WHEN THE WHOLE FAMILY SHARES THE MENTAL LOAD

Reading the book The Entrencheds by Fanny Britt has challenged me a lot! I love hearing about the reality of other mothers, I like to know how they live their motherhood and their family life, to know their challenges and their daily anxieties. We are all so different! One thing seems to unite us, however: the weight of the mental load. As Fanny Britt has so aptly pointed out, we will not be able to remove this "emotional anchoring"! We seem to be programmed to be more "inhabited by past mistakes, current imperatives and future worries" than our spouses. On the other hand, we can certainly offload it somewhat by sharing a part of this load, not only the domestic tasks but also the organization of these! It is a workhorse of Les Belles Combines. As soon as I had children, like most mothers of my generation, I thought of stimulating them, making them independent, able to plan, to see coming and to accomplish tasks. In my case, it is a constant reflection: professional distortion of a teacher who constantly sees opportunities to stimulate children! In all honesty, I have put in place monthly and weekly planning tools for this sole purpose. Quite naturally, the mental load was shared between the family members and I became much more Zen! The more time passed, the more I realized that our children would one day become fathers and mothers in turn and that it was our role to raise them in a model of equity to change things a little. The more time passed, the more I also realized that my planning tools, in addition to stimulating children, allowed this balance that we all seek. Here are 10 tips to put into practice so that Les Belles Combines family planners allow you to “drop off” your mental load and share it with your family.
  • Our family planners are located in places where everyone can see them. Here we have installed two monthly planners  in the hallway and a weekly planner  on the fridge.
  • Our planners are at the desired height, that is to say they are accessible to children. All the material necessary for its use (erasable pencils, magic eraser and magnetos) is also accessible to everyone.
  • We use 2 monthly planners in order to "see it coming" the next two months. For later appointments, I use iCal or a paper agenda.
  • On our weekly planner we find the Small Missions  children as well as the tasks that must be done each week by the parents. The parent who has the most time available that week performs more tasks. When we both have a very busy agenda, we agree on the sharing of tasks at the start of the week.
  • On the monthly planner, we wrote down 5 monthly tasks (washing the fridge, washing the stove, washing the floors, dusting the baseboards and grocery shopping. storage). Again, depending on the time available, each parent accomplishes what he is able to do. When we are both very busy we agree on the sharing of tasks at the beginning of the month.
  • Each morning, the oldest child moves the little star "today" to the family planner before leaving for school. In this way, everyone can easily find their way around and see the different events coming, even the smallest.
  • Every night when the kids unpack their school bag, they open their postman. We check together if there are important dates (extracurricular activity, parent meeting, class activity, privilege to bring a toy to class, special snack, etc.) and we ask them to write them down on the monthly planner. .
  • Often, before going to sleep, we take 5 minutes to go see the next day on the weekly planner; what's on the menu, appointments and activities as well as everyone's weekly task. When possible, we leave it to them to choose when they want to do their task during the day.
  • When children spontaneously use one or other of the family planners, without being asked, we highlight this achievement in one block General store  to motivate them to do so.
  • When one of the parents has to make an appointment, they must consult the monthly planner to make sure that they find the best time to make the appointment. This saves us from having overloaded weeks filled with appointments and activity.
   If you are the spouse who tends to keep everything in your mind, insist that everyone get into the habit of using planners and above all be persistent. The habit will not be created in a few days but over the months. Believe me, everyone will win!

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