Partnering Through Parenting: How to Support an Overwhelmed Mom

How to Support an Overwhelmed Mom

If your wife is responsible for raising the kids, managing the household, or working outside the home, she likely has far too much on her plate. Not only must she handle the day-to-day of a never-ending to-do list, but she also has to carry the mental load of making sure it all gets done and on time.

However, the overwhelmed mom in your life doesn’t have to manage these tasks alone. You can do a lot to support her and ensure she doesn’t feel responsible for making everything happen.

Why Overwhelmed Moms Need Support

Parenting comes with many challenges for moms and dads, and it’s not always easy for either parent. But moms often bear much of the responsibility for parenting and household management—even if they’re also working a full-time job. 

A Gallup survey of married and cohabitating couples found that despite women making up nearly half of the workforce, they handle most of the childcare responsibilities and nearly all household chores except car maintenance and yard work. 

Moms are often responsible for:

  • Managing kids’ activities (homework help, school pickup and drop-off, play dates, and so on)
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Performing household chores, such as cleaning, meal prep, and laundry
  • Shopping for groceries and running other errands
  • Organizing family events and vacations

In any given week, full-time working moms can quickly become overwhelmed. They must keep up with laundry, cook, and manage a cleaning schedule to avoid being paralyzed by a messy house. They also carry the mental load of all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps everything running, such as:

  • Managing the household calendar 
  • Anticipating child and household needs several days and weeks in advance
  • Evaluating the pros and cons of childcare and household decisions and making those decisions
  • Monitoring household operations and child-related tasks and stepping in when things don’t go as expected or new tasks come up

For many women, this constant mental juggling can lead to stress, exhaustion, and resentment, which can negatively affect their mental health. A CVS Health/Harris Poll survey found that working mothers have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression far more than the general population (42 percent versus 28 percent).

[Related: How To Delegate When You’re Used to Doing It All Yourself  ]

Ways to Support Stressed and Overwhelmed Moms

With the mental load of all their household and childcare responsibilities, it’s no wonder many overwhelmed moms are also becoming frustrated. In a 2023 Skimm survey, 64 percent of women agreed with the statement, “I am tired of trying to be a super mom, super wife, and/or super employee.” 

The pace of life and all its responsibilities are unlikely to slow down, but here are some ways to take the pressure off your wife to be “super” everything:

1. Acknowledge and show empathy for how she’s feeling.

Often, people struggling in any area of life want to be heard. If your wife feels stressed, overwhelmed, or burned out by the mental load of childcare and household chores, listen to her concerns and show her that you care. 

You can do this by:

  • Assuring your wife that her struggles are valid and understandable
  • Reassuring her that feeling overwhelmed is not a sign of failure
  • Reminding her that she’s not alone

2. Lighten her mental load.

Multiple studies have shown that women carry more of the mental load of childcare and household duties. While there are many causes—societal expectations, unequal division of labor, and others—it’s better to focus on possible solutions and what you can do to help. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Talk about it: Discuss what you can do to help take some tasks off her plate.
  • Share accountability: Recognize that helping isn’t occasionally taking on a task. It’s taking complete ownership of something from start to finish, so she doesn’t have to worry about it. 
  • Encourage her to delegate: Help your wife understand she doesn’t have to do everything herself. When she does delegate, be consistent in your support and show her you can be relied on to follow through on your commitments.

3. Get help from a household assistant.

Outsourcing household chores helps overwhelmed moms cross more off the household to-do list without doing it all themselves. With a household assistant, the busy mom in your life also gets more time to spend with family and other passions.

A household assistant can perform tasks such as: 

  • Laundry
  • Grocery shopping, running errands, and making returns
  • Paying bills
  • Making and rescheduling appointments
  • Supervising repair technicians and taking deliveries
  • Planning family travel and other activities

Become a More Supportive Partner

There are only 24 hours in a day, and busy working moms shouldn’t spend every minute of it planning, organizing, and performing household tasks. With your help and partnership, you can lighten the mental load of managing childcare and household responsibilities, giving your wife more time for family and self-care.

To learn more, download our e-book, What Your Life Could Look Like with a Household Assistant.

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See What Other Parents Are Saying About Pepper’s Personal Assistants:

“The first day my personal assistant came, I was working all day in the office. When I came out, there were flowers, my home was tidy, and dinner was prepped in the fridge. I almost started crying! I have needed help for a long time, but I was thinking I could handle everything on my own. My Pepper’s PA has provided incredible value and impact on my life.”

—Libby

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