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About Motherlands

Motherlands is....

Parenting is a fabulous and wonderful and, at times, exhausting journey. No matter where you are.  For those who become parents in a different culture or surrounded by a foreign language, that journey dons even more colours and textures, questions and puzzles.  Not only are you confronting the challenging feelings associated with having a baby, or a toddler or a school child or a teenager … but also the dissonance of feeling ‘odd’ in relationship to the outside world.

We all know the world is more 'global' than ever.  More and more mothers are becoming mothers far away from home. The reasons for finding themselves abroad are more diverse than ever: marrying a husband whose work takes him from India to the US, falling in love in China with a Brazilian exporter and moving continents, accepting a grant as a 20-year-old to South Africa and staying, moving as a Russian-trained programmer with a promotion to a company in Italy. And the situation most dire of all, being forced to flee war or actual persecution.

It is easy to say the world is a village, but …. all these women will give birth somewhere, send their children to school somewhere, engage with neighbors somewhere.  They will clash with the local culture, they will learn from it. They will take on certain attributes and pass them willingly onto their children. They will struggle against other local cultural values and rituals.  Mothering is a rich and complex tapestry of networks, social interactions and individual reflection.  It can also be very lonely and full of insecurity. So welcome to this internet source of reflection and information. Hopefully you will find something that will engage your feeling of mothering.

Data for Motherlands is drawn from social anthropology and other social studies articles, literature, journalism, television, film, YouTube, and personal experiences of contributing mothers around the world. It is starting out with an Anglo-American bias, not through intention but through accident of collection, but will certainly develop a more international flair as it goes on.


Motherlands has been online for a few years now. I am continuously learning - html coding, social media, SEO strategy. Sometimes the 'hardware' care outweighs the reading and writing I like. And all of it is hard to balance with time to listen to school day stories, take care of sick children, vet appointments, stitching ripped trousers, making cookies, attending village events. Come on, how do you "Mom" bloggers really do it? You make it look so easy!

I received my first degree in political science from Berkeley, worked as a journalist for a few years, and completed my doctorate in social anthropology at Oxford in 2004. But I am not contributing here as a social scientist or a journalist; rather as an anthropological observer and mother who has lived in 'foreign' cultures for most of my adult life. I was born in India, and later met my husband in India, and there is something circular about that. I lived most of my childhood in New York City and San Francisco and in my 20s lived and worked in Berkeley, Rome, Cairo, Syria, Texas, England, and Germany. My German husband, a doctor and psychoanalyst, our youngest two children, ages 13 and 17 (our eldest is already doing interesting things on his own), and I live in a farmhouse in the countryside, a conscious choice to create an alternative to stress-filled city life.







A note about copyright and intellectual property rights. It is Motherlands' intention to scrupulously cite all works mentioned here. I summarize books and articles I find interesting, allowing readers to link to the full text if available online, or to a source to purchase the text. Any errors are unintentional, and will be corrected if brought to my attention (see contact). The copyright to the term Motherlands and the breadth of information available and the intellectual frame in which it is to be found on the internet belongs exclusively to Susannah Kennedy D.Phil MA (Oxon).

The original content on the Motherlands website represents the opinions of the editor, Susannah Kennedy. Do not consider the information available here to be a substitute for obtaining proper medical or social advice. The information on the site may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct or up-to-date.  Links are provided as a courtesy to visitors and for informational purposes. Motherlands has no control over the linked sites or the materials, information, goods or services available or contained on these linked sites. Motherlands is not responsible for and does not endorse or warrant in any way any materials, information, goods or services available through linked sites. If you decide to access any of the linked sites, you do so entirely at your own risk. Both the Motherlands name and logo belong exclusively to Susannah Kennedy. Motherlands accepts paid advertising. Advertising will appear in the sidebars and does not indicate an endorsement by Susannah Kennedy of the advertisers or their products.




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