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Full-Time Mothering

  • By: Melissa A. Freiburger
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Full-time mothering is a term used to describe a childrearing approach in which a woman organizes her daily life so that caring for her children is prioritized over paid employment. Full-time mothering is culturally defined as the ideal approach to childrearing; yet, full-time mothering has declined over time due to historical, social, and economic forces.

Full-time mothering is synonymous with stay-at-home mothering; however, some women prefer the moniker full-time mother, as it draws from joblike terminology and diverges from the image of the traditional homemaking mother that is often invoked with the term stay-at-home mother. Fulltime mothering is not economically compensated in the United States; however, popular media commonly imagines what a full-time mother is worth. In 2007, the salary of a full-time mother, if she ...

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