In this autoethnography I share my lived experiences of merging motherhood and doctoral studies and reveal the journey of imperfectly weaving the identities of mother, wife, doctoral student, and academic. I present seven vignettes to provide glimpses of experience and a window into not only the challenges and tensions of intersecting motherhood and doctoral studies, but to also share the joys, strengths, and benefits of embracing these multiple identities. The literature and autoethnographic accounts offer insights into the contradiction that is mothering during doctoral studies, as academic mothers simultaneously carry guilt and gratitude, and acknowledge the sacrifice and privilege that is motherhood and researching. In this paper I seek to provide nuanced insights into the meanings I made as I negotiated the identities/roles/positions, of mother, wife, doctoral student, and academic.


mother, motherhood, doctoral student, academia, autoethnography, identities

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Vicki Schriever is a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She teaches a range of early childhood topics including leadership and advocacy, curriculum planning and assessment, and she prepares and supports pre-service teachers to undertake work integrated learning experiences. Vicki's research interests include autoethnographic accounts of lived experiences, decision making, and management of digital technologies in early childhood education. Please direct correspondence to vschriev@usc.edu.au.

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