The Mom Mental Load

voices of your village Mar 26, 2020



Hi Villagers, welcome to another sunshine soaked Podcast Day. Here’s a hot social-distancing tip: The Voices of Your Village podcast pairs nicely with a walk around the neighborhood. Slip on some sneakers and headphones, click on this week’s episode, head out into the sunshine, snap a selfie, and tag me in it @SeedandSew! Seeing you all self-care at a safe distance with an assist from Voices of Your Village is always the highlight of my day.

This week we are chatting about the mental load of motherhood. I shared a post about the struggles of this mom mental load a few weeks ago and so many of you reached out to say, “Yes! And, what do we do about it?” So, I am here today with Sonnet Simmons Matthews, one of the cohosts of Not Your Mother’s Podcast to dive into what this looks like, how to navigate it, and how to move forward without having to accept it as our reality! Let’s dive in.

Sonnet is a singer and songwriter, working full time in the music industry before having her child. She and her cohost Veronica had their kiddos at the same time and worked together to figure what the heck exactly was going on with their motherhood journeys. When they realized that their questions about motherhood were universal they started their podcast where they interview experts and look for answers, tips, and solutions to their parenting questions.


“You can’t prepare a pregnant woman who hasn’t had a child.”


Sonnet and I agree that one myth about pregnancy and motherhood is the sense of “preparedness.” We agree that no matter how many books you read on the subject, there is a lot of information surrounding pregnancy that you don’t know you need until you receive it. 


“There is no perspective before you’re in it to imagine what it will be like.”


The maternal mental load affects women the moment they realize they are pregnant. It is an added pressure on the mother because motherhood starts in your body, and once the tiny humans are born into this world that mental load doesn’t magically dissipate. Instead, the responsibilities of the mother never stop growing.

Enter the million-dollar motherhood mental load question: Where do we go from here?


“What works for my family doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else, because every village is different.”


So much of dispersing the motherhood mental load is sitting down and recognizing: which of my current responsibilities have to happen, which are not a priority, and where can we outsource? This is an organizational system in and of itself to even sort through your responsibilities. And remember, parenthood is a partnerhood responsibility and this sorting of duties is just another aspect of the partnership.

Now, how do we have these conversations with our partners in an effective way? Every partnership is different, so these conversations will look and sound different across the board but regardless of your dynamic be sure to be approaching these hard conversations with respect.


“Even the act of acknowledging our partners frees up energy. Just as we acknowledge our children’s emotions, it can be so hard to acknowledge our partner’s.”


Social media has bred this idea of “perfection” that directly adds more responsibility to our mother mental load. Now, thanks to social media, we not only have to be perfect mother’s in real life, but we have to appear to be perfect mother’s on the internet as well. Without social media, these new expectations would have never entered our minds. I wonder how much we have added to our mental load with the addition of social media- would any of us cut out kiddos sandwiches into cute shapes if we weren’t going to take pictures of it for the ‘gram?


“I struggle with trying to bring this to light in a consistent way because I feel like it is a conversation, but not a meme. This is a continuous conversation that we are discovering new facets of every day, so it is hard to post about it in a real way.”


I agree with Sonnet, this is a conversation we need to be having with one another, and it should be happening in person. Because of social media and “playdate” culture we have lost essential aspects of the in-person village. We should be going to one another’s messy homes and getting a front-row seat to each other’s realities of motherhood, without a screen in the way. 


“You don’t have to project this idea that your kid never feels mad.”


For our complete deep dive into the realities of the motherhood mental load, tap on the episode above. To check out Sonnet and Veronica’s podcast head on over to and look for them on Instagram and Facebook to stay connected. Thank you for joining me today, Sonnet! Welcome to our Village!


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