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Where Did I Go?
Where Did I Go?

Where Did I Go?

Reflections on So-Called Late Mothering



300 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $31.95 (US $31.95)

Publication Date: October 2022

ISBN 9781772584073

Rights: US

Demeter Press (Oct 2022)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: October 2022


Women are having children later in life, out of choice and also aided by improved reproductive technologies. Women are also more educated than at any other time in history, with the last generation seeing women's professional careers not as unusual, but as the norm for university educated women. This generation of tertiary educated mothers has grown up with a clear articulation of feminism, although shifts in the intra-household gendered division of labour have been more limited than hoped for. These mothers represent a generational shift in modern times and constitute a significant new demographic that cannot be ignored. For high achieving university educated women with vocational positions of authority and respect, the emotional and psychological shift entailed in dealing with the myriad demands of a child and often mundane aspects of motherhood can be overwhelming. These women are used to managing complex and highly technical issues in the workplace, yet none of these skills prepare them for motherhood which requires patience, a need to let go of control, and for some a staggering conflict of personal identities and roles.


"In this collection the co-editors have compiled riveting essays on the under-theorized topic of mothering later in life. More specifically, this text includes a diversity of perspectives and voices from authors who are engaged in so-called late mothering practices and simultaneously managing demanding careers. I appreciate the insights that are amassed in this anthology and how I, as the reader, am invited to delve more deeply into our stories and experiences, both personal and universal. The stories–an extensive blend of narrative styles–are timely, authentic, and encourage us to embrace a fuller consideration of what mothering is and can be. They are also provocative and challenge our understandings of what it means to engage in practices of so-called late mothering (or become first-time mothers later in life) in contemporary times." —KATHY MANTAS, Professor, Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University, and co-editor of Middle Grounds: Essays on Midlife Mothering "This collection of 'so-called' late mothering stories is a balm for those who were marked medically as 'geriatric' in their pregnancies and are looking to find information and stories to reflect their journeys as mothers. Come for the universal mothering stories; stay for the fascinating details that make each mother's story her own. This collection adds to our knowledge in many areas; an important read for mother scholars." —Nicole L. Willey, Professor of English, Kent State University Tuscarawas "The auto-ethnographies or maternographies included in this thoughtful collection provide deeply personal and unadorned insights into the experiences of 'older' mothers. This book demonstrates the need for more scholarly attention to be paid to this new demographic of professional, high-achieving women who can become stigmatized by the label of 'late mothers' once they have a child. Each contribution poses challenges to our understanding of the intimate, lived experience of mothering, regardless of age. These narratives work together to contest the outmoded language used in public discourses about older mothers and to resist the idea that there is a homogeneity among mothers based on age. This is a book that contributes to gender studies, sociology, feminist auto-ethnography and to the maternal studies literature. It is also written in an accessible and inclusive way for a diverse general readership." —JULIE STEPHENS, Associate Professor, Victoria University, Australia, and author of Confronting Postmaternal Thinking: Feminism, Memory and Care

Author Biography

Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama, originally from Colombia, was 46 y.o. when she had her first and only child, Ana Patricia. She earned her graduate degrees in Canada and currently is an Associate Professor in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati in the USA. Dr. Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama is also the founder Director of the newly established "The Americas, Indigenous, and Latinx Research Center" at the University of Cincinnati. Suzette Mitchell, PhD, originally from Australia, was 42 when she had her daughter Veronika in Hanoi, Vietnam. She was running a United Nations Agency during the birth and first four years of her daughter's life. She returned to Melbourne, Australia when her daughter was eight, continuing to consult for the UN and the Asian Development Bank in international development for women. Her PhD was on the impact of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women and was conducted in the Department of Women's Studies and Political Science at the Australian National University.