Tales from the soft-play fifth shift mother, teacher, mentor, academic and student.

Quickfall, A. (2022) Tales from the soft-play fifth shift mother, teacher, mentor, academic and student. In: Reflections on Valuing Wellbeing in Higher Education. Taylor Francis, Abingdon, pp. 65-78. ISBN 9781003213161

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Motherhood, a middle-aged, unmarried and childless male colleague told me, is the ‘female privilege’ that compensates for the many male privileges in life. Once I had calmed down enough to be audible, I explained to him that whilst motherhood can be a wonderful experience (that isn’t wanted by or open to all women), it also presents challenges for most mothers, particularly those who are juggling work and other caring responsibilities. In this chapter, I tell one story of academic motherhood. It is my story, which also draws upon the research literature in this area. I also share the stories of educators who are also parents from my doctoral study. These narratives suggest that the tensions brought about by competing life-worlds are not an easy or unusual experience. It is a story set in an endless soft-play session, where the competing roles of mother, teacher, academic, mentor and student are thrown into sharp and often amusing relief. Am I here to work, play, learn, teach or supervise? Is this time stolen from my child, my boss, my partner, my supervisors or myself? I use the metaphor of one common motherhood haunt, the soft-play centre, to explore connections between my experiences and the wider challenges of academic motherhood. If you are not a mother, there may be overlaps in experience with other educators, those with other caring responsibilities and those with other additional academic workload, such as research responsibilities and targets.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: © 2022 Taylor and Francis. This is an author-produced version of a chapter accepted for publication in Reflections on Valuing Wellbeing in Higher Education. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Divisions: School of Teacher Development
Depositing User: Aimee Quickfall
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2022 08:42
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2022 09:16
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/961

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