Identity and Connection as Working Mothers during the Pandemic: An Autoethnographic Account

Brittany Arthur, Batsheva Guy

Abstract


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected working professionals around the world, causing many to alter their identities to cope with their current realities. This article explores the effect the pandemic has had on the identity of two mothers, who are also working professionals/educators. Using a heartful autoethnography approach, the authors implement the listening guide method of analysis to authentically understand how these mothers experience identity and connection while working and parenting during this worldwide crisis. The listening guide approach involves the creation of “I-poems,” which are included and explored in the current article. The listening revealed four main themes: (1) mental load and exhaustion; (2) conflicting identities; (3) shame cycle; and (4) connection and reflection. The goal of this manuscript is to highlight the experiences of working mothers through an authentic and relational approach.

Full Text:

PDF


We are grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for its ongoing support of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement.