Title

Challenges to mothering occupations for women with chronic rheumatic diseases

Presenter Information

Janet Poole
Kelly Willer
Cindy Mendelson

Start Time

27-10-2007 5:00 PM

End Time

27-10-2007 6:00 PM

Abstract

Mothering is one of the most important occupations of women. Thomas states that “A mother is expected to be self-less, ever-nurturing, and indefatigable, and she feels tremendous guilt if unable to achieve this ideal” (Thomas, 1997, p. 546). In the presence of a chronic disease, women who are mothers have to balance the demands and activities of being a mother with medical, social, physical, and emotional management of the disease, furthering challenging mothers to achieve the ideal goal. Two chronic rheumatic diseases, scleroderma and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) primarily affect women during the child bearing and child rearing years, yet little research has been done about women’s parenting experiences and challenges. The purpose of this study was to identify the challenges to parenting experienced by mothers with scleroderma and SLE. This study used a mixed methods research design in which qualitative and quantitative techniques were used in a single study. On-line focus groups were conducted with 27 women with these two diseases who had children under the age of 18 living in their homes. The mothers identified several limitations that affected parenting: limitations on energy available for their children, limitations on types of activities they could do with their children due to intolerance to the cold or sun, and physical disability such as skin ulcers and joint limitations. A supportive network was deemed necessary to be an effective mother. In the quantitative part of the study, an additional 75 mothers were scleroderma completed survey questionnaires regarding parenting, fatigue, occupational performance abilities, and pain. The results from the survey part of the study revealed that mothers who had children 5 years and younger and children over 5, reported more fatigue, difficulties with occupational performance and pain than mothers who only had children 5 years and under or only had children between 6 and 18 years of age. The specific parenting activities that were difficult for the mothers to perform differed depending on the age of their children. Adaptations made by the mothers to manage both parenting and a chronic disease will be discussed.

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Oct 27th, 5:00 PM Oct 27th, 6:00 PM

Challenges to mothering occupations for women with chronic rheumatic diseases

Mothering is one of the most important occupations of women. Thomas states that “A mother is expected to be self-less, ever-nurturing, and indefatigable, and she feels tremendous guilt if unable to achieve this ideal” (Thomas, 1997, p. 546). In the presence of a chronic disease, women who are mothers have to balance the demands and activities of being a mother with medical, social, physical, and emotional management of the disease, furthering challenging mothers to achieve the ideal goal. Two chronic rheumatic diseases, scleroderma and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) primarily affect women during the child bearing and child rearing years, yet little research has been done about women’s parenting experiences and challenges. The purpose of this study was to identify the challenges to parenting experienced by mothers with scleroderma and SLE. This study used a mixed methods research design in which qualitative and quantitative techniques were used in a single study. On-line focus groups were conducted with 27 women with these two diseases who had children under the age of 18 living in their homes. The mothers identified several limitations that affected parenting: limitations on energy available for their children, limitations on types of activities they could do with their children due to intolerance to the cold or sun, and physical disability such as skin ulcers and joint limitations. A supportive network was deemed necessary to be an effective mother. In the quantitative part of the study, an additional 75 mothers were scleroderma completed survey questionnaires regarding parenting, fatigue, occupational performance abilities, and pain. The results from the survey part of the study revealed that mothers who had children 5 years and younger and children over 5, reported more fatigue, difficulties with occupational performance and pain than mothers who only had children 5 years and under or only had children between 6 and 18 years of age. The specific parenting activities that were difficult for the mothers to perform differed depending on the age of their children. Adaptations made by the mothers to manage both parenting and a chronic disease will be discussed.