Below is a short discussion inspired by the episode "Motherhood", on the Red Table Talk podcast.
Motherhood comes with its set of hardships. Whether it’s co-mothering, adoptive motherhood, single motherhood, or just motherhood in general—all of these come with unique challenges.
In this episode of Red Table Talk, Jada, Willow, and Gammy talk about the challenges of motherhood. They share their experiences as co-mothers, teen mothers, and as mothers in general.
These are what motherhood has taught them:
Co-mothers must cooperate. When co-mothers complement each other’s parenting, the child can reap the benefits of co-motherhood. This also allows the child to transition into his or her new family with little to no conflict.
Teenage mothers need support. There are programs in place for them to remain in school or complete their courses from home. If they have no access to these, they can always turn to their families and friends for assistance. These enable both the teenage mother and the baby to grow up healthy.
Mothers should appreciate themselves more. They give up personal time to attend to the children’s needs. They give up a carefree life so they can keep the house in order. Some even give up their careers. Mothers are capable of so much care and sacrifice, and they’re nothing short of praiseworthy.
Motherhood can be experienced in more ways than one. But in whatever form it may come, it helps for mothers to have the support and appreciation they need.
the distilld lessons
Here are the distilld lessons inspired by the episode "Motherhood" from Red Table Talk.
Motherhood can be experienced in more ways than one. It can be by choice, by blood, done alone, or even shared with another mother.
Jada co-mothered Trey Smith—Will Smith’s first son—with Will’s ex-wife, Sheree Zampino. Co-mothering is when a woman serves as a mother to a child who isn’t her own biologically.
Co-mothering is different from adoptive parenthood. The difference is that the child in the former has two mothers instead of one: a biological mother, and the co-mother, who is also known as the bonus mother.
Co-mothering is an effective way to transition a child into a new family, but it poses its own challenges. Differences in parenting philosophies between mothers can lead to disagreements and conflicts.
When co-mothers complement each other’s parenting, instead of competing to be the better mother, the child is spared from unnecessary conflict. They won’t feel like they’re being separated from anyone.
Gammy had a difficult early adulthood. Gammy gave birth to Jada, got married, and got divorced—all at 19 years old.
Teenage pregnancy is a common phenomenon in modern society. Statistics show that the average global birth rate as of 2014 among 15-19 year olds is 49 per 1000 girls.
Teenage mothers also face problems that adult mothers don’t. Research suggests that they have a significantly higher level of postpartum depression, which is depression after childbirth.
Teenage mothers need support. School programs can allow them to continue their education. Guidance from friends and family allow them to transition into motherhood without feeling overwhelmed by changes.
Show your mother some appreciation. It can be in a form of a card, a gift, or a simple thank you. It helps to make motherhood all the more rewarding.
Help your mother out in her tasks. Cut the vegetables when she prepares dinner, help her with daily chores, or just hand her what she asks—more hands make for quicker work.
Be patient with your mom if she gets angry. Everyone has an end to their patience, even our mothers. Let them blow off their steam.
Support any teenage mother you know. It can be a family member or a friend. Talk to them or volunteer to help in any way you can. It helps for them to know that they’re not alone.
If you’re a mother, give yourself a pat on the back. You sacrifice so much of yourself for the sake of the family. You deserve recognition.
For a more in depth conversation, the distilld lessons (extended) are here.