Ideology Of Intensive Mothering

Decent Essays

The patriarchal institution of motherhood, exploits the tenets of the intensive mothering ideology, to conform mothers into the ideal consumer to further benefit the economy and the capitalist state. In contemporary society, the fear of being labeled a ‘bad’ mother has driven mothers to strive for unrealistic goals which reinforce the ideology of intensive mothering. Sharon Hays definition of intensive mothering helps define the qualities that must be attained to be a good mother. In Hays definition, intensive mothering is, “an ideology that requires mothers to take primary responsibility for their children and as a form of childrearing that is child- centered, expert-guided, emotionally absorbing, labour intensive and financially …show more content…

The intensive mothering ideology is very demanding and in most cases unattainable, the few ways that mothers can receive feedback on if they are fulfilling their role of being a good mother is through purchasing products that will make their children happier and healthier. We will see how mothers equate the love they have for the children with providing them with the means to be happy and successful. It will also be discussed how intensive mothering is still the dominant ideology in contemporary society despite the growing number of mothers in the workforce. Mothers are faced with the dilemma of juggling their responsibilities as child-centered mothers and career-focused women. In most cases, mothers participate in consumerism to provide their children with what they desire to fill the inadequacies of their mothers not being home with them 24/7. These mothers feel that their job most benefits them in that they are able to give their children opportunities they would not otherwise have had if both parents were not working.We will also see how regardless of socioeconomic status mothers feel the need to fulfill the role of being the ‘good mother’ as is required by intensive mothering. Women of lower socio-economic means will find ways to ensure that their children do not miss out on opportunities due to their own financial misfortunes. Sometimes this includes extending their budget

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