Invisible labor is real, and it hurts: What you need to know

Let’s say it’s a Monday afternoon. There’s a litany of chores that someone in your household will have to do eventually: Dinner needs cooking, the kids need homework help, a dentist appointment isn’t going to make itself.

If you’re the person picking up all of those chores, there’s a term for that: invisible labor.


It’s something that falls primarily on the shoulders of women. In the U.S., married mothers spend nearly double the time on housework and childcare that American fathers do.

The phenomenon is far from new, but the coronavirus pandemic has shifted things even further. With many families quarantining together at home, disparities in the unsung labor of our daily lives have become much more evident — and a lot more urgent for families to try to fix. “All the things that used to be invisible, they’re suddenly in your face right now,” says Miriam Cherry, co-editor of Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World.   Read more…

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