The paper aims to analyze the complex relationship between motherhood and work, a relationship considered ambiguously, both from the socio-economic literature and the current European policies. The relational perspective allows us to capture the distinctive elements of this relationship and also enlarge the usual sociological point of view: we can avoid the reduction of motherhood to procreative choices and a consequent flattening of policies to a functional and feminist frame of reference focused on the workfare culture and individual rights. Making use of the analysis of specific and updated statistical data and of interesting international researches - we sought to capture the true complexity involved; it necessarily refers to the process of structuring personal identity, to the underlying rating on the self and to the reflexivity’s practice that makes it possible. Reflexivity and relationality seem to constitute the essential terms of reference for understanding the "new female identity"; it’s a multi faced identity not reducible in simple macrocategorization. Reflexivity and relationality play on two fronts: internal and external. Reflexivity is what allows to link subjective inclinations, preferences, talents and cultural and structural emerging properties; at the same time relationality is the criteria that guide the choices concerning the sphere of family, work and their relationships.
Keywords: Reflexivity; Relationality; Motherhood; Family; Work