Lighten the Mental Load: 6 Tips for Working Moms


If you’re like me, you juggle many roles every day — career woman, super (fun, cool) mom of two boys, household manager, and so on.

But let’s talk about that invisible weight we carry on our shoulders: the mental load. I remember a specific conversation with my mom, who said, “I can’t imagine the pressure you feel being bombarded by social media and how to be the perfect mom all day.” And she’s right — our parents’ generation didn’t grapple with the relentless pressure to juggle it all.

In the last four years, I’ve had two children, survived a global pandemic, worked full-time, undergone two job changes, and most recently started my own business.

I can’t say I’ve mastered the art of self-care, but I’ve improved over the last few years and found some actionable tips to change my mental load positively.

Here are 6 tried-and-true tips to help you lighten the mental load:

1) Master the Art of Delegation

Repeat after me, “I don’t have to do it all myself.”

I remember a conversation with my husband before we had kids that boiled down to one simple truth: “If you need help, just ask.” Despite being stubborn, even after 12 years together, I’ve realized the wisdom in this advice.

It’s far more efficient for me to say, “Hey, could you grab the diapers?” than to waste another half-hour on a task he can easily handle.

Delegating can free up valuable space and give you some breathing room. Hire the cleaners, or use the grocery delivery app. Find ways to have someone else take the task off your plate.

2) Embrace the Power of Saying ‘No’

Could you take a step back and assess your to-do list? Only some things need to be done right now, and not everything needs to be done perfectly. Identify your top priorities at work and home and focus your energy on those.

Say no to non-essential commitments and streamline your routines wherever possible to make life more manageable.

3) Experiment with Time-Blocking

Instead of cramming every task into a never-ending to-do list, experiment with time blocking, a productivity technique in which you allocate specific blocks for different activities.

I’ll set a timer for 30 minutes after I drop off my boys at daycare to pick up the house. Then, another for an hour to crank out work-related tasks, and so on throughout the day.

This not only helps you prioritize and manage your time more effectively, but it also provides a sense of structure and predictability to your day.

4) Mama Needs a Minute

I know, we hear this a lot. It’s never as easy as it sounds. Do I want to get up at 5 a.m. to get to the gym daily? No. Has it taken me 18 months since my youngest was born to return to that routine? Yes.

Self-care takes many forms. Sometimes, it’s going to the gym. Sometimes, it’s drinking coffee slowly and reading (or scrolling) before everyone else wakes.

It’s incredible how little 1 hour can make a difference in my day. It’s not always possible, but after my second baby, I realized how much I needed to dedicate time to myself where I could. I’m a better mom because of it.

5) Implement a Daily Brain Dump

I set aside time each day to do a “brain dump,” where I write down everything on my mind — tasks, worries, ideas, you name it.

Externalizing your thoughts can help clear mental clutter and make it easier to focus on priorities. Surprisingly, it often reveals that many worries aren’t as heavy as they initially seem.

6) Build a Support Network

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same goes for managing the mental load.

Surround yourself with fellow moms who get it—they’re the ones you can text at 4 a.m. when the baby has been up all night or when your toddler wakes up sick, and you need a game plan for the day.

You don’t have to navigate this journey solo. My mom’s friends have been a lifeline when I needed support, empathy, and even a good laugh to get through the challenging moments. Remember, you’re doing a fantastic job, and it’s okay to ask for help when needed.

Here’s to finding balance, embracing imperfection, and savoring motherhood’s beautiful chaos while making mindful changes to lighten the mental load. You’ve got this!