The experience of time in families: the employed single mother perspective

Hodgson, Judaline M.
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University of Guelph

This thesis is a qualitative investigation of the experience of time by employed single mothers. Nine employed single mothers participated in semi-structured interviews which were analyzed using grounded theory principles. The themes which emerged included unrelenting responsibility, fragile control, precious moments and a contrast between on-duty and off-duty time. The many roles these mothers fulfill require that they continually make decisions about time allocation. Unexpected events interfere with carefully made plans resulting in the experience of fragile control. These mothers value precious moments when family time can be given priority. Those with shared parenting agreements with a non-custodial parent, describe sharp contrasts between on-duty and off-duty time when children are cared for by the other parent. These mothers experience time as a precious commodity with many demands placed on it.

experience, time, employed single mothers, responsibility, fragile control, precious moment, on-duty time, off-duty time, time allocation, family time