The Invisible Task of Mothers in the Home

01 December, 2020
Mothers do a tremendous amount of work in their homes. Unfortunately, the invisible task of mothers often goes unappreciated by society, despite the great physical and emotional overload it entails.

If you’re a mother, you’ll experience first-hand the great burden that a mother’s work at home entails nowadays. However, society fails to recognize and value most of this work. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the invisible task of mothers.

Mothers who are married, separated, single… Stay-at-home moms, moms who work part-time, moms who work full-time, moms who work from home… Those who do all the housework themselves and those who share it with their partners…

Whatever form each personal experience takes, most mothers experience an overload of tasks when it comes to raising children, educating them, and taking care of the home.

What the invisible task of mothers looks like at home

7 o’clock in the morning

Mom wakes up and quickly gets dressed before going to the kitchen for a quick cup of coffee and some toast. Then she wakes up her children and sets out their clothes for the day, gently nudging them so they won’t be late for school.

Then it’s time for breakfast. While the kids finish getting dressed, mom starts preparing their food and, while they eat, she prepares their individual lunches.

Once she’s finished with that, she grabs her kids’ jackets and backpacks and leaves them by the door. Then it’s back to the kitchen to tidy up while the kids brush their teeth and then put on their jackets and backpacks.

Now it’s out the door they go… and, of course, there’s always some hurrying involved! They arrive at school (almost on time!) and say their goodbyes. From there, she goes straight to her part-time job, trying to stay focused and not think about all the work that awaits her at home.

The Invisible Task of Mothers in the Home

3 o’clock in the afternoon

Mom leaves work and heads back to school to pick up the kids. Before heading home, she needs to stop at the grocery store. The kids are impatient, eager to get home, and won’t stop grabbing unnecessary items from the shelves.

Finally, they go home. She sets out a snack and, while they eat, she puts away the groceries. Then she cleans out the kids’ lunchboxes and washes the food containers along with the breakfast dishes.

The kids get up to watch cartoons in the living room while she clears the table, washes the last of the dishes, and then moves on to doing laundry.

When TV time is over, it’s time for the children to do their homework and for mom to make dinner… But of course, she’s got to help the kids at the same time. While she pulls the ingredients out of the cupboard and refrigerators, she also makes a list of the things she needs the next time she goes to the store.

Then she hears the dryer buzzing, and runs off to start a new load of wash, put the wet clothes in the dryer, and leave the dry clothes in a basket. Then it’s back to the kitchen to continue with dinner and making sure the kids finish their homework.

The Invisible Task of Mothers in the Home

6 o’clock in the evening

The kids finish their homework and mom sets the table for dinner just as dad gets home from work. The family sits down for a meal together and, of course, there’s more than one complaint from the kids about the menu.

Mom finishes eating as soon as possible before running off to start one more load of wash and to get the bath water running. Finally, dinner’s over.

Dad clears the table and takes out the garbage while mom gives the kids their baths. As usual, it’s just as much a struggle to get them in the water as it is to get them out.

Once the kids are finally in their pajamas, dad reads them a story while mom washes the dishes. Then, mom and dad put the kids to bed – dad with the oldest and mom with the youngest, who always wants her to stay until she falls asleep.

The invisible task of mothers: 8 o’clock at night

The kids are asleep (on a good day) and mom brings the clean clothes to the living room to fold while she and dad watch some TV. When she’s done folding, she works on the costume her oldest needs for the school play.

Finally, a quick shower and off to bed. There’s still some ironing she needs to do, but she can’t keep her eyes openshe’ll just have to get up earlier tomorrow…

 

  • Gutman, Laura. (2009) “La Revolución de las Madres. El desafío de nutrir a nuestros hijos”. Editorial Integral.
  • Northrup, Christiane. (2011) “Cuerpo de Mujer, Sabiduría de Mujer. Una guía para la salud física y emocional”. Editorial Urano.