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My Top 5 Motherhood Milestones

Photograph by Getty Images

I’ve watched my children hit milestone after milestone—teeth have come in, and cribs have gone out. I have celebrated with that bittersweet feeling that is so much a part of my motherhood. There’s the joy that my healthy, beautiful children are thriving, and there’s the sadness that their days of being my babies are numbered.

As they’ve grown, so have I—right alongside them I have reached milestones that no one else notices, but I still celebrate them with gusto and gratitude. Today I am celebrating my top five motherhood milestones, as each of them has taken me to the next level as a mother, just like my kids keep reaching the next levels as children.

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1. No Longer Obsessed With Sleep. In the early days of my motherhood, I could not imagine a day when I wouldn’t be obsessed with sleep: my children’s sleep, my sleep, other people’s sleep. That day finally arrived, and I was shocked to find myself obsessing about something other than sleep. (Turns out, when I get enough sleep, I have just enough energy to obsess about the size of my thighs.)

2. No Longer Afraid of Being Judged. This milestone may be one of my favorites. Early on, I was insecure about every single aspect of my mothering, from nursing to working to discipline and diet. I lived with a quiet, persistent fear that other people were judging me and that I was falling short. Then, one day I was in the grocery store and my daughter threw an epic tantrum over a Hello Kitty cookie. I took a deep breath, grabbed a copy of US Magazine to peruse and waited for it to pass. Not until I got into the car did I realize that I never once worried what other grocery store patrons were thinking of me. I simply forgot to worry about being judged, and I never looked back.

I can relax a little when my kids are coloring or playing school or having a snack.

3. Let ‘Em Work It Out. Having two kids who are only 18 months apart means I’ve witnessed countless arguments over sharing or the lack thereof. For years I jumped in to negotiate, arbitrate and placate those situations. Then, one day I didn’t. I sat back. I sipped my tea. I gave them a chance to work it out. I didn’t do or say anything. That was the first day I ever let my kids work through conflict on their own. From that day forward, I learned to intervene only when blood or weapons are drawn.

4. Learned to Enjoy The Quiet. This one was hard. When my kids are playing quietly, I have a hard time relaxing. I am so used to be “on guard” as if I have to be ready to race into a battle. But slowly, I am learning that I can relax a little when my kids are coloring or playing school or having a snack. They don’t need me to hover anymore (if they ever did), so I am learning to back off and do my own thing, even in their presence.

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5. Using My Words. Oh, the joy of being able to use logic with my children and ask for what I need. I had no idea that one day I would be able to hold my hand over the phone and say, “Mommy needs one more minute to finish her conversation, so please be patient.” I thought I would always have to drop everything for them. But now, I have learned how to ask them to wait for me to finish what I am doing or to give me space to do what I need to do.

What motherhood milestones are you celebrating?

Image via Getty

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