An Excerpt from The Childbearing Woman: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Nursing, and Motherhood by Tiffany Tyndall — Half of D. Motherhood

     Being a mother is so wonderful; I wish I had begun this journey sooner in my life.  But I also recognize that by the time I became a mother, I was ready to be one.  A lot of women become mothers before they are really ready to be one, and this only makes things that much more difficult.  It’s a hard life, being a mom.  No one really knows or understands what it takes to do a good job.  It’s kind of like being a homemaker; your job is so important that when you do a good job, no one notices.  But when you do a poor job, everyone notices.

The work of a mother is often taken for granted, and you won’t get the thanks or recognition you deserve for doing what you do.  You might not get the help you need, but that’s just the way it is sometimes.  At some point, you have to choose to buckle down and take responsibility for yourself and for your baby and do what you have to do in order to do a good job.  It’s not easy or pleasant a lot of times, but this is the real life of a real mother.

Age might have something to do with being able to roll with it a bit more than not, but I think age can be a shallow excuse sometimes.  Just because someone is young when they become a mother doesn’t mean that they are incompetent or that they are excused from the responsibilities of motherhood.  It just means that the journey might be a little more turbulent on their way to successful motherhood.  When you’re young, you think the world revolves around you and that everyone should care about what’s happening.  The truth is that the world only revolves around the sun and that everyone only cares about themselves.  You’re the only one who will ever be able to do anything about your own life.  You might be lucky enough to have people in your life who are willing to help out, but really and truly, the sooner you can do the stuff of mothering on your own, the better off you’ll be.  Otherwise, you’ll always have a distorted view of how much work motherhood actually involves.

The Childbearing Woman: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Nursing, and Motherhood by Tiffany Tyndall is available for purchase here.

This writing is also included in Loved: Writings on Motherhood and Caregiving, a collection of reflective and expository writings by Tiffany Tyndall.

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