Will the ‘good’ [working] mother please stand up? Professional and maternal concerns about education, care and love

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purposes of this article are to understand the factors that women are likely to take into consideration when making employment decisions and childcare choices whiletheir babiesareyoung,andtoidentify theirchoices, beliefs and dilemmas: the focus is on the experiences of working mothers in England. These choices are problematised in the context of mothers placing their babies with carers in day care settings who ‘love’ their children. Drawing from a larger study, the focus is on the narrative and experience of Ayesha in order to illuminate the tensions of being a mother responsible for, and making decisions about her child’s care and education, coupled with her working role as an early years education advisor. Issues about gender and education are enmeshed in Ayesha’s narrative through these two roles and the subject positions which they created. Ayesha’s narrative illustrates the ways in which such decisions can be fuelled by contradictory political messages which are sensationalised by the media in relation to the role of a ‘good’ mother. The findings suggest there is a need to discuss the impact of media sensualisation on mothers’ decision-making and to highlight the importance mothers place on close, loving relationships between the carer and the baby.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Pages (from-to)548-563
JournalGender and Education
Volume25
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2013

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