If you have read any of my blogs, you know I am a firm believer in understanding our children. Child development is a passion. Knowing what to expect from the 2 year old will save many unrealistic expectations and worries. The same applies to us as mothers.
I often remark to women that the mothering job is a seasonal one- We get to love, cherish, nurture, guide and release.
You will be able to relate to some if not all of these stages and if your darling is brand new, read this as a cautionary tale.
Stage one- first baby comes after having read all there is to read- I discover baby girl has not read this same book- Yikes!
Stage two-having to tell my childbirth story too often- I suppose it’s a way of processing and normalizing. (Given that it’s been almost 30 years ago, no one needs to hear it now.)
Stage three- Nursing woes, returning to work or realizing you cannot leave this sweet baby
Stage four- Poop color, solid foods, “is this normal?” becomes a common question
Stage five- picking a preschool, baby girl needs a sibling, really? Fitting in a pregnancy.
Stage six- No one told me it would be so amazing, so hard, so fatiguing, so responsible, so much!! Mother bear is alive. Are these tears of joy or exhaustion?
Stage seven- Preschool moms- comparing, judging, dieting, jogging with the kid and the dog?? Insecurity wrapped in a tidy package of yoga pants and baby weight. Play dates are a thing!
Stage eight-Considering kindergarten- kids can be cruel, time to move to a bunker in Montana, less cuteness more will, I have no control.
Stage nine- Dance lessons, soccer team, brownies, my life is spent in the car.
Stage ten- Too much activity- time to cut back- which do we cut, add in piano lessons.
Stage eleven- Eight years into mothering and I am exhausted, time to choose their future.
Stage twelve- Cookie sales, ticket books for fund raising, she has a gift of music, adding in violin, I must be nuts.
Stage thirteen- News flash! I have neglected my body, mind and spirit and I am a bit lost. Oxygen mask time- if I cannot breathe, I am no use to these kiddos.
Stage fourteen- I cannot sustain this pace( and have a job)- something’s gotta give- Girl scouts loses out, no more cookie sales, hallelujah!!
Stage fifteen- Somehow we have gotten to middle school and the cute one has been replaced by a snarling, moody girl/woman. Fasten your seat belt- it’s a bumpy ride.
Stage sixteen- So few years left, must go into overdrive to insure the health and happiness of these precious ones. Cherishing the car rides, captive time.
Stage seventeen- High school drama hasn’t changed, learners permit, school dances, social media, is she equipped to be in this crazy world? College applications- mine or hers?
State eighteen- Graduation is here- future looking uncertain- technically an adult, moving on to college, mothering day to day is replaced by face time. My heart is confused.
A bit of advice- capture the moments. Enjoy each day, although long, the years are short. You will blink and they will be grown.
Being a mom is a great calling and I am privileged to have two grown daughters who taught me what it is to love unconditionally and of whom I am most proud and two granddaughters who are the light of my life.