Podcast, Social Justice

Women, Work, More: Working Mothers & the Pressures of Motherhood — with Amanda Watson

November 15, 2021
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SFU Sociology and Anthropology Professor Amanda Watson, joins Alyha Bardi to speak about her recent book, The Juggling Mother: Coming Undone in an Age of Anxiety.

Amanda speaks about our cultural fascination with the figure of the juggling mother, explores the ableism and racism behind this depiction, and scrutinizes the immense pressures of motherhood that are often ignored — from juggling work & home life, to breastfeeding, to acting unencumbered at work.

Amanda also discusses depictions of mothers as the “gender neutral CEO” — and explores how misogyny, white liberal feminism, and gender socialization, have led us to accept these very ideas involving motherhood that do more harm than good. 

The episode ends with Amanda and four working mothers sharing some advice with working mothers, present and future. They speak to their visions for making work better serve parents, reshaping cultural ideas of motherhood to alleviate pressure, and placing greater value on the labour of mothers.

About Our Guest

Amanda Watson

Amanda Watson is an author, lecturer, researcher, and mother of two.

Her new book, The Juggling Mother: Coming Undone in the Age of Anxiety, is available from UBC Press. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University, and has a focus on feminist teaching and learning. Amanda teaches and studies theories of labour, capitalism, motherhood, care, representation, and popular culture. She also writes opinions for newspapers and magazines. 

Her next book project explores the politics of the BirthStrike movement for climate justice.


Host & Producer - Alyha Bardi

Audio Editor - Paige Smith

Cover Artist & Secondary Editor - Kathy Feng

Transcriber & Copywriter - Melissa Roach

SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement Director - Am Johal


“Words” by Jason Shaw is licensed under CC BY 3.0
“Drive” by Scanglobe is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
“Industrial Sunrise” by Scanglobe is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
“Transit” by Scanglobe is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 


Experiences of gendered work are multifaceted. Common concepts like the glass ceiling or the gender wage gap, don’t even come close to scratching the surface of the varying barriers and experiences that women and gender diverse people face within their working lives. From dealing with sexualized work environments, to juggling work and home lives near and far, to retirement — these experiences not only vastly differ from men’s, but also vastly differ for feminized workers across differing social intersections such as age, race, nationality, and more.

To gain a more nuanced perspective, this series, hosted by SFU Labour Studies student Alyha Bardi, documents the lived experiences of women and their relationships with work across varying life stages & social intersections. Each episode features a snapshot-esque look into the lives of a specific group of women workers — starting with young women restaurant workers, then working mothers, then migrant women, with the series culminating on its final episode on senior women. Alongside self-told stories of women workers’ lived experiences, we hear from professors, labour organizers and policy critics as they share their expertise and findings.

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