So God Made a Mother is Here! 🎉

“You’re in charge of dinner,” I told my mom last night. I was just so tired. I recently started a new job and the learning curve was exhausting. All that topped with listening to my kids screaming downstairs all day, while I worked in my bedroom, left me mentally drained in a way that I never felt pre-COVID.

RELATED: This is the New Mental Load of Motherhood

“Ok,” my mom responded. “Should I give the kids mac and cheese? Fish sticks? Do both the kids like fish sticks?”

I pretended not to hear her as I walked upstairs. By delegating her as in charge of dinner, her question was exactly what I wanted a break from. It wasn’t just the actual cooking and setting the table, finding out which kid wants milk and which wants water. Then the power struggle of how much they each needed to eat to warrant dessert, followed by clean up.

It’s the mental load of making decisions. Of running the household. Of being in charge of everything.

Where is my green dinosaur?
Are the dishes in the dishwasher dirty?
Do we have any toilet paper?
When’s the last time the bedsheets were cleaned?
Do the kids have their dentist appointments scheduled? Doctor? OT, behaviorist, and where are we on IEP stuff?

This is the mental load of motherhood. I am in charge of all of it. I store it all in my head, and yes, I have the answers to all of it. But sometimes, I wish I didn’t.

Sometimes, I wish I could pass the buck.

RELATED: A Mother’s Mind Never Rests Because We Carry the Mental Load

Check the dishwasher yourself.
Where did you last see your dinosaur?
Did you check the garage for more toilet paper?

But for the most part, the reason the weight of the mental load is so heavy is because I do know.

I do know where you left your dino.

I do know the dishes in the dishwasher are clean, and probably still hot, so be careful when touching them.

I know it’s been more than a week since the bedsheets were cleaned and yes, I know when every appointment is scheduled and where we are on the IEP.

RELATED: Dear Kids, I’m Sorry I Yelled But I’m Just So Tired

And the paradox of it all? I want to know. I want to be in charge 95% of the time. I wouldn’t have it any other way . . . must be the controller in me. But it’s that last 5% that gets me every time. It’s the part that makes me snap and yell, often passive aggressively ask, “Have you looked?” or ignore the questions and walk away. Because that 5% just wants to mute all the noise. Tune out everyone else and focus on me. Me—not me as a mom, a wife, an employee—just me as a person.

Because, sometimes, she gets so lost in the chaos, I’m not even sure she’s still there.

I should mention my mom took the hint. She figured dinner out and gave me time to sit with myself, alone and undisturbed. When I did come back down, I felt refreshed and ready to resume my duties. I asked my mom how much the kids ate and where the kids were on the dessert trajectory. I was back. My 5% was filled. I was ready to mom again.

As moms, we don’t always get this time. Sometimes we don’t get any break, as single moms know all too well. But maybe, by explaining to our partners and family, that we need to fill our 5% . . .  maybe they can better understand. Last night wasn’t just about cooking dinner for the family, it was about making the decisions around it, too. Those decisions can be heavy.

RELATED: Check on Your Strong Friend, She’s Faking It

The mental load is something we carry as mothers. It is heavy. Yes, moms have superpowers. We can carry heavy. We do it all the time.

But as humans, we eventually need to put it down.

Originally published on Celeste Yvonne – The Ultimate Mom Challenge


So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Celeste Yvonne

About Celeste Yvonne: Celeste is a popular blogger and personality who writes about all things parenting. Celeste openly speaks about her struggles with alcohol, and two years ago she announced her commitment to becoming a sober mom for the sake of her health and her family. Her piece about a playdate that went sideways when another mom started serving mimosas has reached over 14 million people. Celeste lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband and two boys ages 3 and 5. Follow Celeste at or

Our Kids Need to See Us Slow Down Too

In: Living, Motherhood
Friends with feet up around a fire pit, color photo

I have a girlfriend who has a lake house just over an hour away. It’s in a small town that has a local Mexican restaurant with a fun, easy-going staff that feels like they have to be family. There have been times over the last few years that something about that casual, bright restaurant with its rowdy waiters and surprisingly outstanding, cheap food makes me feel so content. The small lake town is not that far from home, but it feels far enough away to be unavailable to my responsibilities and have a tiny piece of that vacation vibe (without...

Keep Reading

God Holds Her Every Step of the Way

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding infant baby's feet, color photo

We were told she wouldn’t make it to 20 weeks. When she made it, we were told she wouldn’t survive to full-term. When she survived to full-term, we were told she wouldn’t grow properly. When she grew, she thrived. When she thrived, she confused the doctors. RELATED: Keep Fighting, Little Miracle When the doctors tried to find the science to explain away her defeating all the odds, I had the answers. God. Prayers. Miracles. At 10 weeks when I found out about her condition, I prayed. I gathered my prayer warriors, and we prayed. Ultrasound after ultrasound, the technician was...

Keep Reading

When the Last Baby Graduates

In: Grown Children, Living, Motherhood
Graduate with parents smiling, cap and gown

We’ve been through this before, so we know the waves of emotions that roll through us. When our kids graduate—be it from preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, or college—we moms come to terms with one season ending and a new one beginning. RELATED: I Blinked and You Went From Kindergarten to College When it’s your last child who is graduating from college, this can feel like uncharted territory. Yes, we know that we find new rhythms to our relationship from having gone through this with our other child(ren). But we as moms have not yet left the college...

Keep Reading

God Bless the Teenagers (and Their Parents!) Who Impact Our Young Kids

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen coach with young rider on horse, color photo

Lucy wears tall riding boots and a helmet that looks like a bonnet when it’s hot out. Her hair is curly, but sometimes she straightens it. When I first met Lucy, she was wearing plaid pajama pants. My little girl, Ada, refuses to trim her nails because she wants them to be long, “just like Lucy’s.” I met Lucy almost four years ago when she was only 14. She carried herself like she was older. The ends of her hair were bleached, she had a quiet confidence that reminded me of an old friend. She took my daughter outside to...

Keep Reading

The Face In the Mirror Has Changed, But It Tells My Story

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman standing in kitchen next to roses, color photo

If I were to do an inventory of my home of 42 years, I would get a grip on what should be thrown out, given away, or kept. The older I become, the more difficult it is for me to make these decisions. I attempted making a list of personal items I would like each of my sons to have (not that they wouldn’t get rid of them after I am gone) and have started thinking about items to bequeath to grandchildren. I believe I know which son would be happy to acquire books, which son would gladly be the...

Keep Reading

Before You, Boy, I Never Knew

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three boys playing in creek, color photo

Before you, boy, I never knew that little boys could get so dirty. Play so rough. Climb so high. Assess your risks. Make me hold my breath. Messes everywhere.   Before you, boy, I never knew how much my lap will make room for you. My arms will stretch to swallow you up in endless hugs and just hold you close. And love you to the moon and back. And back again. Snuggling and snuggling.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything Before you, boy, I never knew that there would be so much wrestling. And superheroes, and far-off...

Keep Reading

But How Will I Let Her Go?

In: Motherhood, Teen
Mother standing with high school graduate

It was nothing as I pictured. Really. Nothing about it was how I thought it’d look, feel or be. I mean I knew I’d be emotional, duh, but all the rest of it was like a dream or something. A feeling I really can’t describe because it’s not how I’ve ever allowed myself to feel. All of the huge moments leading up to these past few days have been so insane. And the fact that I am who I am—and am obsessed with embracing them all and truly eating them up individually—had them come one by one but at lightning speed....

Keep Reading

Dear Son, As You Move on from Middle School

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy getting into passenger side of car

When you were almost two years old, we were driving home from the library and a song that used to be one of your lullabies, the old Irish folk song “Carrickfergus,” was playing in the car. You put your hand to your heart and said “ohhh,” as if it was so beautiful to listen to that it was almost a little painful, which any good song can feel like. You weren’t quite speaking in total full sentences, but you were already super verbal. It was just one of those moments where you didn’t have to be though, because I understood...

Keep Reading

As the Mom of a Teen, I Belong in the Backseat Now

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen driver, color photo taken from the back seat

I remember growing up, the best thing in the world was calling “shotgun!” and beating my sisters to the front seat of the car. The coveted seat next to my mom or dad—seeing the world from the grown-up view, instead of craning my neck around the huge barrel seats of our station wagon, trying to catch a glimpse of the wide world ahead of me. Somewhere along the way, early in my teen years, I stopped calling shotgun and headed straight for the back. While the view was smaller, it was mine alone. Facing out the rearview with my headphones...

Keep Reading

It’s the Flower Food Packet that Hurts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Flowers on a headstone

It’s the flower food packet that gets you. That little plastic packet with the powder that keeps your flowers alive longer. The little packet you know you’ll never use because these flowers aren’t going in a vase. They’re going on the ground. RELATED: The Impossible Grief of Child Loss Hurts Forever Buying flowers for my baby’s grave is a normal process for me. Every so often, and especially around the time of year we lost our boy, I grab a bunch at our local grocer. I lay them carefully on top of where his very tiny body was laid to...

Keep Reading