Myth: Moms carry the entire ‘mental load’ and do all the ‘worry work’

This is false, and a sign of how malleable the lazy dad myth is.  Now that equality in overall work hours has been proven, people committed to the myth insist there’s “invisible” work done, composed mostly of planning and worrying, and that men aren’t doing their fair share. Most recently, I corrected this in a piece for, which includes this, from an extensive survey during COVID-19:

Nearly half of parents rated their stress level as being between 8 and 10 on a 10-point scale… When I asked the APA for a breakdown by gender, they found there was no “statistically significant difference” between mothers and fathers…
Many men have told me they’re afraid to open up about their mental health because they don’t want to offend women, who they’re convinced must have it worse. So they fail to get help.

Previously, I also wrote this piece for Money correcting the myth.

Most claims that moms shoulder the mental load alone or almost alone are based on one tiny “study” of only two dozen couples back in the 1990s. More recently, in 2017, Bright Horizons said it had “the first data” showing that the mental load affected women disproportionately because working mothers were taking on more family tasks than working fathers. I reached out to Bright Horizons to get more information. This study did not consider the number of hours put into paid work. (Moms do more at home while dads do more hours at work due to sexist structures.) It did note that modern dads want to do more at home, but are “hamstrung” by “workplace cultures that subtly sustain gender stereotypes by supporting women as caregivers and men as employees.”