To the Dad Who Shares the Mental Load

I’ve read a few posts recently about the mental load that motherhood typically carries, especially for stay at home moms. A lot of that is very true, but I think it’s also worth taking the time to recognize the dads who share the mental load of parenting. I’m very much in the camp that dads don’t “help,” they just parent. Unfortunately, a lot of us–especially stay at home moms–do carry a majority of the mental load.

I know that not all families are Mom-Dad families and that not all moms carry this kind of role, but this is true of my family, so I have used these words. I also know that not every home is a two-parent household, and I want the single parents out there to know that I see you, and I know I am privileged to be able to share the load.

Here’s an open letter to the dads who share the mental load of parenting well.

To the Dad Who Does,

To the Dad who does bedtime, thanks for taking the kids into their rooms so I can sit on the couch in peace, enjoying my alone time for just a few minutes before getting to my next task.

To the Dad making phone calls, thank you for taking the time to sit on hold during your lunch break so I don’t have to be on the phone with my singing children in the background.

To the Dad who takes the dog to the vet, thank you for getting up earlier than normal to make sure the pup gets her medication and vaccines.

To the Dad who does naps, you’re a hero for holding our enormous toddler in your arms on the train during the long trip to see family. Without you, the whole train would surely go crazy at the sound of our toddler whining “Nooo” one more time.

To the Dad who constantly takes the garbage out when it’s full, I appreciate not having to touch anything else that stinks during my day.

To the Dad who grabs the outgoing mail, I love you infinitely for taking even one small task of my plate for today.

To the Dad who does include the kids in your house projects, these educational moments for the kiddos provide me such a sense of relief from having to entertain in the midst of the remodel.

To the Dad who picks up milk and bread on the way home, thanks for keeping us stocked.

To the Dad who knows the pediatrician’s name, phone number and what the doctor’s face looks like, thanks for sharing the mental load of information when our babies are sick.

To the Dad who does swim lessons, thank you for letting me stay home to drink my coffee while it’s hot while you go shower, swim, sing, splash, shower again and re-dress our kiddo.

To the Dad who asks at the end of the day: “is there anything I can do for you?” Asking showed me enough love to fill my heart and make me smile.

To the Dad who builds in “time off” for the stay at home mom, you have no idea how much sanity this brings. Sorry for the Target bills.

To the Dad who does the vacuuming, I’m glad to know the dog hair bothers you as much as it bothers me.

To the Dad helping with homework, thanks for not making me do math today.

To the Dad doing all the dishes, thank you for sharing in the housework.

To the Dad who schedules the babysitter and plans the date, thanks for letting me simply enjoy showing up and looking my best for a night.

To the Dads who know the load and are willing to share it as much as possible, my sincerest thanks.

This list doesn’t cover all of it, but I see you, good Dads.

Thank you.


  1. Excellent article Kristen,

    My wife shared this article randomly since she just wants to share the thanks for all the things I do in the house. It’s also very lovely to see how other mom’s have dad’s in the family who are willing to take that extra mile for the wife and family! Props to all those good dad’s out there!

    Two more suggestion to add would be if the dad actually does the laundry and the baby’s diapers. (I personally do them both =), on my own)



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