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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Barton

Up to My Eyeballs in Invisible Work

If you're a mother, wife, or woman in any way, you're probably already familiar with the concept of invisible work. It's all that "junk" people, typically women, track and take care of to keep a household running. And it's not just paying bills and making appointments, it's emotional labor too!

This COVID-19 pandemic really set off a new flurry of interviews with experts and Scary Mommy blog posts. With so many people suddenly at home together, it really started to come to the fore. Who knows where the sunblock is stored? Mom. Who knows what we having coming up this weekend? Mom. Who knows all the things that need to go in the diaper bag? Mom. Who knows what's in the fridge that can be assembled into dinner on a moments notice? Probably Mom.

One story in particular really got to me. It really drove home just how pernicious invisible work can be. Just how tough is it to break free from being the corporate memory. Christina Koch, the astronaut, couldn't even escape this work in space! Here's a transcript of her spot on NPR's Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me.

CHRISTINA KOCH: I got to fly with men and women, and I think everyone handles it about the same. I will tell you, we get asked a lot where things are up there, too.

PETER SAGAL, host: Oh, do you really?


SAGAL: I'm sorry. I didn't want to indulge in any terrible...

KOCH: That's universal.

SAGAL: ...Stereotypes. But... I mean, is it like at my house, where I don't know where anything is, and my wife knows where...

KOCH: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...Everything is?

KOCH: It is absolutely like that. And I did get some calls from my husband...

KOCH: ...Asking where things were in our house in Houston. And...

SAGAL: What?

KOCH: ...I usually knew the answer. Yep.

SAGAL: So you're in space...For almost a year, and he's still calling you because he can't find his car keys?

KOCH: The printer paper was a big one. That one I knew right away. Yeah.



Postpartum doulas help new families ease into their new roles. Becoming a parent for the first time or the fourth time brings a lot of changes. You don't need to keep up with all that other stuff. A postpartum doula can help you take care of it and let you focus on adoring that squishy new face.

A postpartum doula helps with light housework like laundry and dishes. She can help other family members find ways to be supportive. A postpartum doula is focused on taking the unnecessary burdens off of you so you can rest, heal, and enjoy time with your new baby.


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