There are many seasons of motherhood, and each one has its own challenges and perks.
I know when I first became a mom, this wasn’t something I even thought of. My mind never really went any further than having a newborn baby.
Maybe it’s because I was young, or because I was kind of flying by the seat of my pants and didn’t do a whole lot of planning.
So I thought it would be helpful for other moms to break down the different stages of motherhood, because if you’re a mom or about to become one, you will eventually experience all of these.
And as with anything in life, you’ll do better when you know what you’re in for and are able to prepare for it.
Seasons of Motherhood
If you’re a new expecting mom, you might have an image in your mind of what your life will be like with a new baby.
You’re sitting there holding your freshly bathed baby in full hair and makeup while dinner is already in the oven.
Um, not likely!
Let me be the first to tell you to get rid of that image and get ready to accept reality!
There will be days when you sponge bathe your baby, don’t even get a shower (sometimes for days!) and dinner is either whatever frozen food you have on hand, what’s in the pantry, or something hubby picks up on the way home.
No matter how much we plan, nothing quite prepares you for motherhood. You pretty much have to experience it for yourself and be ready to adjust your plans as necessary!
Luckily, there are lots of amazing resources these days to help you in your pregnancy and motherhood journey . Sites like What to Expect are really great.
Enjoy your time being pregnant if you can (yes I know…the morning sickness, swollen feet and fatigue don’t necessarily make this an easy feat) and do your best to
brace yourself get ready.
Now if you’re a mom-to-be but this isn’t your first rodeo, then you know what to anticipate.
Still, doing what preparation you can goes a long way.
- Look for ways to save money on baby products (and make sure you take advantage of all the freebies you can get!).
- Let someone throw you a baby shower (yes, even though this isn’t your first baby!)
- Find ways to cut costs if you’re planning on being a Stay at home mom
- Be prepared financially for your new addition.
Being a new mother is the greatest joy there is. But let me tell you what…it’s also super hard!
Here are some tips on what to expect as a new mom:
You will need way more diapers than you thought you would, but less clothing. Babies grow so fast that often they barely wear all of their newborn sized clothing before they’re up in a 3-6 month size. My son was so big at birth (10 lbs, 11 oz) that he didn’t even wear some of his new clothes because he was only in a newborn size for a very short time!
You will likely go through as many outfits a day as the baby does. I can remember changing my shirt so many times as my babies spit up a lot. And yes, I used burp rags and still got spit up on almost daily!
Sleep deprivation is real, and you will think you can’t handle it…but you can. This season of motherhood will pass (okay so it could take anywhere from a year to five or more if I’m being honest) and you will eventually sleep again, I promise!
You’re going to need help. Let the people in your circle who love you do what they can. When they ask you what you need, don’t tell them “oh nothing, I’m fine”….let them come and sit with the baby if you need a shower, or bring you food if you haven’t eaten all day.
Advice will be plentiful, and you’ll get it from friends, family members, neighbors and even strangers. But guess what? You are in control and choose what’s right for your baby. There is more than one way to raise a child, and you’ll find out (usually through trial and error) what works best for you and your baby.
Related: Find out what a new mom actually needs in this post.
As an experienced mom, you might think you have it all down and there’s nothing new for you to learn. And while your kids might be a little older and you’ve likely figured this whole momming thing out, let me tell you that there’s always something to learn.
As your kids graduate to different stages, you will have new experiences, even if you’re not a brand new mom. Finding ways to help you navigate each new phase is important. Check out these parenting tips from the Very Well Family, I think you’ll find them helpful.
Also, it’s very easy to get so wrapped up in taking care of your family that you put yourself on the back burner, especially if you’ve been a mom for awhile. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself too, mama.
Related: Self Care Tips for Moms
More Motherhood Seasons
As a young mom, maybe you’re unsure of what to expect on this journey. I think you’ll find this post from The Abundant Mama on the stages of motherhood eye opening!
My tips for young moms are:
Stick to your guns. Even though you’re young, you know your child more than anyone else. Don’t be talked into something that doesn’t feel right just because a more experienced mom is giving you advice.
Focus on your family. I know when you’re young it might be tempting to still hang out with your friends all the time and have freedom. But when you became a mom, you made the decision to put your family first. No this doesn’t mean you can never go out with your friends. But it does mean that your wants do come after your family’s needs.
Think about the future. I’d even say plan for it. If you don’t, time just flies on by and you don’t do the things you want to do, the way you want to do them. Get out a notebook and plan what you want your life to look like one, five and ten years from now.
Make sure you’re scheduling time alone. This might seem contrary to the statement above about hanging out with friends, but it’s really not. Taking “Me Time” is so important! But the key is, you do have to schedule it around the needs of your family. Don’t ever feel like you’re being selfish taking time for yourself because you are putting your family first. Plus it taking time to do something for yourself actually makes you a better mom.
The thing about us older moms is that we can still be in totally different situations.
Older New Moms, for example, have put off having kids until later in life. Their careers are established, and due to that fact, they’re more likely to go back to work after the birth of their baby.
You might not have as many issues as your younger mom counterparts due to the fact that you’ve had ample time to find out who you are before becoming a mom. You’ve had much more life experience and maybe have done things that younger moms never had the chance to do. So you might not have as many regrets or feelings of longing to have something of your own that many new, young, and even stay at home moms have.
Older Experienced Moms
If your kids are older or even separated by a number of years, you might fall into this category. Older moms have been around the block a time or two. We’re no stranger to tantrums, challenging bedtimes, and picky eaters. We’ve not only come through those phases but we’ve conquered them!
Our kids are tweens, teens and young adults. Or if you’re like me, a little of all. We had our first two children four years apart, then waited six more years to have baby #3, and another three and a half to have baby #4. So in a way, it’s like raising two different families (under one roof!).
Having kids in my twenties and then again in my thirties means I’ve experienced all of these seasons of motherhood. And yes, some I’m still currently in.
One of the best things about being an older mom is being able to look at younger moms and empathize, because you remember what it was like to be in their shoes. Older moms make wonderful mentors, and if you’re lucky enough to have one as a friend, you’re blessed. If you are an older mom, consider befriending a younger mom that you can be a mentor to.
The biggest thing I want to tell you about the Seasons of Motherhood is that they all go by so very quickly.
One day you’re expecting a baby, then they arrive, become toddlers, start school, are teenagers and before you know it….poof, they’re 18 and making their own way in the world (or at least talking about it!)
If you take one thing away from this post, I want it to be this: Enjoy these seasons of motherhood. For one day, each and every season will be a memory.
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