An Autoethnographic Dialogue with Motherhood Literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This autoethnography represents the first author’s journey as a mother and doctoral student researching mothers’ experiences in contending with the demands of work and family. Reading across different pockets of empirical motherhood literature (work-family conflict, contemporary motherhood, maternal gatekeeping, and intensive motherhood) I became troubled by how women’s realities were reflected. Pushing back against traditional methods that endorse separating my researcher identity from my maternal self, I draw on autoethnographic method to dialogue with this literature. This approach empowers me to speak out as a novice scholar uncomfortable with aspects of literature, while also navigating training in the use of traditional methods that often provide a directive to separate academic and personal identities. Importantly, doing so enables me to identify powerful insights about limitations in the literature, and how specific pockets of research can adversely affect the broader motherhood literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • autoethnography
  • contemporary motherhood
  • intensive motherhood
  • maternal gatekeeping
  • work-family conflict


Dive into the research topics of 'An Autoethnographic Dialogue with Motherhood Literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this