Becoming a mum: conflict between the ideal mother and the self

Raith, Lisa and Rogers-Clark, Cath (2007) Becoming a mum: conflict between the ideal mother and the self. In: 2007 International Women's Conference: Education, Employment and Everything... theTriple Layers of a Woman's Life, 26-29 Sep 2007, Toowoomba, Australia.

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Abstract

This paper explores the dominant narratives present in in-depth ante- and post- natal interviews with 10 first time mothers from south-east Queensland. Using a feminist post-structuralist paradigm, the idealised conceptions of motherhood adopted by these women are juxtaposed against their desires to maintain and regain an identity separate to their mothering one. Beliefs about what constitutes 'work' are also explored. These findings resonate with the tension between second-wave feminism’s view of the institution of motherhood as a primary means of women’s oppression, and later studies which attempted to validate women’s experiences and work. Furthermore, these mothers’ beliefs suggest that they are grappling with the integration of the often contradictory aspects of mothering into a workable whole. In some ways, repeating many of the struggles their own mothers faced. This hypothesis, along with current societal concerns with delayed mothering, picketfence families, and a return to paid work for mothers of school-aged children, suggest that the influences upon mothers, to be all things to all people remains.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright is retained by the author.
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2011 04:56
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: motherhood; mothering; women in the workplace; stay at home mothers
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220319 Social Philosophy
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170105 Gender Psychology
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220306 Feminist Theory
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/19513

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