My job as a mom of a nine-year-old boy and a fourteen-year-old teenager in a small city if Mexico, involves the following, daily:
– 1 1/2 hrs after waking up, preparing breakfast and a snack for school.
– 20 minutes in each meal washing dishes, pots, etc, equal to 1 hr.
– 1/2 hr doing laundry (washing, hanging to dry, folding and putting away clothes and other items).
– 1 1/2 hrs driving my kids to and from school.
– 1 hr of miscellaneous activities, such as taking the kids to the doctor, dentist, orthodontist, barber, parties, invitations, school activities, buying groceries, supplies for school, etc.
– 1/2 hr preparing lunch, and another half hour preparing dinner, equal to 1 hr.
– 1/2 hr «taking them to bed» (making them take a shower, brush their teeth, turn off electronics, etc).
Total of hours of daily invisible work: 7 hrs
As you can see, I still haven’t added anything related to cleaning up the house, or the car, but it usually takes me 3 hrs cleaning up our apartment, and an hour to wash my car, weekly.
Weekly hours of invisible job: 39 hrs.
Well, I just wanted to put this in the open. Being a stay-at-home mom is a job, an unpaid and invisible one, but a job, nonetheless (most of all when you don’t have absolutely any help, paid or unpaid).
Oh! I almost forget. I also work on weekends, taking care of the kids and making meals, except, sometimes, when I have two whole free weekend-days every two weeks. Which makes another 4 1/2 hours on each Saturday and Sunday, but since I have a weekend off every two weeks, the total amount of weekly invisible job as a mom is actually 43 1/2 hrs.
Why the need to clarify this issue all of a sudden? Because yesterday, the insurance agent told me that since I did not have any income, they might turn down my request to get insured (even if I intend to pay a whole year at once; she says I might need somebody else, who has an income, to explain where that money came from, and I explained my situation, that the alimony is still not oficial because the court is taking longer than expected, that I can’t «work» because of my immigrant status doesn’t allow me to, etc) and she said that it didn’t matter, and that insurance companies could be that strict. That it was not her fault.
«How do all stay-at-home moms who are divorced get insured, then?» I asked. «Oh», she said, like if I was asking an obvious question. «They don’t get insured. It’s too expensive» (she is divorced, and is not insured, for example; she’s a working – grandmother, that has been working in the field for forty years).