“Mums vs Dads” post sparks debate about the pressures of parenting

Meredith Ethington's husband

When blogger and mum Meredith Ethington posted an update on her own state of mind VS her partner’s resting thoughts, it struck a chord with many, many parents. 

"THOUGHTS MOMS HAVE AFTER A LONG DAY OF WORK: OMG. This house is a mess. Do we have enough bread for lunch…

Posted by Love What Matters on Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Mum life?

Many mums will relate to Meredith’s stream of consciousness-inspired update, which details a tornado of random thoughts all wrapped up with a bow called ‘responsibility’. Or maybe it’s called ‘anxiety’. Or it could be called ‘overwhelm’ or even ‘mum life’. The jury is still out re this.


OMG. This house is a mess.
Do we have enough bread for lunch tomorrow?
I need to have a talk with the five year old about honesty and have him return that toy he “borrowed”.
I hope I can get some sleep tonight. Like, actual real sleep where I have a dream, or twitch, or something. I should buy a sleep mask.
Did I put the laundry in the dryer?
Did I hit send on that email?
Is it too late to register the 8yo for soccer that is six months away?
Are they caught up on their shots for school?
Do we need more cat food?
I should clean out their closets.
How is the ceiling fan THAT dusty? Like, for real. Why is there so much dust on a fan that spins all day? How is that even possible?
I keep seeing spiders. Need to call the exterminator.
I hope that we get into that good preschool and not the shady looking one that for sure has a hand foot and mouth infestation.
I hope I bought the right sunscreen and not one that will give them a rash.
When was the last time I watered my flowers outside?
I should wash our sheets.
I bet Karen washes her sheets every week.
I need a freaking vacation from mom life, but who would remember that we need more ramen noodles?
I will cut someone if I don’t have any chocolate after the kids are in bed.

I’m going to lay down here and take a nap real quick.

– Perfection Pending by Meredith Ethington


Meredith posted her funny-because-it’s-often-true update to Facebook, where it was picked up by the hugely popular aggregating page Love What Matters.

When they posted it, followers began having big feelings about it pretty much straight away. A whopping 1800+ shares and 670+ comments later, responses to this post seemed to fall into the following camps:

a) Some agreed that women bore the brunt of the day-to-day pressures of running a household – and they were miffed about it.

“My husband is certainly not representative of every dad out there but I can tell you he simply does not worry like I do. He falls asleep at night as soon as he lays down while it takes hours for me to turn my brain off. Then I dream about my kids or my life’s problems. This post does not annoy or anger me. Men and women are different.”

“I’m really glad to know I am not the only woman whose thoughts go on and on.”

“This is so accurate it hurts!”

b) Some said the work and mental load was similar, but the way men and women process and communicate the overwhelm is different.

“The difference is that men never verbalize all the things running through their heads.”

“My hubby can lie down at the end of the day and fall asleep within 5 minutes. Every single night. Makes me so jealous.”

c) Some thought the dad pictured needed a good lie down:

“This dad looks to be in the medical profession and I bet he worked a long shift. Nap earned.”

d) Others said a rethink might be needed and the tendency to fixate, perfect and obsess was not doing us any good at all:

“After surviving late stage cancer I have realized what is important and what isn’t. About 3 things a day truly are, the rest can wait!”

“Dads do it on their own all the time. [Mums] can’t blame them if we act like control freaks.”

“I do have all these thoughts often, but my husband is a true partner in life – no complaints there. I’m the one that needs to quit obsessing.”

e) And thousands of commenters simply tagged their partners quietly and backed away.

The overwhelming response, it seems, is that this accurately sums up Mums vs Dads in many households across the globe.

That said – many, many families don’t fit this mum-and-dad mould – so there is more work to be done when it comes to finding out more about the mental load and workload in families, we feel.

How about you? Does this post reflect your family’s reality? Or is it a long way off the mark?

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