I May Carry The 'Mental Load,' But My Husband Carries Me

by Nicole Merritt
Originally Published: 
A husband hugging and kissing his wife's forehead while she's looking at her phone

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

That’s a realization I just came to today.

Pretty sad that it took me ten years of marriage, three children, two pets, two states, four homes, and four jobs to figure it out, but I’m sufficiently impressed with myself that I finally got there.

Where is there?

Oh, you know, just that place in your mind and in your life where you realize that 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 who stands beside you, encourages you, supports you and carries you whenever 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 #allthethings that we matriarchs are — depending upon how you look at it — burdened or graced with.

And in the day to 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 bathe 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’s looking a mess; do you think she’s okay?

There she goes bribing them with candy again.

Seriously, people, it’s a freakin’ 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 who feel cared about, extended family who know they are in my thoughts, teachers who 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 who carries you is not your spouse.

Maybe God carries you and your load.

Maybe it is your sibling.

Maybe it is your BFF who 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 friend.

It’s not even unheard of for an individual to be carried by a group of strangers — like those who 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 who carry you.

This article was originally published on