The Good Pastoring Mother: how Female Pastors in Norway and the United States Balance Work and Home
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Pastoral work is a unique vocation, which blurs the lines between personal and professional life to an extreme degree. While this dynamic has been examined from many angles, very little time has been spent determining specifically how women navigate this complicated relationship. Similarly, while there is a great deal of literature focused on how women fulfill their roles at home and in the workplace, such studies do not usually focus on women in pastoral work, instead generally centering on corporate or other skilled labor settings. This study examines the ways women experience being both pastors and mothers, and how they balance their professional and personal lives. For comparison, it incorporates information gathered from interviewing women in Norway and the United States, two countries which have a great deal in common in terms of their religious and sociological backgrounds, but which differ significantly when it comes to equality in the workforce and work-life balance. The results help situate pastors who area also mothers within current theoretical worker typologies, and shed light on the primary challenges which they face and the strategies they have utilized to overcome them.