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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The first author would like to acknowledge the College of Human Science at Texas Tech University for the New Faculty Research Seed Grant, which funded this study.
Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- heuristic inquiry