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Journal article 14290 views

Midlife mothers favor ‘being with’ children

Patricia Morgan, Joy Merrell, Dorothy Rentschler

Work: A journal of prevention, assessment and rehabilitation, Volume: 50, Issue: 3, Pages: 477 - 489

Swansea University Author: Joy Merrell

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DOI (Published version): 10.3233/WOR-141958

Abstract

An increasing number of women in the USA and the UK are having their first child after the age of 40 and there has been limited research which has explored these women's experiences of first time motherhood whilst transitioning to menopause. This study adopted a hermeneutic phenomenological app...

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Published in: Work: A journal of prevention, assessment and rehabilitation
Published: 2015
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa22894
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Abstract: An increasing number of women in the USA and the UK are having their first child after the age of 40 and there has been limited research which has explored these women's experiences of first time motherhood whilst transitioning to menopause. This study adopted a hermeneutic phenomenological approach involving a purposeful sample of 13 mothers aged 45-56 residing in the US to explore their perceptions and experiences of health and motherhood during the transition to menopause. From analysing the data four main themes emerged: Achieving First-Time Motherhood at Midlife, Intensive Mothering, Out of Sync, and Perimenopause as a State of Uncertainty. This article draws on findings from the theme Intensive Mothering which provide a unique and in-depth perspective on work/career and mothering from this cohort of older first-time mothers. A consistent contradiction emerged with most of the women feeling unprepared for the realities of motherhood which did not meet their expectations. Most negotiated changes in their work schedules to accommodate their desire to be more available for their child or children.The women expressed very clear ideas about pre-requisites for motherhood, the kindof mother they wanted to be, and of the centrality of `being there' for their child. Whilst the experience of midlife mothering was viewed positively, it also created anxiety, tension and challenges for these women. The findings from this study can be utilised by healthcare professionals to enhance the support, education and care provided to mid-life mothers.
Keywords: Hermeneutic, mothering, older mothers, phenomenology, qualitative research
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Issue: 3
Start Page: 477
End Page: 489