People tell you a lot about parenting but what they never explain is just how much mental load it takes up: all of it.
As an Autistic, Attention Hyperactive person I struggle a lot with mental load. I experience consistent executive dysfunction and I forget things easily. Then I am overly harsh with myself when I forget or have no energy to do things.
Having a baby has made my dysfunction, brain fog and memory issues so much worse as my brain just can’t keep up with it all.
My mental load before baby included: university study, leading two youth groups, keeping a house and running our families social schedule.
The load with the baby? All the tasks above and then all the day-to-day things which come with having a little one: feeding, changing, nap times and lots and lots of play time!
And the long term things which need to be tackled: weaning, sleep routines, encouraging walking and other developmental milestones, medical appointments, jabs, getting little man weighed and measured, nursery and the occasional play date!
I am also aware that the mental load is going to get much worse before it gets better: the appointments, sorting school, starting visits to the dentist, swimming lessons, being measured for his first shoes…
And a lot of these things need money, time and energy to do them. Money, time and energy I often don’t have.
Parenthood is the most ridiculous act of juggling known to humanity.
If I think about this all at once it becomes so overwhelming that I miss out on the here and now with my son.
So, I carry on with my diary, phone alarms, post it notes, wall calendar, reminders everywhere, because I know one day he’ll be looking after himself. And I’ll be craving for the time when I was looking after all our family, the time when he was still my little boy.