Parenthood Definition Essay

Parenthood Definition Essay-13
We take our lead from feminist scholars such as Anita Ilta Garey (1999), who has done considerable empirical and theoretical work already in pushing the boundaries of how we think about women's motherhood and work activities.

We take our lead from feminist scholars such as Anita Ilta Garey (1999), who has done considerable empirical and theoretical work already in pushing the boundaries of how we think about women's motherhood and work activities.

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Often this decision is portrayed in terms of whether one will be a "stay-at-home" and presumably "full-time" mother or a "working mother" and therefore one who prioritizes paid work.

"The dominant culture portrayal of work and family for women in the United States classifies women as either work oriented or family oriented" (Garey, 1999, p. Thus, women are socially constructed as either mothers or workers, but not both.

We begin by reviewing the cultural discourse on "stay-at-home" and "working" mothers.

The idea of a "stay-at-home" mother is a modern mainstay in U. culture and is often thought of as the "traditional" mother.

The public (outside the home) and private (within the home) do not separate easily in the life of a mother or paid worker.

In this review essay we explore and critique the dichotomous conceptualizations of "stay-at-home" versus "working" motherhood by concentrating on the discrepancies between ideology and experience.Specifically, it assumes that those who are at home are not participating in the paid work force and that those who are working outside the home are disengaged from being mothers.The reality is not clear cut since stay-at-home mothers have varied levels of interaction with their children, complete domestic work without receiving salaried income, and work for paid income either from the home or part-time outside the home (Garey, 1999; Hertz, 1997; Johnston & Swanson, 2004; Ranson, 2004; Uttal, 2004).Hays (1996) explained that the dominant motherhood ideology in the U. today is that of "intensive mothering." There are three main tenets of "intensive mothering" to which all women must adhere if they are to be viewed as "good" mothers: a) childcare is primarily the responsibility of the mother; b) childcare should be child-centered; and c) children "exist outside of market valuation, and are sacred, innocent and pure, their price immeasurable" (Hays, 1996, p. The "good" mother focuses exclusively on mothering her children and is committed to them in time, energy, and affection (Berry, 1993; Glenn, 1994; Hays, 1996).In other words, a "good" mother is "all-giving" (Thompson & Walker, 1989).Thus the landscape that ties the roles of mother and worker together is extremely complex and impossible to dichotomize.If we study women's experiences as mothers and workers, we discover that there is not a rigid divide with women lining up on one side or the other as suggested by the Mommy War terminology.Our focus in the first part of this article is to review the current ideology surrounding "stay-at-home" and "working" mothers.Second, we critique these ideologies and the mother-work dichotomy by highlighting reasons why mothering and working are not mutually exclusive.Popular media from television images of mothers, advice and self-help books for expectant or new mothers, and news stories on motherhood all rely on this oversimplification.From Eisenberg et al.'s (2002) which promotes a "better baby" through constant contact with the mother, experts continually suggest that women are mothers or workers.


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