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Women's WorkHow Mothers Manage Flexible Working in Careers and Family Life$
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Zoe Young

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781529202021

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529202021.001.0001

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Making Motherhood, Careers and Flexibility Work

Making Motherhood, Careers and Flexibility Work

(p.159) 8 Making Motherhood, Careers and Flexibility Work
Women's Work

Zoe Young

Policy Press

This chapter argues that balance is the seductive and coercive mantra of modern motherhood that draws professional women towards flexible working practices. It is seductive because work forms part of a women's sense of self and few want to give up. It is coercive because mothers feel obliged to comply and make balance the quest of their lives. For many professional women who become mothers, achieving balance has become a career aim in itself. What this study has learned is that balance across work and family life cannot be achieved arithmetically by dividing time evenly across two domains because balance is subjective and cannot be measured in working hours. Almost as soon as equilibrium is sensed things change again, and in that way balance is also a dynamic construct; what it means tomorrow will be different from today.

Keywords:   working women, motherhood, part-time work, flexible work, balance

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