Does this ‘mums thoughts’ vs ‘dads thoughts’ list ring true in your house?

It suggests that only mums carry the 'mental load' of family life...


Hmm… this is quite an interesting take, indeed!


US mum blogger Meredith Ethington has divided opinion with her latest Facebook status.

In her post, Meredith compared the thoughts of a mum after a hard day’s work with a dad’s, alongside a photo of her husband snoozing on the couch in his work uniform.

In summary? Mum’s got LOADS of general housey things on her mind, and dad’s first and only thought is to have a snooze when he gets in.

Here’s the post in full:


  • OMG. This house is a mess.
  • Do we have enough bread for lunch tomorrow?
  • I need to have a talk with the five year old about honesty and have him return that toy he “borrowed”.
  • I hope I can get some sleep tonight. Like, actual real sleep where I have a dream, or twitch, or something. I should buy a sleep mask.
  • Did I put the laundry in the dryer?
  • Did I hit send on that email?
  • Is it too late to register the 8yo for soccer that is six months away?
  • Are they caught up on their shots for school?
  • Do we need more cat food?
  • I should clean out their closets.
  • How is the ceiling fan THAT dusty? Like, for real. Why is there so much dust on a fan that spins all day? How is that even possible?
  • I keep seeing spiders. Need to call the exterminator.
  • I hope that we get into that good preschool and not the shady looking one that for sure has a hand foot and mouth infestation.
  • I hope I bought the right sunscreen and not one that will give them a rash.
  • When was the last time I watered my flowers outside?
  • I should wash our sheets. I bet Karen washes her sheets every week.
  • I need a freaking vacation from mom life, but who would remember that we need more ramen noodles?
  • I will cut someone if I don’t have any chocolate after the kids are in bed.

“THOUGHTS DADS HAVE AFTER A LONG DAY OF WORK: I’m going to lay down here and take a nap real quick”

And an update, added later:

“TRUTH: My husband is amazing. He does dishes after work, helps put kids to bed, and works really hard WITH me at the end of a long day, so I’m more than happy that he gets a quick nap in.

“This is more about the MENTAL load women carry that men often don’t.

“Not a shot at my husband who is an amazing provider, husband and father.”

The reaction

The general consensus from mums reading the post was that Meredith was bang on the money – and that though their husbands contributed fairly, they were the ones who took on the ‘mental load’ of keeping a household and a family running.

“This really rings true for me as well!” one wrote. “My husband works, cooks, cleans, and helps with the kids. I feel like he is the “do-er” and I am the “thinker”.

“The mastermind behind it all, who makes sure everything runs smoothly. Always thinking 10 steps ahead, making it hard to live in the present. You hit the nail on the head – it’s a “mental load” and it is so exhausting!”

“I am exactly this mom (I’m always “50 things behind” which haunts me all waking hours),” added another.

“My hard working husband does more than his share, including a long work day that starts too early, and ends with cleaning up our dishes every night!

“But he isn’t burdened with so many of life’s details I’m cursed with. God wired us differently and we carry different loads because of this.”

However, not all mums were in 100% agreement – saying that what their husbands thought about was just ‘different’, not less.

“Different, not better or worse. The thoughts and worries that plague me are simply different to those that plague my husband. The best solution: Take a “nap” with him, you’ll both feel better!” one mum added.

“Work smarter not harder. Maybe if we followed their lead we wouldn’t feel so neurotic and stressed. I admire my husband and many men for their talent to just relax. I hate how I stress stupidly,” another shared.

What we thought

While it seems several mums just GOT what this post was saying, it did offend a few people – most likely the dads who do have a lot on their mind and feel stressed when they get home from work.

And we’d have to agree that Meredith’s post is a bit of a generalisation, and therefore, will obvs not apply to every mum and dad duo out there.

But interestingly, it did resonate with a few of the mums on team MFM – who said that, for them personally, this was exactly how their lives worked.

Both partners equally contribute to family life in different ways, but mum definitely does the worrying, panicking, remembering of chores, shopping lists, and birthdays, and all the planning ahead…

What do you think?

We’re really curious to know: do you think you carry the ‘mental load’ in your family? Or is your other half the one keeping things ticking over?

Perhaps you’re both pretty chill and able to go with the flow? Share how it works for you in the comments below, or over on Facebook

Images: Facebook/Meredith Ethington

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