Episode Summary:

We live in a society that really glorifies the martyrdom of motherhood, but we don’t often talk about the mental load that comes with this and the challenges that it can create on the mother and within the partnership. This is something that I’ve personally been struggling with the past few months as I’ve taken on the majority of the parenting role, which means I’ve been able to practice what I’m trying to “preach” in this episode recently. We believe that as moms, we have to do it all, but this is just not the case. So join me as I share practical steps you can take to lean on your spouse, your co-parent, or others in your village. Motherhood is one of the hardest jobs, but what if we could make it just a little bit easier?


  • Leaning into the energy of season change and how Brittni is currently finding rest in motherhood
  • The challenges that come with being a default parent (usually the mother) and normalizing these feelings
  • How to talk to your partner when you’re feeling overwhelmed and solutions you can offer
  • Recognizing that we can’t expect our male partners to do parenthood the same way we do as mothers
  • Questions you can ask yourself to start the process of outsourcing your mental load
  • A real life example of how Brittni learned to offload the overwhelm to her daughter’s dad


Read a raw, unedited transcript of this episode.

Brittni (00:00.514)

Welcome back to the Resting in Motherhood podcast. As always, I’m so excited to sit down and chat with you today. It is another beautiful spring day and I don’t know about you and I’m sorry for all of my friends in the Southern Hemisphere who are entering fall right now. This only pertains to us in the Northern Hemisphere who are entering into spring, but I don’t know about you, but I just truly feel myself.

come back to life after winter. And it’s so funny because every year I forget how hard winter is. And so then I start thinking like, oh my gosh, like something’s wrong with me. Like I’m just not happy. I’m impatient. And then the sun shines and I’m outside more and I’m moving my body more. And I’m like, oh, I just needed my sunshine. Like this is all that was wrong for these last three to four months.

So if you are kind of coming out of the winter fog, I see you. I hope it’s a beautiful spring season for you. I love both spring and fall actually just because I like the transition. I like the change in the air. I like how, especially in spring, like everything’s coming back to life. And I kind of see it as like kind of a rebirth for ourselves, like time to kind of come out of our winter shells and really start.

living our lives again, enjoying, I don’t know, I just, this spring feels really special. Like I feel good things are coming. So I hope the same for you. As I always do, I’ll share how I’m currently finding rest in motherhood. And as I was, I just dropped Lila off at school and as I was driving home, I was thinking, how am I currently finding rest in motherhood? Because it has been a…

busy, busy last few months. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I was really, really busy finalizing everything for my toddler course, which has now launched. I’m actually recording this the week of launching week. Today is the last day of the launch. And so it’s been crazy. I have been working.

Brittni (02:15.714)

a lot more than I normally do, putting so much love and energy into the course and now it’s out in the world. And then there’s so much that goes into launching a course. And so it’s been a lot. And so I asked myself, well, how have I been finding, how am I currently finding rest right now? And I told myself that I need to get through this launch and then I’m just gonna do less. And I’ve already started doing less, especially like this week because I prepared everything for the launch. And so like,

Yesterday, specifically yesterday, I finished working. I had client calls, discovery calls, and I was like, oh my gosh, I feel like I have something to do. I feel like I should be doing something. And then I was like, no, girlfriend, you did it all. You’ve done the launch. Take some time. Don’t sit in front of your computer right now. Go on a walk. Go do something for yourself. Go read your book. So this is going to be my season of doing less these next few weeks, truly meaning doing less work.

I’m just gonna relax and do less. So as always, I hope that you can take some time right now to reflect on how you’re currently finding rest or how you can find rest this week, what you can mindfully do to give yourself some rest, whether that be physical or like mental rest. I’m really excited to chat today about what we’re going to be chatting about.

I’m really excited to dive deep.

Brittni (03:52.066)

I’m really excited to chat today about something that’s been weighing heavily on me just in these last few months. And I talked about this, I think I talked about it in last week’s episode, but I have been finding the mental load of motherhood to be a lot. Now granted, I am a solo mom too, so I feel like the mental load is even greater.

In some aspects, it’s funny because if I think about when I was married, there was another mental load of like keeping my marriage afloat, right? So now I don’t have that piece of it. But there’s a lot, especially since I’m full time, meaning that she’s sleeping at my house every single night, going with him two days a week, but then coming home for bedtime. Like there’s a lot of mental load there. And so it’s something that’s been weighing heavily on me. And as I was thinking about the fact that I wanted to talk about this,

I also know that a lot of you listening are not solo parents. You’re not a single mom. So I wanted to also kind of weave in what you could relate to and something that I see so commonly among my clients or I get it in my Instagram question box or my DMs is mom is the default parent for everything.

And usually in the first year of life, especially for a breastfeeding mom, this kind of just tends to happen because we’re feeding, right? And a lot of us are feeding to sleep. And so our partner isn’t as actively involved in a lot of things. It doesn’t mean they’re not doing anything, but they’re not as actively involved, especially like with sleep and feeding. And so we kind of fall into this habit or this pattern of we’re doing everything. And then moms will come to me either,

like towards the end of the first year or into toddlerhood, and they’re feeling burnt out, they’re wanting their partner to be involved in bedtime or to be able to help with nightwakings, and they’re feeling stuck. And there’s feelings of resentment, which I remember those feelings. And I still have those feelings, and I’m not even married anymore. Maybe even a little bit more, right? Because it’s not my spouse. But I just want to normalize that feeling of feeling like,

Brittni (06:16.29)

the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Like you’re doing it all. Everything feels harder. Like you feel like you’re taking the brunt of it. And I just want to normalize this. And I also want to say that I know this isn’t the case in every single household. I actually just reconnected with a client that I worked with when her little one was, gosh, I want to say we started working together when she was like six months old and we reconnected. Little one is now 18 months old.

And the reason they need help again is actually their toddler will not let mom support her back to sleep in the middle of the night. Only dad. She will only let dad be there. And I told her, this is actually a beautiful problem to have because it’s something that I don’t see a lot. That dad had like little one only wants dad and what a beautiful thing, right? So I do want to say.

This episode is not meant to put down the partners. I totally know that every family has to do what’s best for them. And I also know that there’s partners who are heavily involved and really splitting that load. But I think this episode is important because I think in general, as moms, we kind of take on this martyr role. Like we want to do it all. We want to be at all. And…

It’s almost kind of like we live in a society that has…

Brittni (07:49.058)

almost glorified moms totally losing themselves in motherhood. And I know that this kind of sounds ironic because I am here all about like leaning into what your child needs, doing what they need, not going the sleep training route, which I think the sleep training route is kind of marketed as like you are taking care of yourself too. But we can take care of ourselves in different ways. And so that’s what I wanna talk about is allowing others to take some of the mental load.

including your partner if you guys want that to happen and if your partner is willing and more of the caretaking roles to open up some free space for you because I find that we get so, I don’t love the word lost, but for lack of a better word, lost in motherhood. And that first year of life especially, I would say even like the first 18 months.

that kind of after that 18 month mark, we come up for air, life is getting a little bit easier and we don’t know who we are. And I talked about this heavily. I believe it was the first, first or second podcast episode I ever recorded about like the biggest lesson I learned in motherhood. And if you haven’t listened to it, I highly recommend going back and listening to it. But it was about how I really was kind of faced in my life with this aha moment where it was like, whoa.

I really need to be taking care of myself. And it’s still a lifelong lesson for me. It’s something that I have to remind myself of all of the time. But then now there’s another aspect of it, which is that mental load. So I’ll give you a little backstory, like where this kind of, I don’t want to call it a spiral, but it was kind of this moment, this low moment for me where I was busy creating my toddler course.

I was, and I’ve shared this before, but Lila had been doing overnights with her dad up until September when we moved in with my parents because they had been, what would happen is they would sleep, when Lila and I lived by ourselves, he would come over, sleep at our house and I would leave and come to my parents’ house. But then when we moved in with my parents, there was nowhere for him to come stay. Like I couldn’t leave my parents’ house. He’s not gonna come sleep at my parents’ house with Lila. So sleepovers had to stop.

Brittni (10:10.274)

And so there was this big transition where, okay, now I lost my free nights. And so I was faced with doing bedtime every single night and launching this course. I’m the sole earner. I don’t have a partner to split economic responsibilities with or financial responsibilities with. It’s on me. And so I started feeling this load and feeling this load. And then…

And I shared this last week, I think, but Lila, then Lila, I noticed that she had like a dark spot between her teeth. So then I was like, oh my gosh, I think she has cavities. And so that just the mental load of, now I have to get this appointment scheduled and who’s gonna take her and how am I gonna fit that into the week?

And if she does have cavities, like what is that going to entail? Is it going to be really traumatic for her to get these cavities filled? And it was just starting to feel so heavy. And then add on to that, right? Like every single night, brushing her teeth, ensuring that she’s eating nutritious meals. I don’t even have to go through the whole mental load because we all have our own mental load and it feels heavy. And I got to this really dark, angry place and I was so angry with my ex.

because I felt like here you are, you get to come in twice a week and be like the super fun parent, go take her to do fun things. And then you get to drop her off. And then it’s back on me to like do the bedtime routine. And then I get her fed breakfast in the morning and then you get to show up and be like the happy fun parent. And so I was feeling so angry and burnt out and overwhelmed by like, I felt like there was too much on my shoulders and

I don’t know where this aha moment came from, but I was focusing on like, okay, I need to get this appointment scheduled. And then like this aha moment came where it was like, ask her dad, just tell him, she needs to go to the dentist. This is where we need to take her. I need you to like spearhead this. And so I asked him.

Brittni (12:24.642)

and it has been fine. And I know I shared this last week if you listened, but it was fine. He’s, he’s in, he, she still has two more appointments to fill the cavities. Um, it was a lot, which I, that’s another piece of the mental load, right? Like teeth brushing was all on me. So only I can take responsibility. And it’s not like we don’t, I didn’t brush her teeth. It’s just, I don’t know. I don’t know what happened there with the teeth, but that felt like another added mental load. Like, wow, I failed at this. I screwed this up.

And I let go of that piece of my mental load. I offloaded it. And I said, I need you to take care of this. And I think so often, even when we’re married, we take on that mental load and we don’t ask our partner. And I know that this is multifaceted. Some of us really don’t have partners who will take on that mental load for us or want to support us in that way. But I would say a lot of us do have partners.

And I shouldn’t say us because I don’t have a partner, but I’m including myself in the collective village of mama of the rested or resting in motherhood mamas. But a lot of women do have that partner who is going to support them, but they don’t know how to ask or they feel guilty. And I remember when I was married, I felt so guilty like saying, I just want to go to Target by myself. Can like you hang out with her? And there was this guilt.

And I don’t think this was like the demise of my marriage because there was a lot of other stuff. But I do think that our marriage would have been easier if I would have just let some of that mental load go and put it onto him because I was like, oh, he’s gonna get mad. Oh, he’s gonna get annoyed. When he actually probably wouldn’t have gotten mad or annoyed, this was just a narrative in my head. So then I was feeling bitter and angry towards him.

because I wasn’t asking, I was just assuming that he wasn’t gonna write me off or be upset or be annoyed with me. So if you are in a relationship, if the mental load is feeling like too much, I really want to encourage you, talk to your partner. I had a great episode with Chelsea Skaggs, I can’t remember which episode it is, but my wonderful podcast manager will link it below the episode where we talk about like,

Brittni (14:46.082)

navigating your relationship postpartum. And one of the things that we talk about is that she recommended to me is like, have a meeting with your partner and put on like your business hats and like, okay, your home is your business and you guys have roles in taking care of it. And so put those business hats on and say like, this is where I need support, this is where I need help, this is a project that I need you to take on because…

I can’t, I don’t have the capacity for it. And so I really recommend that you do that. Plan a meeting with your partner. Talk to them about this is what I’m feeling overwhelmed with, this is what I need help with, this is the ball that I need to drop, can you pick it up for me? Or if you can’t, what are some alternatives, what can we do? But I think a lot of times, and again, every house is unique, every person is unique, but I think we suffer with this martyr thought, like I’m the mom, I have to do it.

And that’s not the case. I want you to know that you can offload some of your mental load. And you should, I don’t want you carrying it all on your shoulders, especially if you have a partner. Now, if you’re a solo parent, but you are co -parenting, I really recommend if you guys have a good rapport, if you guys have a good relationship, if there’s something that’s feeling overwhelming that you’re like, I wanna offload this, offload it. And I’ll tell you another like,

weird piece of this as I felt like I was like, oh, I can’t ask him to help with the dentist because like, I want to be a good mom, right? Like I want, I want to be able to say I’ve done it all. And, and who does that serve? My ego. It literally only serves my ego and it doesn’t serve Laila because I’m more burnt out. It doesn’t serve me. And it actually doesn’t serve Laila and her dad because I think that it’s now this beautiful experience that like he took her to the dentist. He was there. He helped her through it.

And what a beautiful thing for both of them, for him to really step into that caregiver role and help her through it. So if you are co -parenting, you’re not in a relationship with the parent, the other parent of your child.

Brittni (16:56.674)

I’m gonna invite you if you’re carrying something in your mental load that’s too much, why haven’t you offloaded it? And if it’s because you guys don’t have a good relationship, that one’s really hard and I’m sorry. And if you have somebody else in your village maybe that you could offload some of this mental load to, I highly recommend it. And another thing kind of going like diving deeper here is…

a month ago, maybe two months ago now, I don’t even know. But I went to this really fun coffee date with some of the other moms from Lilah’s Forest School. And the theme of it was self -love in motherhood. And it was one of the teachers, but she actually hosts seminars for moms and women. And so she was kind of this facilitator during this coffee hour. And so one of the questions she asked us was like,

How do you find time for yourself in motherhood? Or are you finding time for yourself in motherhood? And I was the only solo mom. And so I shared my unique perspective of like, I didn’t ever find time for myself in motherhood until my marriage ended. And then I was left with this time when Lila was with her dad, where I was like, oh, like, what do I do with this time? So I had a different perspective, but almost all of the moms there, there was like this.

universal theme among them that was something along the lines of my partner works all day so I feel guilty for asking them or I feel like if I leave my partner to do this with my children they’re not going to do it like I do like something wrong is going to happen and there was this theme among all of them and that I see it among my clients too and again we’re kind of back to this

martyr, martyrdom, where I think that we take on so much and we don’t split the load and then our partners don’t know how to support us. And again, this is really hard topic because some partners will not step up and support. And that’s a whole nother conversation. Maybe that’s a conversation where you really need to do some thinking about like, is this partnership serving me? Maybe it’s a situation where you need to go to like couples therapy and work through that. But,

Brittni (19:18.722)

Like I said, a lot of times there is a partner willing and they want to step in, but we’re not letting them.

And we feel afraid to let go of that control. And I think a lot of that stems from that first year when we feel like we need to do it all. We feel like we know best. And so many times that’s what I see. Like if I have a family come to me within the first year of life and they’re like, I want my partner to be able to support my little one to sleep. And then I’ll ask, okay, well like what do they do? And so then they’ll tell me, well, I have them do exactly what I do, except for if it’s like a nursing mom, obviously. Partner can’t nurse.

So that’s one piece there is they’re already trying to control it. So they want their partner to step in, but they want their partner to do it exactly the same way that they do it. And that just isn’t the case, especially if this is a heterosexual relationship and your partner is a male. Males are just different. Like they do things differently than we do as moms. And so we can’t expect them to bond with or connect with our children in the same way that we do.

We really want them to find their own way. And so this theme of mom stepping in, mom being afraid to relinquish control, or mom feeling guilty, especially I find this among the stay at home moms who, our stay at home moms, their partner goes to work and I see it a lot where they’re like, well, my partner’s at work all day. Well, yes.

But being a stay at home mom is also a job. And so you’re at work all day, right? Like if you both were out working all day, you would go home or you would go do your jobs, then you would come home and you would both be on parental duty. We need to see that motherhood is also a job. One of the hardest jobs. There’s actually, I don’t know where I saw this study, but they compared the cortisol levels, which cortisol is our stress hormone.

Brittni (21:22.53)

They compared the cortisol levels in stay at home moms to soldiers in active war zones and the cortisol levels of stay at home moms were higher. It is a lot. There is a lot of stress going on. And so I just wanna just first talk to you. If you are a stay at home mom and you’re feeling that guilt, but your partner is open just helping you, you’re doing a job all day long too.

So where can you offload some of that mental load? What can you call your partner in for? Another thing that I notice, I have noticed again amongst clients, amongst moms that I’ve talked to is oftentimes, especially again for breastfeeding families, partner will or other parent will kind of fall into this fun role, this playmate role instead of a caretaker role.

especially again for stay at home mom families where mom is home or even if mom’s working from home. Partner tends to be like, okay, I’m home from work. I’m going to do the fun activities. And they’re not doing a lot of the like sleep or even feeding or offering meals. So if you’re wanting to include your partner, the first thing I want you to ask yourself is, is your partner currently in a playmate role or are they in a caretaker role?

If they’re not really doing any caretaking rules, that’s where you wanna start if you wanna start including them in sleep. First your little one needs to know, oh, my other parent is just as capable of taking care of me as mom. Because right now, if let’s say your partner is with your little one and then they start crying for you and you drop everything that you’re doing right now and you go take them from your partner.

First, I’m sure your first thought is, wow, like, why can’t they even take care of them? Or why am I the default parent? So that’s already weighing on your mental load. But the other thing that happens is your little one sees this play out. I was with my other parent. I wanted mom. I cried out. Mom dropped everything and came. And we’ve kind of sent this message that the other parent doesn’t have this, doesn’t got it, right? Like they aren’t capable of doing what you can do. So the more that you can step back, especially if your partner is willing,

Brittni (23:43.298)

the more that you can step back and allow your partner to shine and show your little one, hey, I’m not mom, but I can take care of you just as well. That is a beautiful and powerful moment for both of them. It builds your partner up and it also shows your child like, oh, okay, my other parent can take care of me. They do got this.

So ask yourself, there’s like a few questions I want you to ask yourself. Is there anything in your mental load that’s feeling too much? Can you offload something? Can you, if you have a partner, can you guys sit down and have a business meeting about running the house and see like, and maybe they have other stuff that they wanna talk to you about, or maybe they want to be more involved, but they just don’t, they feel like maybe they’ve been shut down.

So this could be a beautiful invitation to have a conversation with them and also let some of your mental load off or lighten your mental load, I should say. The other thing I want you to ask yourself is if you want your partner to be more involved in sleep routines or in nighttime wakings or a nap, whatever the case may be, are they currently in a caretaker role or are they in a playmate role? And how can you shift them to a caretaker role? What…

responsibilities or tasks can they take on with your little one? Maybe it’s as simple as them taking over bath time. Maybe it’s as simple as them starting to do like the pre -bedtime routine of PJs. If your little one’s still wearing a diaper, diaper. Brushing teeth, going potty if they’re out of diapers. Maybe it’s even like getting into the room and getting situated and reading a book with them and then you coming in. Where can you phase yourself out?

and let your partner step in. And also remember that your partner is going to do things differently than you, and that is okay. You don’t want them to be a replica of you. You want them to have their own unique relationship with your little one. So they will establish different routines, different little rituals with your little one, and that’s a beautiful thing. They don’t have to do it the same as you.

Brittni (25:59.458)

And one thing I’ll say is I’m talking about this from a place of I lived it, right? Like I’m not married now, but I was, and there are so many things that I would go back and I would split that load. Just like I talked about, I had so much animosity and anger of like, I’m doing it all. But when I look back and I reflect, I wasn’t asking for the help. I wasn’t seeking the support.

Now, if you are seeking that support and you are asking for that help and you’re not getting it, that is a totally different story. And again, like I said, that’s where I would start really analyzing, hey, I’m not being supported the way I need to, so maybe that’s a conversation. I can’t, I’m not a marriage therapist, I’m not a therapist, so I can’t tell you right. But if you have a partner that’s willing to step in, I really invite you. Where can they take over some of that mental load? What…

are you doing that’s currently burning you out or overwhelming you and can they step in? I just had a call with a wonderful mama who, same thing, she was wanting support and helping her husband help with their son more during night wakings and he’s 18 months. And so I said, well, do they do any solo activities on the weekends? Are they doing anything where maybe you’re going…

on a walk or to a workout class or lunch with a friend and are you leaving them? And she said they had just started doing that. So that’s one thing. It’s beautiful. It’s for your partner and for your little one to spend some time solo. So maybe you start making it a weekly thing on the weekend or maybe after your partner gets home from work, something where you’re going and spending an hour or two doing something for yourself and letting your little one and your partner bond and not feeling that guilt.

which is hard, but it really is beautiful for all of you. And another thing that came up as I was thinking through this, like what I wanted to talk about in this episode is there was a specific conversation had at this mom’s coffee group where one of my friends was talking about how she immediately when like the coffee, when the coffee date was like,

Brittni (28:22.882)

when we were invited or when we were reminded that it was happening this day, she said that she had immediately been like, oh, I can’t do it because the kids have swim lessons that day. And she said, then I was like laying there that night and I was like, my husband can totally take the kids to the swim lessons. Like why, why did I immediately say no to myself knowing that I have a fully capable husband who can take them to swim lessons? And she’s like, it was this aha moment where I was like, yeah, you’re going to take them.

And then one of the other moms chimed in and she said, I’m always afraid though. Like what if a swimsuit gets forgotten? What if a towel gets forgotten? And I jumped in and I said, well, if a swimsuit gets forgotten, then maybe it’s like a fun little outing where they’re like, oh, we can’t do swim lessons. Let’s go get donuts or let’s go to the park. Like it’s an oops, where your partner is going to learn, oh, I forgot the swimsuit. Or,

It turns into like a fun outing. Well, both. It turns into a learning experience for your partner and also like maybe a little fun outing for your partner and your little one. We take on so much. Even in this conversation, it was brought up that like, okay, well I had to pack the swim bag before they left.

Again, that’s another mental load thing where you could say, hey, I’m not gonna pack the swim bag. This is what’s needed in it and kind of leave it in your partner’s hands. Now, if it’s gonna make you feel better to pack the swim bag, pack the swim bag. And this is just like a metaphor, right? This could be for anything. But we so often take on like our responsibility of like, oh my gosh, but if I don’t take them to swim lessons, we’re just running with the swim lessons example here. If I don’t take them to swim lessons,

there, something could go wrong, and then we take it, we make it our fault, right? But it’s not your fault. You are putting the, you’re giving your partner the responsibility of taking them to swim lessons, and they’re gonna be okay. And if something gets missed or something gets screwed up, it’s gonna be okay. I mean, what would happen if you forgot the swimsuit, right? Perfect example, well, actually, this was quite a while ago, but like six months ago,

Brittni (30:39.938)

My mom took Lila to school and forgot her lunch. So she had to come home and then take it back to her. If a partner did that, it’s kind of like, oops, okay, like we all are making mistakes and we’re all learning, but our partners aren’t going to learn if we’re not giving them the opportunity. So this is kind of like a hard truth or a hard maybe thing to like look back at yourself in the mirror and say like, am I?

Allowing my partner, am I inviting them in to help me with this mental load? Are there tasks or responsibilities that I could be offloading to them? Could I be giving my partner and my little one time to bond without me there? Which will also help me fill my cup and find more rest for myself. So these are all things that I want you to think about. And I cannot reiterate enough, if you are in a relationship where you’ve asked for this help and it’s not being given, I see you. That is incredibly difficult.

I’m sending you lots of love. But if you haven’t asked or you haven’t had a conversation about what you’re needing help with, what’s feeling overwhelming, schedule it on your calendar this week with your partner, set a date, set a time, and use it like a business meeting, right? Like that is one thing I’ve learned as a mom and a business owner. If I don’t have something scheduled off of my calendar, like a workout or whatever,

I’ll find a way to get out of it. But if I have it on my calendar as a to -do list or as an item on my to -do list or on my calendar, it’s gonna get done. So prioritize yourself, prioritize your mental health, prioritize your little one, right? Because if you’re feeling burnt out, you’re not gonna be able to show up the best that you can for your little one. Prioritize your relationship because if you’re suffering but you’re not communicating it,

Your relationship is suffering because you are gonna start having that animosity and anger. And maybe it’s over something that you don’t even need to have the animosity and anger over because your partner will be like, oh yeah, like I would love to do that. Also understand that if your partner really hasn’t been involved in sleep or they haven’t really been involved in the caretaker role, it’s gonna be a learning experience for both them and for your little one. Your little one’s gonna be upset and it’s okay for them to be upset.

Brittni (32:54.85)

as long as your partner is there and comforting them, supporting their emotions, validating them. I know you want mom, I know this is hard, I’m here for you, I’m a safe space. We want our partner to be there to validate, support their emotions, help them regulate, because again, this builds their relationship. So hopefully this wasn’t too jarring of an episode or like a, oh gosh, like.

a big mirror pointed at your face, but I think it is something that we can all think about because as I said, and this isn’t a bad thing, I’m guilty of it too. We can often fall into this martyr role where we’re like, I have to do everything in order to be the best mom. I have to be doing everything and I have to handle it all myself. And it’s just not true. Motherhood truly was meant to be done in a village. I’ve shared this on like two or three other podcast episodes, but it’s something that I recently learned that I like is.

eye -opening and amazing to me. In the like old villages, the ratio of women to children was 10 women to one child, meaning that a mom had nine other women there supporting her. Okay, so you’re not meant to do it all. You probably don’t have a village. I am in a very fortunate position where I live with my parents, so I do have a little bit of a built -in village, but most of us don’t.

but your partner is in your village and you can utilize them. And I don’t want that to sound like we’re using our partners, but like utilize them as a part of your village and they should be utilizing you too. I want you guys to be a team. So this kind of turned into like couples counseling or a little bit of a counseling session, but I…

It’s something that I really didn’t start learning until my marriage was over and really kind of hindsight is 2020, right? Like there’s so many things that I, and I’ve said this already in this episode, but there’s so many things that I would go back and change and put on his plate instead of keeping it on my plate and suffering, because I know, especially now I’m kind of forced to have these conversations. And he’s always like, oh yeah, sure.

Brittni (35:10.018)

Right? Like there’s never been any time I’ve asked for that support or for him to take something on, it’s never been a fight. It’s always been like, oh, of course, yeah. Actually a good example of suffering in silence, which actually turned out in a beautiful way. And this is actually a great way to wrap up. Cause I was talking about how Lila spends all night, every single night with me is that’s something that’s been weighing heavily on me too, is that I am feeling like,

I need somewhat of a break. Like it’s just all been feeling too much, even with offloading some of the mental load. And so I’ve been, my sister and my mom have been telling me like, you really need to talk to him and tell him, I need you to do one sleep over a week. Like I just need that because how I’m feeling is, like I said, we wake up, I get her breakfast, he comes, he gets her. Then I work like a full work day. And then I have like,

three hours before she comes home. So I have like three hours to fit in time for myself after I’ve run a business all day. And so it’s like I get a walk -in and then maybe I get to eat dinner and maybe I get to watch like a 30 minute episode of something or read a few chapters of my book and then she’s there and then I’m back on and I have to do bedtime. And I know that like for other parents, especially parents who are in relationships, you’re like, yeah, I don’t get a night off, which I totally valid.

but there’s something about just like not having any reprieve, right? Like when she’s with her dad, I’m working. So I’ve been feeling this weight. And so my mom and my sister have been like, you really just need to tell him I need you to start doing overnights. And I don’t know why, probably my martyr. And actually I do know why, that was part of it. Like I was like, well, I’m doing it all, right? Like I’m gonna be able to say I did all the overnights, I did every single night.

And then I’m like, that’s so stupid. Like that’s not serving her and it’s not serving me. So I was like working up the nerve, which again, I don’t know why I was nervous, but I was working up the nerve to talk to him, like waiting for this perfect moment. And then he brought her home last week and he was like, hey, I wanted to talk to you. I think she’s ready to start staying the night at my house. And if you listened to my…

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episode about like how we co -parent. At that time I had not met his girlfriend. I have met her now. I feel much more comfortable with this happening. And I kind of, I knew Lila was ready too because when he would drop her off Tuesday nights, she would say like, I want to be with daddy. I want to stay with daddy. I miss daddy. And so it was a sign to me like her time with him is too short. She wants more time with him. So he brought it up to me and he was like, Hey, I think she’s ready for sleepovers. And I was like, perfect.

Great. So they’re gonna do their first one next week. Well, as I’m recording this, when you listen to this, it will have already happened. So let’s hope it goes beautifully. And he even said he wants to do two overnights with her. So Tuesday nights and Wednesday nights, which I am like, I don’t even know what I’m gonna do with that time. It feels very strange to me. I know it’ll be good for all of us. I know it’s gonna really help build their relationship. It’s gonna help him really step into that caretaker role, which is so important.

And yeah, moral of the story is I was like nervous about this conversation and he brought it up and it was fine, right? So sometimes we make up this big drama in our head that’s not going to happen. And as I was just talking about this, there’s one last thing that I want to share, which is back to that control piece where we feel like maybe our partner isn’t gonna do it as good as us or they’re gonna screw up. I was that person, right? Like I felt like I know how to do everything. I know what they need. And then I…

got a divorce and I had to send my child with her dad. I had to say, oh my gosh, like, I’m gonna like, cause in the beginning we didn’t do sleepovers either. So he would get her for the day and then bring her back before bedtime. But like the thought of him, like the first day being with her for a full day without me was terrifying. Like, are they gonna make it? And they made it and he’s figured it out, right? And they’re doing okay.

They’re okay when I’m not there. They have to be, right? We’re not married anymore. So their partners are a lot more capable or other parents are a lot more capable than we give a lot of them credit for. I hope this maybe lit a fire for you or sparked some thought or processing that maybe you need to do. But if there’s something on your mental load that feels like too much, I really encourage you to, if you have a partner, talk to them about it.

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What can you do to lessen your load and where can they support you? I’m wishing you a beautiful, beautiful day. I will also say that if you are in the process of including your partner in sleep routines and you’re just running into a really big challenge, I work with families all the time on this one -on -one. I would love to help you and your family. But if not, I’m wishing you a beautiful day. I will see you next week.

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