*Hidden* Burdens

s0780296_sc7You know those old-fashioned adding machines, with the little rolls of paper that churn out every number you enter in a big list.  Well I have these in my head, lots of these are thundering away in my head.  But instead of numbers they are the lists of things I need to remember.

There’s been lots on the social media (see links below) lately about this Hidden Burden carried by the organiser of the household/family and let’s be honest, that is usually the woman – sorry boys, but it is.



On top of our jobs, housework and childcare, this additional burden of lists/remembering/organising is silent and goes unnoticed by the rest of the household. And it’s quietly grinding us down.

Some (but definitely not all) of my lists are daily chores, things needed (e.g. new coat for my Complicated Boy), appointments (orthodontist, ballet shoe fitting), birthdays/Christmas (cards, presents, spreading the costs), long term goals, insurances/bills/bank accounts/savings, children’s homework/sports kit/uniforms etc etc.  You get what I mean – all the things that need to be remember and planned and organised and aimed for, are rolling around in my head, on lists of paper, on calendars and electronically.

All the endless little things that get done without anyone realising that they needed to get done.  All those endless little things that magically happen!

Did I burden myself with all these things?  I don’t know?  They just sort of became my job, because nobody else did them.  Why is it that women tend to take on these tasks?  Is it because we are usually the main child carer and houseworker? I really wish I knew why we do this to ourselves.

Well, anyway I am trying to push back with my household.  I am trying to make them look after their own lists.  It’s not working very well – but I am determined.

For example: I have asked Hubby to sort his own car out – insurance, services etc.  But whilst I was sitting in a little coffee shop in Italy (see previous blog).  I got the one and only contact from my husband the whole time I was away. “Who is my car insured with – I need to update it?”  I honestly looked at my phone in horror.  REALLY!?!?!?  I AM IN ITALY!!!?!?!?

Then I got another message from my Baby Girl – “Have I put money on the school lunch account?”  Well to be honest I had forgotten – it must have been on a list in my head that got squashed by all the other lists.  But notice that it was the other girl in the house that picked up the remembering.  It was an absolute pain to have to log on to the school and add money from my phone, whilst sitting in a corner of a museum I was currently visiting.

I couldn’t escape – even in Italy.

So, remember as you go about your business and you see those other Organisers (woman!) walking around – they may look a bit tired and frazzled – send them an understanding smile.  Realise that the lists are churning in their head as well and sometimes they can be drowning in it too.  Let’s not keep them hidden anymore. Let’s give the lists out and share the burden.  Well I can dream……




One thought on “*Hidden* Burdens

  1. Honestly, it’s as if you got into my head. I found myself nodding in agreement with everything you said, right down to the while-overseas text. In my case I was half a world away, and he wanted to know how to order a replacement gas cylinder (er, phone the number on the side of the cylinder). It was 11pm where I was.
    I’m not sure how we pick up all these responsibilities (except perhaps by osmosis, or by seeing our mothers, aunts, etc doing the same), and I haven’t managed to push back very effectively, but recognizing the problem is definitely a good start.


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