Motherhood Narratives of Executive Women Working in the Private Sector Experiences, Expectations and Motherhood Ideologies


Abstract: Together with changing social structures; gender roles, patterns and parenting relationships are also changing resulting in dramatic transformations in terms of manhood and fatherhood roles as well as women and motherhood roles. One of the transformations occurring is the participation of women in full time labour force and their employment in significant positions. Although there has been a remarkable change in domestic roles and division of child responsibility, it is discussed that transformation is not enough as it is expected, working mothers are forced to have much more burden in order to balance their professional life and domestic responsibilities. Together with attaching dominant motherhood ideologies which are “intense”, “good”, “perfect” and “ideal” to this process, it is tried to be created a form of motherhood that does not ignore a child’s wishes and responsibilities while having a professional life. In this context, this study focuses on the social implications of existing as a woman and a mother in the professional working life. In this framework, the aim of this study is to discuss occurring transformation on the basis of mothers’ experiences, their own discourses and definitions. The study is based on the discussion of face-to-face in-depth interviews data conducted with women who are middle and senior managers, and also mothers who work in five-star hotels in Antalya province. With reference to in-depth interviews; it is seen that women’s efforts to balance work life, domestic roles and especially motherhood roles create a pressure on them. This situation results that they have to use their spare time for their domestic responsibilities and childhood care, also it causes a limitation on their social lives. The dominant motherhood ideologies which determine ideal motherhood standard cause a tension on women; the feeling of inadequacy, conscience, effort to be better and withdrawal from social activities are some of these tensions.


Motherhood intensive mothering social gender work life