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Why the Invisible Load of Motherhood is Breaking You

mom in therapy

Listen in as Carley sits down with a Perinatal Mental Health Therapist to discuss the invisible load of motherhood that all too many women experience.

039 | Lauren A Tetenbaum, LMSW, JD, PMH-C

Lauren A. Tetenbaum is an advocate and therapist certified in perinatal mental health who specializes in life transitions affecting millennials and young women.

With an approach grounded in empathy and emotional intelligence, Lauren counsels clients on romantic relationships, career choices, pregnancy and parenting, anxiety, and family dynamics. She offers cognitive behavioral and feminist-based psychotherapy to individuals and couples.

A mother of two with over a decade of experience in the legal industry, Lauren also facilitates support groups for working, new, and aspiring parents and provides consulting and mental health coaching to support parents in corporate settings. She is passionate about building connections and giving back to her community.

What is the Invisible Load?

The invisible load is the behind-the-scenes work that goes into being a parent. It can be logistical, physical, emotional, or mental. In heterosexual couples, it’s typically the moms that do this kind of work in the household.

Since they are conditioned early on to be the caretakers in a family dynamic, it can be hard to let go of control. Sometimes those who are the preferred parent think it is easier to “just do it yourself,” but eventually, negative feelings can arise.

The damage of cultural expectations

Mom as the primary parent is still very much expected in today’s society. Dads are usually only doing the bare minimum. This can lead to an increase in anxiety, burnout, and resentment and can sometimes trigger unwanted anger toward both your partner and your children.

Even full-time working moms are expected to do all the things. Even when your partner reaches out to help, relinquishing control is easier said than done because society has influenced the role of mothers-to-be.

“Change happens when we are the squeaky wheel, as hard as it may be.”

Getting the conversation started

The best way forward in changing this is to start small. Being self-aware of your role and your responsibilities is the first step. Communicating with your partner about how you are feeling and why brings awareness to them as to how they can possibly approach things differently and offer you support.

Making a list and having open conversations is a great place to start. And remembering that you are not relinquishing control but rather sharing the load, working as a team, is a great way to put things in perspective for your family to support each other in the ever-fluctuating world of parenting.

Topics covered

The invisible load (2:37)

See Also
bottle feeding mom holding baby

Real-life examples (7:51)

Anxiety (13:22)

The route not chosen (24:03)

The idea of maintaining boundaries (28:52)

Strategies to get the conversation started (32:20)

Additional resources

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