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kinkeeping meaning

The KinKeeping Meaning

The Kinkeeping Meaning and Dilema

KinKeeping is a term coined to describe the process of keeping up with your relatives or family members'… It's not just checking in once a week to see how they're doing, but being invested in their lives on an ongoing basis and shouldering everything that comes along with that as a women.

What Is KinKeeping?

KinKeeping meaning is the role of caring for family and friends. It's a form of unpaid work, emotional labor, which can cause burnout and stress for those women who tend to take on the role in their family structure.

The term was coined in 1985 by Sociologist Carolyn Rosenthal after she observed her own behavior as well as that of other women around her who were doing this kind of caregiving. She wrote about KinKeeping in an article, “Kinkeeping in the Familial Division of Labor“.

KinKeeping: The Invisible Burden

The kin keeper role is often invisible, not recognized and not valued. The kin keeper role is also not often compensated, appreciated or respected.

The term “kin keeper” refers to a person who cares for another person. This can include children, parents, grandparents and other relatives .

The kin keeper role is often invisible, not recognized and not valued.

The Root of Stress = KinKeeping

The root of stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed, which can often stem from kin keeping roles we take on as women. The feeling of being overwhelmed can be caused by a number of things, like remembering dates, doctors appointments, grocery shopping and managing a family and household.

The feeling of being overwhelmed can also stem from the feeling that you are not appreciated for all that you do or feel that no one understands what it's like to juggle everything in your life while still trying to maintain some semblance of sanity (at least enough so that no one notices).

Need Help With Boundaries?

Learning boundaries is an important tool to use to avoid stress and burnout, create better communication and strengthen relationships. Listen to our Podcast about Boundaries.

The KinKeeper Role

The Kin Keeper role is the person who takes care of the family. This can be an unpaid position, but one that carries a lot of stress and also at times reward. It's not uncommon for families to have multiple kin keepers because they have so many responsibilities. But in this day and age that is more unlikely, since families tend to live far apart.

The most common reason why people take on this role is because they feel like it's their duty as part of their family lineage; we have been taught but our mothers, grandmothers and other female roles that we are to to the “caregiving” and the caretaking while the males in the family are largely off the hook.

Kinkeeping Meaning =Unpaid Work, Emotional Labor, Burnout

Unpaid work, emotional labor, and burnout are all related to kinkeeping. In this section we will explore what each of these terms mean and how they can be avoided or dealt with when they occur.

Unpaid Work: The idea that you have to do a certain amount of work in order for your family member to receive something from you (i.e., money) without getting paid in return is called unpaid work. This can include anything from taking care of children or elderly relatives to providing emotional support during hard times. Unpaid work often comes out as an expectation that's placed on us by society; however, there are also times when we may take on more than our fair share because someone else expects us do so–even if they aren't offering anything in return!

Emotional Labor: Emotional labor refers specifically to unpaid tasks like managing emotions, providing comfort or reassurance through listening skills etc., which require considerable thoughtfulness but don't necessarily require any specialized skills like those required by other forms.

Emotional labor can take many forms, including: -Providing comfort and reassurance through listening skills -Managing someone else's emotions (especially when it's an emotionally demanding task)

Examples of KinKeeping

KinKeeping is not just for family members or women. Anyone who has a relationship with another person can be a kin keeper, including caretakers, friends and coworkers. But kinkeeping is often seen as a “womens role”.

For example:

  • If you are caring for an elderly relative who needs help with daily tasks like bathing and dressing – you can use KinKeeping to coordinate your schedules so that both of you have time to do these tasks together. This will allow both of you to spend quality time together while also getting things done in an efficient manner!

KinKeeping Book Recommended

There are not a lot of books on kinkeeping, there are some great articles but nothing in depth.

Kinkeeping Conclusion

We hope this article has helped to clear up some of the confusion around the Kin Keeper role. As we've seen, it can be difficult to pin down exactly what this term means and what it encompasses. However, we believe that by looking at its origins and examining some examples of KinKeeping in action, we have been able to come up with a definition that will help anyone who wants to understand better how their own relationship might fit into this concept.

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About the Author

Randi Owsley

Randi Owsley, LMSW is a Licensed Master of Social Worker and clinical psychotherapist and co-host of the podcast Unapologetically Randi and Jess. She has her Masters of Clinical Social Work from the University of Southern California. She specializes in Women's Mental Health Issues, Trauma, Grief and Personality Disorders. You can find more information about her at and

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What is KinKeeping?

Kinkeeping meaning