The Costs Of Unpaid Labour

Doing It For The Kids Post by Amy Maureen Lynch

Accounting for the value you provide

I wrote a post in a freelance parenting community group based in the UK and it received more feedback than I anticipated.

In the midst of worldwide lockdowns, including requirements for homeschooling, a lot of freelance parents have had to literally ‘down tools’ over the past year to care for their kids full-time without access to the local in-person support of drop-in play groups, childcare centres or schools.

They’ve been doing three jobs in one full-time 24/7, including caregiving/parenting, employee/employer and teacher/tutor.

Sharing my reality of pandemic parenting

If you are looking for another way to articulate your value (not that you should need to), this is my original post:

In light of Frankie Tortora, Founder of Doing It For The Kids‘ Instagram Stories, thought I’d share something which you may find odd but I feel it helps me. I started doing it after I came across the Bill The Patriarchy website from artist Patti Maciesz to articulate the value (and unpaid labour) you provide – Google it, typeform creates an automatic invoice, it’s brilliant.

I already keep a spreadsheet tracking my income received in the form of cash, gifts, value etc for tax and manifesting purposes but I ALSO include line items for the days of childcare I provide at the daily rate our local daycare charges per child, the cost to hire a domestic helper or outsource the following: food, household and clothes shopping, meal planning, prep and cooking, cleaning, errands and scheduling family appointments.

Add or subtract depending on homeschool, tutoring, evenings, weekends, etc.

I know I ‘saved’ our family over $30,000 provided in the form of unpaid labour since March 2020.

Doesn’t solve the problem or fix the imbalance but it helps me as it’s based on factual figures and aside from already knowing my value, affirms it during these times. That and access to parenting helplines, therapy and a heap of other resources.

If you don’t have time to track it in a spreadsheet I completely understand. 🤣 All I know is it adds up to around $3000+/month in Canada for two kids under 5.

Take care everyone.

Resources for parents:

We are an international family, so have access to support lines in Canada and Ireland but I used to live in Camden, England.

Helpline links and numbers are for Canada, Australia, Ireland, England, add more in the comments if you have them:

  • In England there is: https://cindex.camden.gov.uk/
  • NHS support for parents
  • Contact: for families with disabled children. Helpline: 0808 808 3555 and website: www.cafamily.org.uk
  • Family Lives: An organisation providing immediate help from volunteer parent support workers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Helpline: 0808 800 2222 and website: www.familylives.org.uk
  • Family Rights Group: Support for parents and other family members whose children are involved with or need social care services. Helpline: 0808 801 0366 and website: www.frg.org.uk
  • Gingerbread: single parents, equal families. Help and advice on the issues that matter to lone parents. Helpline: 0808 802 0925 and website: www.gingerbread.org.uk
  • For Irish abroad they just launched Samaritans helplines in Canada and Australia – numbers to call are: https://www.dfa.ie/global-irish/staying-in-touch/
  • In Ottawa/Ontario, where I live in Canada, there are free virtual counselling sessions you can book through Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre and Parenting In Ottawa and TOLL FREE 1-866-426-8885
  • Bill The Patriarchy is managed by the always inspiring @artpatti 🔥

Time blocking: FREE training

Give yourself a couple of weeks to see if it helps clear the mental fog, structure your days and knock some tasks off your list.

If you’re like me, at the very least you can tell yourself you tried because you downloaded something in an attempt to experiment with a new routine, even if it doesn’t get implemented every day or you half arse it most of the time.

Do what works best for you and your family right now.

Big (virtual) hugs all around.

Stay well everyone,

– Amy (+ Family) xx

Download the free template:
Remote Work (With Kids) Time Blocking Made Easy [DOWNLOAD]

Looking for more info about Flexible + Remote Work?

Subscribe to receive my free monthly Work + Life newsletter focused on travel, international family life, creativity and flexible work: http://bit.ly/AmyMaureenLynchNews

I wrote a book:

Startup Blogging Book By Amy Maureen Lynch

Startup Blogging: Validate A Business Idea and Build Your Audience is based on my journey as a blogger, writer, founder and parent to date.

You can download the Amazon Kindle app for free from the Apple Store and Google Play.

You can then purchase, download and read the eBook version of my book from your mobile, tablet or device!

Published by Amy Maureen Lynch

Over the past decade, Amy Maureen Lynch has negotiated remote work arrangements, freelance client work and validated business ideas, in between living and working in Canada, Europe and Australia (and having two kids). She writes about travel, international family life, creativity and flexible work on her blog, where you can read about her experiences bringing her children into business settings and access flexible and remote work resources to help you navigate the future of work: notesfromanotherland.com. Amy’s first book, Startup Blogging: Validate A Business Idea and Build Your Audience, is based on her journey as a blogger, writer, founder and parent to date.

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