Tales from the soft-play fifth shift

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, I tell one story of academic motherhood (mine) and draw upon the literature in this area and my own doctoral study with educators who are also parents to suggest that the tensions brought about by competing life-worlds are not an easy or unusual experience. It is a story set in an endless soft-play session, where the competing roles of mother, teacher, academic, mentor and student are thrown into sharp and often amusing relief. Am I here to work, play, learn, teach or supervise? Is this time stolen from my child, my boss, my partner, my supervisors or myself? This chapter is about an educator in academia who is also a parent and student – but there may be overlaps in experience with other educators, those with other caring responsibilities and those with other additional academic workload, such as research responsibilities and targets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReflections on valuing wellbeing in Higher Education
EditorsNarelle Lemon
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003213161
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • well-being
  • higher education
  • motherhood


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