"I Am Not Going to Lose My Kids to the Streets": Meanings and Experiences of Motherhood Among Mexican-Origin Women

J. Maria Bermúdez, Lisa M. Zak-Hunter, Morgan A. Stinson, Bertranna A. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Motherhood has different meanings for women and there are a multitude of factors that shape experiences of parenting. Heuristic inquiry was used to examine the lived experiences of motherhood among 20 Mexican-origin women parenting alone. In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted and data were organized and presented by six domains: (a) description of self as a mother, (b) perceptions of strengths, (c) perceptions of challenges, (d) influences as a parent, (e) meaning of motherhood, and (f) mothering as a woman of Mexican origin. Quotes were used to illustrate the six domains and a composite depiction to summarize our description and interpretation of the phenomenon of parenting alone as a Hispanic mother. Despite their challenges, participants described themselves as good mothers, who were protective, loving, and devoted to their children; they also described their culture as enriching their experiences of mothering although they faced obstacles due to marginalization and discrimination. A feminist-informed, intersectionality lens is used to discuss the findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-27
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Hispanic/Latinas
  • feminist
  • heuristic inquiry
  • mothers

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