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The motherhood sacrifice: Maternal experiences of child care in the Canadian context

In the majority of Canadian provinces, the child care system is characterized by a lack of regulated, affordable, and accessible child care spaces. Given that mothers continue to be primarily responsible for the care of children, such limited options may prompt them to make self-sacrifices to mitigate child care constraints. This study explores the question: what messages of sacrifice are embedded in Canadian mothers' stories about their experiences with navigating child care? Thirteen focus groups were conducted in five locations across the Canadian Province of Alberta with 95 mothers. The analysis of these data showed three central themes regarding maternal sacrifice: sacrificing employment, sacrificing personal goals, and sacrificing interpersonal relationships. This research contributes to the literature on sacrifice, work-life integration, and child care by providing insights from the perspectives of mothers. This work has practical and theoretical implications for improving policy and discourse around child care. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers

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