‘I may carry the mental load, but YOU carry ME. That’s a realization I came to today.’

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“I may carry the mental load, but YOU carry ME. That’s a realization I came to today.

It took me 10 years of marriage, 3 children, 2 pets, 2 states, 4 homes, and 4 jobs to figure it out, but I finally got there. And where is there? You know, that place in your mind and in your life where you realize all of your roles, tasks, responsibilities, anxiety, and stressors are all made possible by the presence of numerous blessings in your life – including one of the greatest – a spouse that stands beside you, encourages you, supports you and carries you when it all becomes too much.

I may carry the mental load, but my husband, you carry me.

There are so many articles about this ‘mental load,’ and there is no lack of contentions that I, the wife and mother, bear the brunt of it. I, myself, have written numerous times on the crushing weight of all the things that us matriarchs are – depending upon how you look at it – burdened or graced with.

And, on the day the day, it’s nearly impossible for me to escape the pressure of this load and my ill-placed fear of judgment on how others may perceive me carrying it.

She’s not smiling enough; why is she so unhappy?

Her kids are always so dirty; does she even bath them?

Looks like she got them McDonald’s again; doesn’t she know how bad fast food is for children?

Wow. She’s put on a few pounds.

She looks like a mess; do you think she’s okay?

There she goes, bribing them with candy again.

Seriously, it’s a crapshoot each day.

Still, while I find myself using up all of my physical and mental energy to make it through the day with happy and healthy children, a clean(ish) house, enough laundry completed so that none of us have to wear dirty clothes, dogs that are sufficiently affectioned, friends that feel cared about, extended family that know they are in my thoughts, teachers that know I am grateful for them and a God that knows I am thankful, none of this would be possible without your selfless choice — day in and day out — to make motivating, supporting, loving and carrying me, a crucial part of your mental load.

I may carry the mental load, but my husband carries me.

Please hear this though:

Maybe the one that carries you is not your spouse. Maybe God carries you and your load. Maybe it is your sibling. Maybe it is your BFF that carries you. Perhaps who carries you is your mother or father. If you are older, your adult child may carry you. The one who carries you could very well be a co-worker, a mentor, a coach, or even a virtual or real-life tribe.

It’s not even unheard of for an individual to be carried by a group of strangers — like those that fund numerous GoFundMe accounts simply because they can, and they care enough to make known the presence of good in this world by showing compassion for those that need it a bit more than the rest of us at a particular moment in time.

YOU, my dear friend who is reading this, you very well may carry the mental load — today, tomorrow, periodically or every day – but don’t you ever forget to express gratitude towards those that carry you.”

Nicole Merritt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme, where the post originally appeared. You can follow her on Facebook, her website or podcast

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