Journal of the Motherhood Initiative Vol 3, No 1 (2012)

Cover Page

Front Cover Artwork:

Rachel Epp Buller, “Milchkaffee,” 2011.

Artist Statement: During my graduate studies and before we had children, my partner and I fully anticipated that I would be the one to work fulltime while he would stay home to care for babies and toddlers. Life has a way of getting in the way, though, and our eventual parenting situation initially looked much more like a gendered division of labor than I would have anticipated. In the intervening years, we have sought out opportunities that allow us to alternate roles of breadwinner and caregiver. For six months of this year, we lived in Berlin, Germany, where I was paid to conduct research. I can state without question that it was easily the best job I’ve ever had: exciting work, a chance to focus fully on a single project with little outside distraction, and great colleagues in a fabulous city. And, I relished the opportunity to modify our family roles, to be the income earner in a foreign economy. While the foreign language and culture, the move from a small town to a metropolis, and the adapted parental roles all required adjustment for our family, I found that food both symbolically reflected and helped to ease the difficulty of those transitions. The photographs from this series address the purchase and preparation of food in a foreign culture, an integral part of our family’s gendered, economic, and cultural transformations.