This refreshingly candid parenting book puts mothers--not children--center stage. Ann Pleshette Murphy provides a reassuring, wise, and often wildly funny mix of anecdotes and advice as she describes the seismic shifts in women's lives and identities from pregnancy through a child's graduation. She draws on countless conversations with mothers and with child development experts she has met as the parenting contributor to "Good Morning America" and as the former editor-in-chief of "Parents" magazine. The mother of two, Murphy freely shares her own trials and errors in stories that will have readers laughing in relief and recognition. Written with wit, warmth, and unfailing empathy, "The 7 Stages of Motherhood "is an exuberant and indispensable guide to making the most of motherhood. Words of Wisdom for Every Stage of Motherhood _ Forget the "mothering comes naturally" myth: "And don't be afraid to ask for help "_ Avoid keeping up with the Joneses: Give your kids what they need, not everything they want. _Know whenyou're in the wrong movie: "Don't try to cast your kids in a remake of your childhood. "_Give yourself credit for finding Lego Man's hair: "Little acts of caring matter more to your kids than getting through your to-do list "_ Be a mother, not Mother Teresa: " When you neglect your own needs, you shortchange your kids "