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Abstract

This paper examines the significant role that family leisure plays in family life, and the ways in which family time, family activities, and family vacations reflect and contribute to changing ideologies of parenthood (including ideologies of motherhood and fatherhood). Research on this topic has shown family leisure to be a parental commitment, organized and constructed for the benefit of children and for the family as a whole. At the same time, family leisure has contradictory meanings and outcomes, because of the work involved and the difficulties associated with organizing and facilitating positive family experiences. Moreover, the work of family leisure falls disproportionately to mothers, reducing their personal time and personal leisure. It is argued that family leisure is a new obligation of parenthood, and one that has important implications for understanding ideas, beliefs and practices associated with intensive motherhood and involved fatherhood.