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Household List: My cousin Alyson came to help me when Maggie was a couple weeks old. She got up in the night with the baby, cooked amazing food from scratch, did laundry, gave me breastfeeding help. When I commented she wasn't getting much of a vacation, she laughed and said something implying it was a whole different kind of break. Her boys were maybe 5 and 7 at the time.

I am fascinated by the invisible mental burden of moms (as homemakers). I've spent hours over the past few weeks coordinating, organizing, cooking, planning, shopping, and preparing to leave my kids. John is more than capable, and they'll be watched by my neighbor, with whom they're probably overly familiar. But I still had to pass on the details of our life, and John still has his day job.

I made a list for my neighbor of when she'll have the kids and a few little things she'll be helping with. Then I made John a detailed schedule of the week, and an even more detailed schedule of things that needed to happen every day.

John: "Drive to gym?" Am I just supposed to know what time?
Me: That's Tressa's. If it was on your list, I would have put the exact time you need to leave and what car seats to take and address and phone number and coaches names...
John: And emergency contacts!

Tressa and I have a bit of a shared mental burden... which makes it easier on both of us!


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