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.
- heuristic inquiry