LIFE AS MOTHERS IN A NEW LAND: THE EXPERIENCE OF MOTHERHOOD AMONG THAI WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In this article, we examine the accounts of 30 migrant Thai women in Australia who had become mothers. The women recognized that they had entered a new environment, which was different from their previous one. This had a marked impact on their lives as wives and mothers. Cultural differences play a major role in their coping with motherhood and the mothering role. We find that the women had several main concerns in their new land: social isolation, different childrearing and child disciplinary practices, and the desire to preserve Thai culture. Most women wish to have more children in their new land, but others are concerned about social and political environments in Australia. We also find that the social class of the women and the ethnic background of their spouses play an important role in their coping with motherhood and childrearing. We conclude that motherhood and mothering is a great challenge, which is made more complex when it is combined with migration. This is important if we are to understand motherhood from an ethnicity perspective. Only then may we see better health care for immigrant women who choose to become a mother in their new land.

publication date

  • August 2003