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Title: Not born a Mother, but Naturalized into One: Experiences of Motherhood, Reality and Challenges
Other Titles: SOCIAL TRENDS, Vol. 6, March 2019, p 89 - 100
Authors: Sachdeva, Swati Akshay
Keywords: Motherhood
lived experiences
social construction
Issue Date: Mar-2019
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: Motherhood is constructed as a biological outcome based on the assumption that when a woman becomes a mother, she is naturally equipped to be one, while its complexities are rarely highlighted. Feminist writers on the subject argue that motherhood is a social, historical and cultural construct rather than a natural consequence of the maternal instinct (Burman 1994a). Motherhood presents itself as a natural outcome because a mother’s personal and unique experience of motherhood interacts to a large degree with the social and cultural representations of motherhood. To be a perfect mother is a natural disposition, requiring little or no effort because mothers work on instincts. Generally accepted notions about motherhood do not change quickly or easily because many of those who concern themselves with issues central to motherhood fail to acknowledge or even recognize that motherhood has this social and historical character (Atkinson 1991). Mothers are trying to live up to something that is placed on them by themselves or other significant people. There is quite clearly a gap between what we claim to know about motherhood and what mothers themselves experience as mothers. Women’s experiences as mothers, their inner perspectives are rarely examined. As a result, little is known about how women experience motherhood. The lived experience of motherhood often, if not always, contradicts the glorified representation of motherhood. Mothers have never really been given the opportunity to express the complexity of being a mother and therefore there are hardly any personal accounts or narratives on how mothers engage in a process of deconstruction and reconstruction of meanings around motherhood, whether their everyday lived experiences contradict or are disjunctive to these ideal images Mothering as a complex and diverse experience and living up to an ideal is problematic. This paper explores the experiences, confessions and personal account of the researcher by looking at the subject of motherhood from the point of view of her relationship with her own mother and mothering her children. There is discussion around ideal representation of motherhood, a mother’s expectations and image of motherhood and how these are challenged as the researcher, engages in a process of deconstruction and reconstruction of meanings around motherhood
ISSN: 2348-6538
Appears in Collections:Vol. 6 (March 2019)

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