Date of Award

Spring 4-6-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

D.S.W. Social work


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon Lyter

Second Advisor

Yasoda Sharma

Third Advisor

Janice Gasker


As part of a feminist hermeneutic phenomenological study, mothers of children who had not yet entered kindergarten and who had used child care outside of the home during the COVID-19 pandemic were interviewed about their experiences of motherhood, use of child care, and COVID-19 after the US lockdown orders were lifted in late 2020. Informed by the matricentric feminist perspective, which promotes the enfranchisement of mothers, the study aimed to inform social work practice for mothers and advocacy for employed mothers of young children.

Exploring the experiences of mothers was completed by collecting narratives utilizing a semi-structured interview. Findings from the data include a reported sense of “being everything,” feelings of isolation, and continued struggles with navigating child care due to availability, affordability, employment, and other illnesses. This research can inform social work practice, advocacy efforts that aim to improve the systemic shortcomings that harm families, and inform social work leadership.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Social Work Commons



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