Defining Social Mothering- by Sarah Sahagian

The great maternal theorist Sara Ruddick argues that the practice of mothering “is to take upon oneself the responsibility of child care, making its work a regular and substantial part of one’s working life” (1995: 17).  The work to which Ruddick refers revolves around what she sees as three major demands, which involve preserving a child’s life by looking after his/her/zer health, nurturing a child’s emotional and intellectual growth, and raising a child in a manner that is acceptable to the “social groups of which the mother is a member” (19-21). When we think critically about these duties, however, it soon becomes obvious that there is no need for this mother work to be carried out by a biological or legally adoptive mother. Indeed, as Ruddick points out, there is no “reason why mothering work should be distinctly female” either, as “Anyone who commits her or himself to responding to Read more...