Women, Work, More: Working Mothers & the Pressures of Motherhood — with Amanda Watson

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Alyha Bardi
Below the Radar
Women, Work, More
Amanda Watson
Juggling Mother
White Liberal Feminism
Gender Socialization

SFU Sociology and Anthropology Professor Amanda Watson, joins Alyha Bardi to speak about her recent book, 'The Juggling Mother: Coming Undone in an Age of Anxiety.'


Amanda speaks about our cultural fascination with the figure of the juggling mother, explores the ableism and racism behind this depiction, and scrutinizes the immense pressures of motherhood that are often ignored — from juggling work and home life, to breastfeeding, to acting unencumbered at work.


Amanda also discusses depictions of mothers as the “gender neutral CEO” — and explores how misogyny, white liberal feminism, and gender socialization, have led us to accept these very ideas involving motherhood that do more harm than good.


The episode ends with Amanda and four working mothers sharing some advice with working mothers, present and future. They speak to their visions for making work better serve parents, reshaping cultural ideas of motherhood to alleviate pressure, and placing greater value on the labour of mothers.


Amanda Watson is an author, lecturer, researcher, and mother of two. Her new book, The Juggling Mother: Coming Undone in the Age of Anxiety, is available from UBC Press. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University, and has a focus on feminist teaching and learning. Amanda teaches and studies theories of labour, capitalism, motherhood, care, representation, and popular culture. She also writes opinions for newspapers and magazines.


Her next book project explores the politics of the BirthStrike movement for climate justice.



— The Juggling Mother: Coming Undone in an Age of Anxiety: www.ubcpress.ca/the-juggling-mother
— Amanda’s website: www.amandadwatson.com/
— Amanda Watson & the birthstrike movement: www.sfu.ca/sociology-anthropol…on-sshrc-grant.html

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Bardi, Alyha. “Women, Work, More: Working Mothers & the Pressures of Motherhood — with Amanda Watson” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, November 15, 2021. https://www.sfu.ca/vancity-office-community-engagement/below-the-radar-podcast/series/women-work-more/143-amanda-watson.html