Walking, mothering and care: a sensory ethnography of journeying on-foot with children in Wollongong, Australia
This article presents a material feminist perspective into motherhood and walking. Our aim is to explore the process of women 'becoming mothers' through journeying on-foot somewhere with children in car-dependent cities. To do so we utilise empirical material gathered as part of a walking sensory ethnography with families living in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari's assemblage thinking and a feminist care ethics we argue that entanglements with bodies and materials alongside ideas, emotions and affects shape how motherhood becomes and is felt on-the-move through 'moments of care'. We discuss five moments where care emerges not just as a gendered practice, but as an affective force and embodiment of motherhood; these include: preparedness, togetherness, playfulness, watchfulness, and attentiveness. Instead of assuming the figure of the mother is a given identity; insights are provided into how the dilemmas of becoming a 'good' mobile mother are felt through moments of care.