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Stages of Motherhood

Stages of Motherhood

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.
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  1. This made me laugh, while I never obsessed over bath time or cleanliness I did the rest:D I have preschool to middle school. Seasons of life keep us going, after all we really would get bored if it didn’t change.

  2. Love this, Connie!

  3. HA! Now add mothering adults to infants, plus grand mothering. It’s never dull! The beauty of having children and grandchildren the same age is that there are always extra diapers and clothes in the correct size no matter whose house you’re in!

    • That’s how it is in our family. I have a 23 mo daughter, plus 3 grand-daughters who are 4, 21 mos, and 8 mos. We don’t have separate clothes for the “twins” anymore- just a large collection of cute baby girl clothes. Put on whatever fits!

  4. *whew* I only have a 4 1/2, 2 1/2, and a 9 month old, BUT, my 4 year old can read and likes to hear things like “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”. I was beginning to feel badly that my 2 1/2 year old reads so many fewer picture books! Now I know it can be normal. That’s a load off! I’m done loosing sleep over it now, thanks :-)

  5. With six ages 1-10, I’m definitely in the elementary category… except we have bigs, middles, and littles. Oh, and bath time is for church days here already. If we get extras in there, it’s a major bonus. Thanks for the post; that was a fun way to start my morning! :)

  6. My kids are 23 down to 20mo. This made me laugh and tear up at the same time! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. So funny! I’m only up to the mothering preschoolers, but I totally relate!! Especially about scheduling playdates for adult conversation. :) Thanks for the chuckle.

  8. Why yes, yes indeed. I’m spread from 10 to 18 right now. The age divide is startling. But yes, my younger ones know more about grown up material than they do kid stuff. I don’t know whether to be happy or cry.

  9. Baby to Elementary. SO true. I’m lucky if everyone is wearing socks when we leave the house. I’m over the “matching things” phase.

  10. One stage of mothering you aren’t familiar with (and I hope you never are!) is when you start over raising your grandchild. Our girls are grown, but not all out of the nest. And now we have this five year old boy! I thought I knew everything, but I’m shocked at how different boys are. Enjoyed this.

  11. LOL LOL Oh dear – I’m not there yet…but I will be!

  12. I love this! I am in phase 3, but some weeks my kids only gets baths before church days and they know more CS Lewis (I think that is just good parenting). 😉

  13. I think as more little ones come along, your priorities change. A slighty embarrassing example. This morning was out first MOPs meeting of the year. I got my oldest on the bus and began gathering littles (the oldest of which will be 5 next month). I picked up the baby (10 months) from the floor where he had been shoving himself around. I looked at his outfit I had just put him in. I saw a dirt circle on his stomach-obviously aquired from the floor by the front door. I was late (I get there early to do refreshments and set up). I figured he was clean enough, covered it with a bib and left. I left a post it on the front door (it helps me remember) to clean that part of the floor when I got home.

    11 years ago I would have died before letting my daughter out that way

  14. Ha! When I was too tired to get up, I would send my step-daughter. “Go check and see if your brother is still breathing.” Outsourcing insanity.

  15. Giving you a virtual high-five, Sister! Who needs baths when you have a perfectly good water hose outside?!

  16. I really like the way you made the stages, very relatable speaks directly from the heart and I’m sure millions of mothers are nodding right now in unison. :)

  17. I don’t know if it’s because of the number of kids I have had in a short amount of time, but I have traits from all of the phases. I’m a mom of 4 kids 3 1/2 and younger. My youngest is just 12 days old. :)

    But, oh have I changed since my 1st was born! It makes me laugh to think back. My sister just had her 1st, and I laugh to myself (not in front of her!) at how she acts because I feel like I’m looking at myself from just a couple years ago.

  18. Umm… check. Check. Check. Check! Were you peeking in my windows??

    I cough*MAY*cough have told my son this evening, “You don’t need a bath tonight… we don’t have church until tomorrow!” Oh and the “biggies” and “littles” is SO true, even though in my house there’s only a whooping 19 months as the split between the “biggies” and the “littles”! AND considering my five year old “little” got into an argument with his seven year old “Biggie” sister a few days ago about whether or not The Hobbit was a true story, I think I’m firmly planted somewhere in the middle of all four!

    Too funny!! 😉 This is why I love your blog, Connie! You aren’t afraid to tell it like it is and make all us readers feel like you’re our super-cool girlfriend sharing ‘war stories’… if only we had time to actually have an adult conversation!

  19. That’s so funny … and true!

    Our ‘wee guy’ (he’s 10, but my ‘baby’) was in Tesco the other day with myself and some of our older kids, and saw a Bugs Bunny DVD. He asked his older sister what on earth *that* was …. He’d never seen Bugs Bunny!!

    I reckon he will survive life, though his siblings have decided he’s desperately deprived 😉


  1. […] I shared the different stages of motherhood I have been through, and many of you could relate to one or more of those […]