Five Movements of Mothering: How Moments of Care are Created by the Paths We Walk

The design of streets, in many western cities, is for speed, efficiency, and productivity. Motor vehicles have priority. Likewise, the assumption is that walkers are fast-paced, stepping out to predictable rhythms. Consequently, walking with a child may become a source of anxiety, particularly when pushing a pram, carrying a heavy baby backpack, or controlling the unpredictable movement of children. This article, by social geographers Dr. Susannah Clement and Dr. Gordon Waitt, establishes 5 experience in a walk that provide either opportunities to forge connections with the outdoors, and create understanding of the responsibilities that make a family, or increase anxiety and frustration, depending on the physical space that shapes the walk itself.

2 responses to “Five Movements of Mothering”

  1. Neil Hopkins says:

    I really appreciate the idea that walking is ‘perfomative’ – something that I haven’t had the luxury of considering before.
    Cities throughout the world are geared around vehicles – and even in older cities, pavements are often too narrow for strollers (especailly those one with multiple ‘chairs’ side by side).
    We need to rethink our city design, to place health and mental health at the forefront (perhaps even radically moving away from GDP to Gross Domestic Happiness as a measure of progress). We need space for people of all ages and life stages to walk free from the fear of busy intersections or roadways – not to mention the fumes etc.
    We’ll see what comes in that regard – but I hope that we reach a space where there might be more ambling and rambling, promoting humanity / connection above the logic of capital.

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