The authors build on prior research on the motherhood wage penalty to examine whether the career penalties faced by mothers change over the life course. They broaden the focus beyond wages to also consider labor force participation and occupational status and use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women to model the changing impact of motherhood as women age from their 20s to their 50s (n¿=¿4,730). They found that motherhood is ¿costly¿ to women's careers, but the effects on all 3 labor force outcomes attenuate at older ages. Children reduce women's labor force participation, but this effect is strongest when women are younger and is eliminated by the 40s and 50s. Mothers also seem able to regain ground in terms of occupational status. The wage penalty for having children varies by parity, persisting across the life course only for women who have 3 or more children.