The night my first child was born, I lay awake staring at him with 2 phrases going around my head,
“I am his mother
“He is my son
These words ‘mother’ and ‘son’ filled me with wonder but also a sense of vulnerability; his as a new and defenceless being, but also my own as I dared to imagine my feelings should anything ever happen to him.
 

Okay, I was exhausted and full of hormones. Like all mothers, I quickly realised that in order to fulfil my responsibilities to this little person, I’d better get a grip and get on with the business of looking after him.
 
That little person is now a strapping 14-year old with a 12-year old sister nipping at his heels. Much has changed but that sense of responsibility is still there and at times, still overwhelming.
The mental load is talked about a lot these days. You may or may not have a partner.
 
And they may or may not be the most helpful partner in the world, I certainly cannot complain in this department. That said, I think it’s fair to suggest that in most households it is mothers who carry in their heads, information about what’s needed for school/college/university, who is going to eat what and when, whose birthday is coming up etc. And I’m not just talking about mothers of younger children, or even children still living at home. The content of mental load may change over the years but it’s still there, whatever your age or your kids age.
 
We have lots of women book onto our retreats, either on their own or with friends and I’ve come to realise that it’s often a break from this mental load they are craving. I wish I had a pound for every time I hear a woman express her joy, not just about the gorgeous food available on our retreats, but the fact that she didn’t have to plan for or prepare it. Also, the fact that she doesn’t’ have to decide what to do each day and cajole everyone into enjoying themselves. Instead, there is a gentle structure to each day, carefully planned activities to be enjoyed or simply passed by and plenty of opportunities to do absolutely nothing in the most beautiful surroundings.
 
Mothers’ day is upon us this weekend. I really hope that it will be a day when you are cosseted and protected from mental load and responsibility. Be honest though, how many of you have already organised an event? or have this as an item on your to-do list? Do you think we might be missing something? I’ll just leave you with that thought.