Consumer Market Research Agency Angelfish describes the ‘uber-mum’ as a modern, forward-looking mother who aims to maintain a healthy and steady balance in her life, spend quality time with the family at home, whilst earning a few pennies and saving money where she can, without succumbing to the social pressure that suggests mums need to have their hands in all of life’s pies.
Ms Anna Gibbons is an ‘uber mom’, passengers stepping into her Mitsubishi Attrage are usually surprised to find their Uber driver is a blonde, 6ft-tall woman.
Gibbons said she is the only Caucasian woman out of its “tens of thousands of driver partners”.
She works an average of 30 hours a week, when the kids are in school or asleep. She started her stint as a Uber driver in April this year.
Uber-owned Lion City Rental gives her a 10 per cent discount on the car rental because she is a single mum.
In 2010, she moved to Singapore with her banker husband and became a permanent resident in 2013. But their 13-year marriage ended last year after he had an affair.
Ms Gibbons said that under the Hague Convention – which is meant to offer protection from cross-border child abductions – she cannot leave the country with her children without her former husband’s consent.
It has been hard for her 10-year- old son and eight-year-old daughter to adjust to life after the divorce. “My daughter is the only white child in her year, and the only white child whose parents don’t live together,” she said. “When you’re going through a divorce with children, they need that stability… In Singapore your friends become your family, but friends aren’t the same as a granddad or an aunt and uncle.”
But the job has been like “a lifeline” for her, and she enjoys talking to her customers. She once found herself counselling a woman whose husband also had an affair. “She said it’s nice to talk to someone who has been through it and come out the other side,” she said.
Passengers have left feedback for her in the Uber app commending her for being “very strong” or thanking her for sharing her story.
The single mother of two leaves quite an impression on passengers, not only because of her outgoing personality, but also because of her story.
She also said she estimated there could be 200 expatriate women divorcees in a support group in Singapore.
Her husband pays maintenance which covers the rent for her family’s apartment in Pasir Ris, fees for the children’s local school and other living expenses, but she wanted to make her children’s lives easier by having a car.