This book explores the ways that women combine motherhood with paid work in contemporary Ireland and the consequences for individual women, families, childminders and Irish society. This book demonstrates the difficulties women encounter when trying to satisfy working and mothering lives which are governed by quite different values. Drawing on focus groups and interviews with thirty women who combine motherhood with paid work in Ireland, this book reveals the difficulties, complexities and dilemmas women experience and reveals that there is a complex system of inequality which occurs when women combine motherhood with paid work.
These inequalities occur at individual, discursive, social and structural levels and their combination makes it difficult for women to satisfy working and mothering lives.
Contemporary society uses maternity to divide and conquer women, both in public and private spheres, and women's inequalities are maintained because the issue is privatised, women are silenced and ignored. This book looks at the gender system which creates this complex inequality and reveals that by privileging some women sometimes, enduring inequalities are created for all women.