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Sharing the Mental Load: A Guide for Dads to Help with Thanksgiving Preparation

What would you like someone to do for you to make Thanksgiving easier to plan?

As the holiday season approaches, many families eagerly anticipate the warmth and joy that Thanksgiving brings. However, for busy moms, the anticipation often comes with a significant mental load.

The responsibility of planning, organizing, and executing a perfect Thanksgiving celebration can be overwhelming on top of the already stressful demands of keeping a household and family with kids running.

But why does it all fall on moms? How can spouses and partners help with the mental load associated with Thanksgiving preparations? Let's talk about how being a supportive partner goes beyond just saying, "give me a list," or "just tell me what to do." So we created this quick guide for dads to help more with Thanksgiving preparation.

Taking Over a Part Means Taking Over the Whole

It's essential to recognize that when we talk about taking over a part of the Thanksgiving preparations, it's more than just lending a hand—it's about assuming full responsibility for a specific aspect. This proactive involvement is key to effectively reducing the mental load on moms. By committing to take over a part, you need to not only provide tangible assistance but also allow moms the mental space to focus on other crucial elements of the celebration.

Understanding the Mental Load

The mental load is the invisible weight of responsibilities and tasks that often fall on the shoulders of mothers. From menu planning and grocery shopping to coordinating guest lists and decorating, the mental load can be particularly heavy during the holiday season. Recognizing and acknowledging this burden is the first step in creating a more equitable division of responsibilities at home.

Taking Initiative

Dads, it's time to take initiative and actively participate in the Thanksgiving preparations. Start by having an open and honest conversation with your partner about the tasks involved and express your willingness to share the load. Offering your assistance without being asked, and taking on specific areas of responsibilities over just small tasks, can go a long way in alleviating the mental burden.

Menu Planning and Grocery Shopping

One significant way to support moms is by taking charge of menu planning and grocery shopping. Collaborate on creating a delicious and diverse menu that caters to everyone's preferences and dietary restrictions. Once the menu is finalized, handle the grocery shopping, ensuring all the necessary ingredients are in stock. This not only lightens the mental load but also allows for shared decision-making in preparing a memorable Thanksgiving meal.

Guest Coordination and Entertainment

Another aspect of Thanksgiving planning that often falls on moms is coordinating with guests and planning entertainment. Dads, step in and take charge of communicating with relatives, friends, or neighbors who will be joining the celebration. Additionally, brainstorm and organize entertainment options, such as games or activities for both kids and adults, to ensure a festive atmosphere.

Cleaning Before and After

Recognize the importance of a clean and welcoming space for Thanksgiving both for the meal and for your house guests. Take responsibility for coordinating a pre-Thanksgiving deep clean, ensuring the house is ready for guests. After the festivities, lead the post-celebration cleanup, including dishes, packing away decorations, and returning the house to its pre-celebration state. This comprehensive approach to cleaning is a crucial part of sharing the Thanksgiving preparation load.

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, love, and togetherness. By actively participating in the preparation process and sharing the mental load, dads can contribute to a more harmonious and enjoyable holiday season for the entire family. Remember, it's not about taking over but working together to create lasting memories and traditions.

So, dads, this Thanksgiving, let's redefine roles and foster a spirit of collaboration for a truly joyous celebration for all.

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