Caroline Day

Doctor of Philosophy, (Public Health)
Study Completed: 2021
College of Health


Thesis Title
Negotiating grandmothering, paid employment and regular childcare in urban Aotearoa New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Grandmothers are increasingly called upon to provide childcare for their grandchildren whilst being in paid employment themselves. Grandchild care is often provided to support mothers into paid employment. Prior to Ms Day’s study, no research had examined how grandmothers experience the combination of paid work and grandchild care within the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. Ms Day interviewed fifteen grandmothers in Auckland and found that paid employment was important for grandmothers because it allowed for an identity different to that of ‘grandmother’, thus providing independence and visibility. Similarly, their support of maternal paid employment was to ensure maternal wellbeing rather than for any material benefits. Grandmothers were more inclined to view the combined roles of grandmother, mother, and paid worker in terms of identity negotiation rather than task delineation. The findings further understandings of grandmothering and how women combine their paid employment and family lives in later life.

Associate Professor Mary Breheny
Professor Fiona Alpass
Professor Juliana Mansvelt