This chapter investigates professional women's choices about how much, where and when they work, and unpicks the complex and intersecting factors found to complicate and constrain their capacity for professional work in the context of their motherhood. The influences of dominant cultural ideologies of mothering are central to this discussion about why women work as is the relational frame within which women make decisions about how much and when they will work relative to the practical and temporal requirements of their children, their childcare providers, and in the context of their partners' work patterns and earning power. The chapter begins with the story of a woman named Anna, and then moves to discuss five intersecting economic, social, cultural and personal factors that are material to women's working hours and flexibility choices. Anna's story underscores the complexity and the myriad of influences surrounding the decision to adjust employment in early motherhood.
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