Motherhood is the ultimate transformation, a powerful and thrilling metamorphosis. Yet the vast majority of parenting books focus on the how-tos of baby and child care, not on the care or development of mothers. Ann Pleshette Murphy—the former editor of Parents magazine, current parenting contributor to Good Morning America, and herself the mother of two—looks at the emotional lives of mothers, at how we change and grow from the moment we get pregnant to the day we watch our kids graduate from high school.
The 7 Stages of Motherhood urges women to reflect on the seismic shifts they undergo at each stage of their children’s lives and to focus on their own evolution. Only by doing so, says Murphy, can we give children the best of ourselves. Many new moms assume that once things “get back to normal,” they’ll jump right back on their pre-baby path. But there’s no going back, according to Murphy, and that’s actually good news. Each stage of motherhood has its own challenges and opportunities. Motherhood forces us to hone muscles we never knew we had; to question our choices and goals; to reshape our relationships with family, friends, our spouses; and, most important, to rethink who we are and where we’re going. There’s as much circling, sliding, falling back as there is surg-ing ahead—and Murphy provides exactly the encouragement women need to overcome obstacles and celebrate their strengths. Writing with wit, warmth, and unfailing empathy about the challenges mothers face at each stage, Murphy offers insightful advice and gentle reassurance, showing moms how to make the most of their lives as they raise their children.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with leaders in the field, a wealth of personal experience, a decade at the helm of Parents magazine, and, of course, countless conversations with other mothers, Murphy offers women invaluable advice about how to cope and how to thrive along with their children. She identifies periods of particular intensity in a mother’s life and provides indispensable tips about how to manage at each stage, from the roller-coaster ride of early childhood through the ambiguities of adolescence and the tumult of the teen years. The 7 Stages of Motherhood is an exuberant, joyful, not-to-be-missed journey, full of life-changing insights and affirming wisdom and support: a buoyant contribution to the literature of maternity and self-discovery.