I’m Andrea Doucet, Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, and mother of three (a 20 year old and 16 year-old twins). Since the day our first was born, I have shared the care of our daughters with my husband, who is a naturopathic doctor. For most of the past twenty years, I have been the primary breadwinner in our family.
It hasn’t always been a bowl of cherries – or a bed of roses. Parenting is hard work; each stage has its own unique challenges. There have been times when I want to scream – “I want a wife!” There are other times when I am so grateful to have a partner who shares fully in parenting and managing our household, and who supports me unconditionally in what I do. We both grew up in large families where our mothers were primary caregivers and our fathers the sole breadwinners; we have continually pressed up against the role models of the past and the social scripts that define mothering and fathering. It’s been a constant dance: lots of juggling, struggling, negotiating and re-negotiating our parenting responsibilities.
So I’ve been here for a long time, as a breadwinning mom who actively thinks about these issues with a male partner, but also as a scholar, qualitative researcher and a participatory researcher who has a passion – and an interpretive ear – for the stories of breadwinning mothers and caregiving fathers.
(I wrote a book on the latter in 2006, and am currently in the process of writing a book on breadwinning moms and their male partners.)
In researching the new book for the past two years, I been struck by two things.
First, as someone who has been living and writing the mother-as-breadwinner story, I have felt alone at my writer’s desk (or den), working from the many amazing stories I have been collecting over the past few years. Meanwhile, the blogosphere is lit up with great, rich stories and conversations on these matters. Lately, I’ve been trying to bring my thoughts into conversation with these new, quickly developing ideas.
Second, having gone through all the requisite ‘hoops’ that matter in my career path, I want to to do more. I want to take my long-term passion for this topic and turn it into something dynamic and useful, with a purpose that exceeds a written product.
So, I decided to create a digital space that would nurture a community of connection, conversation, and support.
I hope that this space will encourage meaningful conversation on issues that matter to breadwinning mothers and caregiving dads who are struggling with, succeeding at, thinking about, and working through these issues. I hope that you will see yourself in the conversations that unfold here.
I also hope that this is a place of connection and support, where you can talk to people in the same position as yourself. You can also communicate with people who are in a completely different position from yourself.
This is a space where your voice will be heard and respected.
To become part of this conversation, please click here.
For more on my research and my professional background, click here.