My recent research on motherhood (co-directed with Tennley Vik, UNR) explored how mothers perceive, experience, and describe the domestic workload inequity and challenges related to motherhood. Mothers engage in invisible labor preparing meals, cleaning, shopping, scheduling for the family, pet care, emailing teachers, doctors’ appointments, gift-purchasing, making health decisions, and numerous other activities that often go unnoticed (unless they fail to be completed, of course). Our research indicates that mothers feel the intense burden of performing motherhood flawlessly as they project a positive self-image, avoid sharing challenges, and discuss only positive experiences. This results in women’s domestic labor being further hidden from view. Mothers are overworked and undervalued, as the invisible work completed daily creates an imbalance in the relationship. The first step to reducing inequity in family work is recognizing the work that women do. Our research highlights the work women accomplish and begins to bring attention and appreciation to their invisible labor. We are also working to encourage mothers to communicate the challenges they encounter in motherhood in order to receive the needed support from friends. This artwork recognizes the invisible labor accomplished by mothers, and aims to begin conversations about workload inequity.

The Visualizing Research Impacts (VRI) competition is designed to encourage SIUE scholars to communicate to the public the results and impacts of their research and creative activities.

The image can be a photo, drawing, painting, collage, etc. Scholars can create the image themselves or collaborate to create the image.

Research and creative activities are broadly defined as all creative, critical, scholarly, and/or empirical activity that expands, clarifies, reorganizes or develops knowledge or artistic perception. This definition includes the theorization, demonstration, implementation, and application of research.