1,570 thoughts on “You should’ve asked

  1. Hey Emma, I completely agree with you, and no one will really understand unless they have been in these situations. I am a stay at home mom, and not by choice, we can’t afford child care, and don’t have relatives that would offer it either. I love my daughter, but it is exhausting. I envy my husband getting to go to work and that be the end of his worries for the day. No sleepless nights because he works, no screaming tantrums, no getting critisized for not doing “enough” housework because it can’t be that difficult to watch, feed, bathe, calm, put to sleep, handle our daughter and do every chore in 8 hours, oh and don’t forget needing to be in a great mood too 😂. I appreciate him bringing home a paycheck, but I would love to feel appreciated too, and have money that I don’t have to have a reason to spend, I have to ask for approval to buy something that isn’t groceries. We are a young couple 24 and 25 with a 10 month old and another on the way, I completely relate to your comic and it was nice to not feel alone. And don’t get me wrong I Love my husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I envy my husband getting to go to work and that be the end of his worries for the day.”

      Much respect for the work that you do, but I must take exception to this sentence. If your husband’s job is like most other jobs out there, he is most certainly not worry-free there.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good point Nigel. It can even be generalized further: The world is full of suffering said a famous and 2.5k year old teacher. When we point the finger, based on a misunderstanding, towards those around us who are good at hiding their suffering, and blame them to be enjoying life while we, on the inside, are so clearly full of suffering, we are under a very very wrong impression. Another old teacher puts it as: “Know the truth and that will set you free.” You are actually free, but don’t seem to know or realize it. Did you choose to have a baby? And another one? Or, did you feel like you had to do it? I don’t know. The truth is for you to find out, within.
        Further, do we really need to be appreciated? And how are we so sure that we are not already?
        Here is another generalization if it helps any person out there who feel like they are not getting the appreciation they deserve: you don’t need it. But, you got it already. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. You simply do not know that you are appreciated. Not lucky enough to have a wise soul show you that they really, really appreciate you just as you are.. (Look down to the face of your child who is asleep. They do appreciate you. But, you know, they got the colic and also trying to figure out the darn realities of life 🙂 So, cut them some slack when they don’t seem to appreciate you being around..
        Fun to have a conversation here, but gotta go. Be still. And know that you are extraordinary, regardless of what the voice in the mind seem to be shouting inside. Love. (Not just from me to you, but, the imperative: love, cause that’s your deepest truth, i.e., you are love)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Nigel, I believe the post meant you finish work and clock out. That’s the end of your worries for the day. She then goes on to explain the long list of tasks that don’t include a “time clock” savior.

        As a working mom, when I clock out for the day this list looms over my head. I’m not “off”. I’m shifting from one job to another job, one that is often more mentally and emotionally taxing. Realistically, my mental bandwidth at work is partially bogged down by the background chatter of household management data.


      3. Oh, please. As if men have a lock on having things to worry about at work. You’re missing the point by a light year and not even reading the sentence that you quoted. Women have to worry about work AND everything at home.


      4. Nigel, I am a woman and went out to work at a ‘regular job’ and was so utterly relieved when my partner took over the childcaring and household work. I know so many women like this. One of my work colleagues recently came in to work sick because she knew she would get a better rest at work than at home. Please believe us when we speak from experience. Because not believing us and dismissing our concerns is what got us into this situation in the first place.


      5. “Much respect for the work that you do, but I must take exception to this sentence. If your husband’s job is like most other jobs out there, he is most certainly not worry-free there.”

        Much respect for your attempt to be respectful, but I must take exception to this sentence. Most jobs out there do not have to assure the complete well being of one or more uncooperative charges who are 100% assigned to you, are not on duty 24/7/365, don’t face social censure or criminal legal repercussions for doing a bad job, and are at least paid something for the effort. If your job is like most other jobs out there, it’s a casual walk in the park compared to being a full time mom.

        My job entails plenty of worry and responsibilities. It’s still nothing compared to my partner’s unpaid labor at home with our kids. Relatively speaking: it’s worry-free.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Leave your husband with your kid for the day without warning, any prepared food, instructions AND switch your phone off. Also tell female relatives not to be able for help. Don’t make it easy for,him while you have a day out as that is more work for you and he won’t learn how hard you have it.

      When you come back from your day out find out out how he got on. I can think of two scenarios – he thought it was easy but then you can see why he thought that as the house will be a total garbage tip, the child will be dirty e.g. Face not cleaned from eating and he would have ordered takeaway junk food even though you have food in the house he could have prepared a basic meal with. OR you will come home to find him on him at his wits end saying he couldn’t get any housework or cooking done because he was looking after a child.

      Men need to learn how hard we full time mums have it. They naively/nastily think just because we don’t go out to work and earn a salary we have it easy. Wrong. We work inside the home and I would say we have it harder as there are no lunch breaks, toilet breaks, salary, sick pay, set hours and set job description, adult conversation and we have to juggle childcare with all types of mundane chores. We are also classed as unemployed by the government. Lmao.

      why are you having another kid with him? You do know these men get lazier with the birth of each child?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Or third he can do everything just fine because men always just get stuck into this stereotype its only a minority not the majority… also once kids get older into mid teens its not that hard to take care of them anymore meanwhile the man still has to work for another 10-20 years after the kids are gone… I worked hard and got a good job where I only work 3 days a week im home the other 4 and did my fair share of household stuff and always thought it was rediculous that women make such a big deal about it its not hard at all…


      2. Wow. So according to you, every dad is a pretentious ass who apparently doesn’t give a shit about his family and comes home from his worry-free work at five and chugs a beer on the couch. Wasn’t there something in the comic about stereotypes because this certainly is one.
        Yes I believe you that your job is tough, but buh buh. Having a stressful live is not exclusive to stay at home moms. I have seen people ground down to the bone by their jobs or other occurrences in their lives and I’m sure you have too. Live sucks for a lot of people, probably for most. If you and your partner can’t figure out how to balance all that shit, then maybe your relationship is not exactly made for raising kids, because apparently talking to each other about the issues that you experience is something you have yet to figure out and I believe it would probably resolve a lot of your problems.
        Then again, if you are already fighting when the kid is just a toddler, that seems like a very healthy base for a long lasting relationship.


      3. While I am very sympathetic to the mental load argument, I think one core problem is that men have lower domestic standards than women (or women’s standards are too high by men’s standards). What women consider dirty and men consider dirty are frequently at different thresholds. In my house, I clean when it is dirty, but my wife usually cleaned it 2 days before it hits my level. Likewise, if the kids’ clothes do not match, who cares? The answer is: my wife does. It goes on and on – if I put a clean plate in the wrong place and get told that I do not know what I am doing, why should I do it again. Many women have their own issues with domestic perfection that they need to get over, because few men have such qualms. Once women come to a less onerous standard of domestic perfection, maybe men will become more engaged in sharing the mental load as the need to get things done starts to break through their thresholds.


      4. Men’s housework time lowers when they get together with a woman. So yes girls are raised to do be cleaner than boys but it doesn’t explain everything. Men rely on women for housework when they live with them (and women are raised to find it normal)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. A Mason : If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s because you haven’t made the effort to learn. It’s your kitchen, you should know where everything goes. You’re a great example of the men who are lazy and expect their wife to handle everything related to the household.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. this is in relation to a. mason’s comment – you are right that men often have lower standards when it comes to a clean house, but why does that mean women should lower their standards? couldn’t men raise theirs?

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Or fifth: WOMEN will rush to help a guy on his own with kids and rush round with prepared meals while telling him what a saint he is for even attempting child care.


      8. People with attitudes.like yours are exactly why people like me almost explode with rage every time inread something like.it.
        My ex had the same attitude as yours.
        i worked. I did laundry, all yardwork, the fucking dishes, all the time. I also was the taxi service and also had to make the money…
        And what did i get for it?
        A holier than thou woke feminist attitude from her.

        Same shit about how she literally “dod everything”
        …when i was doing almost everything.

        I was supposed to treat the house as “hers”
        She was supposed to be the boss.
        Finally had enough and what did it get me?
        Financial ruin. After months of fighting and court and her (completely fraudulent) defamation of my character,
        Finally was able to win joint custody.
        But guess what? I still have to pay her over 20 percent of my NET PAY in child support.
        She gets to live “on her own” as a single mom without having to work while I had to sell my house and move back in with my parents.

        Yeah that is just.

        And the book made me LOL.

        I guess my childhood and most I know was an anomaly because I have NEVER seen a household where the woman has that much to bear while he has no clue.

        Tbe days she had a “girls day” (which I NEVER EVER got reciprocation with a “boys day”) were A VACATION FOR ME.
        Fucking sexist asshole.


    3. Ugh, ignore the mansplainers. 🙄

      Your sentence “I have to ask for approval to buy something that isn’t groceries,” is a little concerning. That’s…controlling behavior. Keep an eye on that. To me that’s a red flag, especially if there’s other behaviors like that going on.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That’s how me and my husbands relationship works. I am a stay at home mom of four kids who are five and under. I ask him before I purchase anything that is exclusively for me but on that same note he does the same back. He asks if he can buy anything that won’t be used by everyone in the house.


      2. I noticed the cartoon says women still spend 25 times the hours doing housework that men do?
        How is that even possible when a day has but 24 hours?

        And while I am not trying to downplay your message, I have yet to see the stereotypical household you describe in my entire near 43 years on this Earth, unless, of course, you are referring to one headed by a SINGLE parent.


    4. Why did you even marry him in the first place!?

      Here you can read about all the sad womans that dont get help…but you choosed to marry that/your man. Why do you think he would change after you married him?

      Its your own fault, all of you. Choose man that fit to your soul, to your personality, and not only judge by looks. Did he help in household before? was his apartment clean before you met him? How does he react about dirt … not made beds…just not cleaned up at all … or did he do it on his own before?

      So many womans are complaining, but they make children with these men, and marry these men as well, even they already knew it was like that.

      Nobody forced you to marry a man that doesnt care about raising childs, having a nice and clean apartment/house.


      1. Statistics show that men’s housework time reduces by 1 hour / day when living with a woman, while the woman time is doubled
        The problem is not men alone it is how heterosexuality and living together affects our behavior towards domestic work.
        Moreover if you think that the man’s work is to “help”, you get it all wrong. It’s about doing his share.
        But I guess you’re more here to shame women than to understand and try to help smashing patriarchy. Just a guess though

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s not that simple for those who grew up with abuse and neglect. We’re not taught how to understand our souls and personalities, or ourselves over others in any way, or how to think critically about what, or who will be good for us. We’re taught that we have no choice, that we don’t matter, that we don’t even deserve to be here let alone deserve happiness.
        Even when abuse & neglect are not as extreme, there are endless unhealthy coping mechanisms & social traumas so many of us Humans have only begun to unlearn. I’m glad someone taught you self esteem instead of self loathing, but your view is Privileged AF


      3. Both of you have a point.
        However, in the end analysis it’s a shared responsibility.
        Men who ignore this reality are definitely adding to the mental load of the woman and are deficient in common sense.
        You marry her because you love her, not because you want a servant so don’t burden her with “everything” household, help her in making it a place you’re both happy with…key word “both” then that will be an expression of true love for her

        Liked by 2 people

    5. This sounds like emotional and financial abuse. You should not have to account for every penny. You should not have to ask for permission to buy, say, clothing. You are raising the children. If one parent stays home, both have equal say in how the money is spent. You are staying home by agreement.

      As someone who was once in an abusive relationship, your paragraph raises a lot of red flags.


  2. Ok.
    One person wrote a comic. A bunch of people read it, i.e. you guys.
    You all left jerky comments. Maybe you didn’t mean them to be. I get it, we all make mistakes. But they were.
    And now like half of you are in a freaking war.
    Is it just me or is this comments page an exact replica of real life?
    Is it just me or does that totally suck?
    Can we all stop? Please? I just wanted a slice a life comic, I didn’t want to join a battle.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been in a toxic relationship and I can relate to this so much… However, my life turned around by 180 degrees when I left his lazy ass and decided to never live with a man again, which at least freed me of half of the housework. It took a really special person to convince me otherwise.

    Now I am living the dream with the most caring and reliable partner I could have ever dreamt of. He is sharing the chores, but also organizing together with me, thoughtful of the details. Often, I come home to find he thought to do stuff I forgot and vice versa. Our household isn’t perfect but on a level we both can accept. Still, we both are successful in our jobs (not THAT successful we could afford domestic aid, nor would we want one), but enough to be content. He would probably think it’s taken for granted and not accept praise from me, but I know the reality out there is that he’s one in a million.

    So it IS possible to live in a relationship and still both care for each other yet have time for themselves.

    The only way to make this the standard is to teach this responsibility to our sons from the beginning.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I agree with so much of this! I remember early on in our marriage just begging him to anticipate my needs. He replied that he wasn’t a mind reader. So I would give him example after example. If even one dish is dirty, I suggested that he just wash it. So he would… partly. Food would still be dried to it. So I would try to teach him how, and he complained that he couldn’t do it good enough for my standards… trust me that lead to a long argument.

    So I stopped doing anything that wasn’t dire. And he was fine with that until he’d get frustrated and do it himself. I’d tell him, I married a man, not a child, and I know his momma taught him better than that.

    But then I started to think about how he thinks. Any new or ‘new-to-him’ project he does, he has to go to the store for parts more than actually working on the project. Why was he like that? I found out he’s not alone. There are alot of other men like that too.
    They won’t admit to it, but they don’t see the details, they see the whole picture. They don’t see the steps leading up to something, they just see the end result. Unlike women, they compartmentalize tasks, single-minded in their objective. I can’t say that this is something by nature or by nurture, but it’s how my husband’s brain is wired. (Funny cause he’s an electrician)

    Now at work, he can do these tasks, without even thinking they are so ingrained, but at home his brain has the luxury just vegging out.

    We women don’t have that luxury. I think men believe (or make the excuse) that women are “just better at this job” (we aren’t). We’ve done it longer, it should be second nature, right? Big Nope! Or we were trained for this by our moms? Another Big Nope! We are forced on this job 24/7 because we do it out of love. That’s it.

    We love you. So show some gratitude and LOOK FOR WAYS TO HELP, Really Search like it’s a treasure hunt and your marriage is the damsel in distress! This search means you value our time, our sanity, and our love. Men are not idiots, they can be geniuses if they need to be. I, for one, refuse to let my husband and sons play dumb.

    That being said, If allowed, I also promise to take time after work to let him rest, vent, and unwind before starting this new task. I know I have issues and need time retracting my tendrils from one task to start another.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s not some innate thing where they “don’t see the steps” before they start. They just don’t ever learn they have to because they have so much free time they can afford to spend all day running back and forth to the store and justifying it because they are “working on a project.” It’s also a form of avoidance by which they don’t have to spend time on home responsibilities or be responsive to anyone else because of said “working on a project.”

      My number one piece of advice to girls and young women just starting out is “stay out of relationships with men. They will suck you dry without a second thought.”


    2. I’m an electrician apprentice. We’re taught to anticipate our journeyman’s needs. Ya know, basically mind reading. It’s hard at first, but the desire to succeed and please the boss drives a good apprentice. So yeah, he actually does have the skill set to “mind read.” 😂


    3. Men who do things wrong on purpose (see: spaghetti stored in a pitcher) or say “they can’t do stuff good enough for [your] standards” are using a classic technique to get you to stop asking them to contribute to the household. They hope that you’ll become frustrated and feel like it would be easier to do all the work than to take the time to “teach” them how to do things correctly (spoiler: they usually already know how). They value their lazy time over your health and happiness.


      1. Wrong or slowly (like take 2 hours to really perfectly cut an onion while you already emptied the dishwasher, cooked the pasta and did a laundry) or in a bad mood so that next time you’d rather do it yourself than hearing him grumble and shoot in things while vacuuming .. 🙂 )


    4. I must be an anomaly,
      I was always washing her dishes.
      I was always cleaning the house.
      I also had to go work and make the money and pay all the bills.
      I also had to do all the stereotypical “male” tasks regarding yardwork, house maintenance, and other grunt work.
      When i cooked I also did all the dishes. When she cooked, I still did the damned dishes.
      I would clean, go to work, amd come home to a dirty house again. Rinse and repeat all week.
      And heaven help me if I complained about it.
      Instant argument, instant feminist spiel about how hard she works and how we should switch places, how I wouldn’t have a clue….and if I would tell her I had no problem, that it was easy compared to what i did then I was “mansplaining” or some other equally silly made-up word.

      Except, it wasn’t “switching places” because I still had to go to work after spending a weekend doing “her job”.
      Was a vacation for me, doing “her job”.

      Taking care of my daughter was actually easy as pie, as long as SHE WASN’T AROUND to constantly tell me to “be more careful” or that i “was doing it all wrong” or otherwise trying to treat me like a child,
      As if she had more experience (this was the first child for the BOTH of us).
      It gets better, I would have to take her to meet her friends…and then try to do stuff with my kid while not getting too far away because I would have to pick her up when she was done! (She did not drive).

      I was treated like my work was some sort of vacation….as if i was shirking responsibilities at home. I was literally called a “workaholic” as if it were a drug or gambling problem. Then I would come home to a trashed house. So I would clean it up and maybe get to sleep around 3am. Then 7am comes and up and at em I go. I had to get everyone ready. I was the damn taxi service (she doesnt drive).
      Oh yeah I should mention I worked 2nd shift. So yeah, i would be up at 7 get kid to preschool (which I paid for) by 8 and would work at housework till about 11am then go back pick kid up and off to work by 1230…work till near midnight, and come home to a trashed house. “no time” according to her. . Funny how I always could find time to clean up after her…. Rinse and repeat. Lucky to get 3 hours of sleep a day. For years.

      Naturally, after 4years of this i could take no more and broke it off…and she wouldnt even leave MY HOUSE on MY TERMS. I literally had to live with her for months afterward until SHE decided to leave.
      Guess what? After a horrible 2019 filled with BS court dates and custody hearings….and unfounded Protection from Abuse orders (which she never had to account for despite lying to get a temporary one issued)
      She now lives in a subsidized apartment, does not work,
      Her income is literally doubled due to the child support I pay.. (about a quarter of my take home pay, despite having JOINT CUSTODY)! Guess I should.count my lucky stars I didn’t marry her or I would be paying frakkin Alimony on top!
      I had to move back in with my parents until I can slowly dig myself out from the pile of debt that for some reason is my sole burden to bear (while she gets a fresh start!)

      I was treated like a loser and a deadbeat despite always having been a good dad and working full time….
      She got treated (and still is treated) like a strong and independent single mom WITHOUT EVEN WORKING!!!

      I would love to see this unicorn…this fabled household IRL (not a sitcom) where the woman does absolutely everything while the man hasn’t a clue….because in my near 43 years on Earth, I have yet to see it. I grew up in a household where we all did housework. Both my parents worked.
      …and my FATHER was the one who did the majority of the housework. He still does, even though they are both retired.
      In all my friend’s relationships, I see varying degrees of working together. Actually, my own experience was the closest to what you gals describe as “normal domestic woman issues” except I am a man and she was a woman!
      I guess it was an education for me?

      Funny thing is….she realizes what she lost, but she did irreparable damage.

      13 more years of playing nice for my kid’s sake and letting her take the credit for “supporting” our child. (I have joint custody).
      Thirteen more…and Ill probably never talk to her again.
      I really dont think I will ever have another serious relationship. Like I mean ever.


  5. I’ve lived with, and had children with, two partners – and neither of them has really helped me much with the housework or childcare. Many of my friends are in the same situation.

    I’m a straight male. So am I living in some kind of parallel universe or is this some kind of huge overgeneralisation? It just seemed rather sexist and unhelpful to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Same here. But I found this is apparently not the forum to add this perspective.
      This space is for supporting the narrative that women have it hard because men are oblivious. Sharing any other lived experience is “derailing”, etc…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re probably right that this isn’t the forum for that discussion, but not because it’s a man-hating forum.

        It’s because there is a specific problem being discussed on this page, and a “not all men” response really detracts from the conversation.

        Let’s be honest, Hugo; while your experience is absolutely sincere, it isn’t the norm. Kudos to you for being on top of things in your household, though! I, and the guys I know, fall into the mold as described in this article. It’s the far more common occurrence, simply put.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. It’s not sexist it’s the norm. You are not the norm. Does that mean the author is wrong? No not at all because she’s speaking to the general issue. The norm in which males suck at helping at home.

      I’m a stay at home dad and have these exact same issues at home. My wife is oblivious to how much mental load is required to raise two kids. She works and brings home money and since I don’t I am left to do the housework to earn my keep. When I talk to her about this she apologizes and tries to help more but inevitably goes back to status quo in a day or two.

      It wasn’t always this way. I was an IT Manager for a huge company but we decided I should be the stay at home parent because it ‘came more naturally’ to me. I think this is horseshit. I simply do what I think a parent should.

      So… Either take something positive from this article or realize you’re a part of the problem. Our partners need help. Maybe you need help. Let’s help each other understand how the other feels. Up to you.


      Liked by 2 people

    3. I think it most definitely can go both ways! I know my sons uncle was married to this horrible woman that didn’t do anything at all! BUT i do agree that most of the time it is the other way around. But I do feel that that’s because most of the time men can make more money and tend to be the ones to keep their jobs. Maybe this “mental load” is a byproduct of whomever is stuck in the house with the kids and chores? Not necessarily women or men. I’m sorry you feel left out and not being supported. I feel that support is kinda the main objective for the person bearing the mental load and if that’s you in your relationship then we should all band together to support you as well not just the females.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Some days I’m so exhausted and stressed out an resentful that I feel like I may have a heart attack. Then I realize that if I was dead I wold never have to laundry again and I actually feel better.


  7. This is amazing. Guys, I know a lot of you do not only housework sometimes, but have very stressful jobs and bringing home $$ is a huge responsibility. I totally respect that. But this comic articulates so clearly and accurately the “mental load” that is in fact the burden of the mother of today- may she be one with a job, multiple jobs, high paying career, or no job. How much would you dads pay someone to do the job that a mother performs, 7 days a week 24 hours a day? Her job is literally unpaid, under-appreciated, and never ending. This cannot be overstated. I also love this concept of her being the “rememberer”. A mom has to notice, remember, and execute so much, all while calmly and kindly enduring the barrage of the whirlwind of child raising. That heart attack feeling is probably anxiety, and is SO real. It’s kind of a miracle that we can tolerate it. Kids today are NUTS! It takes me hours to clean off a table too, for exactly the reason Emma has so wonderfully depicted here. So good.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmmm, believe it or not. Some of us men do all the chores plus go to work while the woman needs to be asked to help incessantly yet the work never gets done. It’s not a one way street with this. Though I’d agree that more men probably fall into the category than women. But I did notice that with my mother also, my dad seemed to be putting in more the effort into helping raise us and completing chores while also working longer hours. Maybe if this were really about equality, this particular cartoon can be about sorting out the lazy people, which run in BOTH genders, not either/or. I dont particularly see my so’s or mother’s behavior as sexist towards me or men in any way, I just see it as them being raised in a particular manner and also, a bit lazy in some respects.


    1. This isn’t about the men who do their share. Face it …. very few men do their share which is the reason the internet is full of these articles! Good for you but no need to get annoyed and act as if anyone is accusing you of not pulling your weight. . As at the end of the day most women do all the work. You’re an exception. This article isn’t about you, it’s about the long suffering women.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you might have missed his point. Why is it about suffering women? There are many women that don’t suffer from this and also many men that do.
        Why target this to men instead of all people in relations?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Sexism isn’t about malice though. Not all sexism is born of misogyny. When you talk about “being raised in a particular manner” that’s a big part of what’s being discussed here. How do we raise boys and girls to not have a gendered paradigm of housework?

      And the mental management piece isn’t the same thing necessarily as the labour time. The fact is that while vacuuming the floor is a household chore, it’s still a good idea to know who in your household is identifying whether the floor needs to be vacuumed. And maybe someone is very active in doing housework or child rearing but is not pro-active in identifying what needs to be done. They aren’t lazy, they just aren’t doing the management piece.


    3. It’s not about the chores getting done by whom or to what standard. You’re unfortunately one of the many men in this comment section who have missed the point when it comes to the mental labor that is generally seen as a woman’s job. I obviously can’t speak to your specific relationships, but I can speak to an overarching audience across most demographics that places the responsibility of “what is my child’s homework for tonight, their teacher’s name, their grades, their best friend this week, the next parent/teacher conference and will I be able to take time off of work for it? If I can’t, will my partner remember to go or will I need to remind him?” or “we need bleach for the toilets, partner needs more bodywash, dog needs his nails trimmed at the groomers soon, I should go grocery shopping on my 30 minute lunch break from work today” categorically on the woman in the relationship. Even things like doctor visits or dental checkups for the man are frequently only scheduled through constant “nagging” by the woman.

      The fact that you’re so quick to say “my mother and exes were a bit lazy in some respects, me and my dad do all the chores and work in our relationships” really makes me think that this article went over your head. It wasn’t an attack on men — it was an example of a fairly common dynamic in most heterosexual relationships all across the world.


    4. James you make a valuable contribution to this discussion. It is the homemaker primary care parent who has this problem. The majority of the time this is the mother, but if it is the father he experiences the same or similar issues.
      This also applies to discrimination by employers. Women who are single and childless do not generally appear to have a wages gap with men. It is those who are putting effort and time into being a supportive spouse and primary carer to children who are disadvantaged at work in promotions, status, wages. A male friend of mine experienced this when his wife became too ill to do it and he had to take over. Career suicide, he said, he ended up on what they call the ‘mummy track’.


  9. Exactly. And then when you ask “did you remember to…?” it’s YOUR fault for “nagging all the time.” It’s a rigged game. A partner (co-parent/spouse/lover, whatever) has to pull their fair share of the weight. One arrangement has one partner doing the “outside” work (earning money, yardwork, whatever) while the other does the “inside” work of nurturing, housecleaning, cooking….but it is a broken model. A key point in my view: DON’T gender this. The “men are”/”women are” stereotype excuses what is plain and simple the exploitation of labour of the more responsible partner. “You are irresponsible and need to pull more weight in this mutual contract of equals” names the problem accurately. “You’re such a man” is a trap – because it equates irresponsibility with masculinity and masculinity is “GOOD”, right? Don’t play tennis on that court. You will always lose.


  10. I love this comic strip so much! It’s been reshared in groups I’m in, it keeps circling around and I come back to it every once in a while. It makes an important point so clear to everyone who reads it, it really is an impactful creation.


  11. This article put a lot of thoughts I have into words, but my case is likely very unusual. I’ll be sending this to my girlfriend because, in our heterosexual relationship, I’m the one who takes the brunt of the mental load at home (in addition to a unilaterally more demanding career) although we don’t have a baby (just a cat). The article applies to us in reverse, and, while rare, I just want to highlight that possibility.


  12. The fact that it’s invisible is the problem, the house is always cleaned when nobody can see(which admittedly is the best way to clean).

    It almost feels natural, like watching a river flow, does anyone think about the large pool of water pushing it? Not until it goes dry.


  13. And the clouds parted and the HEAVENS SANG. “Mental load” is a term I didn’t know and yet it is vastly enlightening. THANK YOU for this. I’m not even sharing living space with someone, and it’s *still* incredibly useful and enlightening. And hopefully the next time I do live with someone, this will help us have productive conversations about expectations and responsibilities.


    1. Get divorced and never look back! Kidding, sort of. But you made a good point. Even just addressing this issue is a huge amount of emotional labor that WOMEN have to take on if they want to solve. It’s just…blech. The whole thing.


  14. I have a confession to make – I am the man in this comic. In every sense of the comic.

    I am a 30-something male in a hetero relationship, and I just had a fight with the best wife of all because I forgot to turn of the heaters for the umpteenth time when leaving the flat this morning, so they were on all day (she leaves before I do in the morning and comes back before I do). Well, I say fight, but it was more a dressing down. I know I deserved it. We talked about this so often, and I have forgotten about it even more often. Today I even looked on the heaters, but forgot the only one that was on.

    It is more than that:
    * if we have guests, she remembers that we have to vacuum the evening before
    * she remembers that we need new water bottles
    * she remembers that we need to buy a birthday present
    * she remembers that the waste is full and needs to be brought down

    The list is endless.

    And here ist the thing: I know about mental load. I WANT to be better. I have timers in my mobile to remind me to look for diminishing water supplies, full laundry baskets, full dishwashers to start and now when to turn off the heaters. I am buying a Roomba.

    But I know that this is not enough, and that I am not pulling my weight. And I absolutely HATE that I am this way. I have apologized so often for mental-load-related things that it has lost all meaning.

    This is not something I can rectify with tasks and reminders, because it is about having all those things present ALL THE TIME. And I just don’t have it.

    When I lived alone, things would just not be done, or done at the very last minute and substandard quality.

    And I have no idea how to get out of this. I’ve tried when I lived at my parents because my mom scolded me, since I moved out of my parents house while living alone because the mess and stress was bad, and for at least three years especially hard, for her.

    So please, if anyone reading this has the slightest idea how I can learn to I would dearly appreciate it.

    Best, Torsten


    1. Torsten

      The best advice I ever heard for this issue is look to the way things used to be done. Old gender roles, while not perfect they did have things the women was responsible for and things the man was responsible for. Update them for your life, actually sit down come up with a list of the general household tasks and allocate each recurring household task. Eg You take out the rubbish, wash the towels, She cleans the toilets, cleans the floors or however it works for you, and then write it down. Eg on Thursdays rubbish must be put out, Weekend towels must be washed eg. Not the most romantic of evenings coming up with the list but if she knows that on Thursdays you already know to take out the rubbish and its written down on the list on the fridge or wherever it’s one less thing to think about and then just follow the list. The general household cleaning, cooking ect is already allocated then its only events/major task that need to be looked at as they come up.


    2. Torsten,

      Are you generally struggling with organizing and remembering things, or is it just in the household?

      I’m asking because the stereotypical man in this comic has no problems managing a lot of stuff at work and taking responsibility and mental load there, but it just does not happen at home. From what you write it sounds like your case is different.



  15. I know this is a bad take for this comic, but I couldn’t help but think about how much of that mental load can be thrown at Alexa and Siri. I never understood what the appeal of those was supposed to be, but now I can totally see the use. Kind of telling that both of them have female names too.


  16. This is an issue of personality types and communication issues, not gender. You’re supposed to work on issues together. Making assumptions about motivations or assigning blame based on gender is not helpful or conductive to a healthy relationship. Communicate problems to your partner(s) and try to see it from their perspective. For example, to me this comic reads as someone who is very controlling expecting their partner to be a mind reader. I know from experience however, that this is an issue of differing perspectives on how things should be kept and done.

    A messy table doesn’t bother me at all, I don’t care if my partner leaves some stuff on it, that’s what it’s there for as far as I’m concerned. When I’m with someone who shares that opinion, yeah the table gets messy, but neither of us care or see it as a problem. When I’m with someone who expressed that that bothers them, I make an effort to keep the table neat and organized. Different people have different standards of how a house should be kept. Talking with your partner about this and being clear that you’re not just reminding them that a chore needs done, it’s something that actually bothers you is important for peaceful cohabitation. All of this applies to pretty much anyone you live with, parents, kids, roommates, whatever. Again, it’s not a gender issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wow. I’m blown away about how men are diminished with all these comments. Does it help the problem? Does it solve the situation?

    Women: You are different to men. Men are men, don’t try to change them or make them into women. That’s not gonna happen. You can’t turn water into wine!
    Men: Don’t be so naiive to make assumptions that at home you only do what your asked to do. Homes are your responsibily, spouse and kids INCLUDED. Happy wife, happy life. Make your wife happy by trying to figure out what she wants you to do BEFORE she asks you to do it (it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever TRY)
    Women: Give and share responsibilities and follow them through. And when your spouse does the little pathetic thing, give them credit for it.
    Men: Take responsibility. Learn what your Very Important Person does by observing what she does and then help her with it. Do it for her, do it with her. Love is ACTION, not only a word (although needs to be said often!)

    Both: Read “Men are from Mars, women from Venus”, “7 habits of highly effective families”, listen to Mark Gungor “Tale of two brains” seminar and things similar to these. Study how the other sex thinks and functions and use that knowledge in your advantage.

    I’m not a perfect guy, friend, husband or a father. But I try. And I fail. But then I try again and again! And again!! Sometimes you lose, sometimes you learn.


  18. I do not believe that it is fair to say that MEN do not carry the mental load.

    I go around my house noting when something is out or needs to be fixed or cleaned. just the same as my partner does. though we tend to have priorities in different places.

    also I wouldn’t say that taking 2 hours to clean one table off is a good attribute, thats called getting distracted and not prioritising.

    yes men do tend to be more single minded but thats a positive! it only becomes a problem when they then are lazy and don’t continue to clean up.

    overall I think this is a good read, though I think the statistics might be slightly skewed, and I think some of the anecdotes are a little cliche. YES if you compare a stereotypical hard working woman to a cliched lazy/ distracted man, you will certainly find lots of problems to tell stories about.

    also… I resent that you generalised feminists into being only women, and ask men to help the call to action. as though you can’t be a male feminist. LOL


  19. There’s a simple way to avoid all this: Stay single and don’t reproduce. In fact, avoid relationships in general. LESS PEOPLE = LESS PROBLEMS.


  20. Thank you for creating these comics (I commented on a different post & meant for it to be on this one). They are very effective at shining a light on blind spots, and they have me considering my own actions and the role that I play in my household.

    It seems to be an issue of poor communication on both of our parts when one feels that the other isn’t carrying his or her weight in a particular area. I understand that men and women both carry different types of mental loads, and men may be better able to process them (the “I don’t give a damn” seems to be easier for me in general than my spouse)

    When I have an issue, I try to look at what I did to contribute to it, and she does the same. Obviously, it doesn’t always play out this way. Demonizing the other for something that was not communicated is a great way to end up resentful and divorced. Of course, men should carry their load, but focusing solely on how they don’t carry it does zero to actually solve the issue.

    Men are much more likely to communicate their value and what they want. Women have unfortunately been conditioned that their wants and needs are secondary, so they just carry the load instead of communicating about it. A lot of it has to do with the partner dynamics as well. If you have communication issues, bringing something like this up could be tantamount to World War 3.

    The solution to so many of these problems is to look at how we are contributing to the problem, not demonizing the other party for making us feel a certain way.

    Is it them? Yes.
    Is it us as well? Also, yes.

    When we can take a step back and readjust the lens through which we see things, it makes a huge difference in feeling resentment and lessens the overall mental load. The last thing you want to do is add resentment to the weight you’re carrying.

    Also, for fuck’s sake, if your man isn’t helping at all, do what some of the women here have suggested and go do you for a few days while he figures it out for himself.

    Thanks for sharing these, and if you read this far, I appreciate you as well.


  21. Going to work is the end of his worries for the day?? You obviously have no understand of having any job, even less a stressful and high level one.

    I’m a straight woman I think the housework (where I basically do everything) don’t even come close to the mental load I have at work. I’m a senior executive and manage a lot more then a household at work….

    I can absolutely relate to missing to work tho. Staying at home and not developing yourself and worst of all not interacting with any adults. I wouldn’t be able to do that full time.


  22. I love this comic and the points it makes. In my life, I’m a 53 year old stay at home dad with Parkinson’s and the mental load person at home. Switch the genders around in this and thats my stinking day to day life.


  23. I feel like whoever spends the most time in the house will end up with more managerial duties; I’m curious how stay at home dads feel about this article?

    For some reason, I’m annoyed at the psuedo-originality of this concept. Idk what a “mental load” is but this sounds like a simple concept of headspace that’s been around forever. Anyone in any kind of leadership or entrepreneur role understands this. Systemize, automate, and learn to say “no” and you’ll be fine. If you’re an overwhelmed stay at home mom with no job, in many cases the problem is your lifestyle management, not your POS husband.


    1. The entrepreneur is paid for this work women aren’t
      And I explicitely say in the comic that in some relationships men can have more mental load, it’s about statistics.


  24. And this, my friends, is why I’m divorced after 21 years. I tried explaining the mental load problem to him for years, even in marriage counseling… twice. His response never changed. It was always “you need to make me a list of what needs to be done.” I’m not going to make you a list that says to change a lightbulb, or take out the trash when it’s overflowing, or replace the batteries in the smoke detector because it’s beeping, or clean up your junk mail that you threw all over the dining room table, or pick up the empty yogurt container that you left while watching tv, or pick up the trash that you threw at the waste basket but it missed… I could type for hours and not run out of things to add to the list. That’s not even addressing the mental load for keeping track of things related to the kids, their school work and paperwork and permission slips and doctor appointments and sports practices and games and birthday parties and gifts and volunteer work and music lessons and practicing their instruments and laundry and learning to drive and looking at and applying for college and financial aid… Shall I add all of those things to the list, too? Men, if you don’t understand why this is a problem, you never will.


  25. Maybe we can switch it by appealing to the giant male ego.

    Say something like: “Wow, you are so good at doing the dishes! You got that done way faster than I could have”. Watch him beam with delight that he’s better than you and he’ll do the dishes more often.

    I’ve actually had this work for me. Or ask him to help with the laundry because the basket is so heavy and hard to carry. He gets to flex his muscles and feel proud of himself.


    1. Makes me think to when I tell my kid “wow your drawing is so beautiful” although it’s ugly
      When you feel like you need to treat your partner as a kid it may be the time to leave 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. SP, Yeah, that would probably work, but… Why do we women have to treat our men like children? Are they not grown up? Why do we women have to resort to psychological manipulation (appealing to their ego and pride) to get them to do things that need to be done? That just perpetuates the old stereotypes that are so rooted in this issue. That’s not mentioning the fact doing something like this simply misses the point: the woman STILL has to do the MENTAL WORK of figuring out what needs to be done and THEN she has to figure out how she’ll have to spin it to manipulate the man into doing the work.


  26. This is true, I’ve noticed my friends who’ve done that for years. Their marriages failed because of it. I try not to do it with my partner.


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