You’ve heard it takes a village, right? Well, it may not take a very big village. But we all need help from time to time in this thing called motherhood. We each have our group of friends that we cling to during those discouraging days and complain to on those days of potty training catastrophes. So you have your inner circle of friends. But do you have a mom mentor?
I do, and I can’t imagine (OK, actually I can, and it kinda scares me) doing my motherhood thing without my mom mentor. Seriously, she’s that good. I actually have a handful of mom mentors that play different roles in my life.
I have the mentor that I call up after I’ve said something really awful to one of my sweet, innocent kids.
Like the time I told my kid I was going to farm him out to another family for a few weeks so he knew how privileged he was to live under my roof. He cried. I cried. I apologized, and then I called my mom mentor and confessed to her what I said to my child. She assured me that he would forgive me, and I hadn’t permanently damaged his self-esteem. I love her mentorship because she lets me be honest and human and confess my mom sins to her without fear of judgement and criticism.
Then there’s the mom mentor that speaks grandmotherly wisdom into my life.
She looks at life from a different lens. She has grown children and a bundle of grandkids. Her young motherhood days are in a distant past for her, and she reminds me to focus on the important things about being a mom…like making sure my kids know they are loved and creating sweet memories for them to grow up with. I love her mentorship because she helps me to think about the things in life that really matter and that someday I’ll be looking back and wishing I could do it all over again.
And then there’s my medical mom mentor who assures me that what my kid is doing really is normal.
Yes, kids eat dirt and bugs and touch their poop. And kids are very curious about their bodies. No, I really can’t rock and hold my baby too much. They will eventually learn to sleep through the night, not pee their pants, and wash their hands with soap. I love her mentorship because she lets me ask all my crazy mom questions. She doesn’t screen my calls or laugh at me. Instead, she encourages me and tell me I’m a good mom. She reminds me that I do a great job of taking care of my kids — that they are loved and valued under my roof.
Finally, there’s the mom mentor who is my catch-all.
She was there for me when I went through severe postpartum depression after my third baby. When I needed it, she let me cry and cry as she held and burped my baby after I breastfed. She came to my home and sat with me while my kids ran around outside — just to give me a bit of adult conversation. She celebrates my mom triumphs and weeps with me in my mom hardships. This woman knows my children and husband and loves them like her own. She has fed and babysat my kids. She has spoken words of truth and wisdom into my life. I can count on her to me as I share my fears and anxieties about motherhood. She doesn’t say I’m crazy or overbearing. She tells me I’m a good mom, and she checks in on me. I love her mom mentorship because she lets me be who I am and doesn’t judge me for my mistakes and shortcomings. I can be real and honest with her, and she doesn’t shame or ridicule me. Her presence in my life makes me a better mom.
Every mother needs a mom mentor (or four!) in her life. And even though my husband is a rockstar, it’s important to have other women who have walked the same road that I’m on. Each one of my mom mentors encourages and supports me to be better, try harder, and love my kids fully every day. I hope you have someone like that in your life. If you don’t? Go find a mom mentor — there are lots of awesome choices out there!