee deep in a bottle of wine? I am not sure, I sometimes wonder if this burden is built into the female psyche. These are questions for people who have more time than I! I can tell you a few things I have put in place I have found that at least help in my day-to-day life. Maybe they will help, maybe they will spark off an idea that you can implement. They may be easier said than done but they are still doable.

A quick background on me – I have three children under five. Three boys to be specific. One full-time job not horse related; one contract job again not horse related; one 'I do it in my own time' job. Then the horses.....I should have three or four broodmares and one filly - I currently have six mares, one filly and one four-year-old due to disastrous breeding seasons meaning the recipient route is being tried. I own a house on a few acres with some barns. I guess one could say I am busy.

What can you try to help alleviate the mental load:

1) Talk with your partner / housemate / family. Explain how you feel and all the things you feel you are the only one thinking about. Try not to get defensive. You may find they are actually also thinking of certain areas. Know that this communication will be fluid and ongoing; it is not just a one off.

2) Make time! Yes - make time FOR YOU. How ironic when we are on the go 24/7. Mine is the gym. I don't know how I fit it in but I do. Once I paid for a month; I had to go, and the time appeared. Walk/cycle? What about 15-30 minutes in the bath/shower? 30 mins reading a book? Anything that is not organising general life. It is not easy to set aside a full day or half a day here or there so start small. Set an event in your phone daily for just you even if it is an alarm 15 minutes before bed.

3) Running a household – delegate.....run it like a business - now there is no point having a meeting to just discuss; no meeting is complete without minutes. That means there needs to be a list (yes another task you need to do). Stick a wipe-off board on the fridge (about the only place males of the species will venture willingly) with everything that has to be done and who is assigned it this week. I found it helped to know these tasks were done and we would often spend an hour blitzing the house in one go and it was done and dusted so to speak.


4) Eating times – for yourself always have breakfast. The main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner; who currently does all of this? Is your significant other having breakfast at the same time as you / kids? Do they need lunch at work? If so, can they help the kids get breakfast? Can they make their own lunch and the kids while they are at it? Do they eat dinner? Then let them cook or ask them to cook! Come to an arrangement that gives you one less thing to worry about.

5) Food – meal prep if at all possible; even if it is one meal a day. Overnight oats are the easiest thing and ensure a good start and that you have had at least one good meal a day.

6) Last but not least. Appreciate. You may never get thanked for buying the toothpaste as you noticed it was running out or thanked for organising the carpool to football practice but if someone does something that helps take a small bit of pressure off you thank them, tell them it makes you happy. Hopefully, eventually, it will become part of their daily life.

We are fearsome warriors but even warriors need to sleep.

Emily Fletcher

Emily Fletcher

30+years experience with horses. I now have a smallholding breeding sport horses as a hobby in Ireland. Much experience in purchasing & export of horses. You can find us at Virtuoso Sport Horses!