Nora is hard-working more in a psychological sense rather than a physical sense. Throughout the play, she only interacts superficially with her children by either cuddling them like dolls: "Oh, let me hold her a bit, Ann-Marie. My sweet little doll baby" (I. 310-11) or playing short-lived games "Shall we play? What shall we play? Hide-and-seek?"(I. 314-315). Ann-Marie, the nurse, is the one who serves the role of a real mother. Nora's other work consists of "needlework, crocheting, embroidery and such" (I. 122-3).
Nora's "real work" occurs before the play begins as Nora tries to help her sick husband by securing money for a "healing trip" when she doesn't have the authority to do it on her own as a woman. She has to recruit Krogstad's help and resort to forging her father's name, putting Krogstad in total control of her fate and reputation when he threatens to expose how she illegally obtains money for her husband's trip: "Are you forgetting that I'll be in control then over your final reputation?" (II. 316-7). Her final hard work comes at the end when she has to leave everything she knows to find out who she really is: "The way I am now, I'm no wife for you" (III.349) Nora has seen that her husband will not sacrifice for her when he learns about her forgery and decides she needs to discover who she is aside from being his wife, especially in light of how little he cares.