I’m a ChatGPT convert—here’s how it helps with my mental load of motherhood

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Motherhood is always busy, but springtime seems to be the busiest season for my family. All three of my kids play sports, summer planning is in full-swing and there are so many celebrations. It is overwhelming to juggle everything.  

My husband and I both work full-time and I am lucky enough to work from home as Chief of Staff at Motherly. We live in Boston, Massachusetts and our three kids, ages 9-4 attend elementary school at our neighborhood school. I used to think our lives were busy a few years ago, but now that we have three kids in school with 1-2 activities a kid, our lives are in complete overdrive. After school is a carpool shuffle between my husband, me and sometimes some lovely friends shuttle our kids around the area from baseball to lacrosse to gymnastics or rock climbing. It’s a lot. 

A few weeks ago, I caught the ChatGPT bug on a recommendation from my boss. She has asked me months ago to research ChatGPT and frankly, I didn’t completely understand it and I tabled it for a “better” time. There is always some new and buzzy technology and it is hard to understand what is worth your time and what is a passing fad. 

Fast forward a few months and she kindly pushed me to research it again. She wanted me to explore how we could use it to unlock more work during the workday. The use cases of how it can help at work are endless, but what I was most surprised to learn was how it helped me in my personal life.

kate anderson and daughter

Ready for lacrosse practice with my 9 year old daughter, Maggie

After playing around with the tool for awhile and inputting different questions about work such as recommending LinkedIn or Twitter headline posts or figuring out how to sort a stack of data in an understandable way, I started asking questions that were keeping me up at night. The never-ending list of parenthood that runs through your head at all hours of the day, but most particularly at 3am in the morning.

My list, which was in no way exhaustive, included the following:

  • What should we do for a week in Spain for spring break?
  • Recommend a weeknight dinner that a 9 year old can make
  • What should I bring for brunch I’m invited to this weekend? 
  • How do I think of fun lacrosse drills to do for 3rd/4th grade girls for two 1-hour practices every week for 12 weeks?
  • What is an age-appropriate chore chart for a 9 year old including a breakdown of the steps for each chore?
  • What is a location for my husband’s family to go on vacation where we can all fly direct?
chatgpt dinner planning ideas
chatgpt recipe

I started plugging each and every one of these questions into ChatGPT and the initial results were pretty impressive. I was able to get a recipe with a shopping list included for my brunch, get suggestions for great spots to visit in Spain, plan our 12 (!) weeks of lacrosse practices with detailed descriptions of drills, and create a printable chore chart for my 9 year old.

The part I love about ChatGPT is not the initial response you receive but when you continue to ask for more or better responses. In creating a chore chart for my daughter, I started to ask “What are appropriate chores for a 9 year old” and when I received that response, I asked to create a weekly chore chart with those chores. Once I received the chart, I asked for a breakdown of the completed chore. The end result looked like this:

chatgpt chore chart for kids

The mental load of mothering is crushing.  According to Motherly’s 2023 State of Motherhood Report, 58% of moms report they are primarily responsible for the duties of running a household and caring for children, up 2% over 2022. While ChatGPT is not a panacea for the endless tasks of modern motherhood, it can help to lessen the burden of those tasks and eliminate some of the busy work that goes into meal planning and activity planning. 

In my first week of using ChatGPT, I would estimate that it saved me at least 5-10 hours of work and 1-3 hours in the middle of the night worrying about said work. While ChatGPT is not going to be able to clean my house or actually make dinner (at least not yet), it has helped me to figure out how to plan out the operational olympics that play out in my head every single day. 

I spend at least an hour a day now using ChatGPT to help me do more at work, but also to solve some of my most pressing personal problems like how to plan out a 7 year old’s Four Square themed birthday party.

chatgpt four square birthday party ideas

While I admittedly was hesitant at first to adopt this new technology, I’ve been surprised by how much it’s truly helped me alleviate the mental load of motherhood.

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