Stage 1: Me, have kids? Really?

Your biological alarm goes off. Every baby is unbeliveably cute. Am I ready for kids? They are pretty darn cute. Why not? Plus, making babies is quite fun!

Phase 2: Heavy with Child

You check your calendar to see that your period is late. Oh my. This really could be happening. Your heart beats faster at the thought of having a baby on the way. Your bladder pushes you to go to the bathroom as you feel a kick in your stomach.

Flash forward a few months. The kicks, elbows, backaches, and swollen ankles are part of your daily routine. Gross! Varicose veins. What happened to your body?

Baby arrives with loud fan fare. You swear at your husband and swear you can’t take the pain of giving birth ever again. You spot her cute grin and your heart melts.

Phase 3: Creating a “first” for every occassion.

Sleep is a long lost art. Your nipples kill and you are can’t stand the endless dieting. Despite the discomfort your baby is worth every moment. She smiles at discovering her little toes. She tastes them. You get the bottle because she must be hungry.

A long list of first time events unfolds. She sits, crawls, stands, and walks to you all on her own. She can eat solid food and go to the potty. You are filled with immense pride. That is, until she has a tantrum, but the tantrum is only temporary.

The television takes place of fun, stories and games.

Your baby hits the academic world. You know she is ready, but will miss her.

Phase 4 Playgrounds, parties and alphabets.

How fast they change from being cuddly babies to young, independent, school kids. In some English private schools they even wear a uniform with cap and tie (for the boys)!

Toilet jokes – everything and anything to do with pooping and peepee is absolutely hilarious!

Common “firsts” evolve to the first best friend and the first time facing rejection. She loves to run around the playground and ends up with bumps and scrapes. She realizes that life is not always fair.

How hard it is to let them go – but you can’t protect them from everything.

Stage 5: She hits the books.

The subject of play turns to math and english. She is a good student, but some students are not. You are lucky to have a smooth academic experience ahead of you.

Even so, there are always the little events to remember – All she wants for Christmas is her two front teeth (along with Barbie and a puppy dog!)

Time too for rules and chores, they’re not your little babies anymore!

Phase 6: Almost a teenager

Girls will be girls and boys will be boys – and never the two shall mix. Well, why would they? The girls are all into pink and giggle too much – and the boys are just too cool for such silliness.

Your personal style will not be cool no matter what. No one wears the clothes you have in your wardrobe and your daughter will tell you this every day.

Your daughter says popular words that you don’t understand.

The training bra and makeup come on. Puberty wreaks havoc on voices.

Stage 7: The opposite sex suddenly looks attractive.

Boys and girls discover the attraction to each other. They wonder if anyone has a crush on them.

Suddenly too, your precious child, whom you taught everything, knows more than you. In fact, you apparently, know nothing, and they knows everything!

Parents are out, friends are everything. So is music and fashion. And late nights. “Aw mum, why do I have to be back so early – everyone else is staying until 3 am!” Oh yeah? Are they really?

But, every now and then, you can have an amazing conversation with your new young adult – as long as you aren’t trying to lecture them.

Your daughter has become an adult with goals, aspirations, and endless energy.

Phase 8 (well, who said I could count?)

So they’ve left home – but they are still your little darlings. Your worries and hopes for them continue.

“I’ll love you, forever. I’ll like you, for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be” – Robert Munsch

Life is short. Enjoy moments with your children whenever you can.