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How the Mental Load Sneaks Into Your Everyday Life—Whether You Realize It or Not

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Parenting & Pregnancy

Community Psychiatry’s Leela Magavi, M.D. was featured in Parents discussing “The mental load of Parenthood”.

The physical and emotional labor of parenthood can manifest in ways you don’t even realize. Here’s how.

It’s not just moms feeling this burden, but it does seem to weigh more heavily on the primary caregiver in a family. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 69.4 million opposite-sex partner households and 1,012,000 same-sex partner households in the country. Stay-at-home mothers make up more than a quarter of married-couple families, compared to 1 percent of stay-at-home fathers. For many American families—especially now during a pandemic—moms are bearing the brunt of child care on top of work and household responsibilities. According to a New York Times survey, 66 percent of women say they’re responsible for child care and 70 percent say they’re in charge of housework. The pandemic gender division is real: Women are having to choose between their jobs and child care, while some are tackling both at the same time.

“Intergenerational trends often create stagnancy within family units,” says Leela R. Magavi, M.D., psychiatrist and regional medical director of Community Psychiatry. “In some cultures, women are expected to take care of all the household tasks even after a long day at work.” While some partners are helping more with the day-to-day and every family has a different structure or culture, experts are hearing most complaints from moms.

“Women often think and worry about what to purchase from the grocery store or what to prepare for meals, especially when family members have various sensitivities, preferences, or allergies,” says Dr. Magavi. “Women and mothers often correspond with their children’s teachers and keep track of their children’s assignments. Additionally, women often manage upcoming play dates for their children and provide transportation to various events and activities.”

Click here to read the entire article on Parents.

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Parenting & Pregnancy