This thesis will seek to explore the complex and unique experience of motherhood from a psychoanalytic perspective. Various theorists assert that motherhood is not a biological construct which therefore leads to the question as to what lies behind motherhood for a woman. To address this question, the concept of becoming and being a mother will be explored within the psychoanalytic theory of female sexuality, the Great Debate, human subjectivity and the mother child relation to the phallus. Freud’s theory on the sexual development of the little girl and the symbolic equation of penis equals baby will first be
examined. The little girl on becoming a mother will then be reviewed through the early debate on female sexuality with particular emphasis on contributions from Helene Deutsch, Karen Horney and Ernest Jones being closely reviewed. The emergence of the
child as a human subject becoming a mother will be considered in relation to the phallus through Jacques Lacan’s papers on “The Meaning of the Phallus” along with Seminar IV and V.