Negotiating makes parents stronger

Book author Patricia Cammarata gives tips for the winter

It is heading towards winter and this year the cohesion in the family is even more important than usual. Every day can be very different from the one before. Nobody knows exactly what the next months will be like. How can you ensure that your "organism" continues to function well? We spoke with the book author and blogger Patricia Cammarata.

Negotiating makes parents stronger

The author of the book (Out of the Mental Load Trap) Patricia Cammarata advocates that responsibility is well shared between parents. On her Blog, she has long been talking about her own adventures with her family. She explains how tasks are shared fairly and how parents can also have a rest. Otherwise, the mental load trap threatens.

What is "Mental Load" and how do I recognize it?

"In free enterprise, we call it project management. One person in the family is in charge of the actual to-dos and coordinates all processes and results concerning household and children. Most of the time this is the responsibility of the women. Most of the time, it's a very invisible job."

Conclusion: As soon as one person organizes everything for the whole family, it is quickly no longer healthy. Often mothers feel so exhausted all the time. This is due to all the tasks that have to be done at some point. This is "Mental Load".

This is why Patricia Cammarata always speaks of the two "parents". "In order to resolve this very difference, which is in the mind. These role clichés, like: the mother is the one who cares, the father is the provider."

How can we share responsibility well together?

No one can take responsibility for everything alone. Our expert therefore advises to negotiate constantly with the partner. This prevents exhaustion.

"Basically the first step is to talk about it, what is there to do? And then to negotiate how we want to handle this in the future."

You find that hard? Don't worry. A lot of people feel that way.

"Negotiation has very little culture in relationships. The romantic ideal says rather: We read our wishes from our eyes and we feel what the other person needs. That doesn't work well with increasing complexity. That's why it's important to negotiate, set priorities and really hand over responsibility. A lot of couples have to practice this and slowly get to grips with it."

Because equality not only feels better, it also protects against stress in exceptional situations.

What can I do when I'm totally exhausted?

"People always expect it to be something really big - something that will change everything in an earth-shattering way. But these are really a lot of little levers that you can pull to make it easier

As a parent, what can you start with?

"The most important thing would be to look at all the to-dos first and ask yourself: Which of them do we really have to do? These are really sometimes mini things. And take a breather. That doesn't happen by itself, you have to agree on that. Even such banalities as 'I want to sleep in tonight'. “

So remember:1. Prioritize2. Delete unnecessary things3. Find solutions faster4. Take a breather

You can admit to yourself that nothing is perfect.

"Now that we were always together in the apartment, it always looked like something else. We should have cleaned more. But then we just said: No, sorry, we're just stressed out right now. You can clean the dirt off the sole of your foot."

What if somebody comes by and sees this? "Yeah, well, then they say: Cammaratas are dirty."

We have already mentioned the "organism" family in the parents' hotline magazine. So that you stay strong even during the contact restrictions, we asked the educational researcher Klaus Hurrelmann for help. This article explains what you can do if your child misses his or her friends at the moment and wants to continue to meet them. (missing).


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