Get access

The lived experience of mothering after prison


Correspondence Margaret Oot Hayes, PhD, RN, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, School of Nursing, 179 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-5896. E-mail:


The purpose of this interpretive phenomenological study was to gain a better understanding of the experience of mothering after prison. In-depth interviewing was conducted with six participants for a period of up to 1 year after their release from prison. All interviews were focused on the research question, “What has been your experience of mothering since your release from prison?” Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The following themes emerged: Doing Mothering Right; Family: A Double-Edged Sword; The Honeymoon is Over; and Mothering Beyond the Honeymoon.