Construction of motherhood and the impact thereof on the lives of married mothers in full time paid employment
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The study aimed to examine how motherhood is constructed by married working mothers and the impact thereof on their working lives. This qualitative study explored the individual experiences of 7 working married mothers with preschool aged children who reside in the Western Cape, South Africa. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis. The study was situated within a social constructionist theoretical framework which holds that it is through our interactions with others that we create, maintain and verify our ideas and perceptions of the world. The literature revealed that despite the advances made by women in society, the notion that women are still the primary nurturers and care-givers is still in existence. This view is largely dictated by the social and cultural expectations in society and further perpetuated by images portrayed in the media. The results of this study revealed that the social and cultural context of the participants holds a view of motherhood that is gendered, comprises ideals of a caring, nurturing and ever-giving mother and links motherhood to womanhood and the female identity.