MENTAL LOAD MARATHON

Finally, all three sons in one room. It’s been months. The deep laughter and humorous barbs make me smile. How did we FINALLY get to the place I’d always pined for? When did the “Please, grow up!” statement become reality? When did the maturity hit? I’m perplexed because we didn’t change anything- we just kept on keeping on. And I prayed ceaselessly for years. I wanted so badly to be a good mother and see them to adulthood. I also wanted them to eventually be friends. Had God noticed my MENTAL LOAD?

Recently, a coworker introduced me to the term “mental load.” It’s when a person makes mental notes of things or people needing attention. This certainly captures the hurricane swirling inside my head at any given moment. It’s the “to dos” that are unrecognized by other members of the unit. It could be as small as future appointments to make, mental grocery lists, emotional concerns about another, upcoming birthdays/events, or repairs needed to a paint job. Apparently, I do too much of this. However, it is real and appears women carry this load most.

My husband says I worry too much and that I’m going to have a heart attack. Well, I haven’t had one yet! What he calls worry, I call concern. I’m hyper aware of others and their perceived needs. Perceived, of course, because I have yet to master mind reading. Maybe my personality type makes me overly empathetic. But, hey, I could be a sociopath and that’s not good either. And I’m the one noticing tiny details and nuances. Maybe we are a perfect match? I don’t know but I would love to shut off the perpetual “to dos” in my head.

Seeing all three sons sitting (!) at the table together today chatting is something that started occurring only recently. For some reason, they interacted in passing fragments for two decades or were in a pile on the floor. Now, three humans with albeit humorous words have taken over and I love, love it!

My mental load might ease up in one area with this newfound pleasure but takes over like a V8 engine when it comes to their relationships and future plans. Peace Corps, anyone? Cross country relocations? Can I get an amen? Mamas will always be concerned with details of their childrens’ lives no matter how many times we hear, “It’s really none of your business.” Haha, go ahead, try to make me disinterested. But please, for the love of God, do not stress me out!

The Mom Mulligan

person holding golf ball
Photo by Jopwell x PGA on Pexels.com

The stranger’s name was Dexter. He was an older male, reserved, quiet and wary of others. I tried to be friendly but he seemed completely disinterested in any conversation.  At one point he even turned his back towards me to get his point across. Finally, I relented and left him alone. Dexter was an attractive, tie-wearing yorkie with missing teeth.

His owner, on the other hand was very chatty.  Like Dexter, he was an older gentleman that went everywhere with his tiny companion. I asked how he chose a yorkie and he said he didn’t, his wife had brought it home unannounced a long time ago. He went on to share she had died of cancer and now he and Dexter were as thick as thieves.  He got teary after I told him she was better off than us. He said she had told him that exact thing from her hospital bed. It was obvious he loved her dearly.

Somehow I began sharing with him how overwhelmed and stressed I was taking/sending four college students back to school while working my job. From their car tags, utilities, rental agreements, packing, shopping, etc. I was completely spent. (At some point during this conversation, Dexter, the dog, turned and faced my direction.)  Surprisingly, the gentleman told me, “Quit your bitching. That’s what moms do.”  He went on to tell me that one day I will miss all this chaos. I told him that I wasn’t sure I liked that and that maybe I just needed a mulligan this time. He smiled and said, “Moms always get mulligans.”  About the same time, Dexter crawled into in my lap and rested his little head in the crook of my arm to go to sleep.