Six weeks after giving birth to her first daughter, Tiffany Sudler returned to her high school in Hunting Park to finish out her degree to become a certified nursing assistant.
But it wasn’t until Sudler saw her daughter start walking that she fully grasped her responsibilities as a mother.
“I was 17,” said Sudler outside a corner store near 17th Street and Montgomery Avenue. “[I was] still trying to run the streets, still trying to party, and all that came to an end.”
“I switched my mindset when I realized it was really real out here,” the 24-year-old added. “When I first had the baby, I didn’t believe it.”
Dressed in her floral print and teal scrubs before work, Sudler explained how her first year as a mother became even more difficult because her daughter suffered from asthma and visited the hospital frequently. Her second daughter, who is only one year old, suffered from similar problems.
“I do really try to talk to young people and tell them it’s not what you want,” Sudler said. “I’m not going to say it’s a mistake, but it’s not what anyone wants. Even grown people still can’t deal with children. You have to understand, we’re mothers 24/7, non-stop. We’re on call for everything.”
Ashley Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.