Each stage of motherhood presents itself with an opportunity to grow right along with our children. The shifts and seasons of motherhood create spaces to stretch our faith in ways we didn’t think possible. When motherhood shifts, it’s wise to be open to the new beginnings which brought you there.
I found myself embracing the role of mom when my children were babes. I loved that stage. When I dreamt of being a mom, it was that early infant stage up through toddlerhood that stood out the most to me. The knowledge that children grow up was not absent, however, I didn’t really think that far ahead of what those stages would look like.
I have discovered roughly four stages of motherhood and within each one brings about a newness and learning curve for both mom and children. Each stage brings about its unique challenges.
1. Crazy Days of Newness
Those early days of motherhood when you are learning right along with the new person who made you a mother. Everything is new and exciting and exhausting, most likely. This learning phase of what works and what doesn’t is a good time to learn that it’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to do things differently if it’s not working out.
2. The Golden Years
The years between when your children are sleeping through the night, potty trained, and no longer napping and before the ages of 13-14 years old, I call the golden years. These years are full of fun, learning, and a lot of connection with your children. The carefree days of you know where your children are at all times, yet don’t have the physical hands-on care they needed when they were younger. Yet, you don’t have to worry about who they are out with and the late night curfew of teens. When our four older children fit in the category, I remember it fondly. We were setting the stage of pouring into them with Scripture and memories.
3. The Teen Years
The teen years are another shift in motherhood where I found myself starting something new. I was in unfamiliar territory yet again. How do I go from being the boss of these little people to now watching them grow into their own personhood? Shifting my role and letting go of “doing” so much for them took courage as I watched them make their own mistakes. Mamas, this is a tough one. This stage, when you can do no right and feel like you are failing them, not only because you feel it, but because they tell you. My confidence was shaken at many points along the way in motherhood, but more so in this phase. It gets better! See the next phase!
4. Coaching Role
This is where things come full circle. After you survive the teen years, you hopefully get to experience this transition of coaching and mentoring your older teen into those young adult years. Motherhood shifts into a mentoring role. No longer am I in charge as they become more independent, making their own choices in life and dealing with real-life responsibilities. I’ve had a glimpse of this with our oldest as I help him through some life choices and our son who is about to head to college. We are walking alongside them to help guide them.
You can choose to change. Change your mind. Change your discipline techniques, your rules, your philosophies. Life is not so rigid that once we make a choice we are stuck with that forever. I have our faith as our foundation and our choices are rooted in building godly character in our children. However, HOW we do that will change and shift depending on experience and wisdom, the personality and needs of each child, and the stage in life we are with each child.
I can assure you, each child is unique and we have to adjust our styles to each one. This motherhood thing is a wild ride. I’m in each of these stages right now all at the same time. It has its challenges for sure, but I wouldn’t trade it.
- What My Toddlers Taught Me
- Motherhood: What I Know Now
- When Motherhood Shifts
- 3 Prayers for Your Children
This brief essay is a supplement to our Facebook video series in the Facebook group Being Brave dot Faith which discusses the same topics more in-depth. You can watch the videos by joining the group HERE.
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