Journal of Mother Studies 4th Edition
This year’s issue of the Journal of Mother Studies is filled with articles that are both personal and applicable to a wider audience. No, not globalizing personal experience. But in efforts that are consistent with the foundation of the journal, these articles are deep and nuanced explorations of personal experiences that commingle and add to a wider understanding of the whole of mother studies.
As soon as I heard about the M.O.M. conference I wanted to participate in it, but conflicting engagements made it quite difficult to attend. I deliberated until personal reasons tipped the scale. I realized that writing for this conference provided a much-needed opportunity to reclaim my voice as a mother, a voice that seemed somehow to have gotten outside of myself. Now, reading over this issue, it’s clear that many of us have such conflicts, and that an aching from the well of personal experience is what compels so many of us to finally speak. There is a budding language for the broad developmental process of becoming a mother that we call matrescence, but it is young and in formation. The stories we collectively tell through personal experience, surveying, and research are what create this language.
Throughout this issue, you will read repeatedly about the lack of understanding or documentation of maternal experiences, and simultaneously about the need to give voice to maternal experience. This issue includes a rich array of underrepresented voices ranging from screening measures in Postpartum PTSD, and surveys on breastfeeding among women veterans; thick subjectivities on segregation of Black mothers in America, and Multiple Sclerosis in mothering bodies; and to essays on the practice of writing as both resistance and healing.
Where mother’s bodies, psyches, and minds have gone unknown and oppressed by outside voices that claim to understand them without regard for the subjective experiences of mothers ourselves, these articles rise to the occasion. They add to the momentous birthing of a many-voiced discipline, one voice at a time.
It is my hope that you will be moved by these accounts to support the diverse experiences of mothers around you, including the continual writing of your own powerful voice.