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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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What Does It Mean to Be a Good Mother?

(p.190) Conclusion
Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice

Rosanna Hertz

Oxford University Press

This chapter concludes Part III of the book. Unable to leave the workforce, the women in the interviews settle for resting the measure of motherhood not on being there every moment but on being visible at key moments and logging what many call “family time.” Streamlining employment is the compromise for these women, and their success in this attempt depends on their skill sets. Women are giving up their personal time, social life, and outside hobbies so that they can be home on time for day care pickups or in time for dinner, things that are essential to them. Crucial to these women's survival on this fault line is help with child care. Besides surrounding their child with people who care, the final test of good mothering for these women is providing the social capital for middle-class citizenship.

Keywords:   single women, streamlining employment, middle-class citizenship, child care, good mothering

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