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The 7 Stages of Motherhood: Making the Most of Your Life as a Mom

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  123 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 7th 2004 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2004)
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I didn't rate this book because I didn't finish reading it. It didn't seem to have anything new or revealing to say. I keep hoping to find a book that reflects more of how I feel about motherhood, or encourages me to see it in a valuable new way. Not having much luck. The reason I quit reading this book is the same reason I hate going to baby showers. We don't seem to have the right vocabulary to talk about being mothers. Instead, we reduce it to awful cliches that either fail to do it justice ...more
May 26, 2009 Nikki rated it liked it
The last stage of the book is when the kids are about to leave the house. I really have to disagree with that thought. I would at least say that for me there is at least a stage 8 or 9 stage. The 8th stage being relying on my mom to help me through college and being there to support me in deciding a career path. The 9th stage being becoming a grandmother I rely more on my mom now for advice with my daughter than I ever have. In my opinion this book just stopped too early in the stages of ...more
The best thing about this book is that the idea of writing it is what enabled Murphy's children to have a parent around more of the time. That's not me being snippy - towards the end of the book she talks about how we are judged on our parenting and yes I'd agree that is mostly a bad thing with an overfocus on outcomes rather than process. But I do believe there is a lot in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis quotation that if you bungle raising your children nothing else you do well really matters ...more
Feb 18, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grabbed this book on a whim at the library, and I am very glad I did. Although I could only personally relate to stages 1-3 (I am currently in stage three of motherhood: Letting Go: The Toddler Years, One and Two), I very much enjoyed Murphy's insights into the stages that I will eventually be entering. The forecast is greatly appreciated, since, upon first learning that my husband and I had conceived, I really had no idea what I was in for.

I could definitely relate to stage 1 - Altered State
Feb 18, 2012 Lain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Pleshette Murphy turns her vast skills as a mother (of two) and writer (former editor of Parenting magazine) into this filled-to-the-brim book. In a refreshing take on parenting tomes, Murphy focuses on the mother instead of on the child.

I found the early sections to be full of "oh my gosh, I can relate" moments as I laughed and nodded along with Murphy's personal tales as well as the anecdotes from hundreds of women, and I made mental notes of her suggestions in the sections for parents of
Aug 22, 2013 Meagan rated it it was amazing
Although I didn't necessarily agree with everything the mother who wrote this book said, I truly appreciated this book for all that it was. Her honesty was exactly what I needed. It was so rewarding to share her experiences because as the mother of a toddler and one on the way, I felt like I wasn't alone in my struggles. Not only did I receive assurance for the past and encouragement for the present, but I also got a glimpse of my future with my own children and some of the struggles we may or ...more
Sep 30, 2015 Colleen rated it really liked it
I would say depending on where you are at in "motherhood" is definitely going to impact how much you will enjoy this book. I have an almost 3 year old and am pregnant with my second child. Having already gone through the newborn/toddler phase it was nice to be able to look back with my perspective and to be reminded of what is coming. The book has fabulous references to many other parenting books which I have marked to read. My favorite part of the book was the perspective it gave me for ...more
Jan 17, 2009 Cheri rated it really liked it
As a not-yet-mother, I have been reading "mom" books voraciously to get a glimpse of what to expect. Most fall into 3 categories: the uber-mom, the anti-mom, or the feminist-mom. The 7 Stages of Motherhood is better than all 3: it's like having a conversation with a wise and down to earth friend that's been there, done that.

Ann Murphy manages to deftly move from one chapter to the next, weaving in her own experiences with those of the women she interviews. Her voice is warm and clear, elucidati
Mar 29, 2012 Kayce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish this book. I listened through about ages 6-10. The main theme of the book is be a mom how you want to be a mom, don't stress about being perfect, and take care of yourself. These are good things to hear, but I also felt like there was a strong undercurrent of "this is how you be a perfect mom" that really undercut the message of the book. Additionally, the author is an editor of a major magazine and still has serious issues repeating words. If I heard the word "ambivalent" one ...more
Jul 02, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, nonfiction
This is one of those books to read when you need some reassurance about how you're doing as a parent. The author offers practical advice, but also shares stories and anecdotes that help you relate to your own parenting joys, trials and tribulations. It's not a sit-down-and-read-all-the-way-through-in-one-sitting or read-it-once-and-stick-it-on-the-shelf-to-gather-dust book. You will find yourself gravitating toward this book at each of the defined stages.
Trish Boese
Jan 22, 2016 Trish Boese rated it it was ok
2* I started out enjoying this book, enjoying the ideas to make the most of the motherhood journey through each and every stage. However, it became obvious as the book progressed that the author and I have very different goals and completely different parenting styles when it comes to training our children through the adolescent and teen years. I recommend the first half of the book but not the second half!
Apr 15, 2015 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-audio-book
I liked this book. It didn't go beyond the teen years and that was the only thing I was surprised at. I thought 7 stages would include being parents of adult children and growing old as a mother also but I guess that would add way too many stages! She wrote with candor and I thought this book could be very helpful to new mothers of all ages whether you birth a child, adopt one or marry into a family with stepchildren and any other role I might have left out! :)
Jun 18, 2009 Leonie rated it really liked it
Easy to read with great references. Great mix of expert research with case study examples. This gave me a neat framework for getting my head around what I'm getting myself into! (I'm currently in 2nd trimester of pregnancy for 1st child). Great to hear topics talked about that can be taboo. This will be a book I re-read over the next few years.
Grace Smiley
Jul 08, 2009 Grace Smiley rated it it was ok
Best part of this book for me was the extensive bibliography. She had many wonderful quotes from other sources that were great. I related to the book until the middle when the chapters for older children were too far off in my future to garner empathy. I'll pick it up again in a few years when my baby is older.
May 08, 2008 Peggy rated it it was ok
This book was neither inspirational nor helpful. Just a bunch of stories from the trenches of motherhood. The only thing I really got out of it is that the joys and frustrations of motherhood are universal, that we're all in it together, so to speak, and that there is usually somebody out there going through the same things you are.
May 08, 2010 Alissa rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this look at motherhood, which included both insight and advice on how to mother children of different ages. Felt like I was glimpsing at my future once I read the 6 other stages.
A great and inspiring look at motherhood that is grounded in reality and deals with all sorts of topics.
Jemma Z
Sep 29, 2016 Jemma Z rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting, self-help
This is a ggod book to revisit when you are transitioning through different stages. You will be reminded of how far you have come, what you have accomplished, and that your expectations were not always realistic. Invest more time reading about being a mother than you do in reading about pregnancy & childbirth and toy will feel more grounded.
Aug 27, 2015 Heidi rated it liked it
I didn't finish it. I felt like she was saying the same things over and over. I never got to the chapters of the stages my kids are in... which is why I wanted to read this in the first place. But I did like how she wrote about the other stages. I would consider giving this to young/new mothers.
Jan 30, 2013 Erin added it
Shelves: not-finished
The title of this book had me very excited/intrigued...but as I read it, I realized it wasn't what I was looking for. I'm not sure why, but it kind of annoyed me. Not finishing it. There's nothing fundamentally BAD about it. It just bugged.
Feb 18, 2012 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While Murphy touches on several motherhood principles (guilt, guilt, with a layer of guilt on top), I didn't like her writing style at all. I would have expected the editor of Parents magazine to have a better, more accurate vocabulary.
Nicole DM
This book was helpful at the time. When you are the parent of a toddler you need to know that it does eventually end.
Feb 18, 2012 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-re-read
I read the first part of this book when I was expecting, and I would like to continue reading it now that I have a pre-schooler. I found the author to be reassuring and very knowledgeable.
Alison Condliffe
Jan 20, 2014 Alison Condliffe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Enjoyed the idea that motherhood can change, as your children change. Appreciated some of the ideas and personal stories. Bit of a slog through some parts but overall a rewarding read.
Feb 15, 2013 Nina1982 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Insightful book full of warm and emphatic advice. zOnce again made me realize how profoundly unique and at the same time universal motherhood really is.
Feb 18, 2012 Aspasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Instead of yet another book talking about a child's development, this book takes a look at the changes women go through as mothers when their children are between the ages of birth to 18 years.
Feb 18, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read to where it was applicable, toddler stage. Alywas nice to read that I am not alone on this motherhood ordeal. :-) Laughable moments.
Leigha Doerrer
Feb 18, 2012 Leigha Doerrer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love the insights in this book. Author does a great job of describing the ups, downs, tears and laughs of being a mother, through each age-appropriate stage. Highly recommend.
Jan 11, 2016 Breena rated it really liked it
Interesting insights as to how a mother changes when she becomes a mother. Also it helped me realize that the feelings that I have are normal and common -and its ok. :D
Aliese Salmond
Aliese Salmond rated it it was amazing
Jun 09, 2015
Lori Lawson
Lori Lawson rated it liked it
Jan 24, 2013
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