If you visit parenting groups on Facebook or other social media platforms, you will probably have come across the acronym "NMR".
No, it doesn't mean "Nuclear Magnetic Resonance" as a Google search would lead you to believe - although judging by the complexity of the questions it sometimes encompasses, it might as well do.
In the online parenting world, NMR stands for "Not mum related" and is usually written at the beginning of a Facebook post where a mum asks for advice on a topic that wouldn't normally be deemed to relate specifically to motherhood.
"NMR" posts are not a rare occurrence in parenting groups, mostly populated by mothers. In fact, they are so frequent that they really beg the question: what ISN'T mother related?
Questions about house renovations, car specs, tax issues ... there is nothing that won't fall under the ubiquitous umbrella of NMR.
When so many mums worry about things that are "not mum related", surely they're at least a bit "mum related"?
Women, in their vast majority, are responsible for running the entirety of the household, many of them while juggling full-time jobs outside the home.
The list of invisible tasks is as long as the day is short and, even on the rare occasion when the actual job itself falls on the man, it does so after extensive hours of research on the subject by a woman.
Who's the national expert in trampolines in New Zealand? I bet you it's a mum. Who's the number 1 expert in car seats? I guarantee you it's a mum. Who knows all there is to know about the different ranges of household cleaners and their effects on the skin? Mums. Who is the best source of information on allergens? Mums. Best places to go on a family holiday? Ask a mum. The questions you should ask when researching daycares or new schools? Ask a mum. Best mortgage broker in any particular area? Ask a mum. Best time to list something for sale online? Ask a mum. Looking for a pros/cons list and cost analysis of every domesticated pet known to humankind? Ask a mum. Best online photo album creator? Ask a mum. Best electricity supplier in your area? Ask a mum. Best insurance company? Ask a mum. Best movie or book recommendation rated by age, gender or personal interests? Ask a mum. The dates of every upcoming school holiday? Ask a mum. Where to buy the best dehumidifier? Ask a mum. The birthdays of everyone they know? Just ask mum.
I could go on but I think I've made my point.
Look, it's really simple. Mums just know everything about everything there is. In between ticking items on their to-do list and trying to stay on top of the washing, as well as work, and kids' homework and everyone's upcoming birthdays, they also plan meals and remember who needs dropping off when and where, while keeping track of when bills are due, what needs replacing, who needs to see which doctor where. Other than that, there's not much else to it.
And of course, before you angrily email me your own version of "not all men", I know that not all men are useless. I live with a very good example of a man who does way more than his fair share. This isn't angry finger pointing at men. It's angry finger pointing at the undisputed reality that, regardless of who's to blame and how much help they get, women carry the overwhelmingly majority of the emotional load of the family.
There is a reason there is no male version of the "NMR" acronym: because it doesn't need to exist.
Because the management of a household is still female-led, even as the stay-at-home-parent becomes more and more of a minority. Women working full-time still run the household.
Ultimately, that's what that NMR acronym represents: the heavy emotional load women - and mums in particular - carry with them every day.
In a world where mums do everything, there's not a lot that isn't "mum related".