Troubling reflexivity: the identity flows of teachers becoming mothers

Thomson, Rachel and Kehily, Mary Jane (2011). Troubling reflexivity: the identity flows of teachers becoming mothers. Gender and Education, 23(3) pp. 233–245.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2010.490205

Abstract

This paper explores the transition to first-time motherhood as experienced by a small sub-sample of women engaged in the professional care of young children. In the context of a wider study of motherhood in the UK, their experience of combining work with new motherhood was distinctive. Women who professionally care for young children present a counter narrative to the view that teaching and motherhood can be blended. Negotiating the boundaries between work and motherhood produced a troubling reflexivity in which difficult feelings emerged and collided. Working in urban education involves emotionally intense forms of attachment that are disrupted by pregnancy. Becoming a mother prompts a renegotiation of professional and personal boundaries, leading women to pursue mothering as a separate enterprise, marked by individual solutions to care and career. Separating themselves from their working environment, women simultaneously isolate themselves from their middle-class counterparts who pay for childcare and return to work.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations