Spiraling Out of Darkness: Mothering and a Métis Woman’s Sojourn with HIV
MetadataShow full item record
1. "Spiraling Out of Darkness: ‘Mothering’ and a Métis Woman’s Sojourn with HIV" (Presenters: Gina Wong-Wylie & José Pruden) Abstract: An artful process of revealing narratives and photographic images was central in the hermeneutic investigation of a Métis mother’s experience of diagnosis of HIV. “Spiraling out of darkness” captures the life traumatic and life altering reality for this single mother who emerged and is emerging from the darkness with the anchor of mothering as a vestige of hope in the vast darkness. Through the medium of storytelling and photography, this presentation unfolds and depicts the arduous journey from HIV diagnosis to a path towards healing. Life became more than survival for this Métis woman because of her identity and role of ‘mother’ and the central goal of protecting her child and the fears of stigma and discrimination that exists/existed not only towards herself but towards her child. The ascent from the darkest moment in a Métis mother’s life included hearing her diagnosis and the gripping fear of potentially, and unknowingly, infecting her child-- to the healing sojourn and trajectory to ‘light’ that she attributes to being a mother. 2. "‘Broken Glass’... Reflecting In, Reflecting Out: Postpartum Depression in Young Moms" (Presenter: Gina Wong-Wylie) Abstract: ‘Broken Glass’ metaphorically represents shattered dreams, ruined physical image, fragmented future, and damaged youth --often associated with the experience of teenage pregnancy. Adolescents (ages 13-19 years) who become mothers are dually challenged to manage pregnancy and mothering at a key psychosocial developmental stage in which children transition to adults. Erikson posed the key question in this stage of development as “Who am I am and where am I going?” Adolescents are newly concerned with appearances, peer groups, their roles as well as congruency between a desired future with her current potential and self-meaning. Shards of glass pierce into young women’s lives when they become moms and there is no wonder that among those most susceptible to developing postpartum depression (PPD), teen girls are at an extremely high risk. Women under the age of 19 are estimated to have a 48% chance of developing PPD. While consensus exists that young mothers are more vulnerable to developing PPD than their older counterparts, the experience of PPD and teen mothering does not exile her to a life looking through a ‘broken glass’. In this presentation, the author explores experiences of young moms who moved through PPD to a place of empowerment. Suggestions for supportive resources, education, advocacy, and media representations of teen mothers as well as directions for future research will be offered. 3. 4-PANEL COLLOQUIUM DISCUSSIONS ON “MOTHERING ON THE TENURE TRACK” TENURE-TRACK MOTHERS IN DISTANCE EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS ABSTRACT And when the stories emerge in their light and their darkness, we will be closer to honoring the real victories involved in the tough, sweet work of making ourselves into mothers. (Naomi Wolf, 2001, p. 10) … and the “tough, sweet work of making ourselves into professors” is also a complicated and difficult path to navigate which many of us embark on. Nevertheless, just like mothering, this journey can be extremely rewarding. Rachel Hile Bassett (2005) expresses the “…very real challenges to combining parenting with an academic career, but [that the] the rewards are equally significant (p. 89). In Parenting and Professing, Bassett denotes that women exhibit higher self-esteem and enhanced well-being when we engage positively in a number of different roles. Certainly, Paula Caplan (1993) in Lifting a Ton of Feathers underscored the challenges in women surviving in the academic world. Over a decade and a half later, although some changes have occurred, not enough by way of strident support for mothers in academia appear to be in place. As an Associate Professor at Athabasca University, a Canadian Distance Education university, and mother of two young children, I relay my own experiences as a “stay at home professor”. I propose that there are layered challenges in a brick and mortar university for academic mothers that simply do not exist for a tenure-track distance education academic. While limitations and disadvantages of being a distance education academic will be discussed, a host of advantages in being a tenure-track mother in distance academia will be conveyed in this presentation. Distance education is a forward movement, a feminist orientation in that female learners are often mothers themselves who are raising their own status in the world through obtaining more education. Being an academic mother for a distance university is also forging a different path and hopefully a trend for mothers to embrace the flexibility of this type of tenure track position.