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

Paper


Raith, Lisa and Rogers-Clark, Cath. 2007. "Becoming a mum: conflict between the ideal mother and the self." Albion, Majella J. and Collins, Pauline (ed.) 2007 International Women's Conference: Education, Employment and Everything... theTriple Layers of a Woman's Life. Toowoomba, Australia 26 - 29 Sep 2007 Toowoomba, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

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

Presentation TypePaper
AuthorsRaith, Lisa (Author) and Rogers-Clark, Cath (Author)
EditorsAlbion, Majella J. and Collins, Pauline
Journal or Proceedings TitleRefereed Proceedings of the 2007 International Women’s Conference: Education, Employment and Everything... the Triple Layers of a Woman's Life
Number of Pages5
Year2007
Place of PublicationToowoomba, Australia
ISBN9781921420009
Conference/Event2007 International Women's Conference: Education, Employment and Everything... theTriple Layers of a Woman's Life
Event Details
2007 International Women's Conference: Education, Employment and Everything... theTriple Layers of a Woman's Life
Event Date
26 to end of 29 Sep 2007
Event Location
Toowoomba, Australia
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.

Keywordsmotherhood; mothering; women in the workplace; stay at home mothers
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020500321. Social and political philosophy
520502. Gender psychology
440503. Feminist theory
Public Notes

Copyright is retained by the author.

Byline AffiliationsOffice of Research
Department of Nursing
Department of Psychology
University of Southern Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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