The pharmacy cashier asked what my relationship to the patient was.
“I’m her mother.”
I was picking up some prescription pain medication for my daughter who was at home with my husband and still super emotional from one of the general anesthesia meds she’d received. Just an hour earlier she’d been medically oblivious as 9 baby teeth had been extracted by the oral surgeon.
As I drove home with the medicine that might as well have been labeled “gold,” I noticed a familiar sensation creep into my consciousness. It was utter exhaustion. I reminded my constant companion that we still had to get medicine into my daughter, encourage her to drink and eat some more, and get an ice pack on her cheeks. My husband was working from home today, but that didn’t mean he was free from all work-related responsibilities and our toddler Addie was cutting a molar. In other words, I told my exhaustion to suck it up because I still needed to get a lot done before I could rest.
The Motherhood Skill Set
I don’t have a ton of out-of-the-home work experience, but I can tell you that being a stay-at-home mother is the hardest job I’ve ever had. Some days it’s the physical exertion of holding a teething toddler all day that makes me bone-tired. Others it’s the near-constant mental and emotional strain that leaves me in a near-comatose state each night.
A mother’s mental load has been a hot topic ever since Emma’s now-famous cartoon called “You Should’ve Asked” was picked up by many media outlets. The mental load coupled with the physical execution of daily tasks is the reason why many mothers’ constant status is “tired.”
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