Dad absolutely nails the judgment women often bear when carrying the mental load

Dad talks about mental load on women

Moms are often the invisible laborers of the family, making sure everything is in order to ensure the household runs smoothly. They carry the mental load of everything from grocery shopping to scheduling play dates, and oftentimes their partner doesn’t even realize the toll it takes.

Instagrammer Zachary Watson (@realzachthinkshare) calls himself “your favorite invisible labor educator” and strives to make other dads aware of the mental load their wives are carrying. Late last year, he shared “Part 145” of his mental load series, and this time the focus was poopy pants.

“Today my wife is in Boston again. She left before our toddler woke up,” he explained in the viral video. “Yesterday, she also picked her up from daycare. Usually, there’s a little bit of knowledge transfer when pick-up happens, and yesterday one of those things was soiled pants.”

“It was in this little plastic bag in the diaper bag,” he continued, holding up the bag. “As I’m going through the diaper bag right now, I’m noticing this here. I know it’s either got vomit or poop on it, and it turns out Alyssa left me a note that I’m just seeing. If I had not seen this note, what I would not have thought of is adding new fresh pants to the backup [clothes bag].”

The note may seem like a small reminder in the grand scheme of things, but Watson pointed out just how important it actually is. “For the many men that are saying ‘Oh that’s not a whole lot to think about,’ I think it’s more important to understand about mental load and decision fatigue here is the heaviness it might feel knowing that she might not have a partner that’s gonna remember something like that,” he noted. “If there’s no replacement pants, daycare has to scramble—that’s judgment on us. And even more so, it’s probably judgment internally from mom. That culture has been telling her forever is her problem.”

Acknowledging the mental load placed on moms is not a new concept, but Watson also brilliantly nailed the other layer of invisible labor: judgment. As moms, we feel expected to remember every little thing. And even if it’s our partner that slips up or forgets something, the judgment is often placed on the mother, whether it’s externally or internally (or both).

Thankfully men like Watson exist to not only support their partner, but also educate other dads in an attempt to break this cycle. The mental load women carry begins well before they birth their first child. Another dad recently went viral for demonstrating how much more mental preparation a woman who’s expecting a child endures versus her partner.

Parenting is hard work, and moms need all the support they can get. Thank you, dads, for showing up and acknowledging how much more work needs to be done to squash gender norms.