The 7 Stages of Motherhood - Loving Your Life Without Losing Your Mind by Ann Pleshette Murphy was a great read. I read word for word the first half, until it got more into info about older kids when I started to skim (but fully intend to go back to when my child gets bigger). It was interesting, informative and full of "yes, she totally gets it" sentiments. The book is all about how we go through different phases in our parenting development, alongside our kids' development. The author makes you feel like no matter what you have experienced, it's all normal!
(image from Google)
Some quotes that I especially liked:
"...motherhood is the great equalizer; become a mother and join a sorority that bridges millenia and miles." (page x)
This is so true. Today in the grocery store a mother pulled up her cart to mine and let our two sons, only a couple of months apart, "talk" to one another, while we exchanged "It's so hard with a toddler, isn't it?" and "Yes, he's so active these days! It's really exhausting, still fun though." You instantly become pals with people you'd never ever have talked to before, all over kids. I have several people who I went to high school with and we were not friends, who now we keep in touch because we have something in common in our kids. It's definitely a "club" that you join when you become a mom. It's not exclusive, we do let other members into the club. However, you can't fully appreciate or understand what is happening without having done it yourself. It's just the reality of the experience that motherhood brings. It's nice to have even complete strangers who seem to get it.
"The first few days after you bring your baby home tend to feel slightly surreal. There's the sense of blurred boundaries, of feeling as though you've been turned inside out. Sleep deprivation plays a part, as do hormonal changes, but there's also enormous emotional/psychological fallout from the birth experience." (page 32)
Yup. It's a big change. Surreal is a good word for it.
"Letting go of the expectation that life will soon get back to normal is absolutely critical during this postpartum period. There's nothing 'normal' about days that merge into night, a body that balloons and sags in bizarre and sometimes painful ways, and a heart that pounds equal amounts of passion and panic. Take the pressure off yourself and plan nothing, other than ample time to sleep, eat, feed your baby, and lie in bed with your partner beside you and your little miracle between you. If you manage to take a shower or change out of your spit-up encrusted nightgown, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. Then get back into bed." (page 38)
I completely love this paragraph! It's so true. Giving up expectations and ideas and plans the first month is necessary in order to enjoy it.
This was a great read. I can see myself flipping through this time and again in the future.