Now that I'm in the midst of parenting preschoolers to young adults, I have been pondering the different stages of motherhood I have been through.
Through every age, you love your kids with a white hot passion, like there's no tomorrow.
But your methods and your management change over time.
Maybe you will recognize one or more of these stages.
Mothering your first baby
- Obsessive about sanitizing things.
- Can spend up to half an hour dressing the baby.
- Matching socks, shoes, and bows are important. It may even require an extra shopping trip.
- Carefully watches the clock to keep on "the schedule."
- Takes baby to zoo at age 6 months.
- Bathes baby multiple times daily.
- Loses sleep getting up to see if the baby is still breathing.
Mothering only preschoolers
- Realizes sanitizing is fruitless.
- Matching is for games.
- Can recite One Fish, Two Fish in sleep.
- Yearns for adult conversation.
- Sets up play dates for the sole purpose of getting adult interaction.
- Has to stop self from using terms like "inside voice" and "big girl words" with friends.
- The "S" words (stupid and shut up) are taboo.
- Bath time is a nightly routine.
- Looses sleep getting up to change wet sheets.
Mothering multiple ages up to elementary age
- Knows better than to fill a cup full of a beverage. The fuller the cup, the more you will be wiping off the floor later.
- Toddler knows who "Ramona" is, but has never heard of "Goldilocks."
- Refers to "big kids" and "little kids." Each child knows which group he is in.
- Refers to the baby's schedule as "flexible", meaning she naps on the way to piano lessons.
- Bath time is done in pairs.
- Looses sleep wondering if a kid can be ruined from never hearing the "Goldilocks" story.
Mothering preschoolers to young adults
- Remembers the kids need to visit a zoo when the 4 year old reveals she doesn't know giraffes are real.
- Reminds kids before getting out of the van at homeschool co-op that some families consider "SHUT UP!" an inappropriate response to surprising news.
- Preschooler knows more works by C.S. Lewis than Dr. Seuss.
- Bath time is for nights before "church days."
- Looses sleep wondering when the car will pull in the driveway.