Decision Fatigue – Mom Edition

Decision Fatigue - Mom Edition

I recently came across the phrase “decision fatigue” – an entirely new concept for me. Intrigued by this term that sounded like a mixture of exotic psychology and a slight gut recognition, I went researching the meaning and implications of decision fatigue. I was astonished to not only identify one of the most reasonable explanation for what we, super moms, describe as the dark hours (anything from 4 pm to kids bedtime), but also embrace with kindness my inability to make decisions I can proudly support in the late hours of the day (I might or might not have been staring at 3 dinner options unable to choose one.

So I started automating my small decisions for when I had the mental and emotional capacity to do so, thus liberating some time and resources for when clear-headed decision making was needed.

The more small decisions we eliminate from our day, the more resources we have available for when we are really required to make a decision.

Here is what I no longer decide on the spot:


Breakfast is a rotation of
-fresh fruit with full-fat yogurt
-oats with water and raisins
-avocado and toast

Lunch is whatever leftovers we have from previous night’s dinners, or in case there is nothing left we eat eggs, sardines (from the can), tomatoes, cucumbers or carrots.

Dinner is pre-planned. I don’t have resources for variation, so here it goes:
Pasta with bolognese sauce
Fish with Cauliflower Mash (don’t tell my kids, they still think that’s mashed potatoes)
Pasta with broccoli cream sauce (see the pattern here?)
Chicken breast with peas, carrots, and oven baked fries
Spinach mushroom potato egg cheese casserole
Takeout or freezer
Sausages with beans, broccoli, and potatoes

I don’t need to reinvent the wheel; my kids are excited it is green pasta day, and my oldest can already trace the menu on the fridge.


I choose the clothes I will wear the night before and lay them down, including the socks and underwear.
Lay down the clothes my kids will wear (in the order they have to put it on, we did have an incident where a tank top was worn on top of the sweater. )


If your children are school-aged and you have regular days out, write down what you will do and who you will meet for playdates.


I am aware that some of you might feel inflexible when having a schedule. I recognize this as part of personality. If you are thriving in chaos, by all means, continue doing what you are doing. But if you feel overwhelmed, slow-brained and overly consumed when big decisions need to be made, having some pre-set items in your day will work wonders.

This is an excerpt from “Manual for Motherhood.” Pre-order it now.


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