This thesis is based on fieldwork carried out in the Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende and its outlying communities. In this study I focus on the changing role of mother and wife in relation to family, community, and state. My fieldwork has shown that a younger generation of women portray themselves as experiencing motherhood differently than their own mothers. The state’s construction of the “modern” mother is a dominant image in the lives of both urban and rural women, who are renegotiating tradition as they strive to fulfill both personal desires and the social expectations which are held for them. In this thesis I propose that the women of my study view themselves as self-actualizing “modern” mothers, a self-image which is producedand reflected in decision-making related to their relationships with men, parenting, and reproduction.