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Single by Chance, Mothers by ChoiceHow Women are Choosing Parenthood without Marriage and Creating the New American Family$
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Rosanna Hertz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179903.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 March 2021



Completing families, completing lives

(p.198) Epilogue
Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice

Rosanna Hertz

Oxford University Press

The stories of the interviewed women illuminated much, much more than expected. One of the biggest surprises was how the women had “completed” their families. This chapter notes that it was in the telling and retelling of their stories that each woman recasts her humanity. That is to say, their own rewriting of their master plan, especially their agenda to resequence children and marriage, shows the very inconsistencies and changes that bring them once again to life. Their children had transformed their lives as parenthood took center stage. Women adjusted their personal lives and streamlined their employment, and often were surprised to discover that having children energized them. This chapter discusses the dilution of the mother-child family; celebrating entanglement in woven families; exploding and shrinking careers; and empty nest or life after children.

Keywords:   mother-child family, marriage, parenthood, streamlining employment, woven families, empty nest

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