The Evolution Of Motherhood

The Evolution Of Motherhood

The evolution of motherhood is something you never realise is happening until you are far enough ahead in the marathon to be able to look back and see how far you have come. How, so far, you have survived.

Back when I was in the trenches of early motherhood, the days with the demanding toddler, sleep deprived, a tiny baby, when we had just moved to a new country where I knew no one. Back in those trenches, I used to look at women who had “stopped” having more kids. I would think to myself – what on earth do you do with your days? I couldn’t imagine my life any farther in the future. The next nappy change or feed, the next nightmare trip to the grocery store with two little girls. Or the next tantrum.

It was like living in a haze. 

At that stage, your  body isn’t really yours and hasn’t been for about three years due to pregnancy, breastfeeding and clinging children. You can’t remember the last time you had an adult conversation about anything other than children – yours or those of the other sleep deprived mums at baby group. You don’t calculate time by day and night, you calculate it by how many hours the kids slept, or how many hours until daddy is home.

In those days your whole word is consumed by the needs of your children. You literally surrender yourself to them. At least for a few years.

When you reach a milestone in parenting.

Now here I am. My youngest turns four tomorrow.

I never refer to her as ‘my baby’, maybe as my ‘last-born’ (an African term I love), but never as, “My baby”. She hasn’t been a baby for years now.

She is constantly frustrated by the fact that she is the youngest and smallest. Yet, she tries her hardest always, fighting any and all barriers and obstructions in her path in order to do and experience everything her big sister does.

Smart, so kind and so loving, she is the cheekiest, cutest little fireball ever. And despite being almost polar opposite to her sister in looks and character, she idolises her big sister (my first-born). Their bond constantly amazing me, especially when I see it shine through even on the days when their fighting is at an all time high!

You know when you’re done!

I knew soon after having my last-born that she was in fact going to be our last child. I just knew. Our family was complete. I didn’t have that urge, that craving, that inexplicable desire to have another child that I had experienced prior to conceiving both my girls. It was gone. I think I was just too tired. Too overwhelmed. I was all tapped out. I’m glad we made that decision, it was certainly the right one for us.

The wheel has turned, and the inevitable evolution of motherhood has happened. And now I am one of those women I used to watch, the one’s I wondered about.

“What do they do all day?”

Well, I’m still needed, despite their claims to the contrary and the constant “I can do it myself”. However, their needs have changed.

Other than the obvious needs such as the feeding, dressing, bathing, driving around etc, I feel their emotional needs are so high right now. I am constantly having to evaluate situations to determine the best way to emotionally support them in a million little ways during their day.

I have to read their mood in the morning so I can tell if they want me to walk them to the door of their classroom that day, or if I must leave them at the gate instead.

When I fetch them from school, I have to read their behaviour as a way of determining whether they had a good day, or a bad day at school without asking them. I could ask them, but there’s no guarantee I’ll get an answer.

As mother’s we can tell in an instant what kind of emotions our child is dealing with – it’s our mumstinct! It is our responsibility to manage those emotions so we can teach them how to do it for themselves. Many a toddler tantrum can be put down to them being unable to process their emotions. As they get older, it does get better, but so much of that depends on us, their parents.

This job of mothering, of parenting, is constantly evolving. We are constantly required to adapt to meet their needs. Every stage or phase requires something more, something different. We grow and adapt as much as they do.

So to my last-born, Happy Birthday sweetheart. Be blessed and stay as sweet as you are always; a little less sass would be nice, but otherwise we’re good!


The Tale of Mummyhood
Monday Stumble Linky


  1. Can I wish your little one a very happy birthday, I found this a powerful and honest read that I could relate to #blogginggoodtime@_karendennis

    1. Thanks Melissa. I appreciate your kind words. My daughter is currently throwing a tantrum because she’s had too much sugar! birthdays are not for the faint of heart!

  2. What a great post! I am also past the “baby stage” (my girls are 6 and 8) but I’m approaching the tween years. Already my 8 year old has mood swings (part of her developmental delay, and also, I suspect, the start of hormones…) so reading the girls gets tougher every day. I completely follow what you’re saying about managing their emotions and reading them without asking. I never get what’s really going on out of my girls. Though there are days when they tell me things without prompting, which I love!

    1. Yes, the unprompted spontaneous sharing of their time away from me is somehow more meaningful than if I had to drraaaag it out of them.
      Thanks for the lovely comment.

    1. I still need my mom. I’m 35. Maybe not need, but want.

  3. Oh such a lovely, lovely post to read. I used to think the same as you, but as my children are growing into feisty little girls I can see now that whilst I’m not warming bottles or blending food, they need me in so many other ways.
    Really loved this – happy birthday to your last-born xxx
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

  4. Very well written….”real”. I enjoyed reading this. My son is 11 months so I have many more milestones ahead of me but for the ones that have passed, certainly a journey of continuous evolution and learning. I love being a mom ❤️

    1. Thanks for the kind comment. Being a mom is a real privilege.

  5. OH yes! I remember those days home with toddler and baby.. where I was tired I could barely function… My boys are now 9, 11 & 13 and it’s such an adjustment that I am not always needed… Just this past year I have started running errands by myself. It is such a weird feeling to be in the store and know my boys are at home. This role of motherhood is always evolving and sometimes I feel like I can not keep up fast enough.

  6. Pingback: My #Instaweek Round-Up: Week 5 – Mom Of Two Little Girls

  7. What a lovely post. I agree that as mother – as have to adapt to suit their needs so to meet in the middle of both egos. It is hard to swallow – but it is for the better. Happy Birthday to your wonderful girl! xx

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

  8. Happy birthday little one! It’s so true that Motherhood constantly changes, we’re just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel after the baby stage and I’m so glad! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    1. Thank you. Yes, many stages. More to come I’m sure.

  9. Happy Birthday little one. My youngest will be three soon and starting pre-school in September and while part of me is sad that the new baby phase of our lives is over, I’m looking forward to new challenges ahead. I just wish it would slow down a little is all!

    1. I wrote a reply and it’s disappeared! It’s a very bittersweet moment moving on from one stage to the next. You’ll be okay. They always are! X

  10. So true, although not something ive really thought about yet as I am still deep in the nappies/breastfeeding/toddler stage with 2 boys who are 18 and 3 months. #stayclassymama

    1. Yes, you are still deep in the trenches love. ?
      The time will come and when it does it feels like shifting gears.
      Hope you remember this post when the time comes. X

  11. I love this post. I feel like I’m at the exact same place as you feeling all of these feelings. My youngest is turning 3 in a couple of months and starting nursery full time. I feel like I have no idea what to do with myself. Do I go back to work? Do I start my own business? Do I stay home and continue being a SAHM? I don’t know. I really don’t. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama and Happy birthday to your little girl

    1. I stayed home – I have a few valid reasons, but I’m guessing selfishness is one of the biggest. Not just mine, but my husband appreciates the fact that I’m available for them 24/7. Blogging fills the gap whilst they’re at school.

  12. Happy Birthday to your “last born”!!!
    We are always needed by our children no matter what age they are!!! Beautifully written!!!

  13. Enjoy every minute of parenthood, is my motto, as they grow up and leave home before you know it, happy birthday to your last born#mondaystumble@_karendennis

I'd love to know what you think. Let me know in the comments below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.