The Mom Tax

The Mom Tax

The wheels of to do lists just won’t stop turning and its taking up too much space in my brain. I’m trying to figure out when I’m going to pick up black pants for band, pass in the ticket money, what we are having for supper, wash the sheets that got peed on, call the bank, figure out how I’m getting 3 kids to 3 places in the same hour and I know I’m forgetting something. Plus I have to work plus I don’t think I washed my face yet today.

I don’t like being busy. I used to say instead “my days are full.” I did this because I think we glorify busy too much and I don’t consider it to be a badge of honour. I thought saying my days were full were a way to be more mindful and intentional of what I choose to fill it with. If it’s stuff I choose it shouldn’t feel so stressful…right?!

That thought process is evolving for me.. I have four children so I know I signed up for a lot of crazy and… they all play hockey…. Fair.. I did this… But being aware of what I signed up for and my love for simplicity, I have tried really hard to be organized, to say no to the unnecessary, to not do things because I should do them but because I wanted to… still the taxes keep a raising. I still forget to sign homework, I still forget to book parent teacher interviews until the best time slots are gone, I still mix up dentist apts or forget hair cuts before picture days. Damn it google calendar!!!!! Its your fault!.. Then the shame sets it…. I know not to compare myself to others because no two lives are parallel but when you are tired and hungry and emotional- the shame gets you. Why is this so hard? How is everyone else managing this and still wearing jeans and make up??

Here’s a secret- they aren’t.

Mom tax.

I am not sure where the term “mom tax”  from. I say that because I legitimately may have read it somewhere and forgot and I don’t want to claim it as my own, but I may of dreamt about it… my brain is too cloudy to remember because band pants and schedules .. but my friends, the mom tax is real. Like where is my memory??

My husband is very involved with our kids but he doesn’t carry around a google calendar in his mind. He doesn’t worry about the black pants. He doesn’t worry about whether they had vitamin D before school. He doesn’t wonder through the day why our child keeps having the same bad dream. Add in a really long pandemic, personal life events, a hurricane and the third season of Ted Lasso still not out- I’m sorry, but this way of living for women is breaking them one day at a time. The mental load of being a mother is enormous.

My kids play one sport. My kids sometimes don’t have matching socks. I don’t go all out decorating for birthday parties. I don’t send out big invitations. I work from home. I don’t make shapes out of their lunches I pack (I am totally not being negative to those who do I just can’t)… but as much as I simplify I know I’m climbing an uphill battle by living in this world in 2022.

I know time goes so fast. I’m holding on for my life at how record breaking fast these years are going by and I wish I could slow it down. But I don’t think saying to women- enjoy it, it goes so fast is a solution to the problem. Put your mental health aside for a decade or two and then you can get it back. That’s not healthy. This way of living is built to break us.

How do we simplify more? How do we stop this wheel? Well the first way to simplify is generally putting ourselves aside. It’s easier to shelve our needs. It’s one less thing.

My friend- “you” can’t wait.

“You” are most important thing on your do list because that mom tax is wayyyyyyyy too heavy… way too heavy to carry if you don’t take care of you.

I wish I could give you the most magical solution to take away mom tax and we could all smile all day long and watch our kids in their sports without the rolodex wheel in our heads still a moving of whats next… but there isn’t one.  Completely changing the way we live is kind of impossible unless we literally go off the grid which I know most aren’t willing to do. So it’s the fundamentals. Three of my  top three tools that I believe stand the test of time and I’ll always share them. They aren’t cure all but they help and are all of equal importance.

-Move your body because it smashes away some of the stress. It’s the most important reason. We can’t have physical health without mental and emotional health. Exercise helps all three.

-Connect. Talk and share with like minded people, your community, your friends, your co workers. Isolation and loneliness is more dangerous to your health than smoking 16 cigarettes a day. For real. Connect with people who bring you good energy. It’s worth the time on the to do list.

-Sleep AND rest. Rest is not just sitting down.. Rest can be letting go of the expectations and giving your mind a break. Becoming gentler with yourself and allowing yourself to have moments of “I don’t give an F*&^” about extras today. Ask yourself “at the end of my life, are the black pants, the Kardashian birthday party bashes, the missed hair cuts, the way you decorated and the mis matched socks going to matter?” “Are they going to show how much you loved?” “Are they going to bring you true joy?” If so, keep doing it. We all find joy in different places… but however you answer it, know your peace and how many years of your life you felt it definitely matters.

You are so awesome and the world is lucky you are here. I hope today you take a moment to recognize all you do for others and allow some good in for you. If nothing else I hope this gives you a little validation for the giant tax you are shouldering and that  you know you are not alone. Sometimes that in itself helps. Thank you for hanging out with me today.  xo