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The self-as-mother in the preschool years: an interpretive phenomenological analysis
journal contributionposted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by Lauren HansenLauren Hansen
There has been little research into the well-being of mothers after 12 months post-partum, despite researchers finding that depressive symptoms are more prevalent at 4 years post-partum than at any other time preceding this. The literature suggests that a woman’s view of the mother role impacts on her well-being in the early years of parenting. This qualitative research study investigated the experiences of mothers of preschool-aged children in Melbourne, Australia, and how they incorporated the role of mother into their self. Eight semi-structured interviews were completed, and interpretive phenomenological analysis was used to explore the data. The data revealed four subthemes relating to the emergence of the maternal self: becoming a mother as a journey of self-discovery, the biological imperatives of becoming a mother, remothering and the continued challenges of the emerging mother role. Although the experiences of mothering are as diverse as women themselves, even in the mostly homogenous sample, as in this study, several themes were present that both support and diverge from the existing literature.