There’s a recurring conversation in our household. It starts usually with me declaring I need a meal out. A meal where I don’t have to cook it, serve it to anyone, get up a million times to grab refills for kids, or extra this or that and I don’t have to clean anything up after. The conversations usually takes place like this:
Me “Let’s go out to eat.”
Husband “Ok. Where?”
Me “Umm… I don’t know, you pick”
Husband “But you’re the one who wants to go out. Why can’t you just pick?”
Then things continue from there.
Why did we always end up with this same conversation?
It had baffled me for some time why I couldn’t just chose. Then one day it hit me. On any given day I am making what feels like a million choices for everyone in this house. It starts almost as soon as I wake up. I chose what to feed the kids for breakfast. I chose what clothes to put on them. I chose what is packed in their lunches. Most nights I chose what to cook for dinner. I make SO MANY choices.
Also, because I’m me, there is a lot of thought that gets put into each choice. Deciding the clothes for the toddler that day might go like this in my head: “He has Soccer Shots today, so he should wear something that isn’t too restrictive and he can play in.” Or like this: “After school we’re going to such and such a place, so I want him in something cute.” Or possibly: “It’s a little cool right now but it will warm up and he usually gets hot, so many a lightweight long sleeve shirt but with shorts.” Each choice is carefully thought through and made with purpose.
So one day it hit me. Sometimes I just need not to think about something. I need for someone else to say “this is what we’re doing and where we’re going.” I don’t even have to think. Being a mother is exhausting. It’s exhausting chasing kids all day or driving them here and there, but there is a level of mental exhaustion that is very real. The mental load of motherhood is substantial. I expend a lot of mental energy thinking about everything everyone in this family needs, anticipating what is coming and how it should be done or handled.
So sometimes I am going to defer a choice or two, like where we’re eating dinner out tonight. It helps me have more mental stamina so that tomorrow, I can spend time deciding things like are my kids being read to enough and are they getting the correct balance of fruits and vegetables.