Many others have written about having mom friends. Certainly, having those mommies who are also in the trenches of diapers and sippy cups is so important, but have you considered the value of mom friends of all ages and stages? Have you ever thought about mom mentorship?
If you’ve been a mom for longer than six minutes, then you know you don’t know what you’re doing. All the books and all the websites can give us lots of information but cannot possibly prepare our hearts and spirits for the motherhood adventure. That’s where mom mentorship comes in to play.
Our western, American culture is inherently independent and self-reliant with many positive attributes; however, our society often views relying on others as a weakness.
Long gone are the days when we live in the same village, or even the same house, as our mothers and grandmothers and learn the practical things of life and much more importantly receive the heart training these seasoned women can provide.
I’ve seen a lot of distrust among younger women regarding older women. Sometimes younger women view older women as outdated or somehow ignorant to new findings on child rearing and child health. And to some extent that’s true. Seven years separate my oldest and youngest child, and during those 7 years, it feels like all the baby “rules” have changed. I turned my oldest around in his car seat the day he turned one, like some kind of right of passage. Now apparently you’re supposed to leave them turned around backwards until they’re about 11 ½ years old. I’m guessing on the day I drop my youngest off at high school, I’ll unbuckle her booster seat for her.
So yes, advancements in research and science do happen. And those things are all helpful in protecting our children physically and keeping them healthy. We have now learned that Flinstone vitamins don’t negate a steady diet of Kool-aid and Spaghettios. (Sigh! Does anyone else yearn for the ignorance of the 1980s?)
But let’s not buy into the notion that older people have had their day of usefulness and ought to make way for the young just because of these research findings. Because younger women can benefit tremendously from the wisdom of ladies who have gone before us.
We can sip wine with our mom friends of the same age and stage and bemoan the upcoming flu season. Doing so is right and good. It helps us know we are not alone in this season of life. But we also might just sit around and pool our naivety.
We need mom friends who are further down the road from us. They can give us perspective. They can help us see that our child will not go to college without being potty trained. That baby will sleep through the night at some point. In fact, sooner than we know, she will want to sleep in until noon. Our mom friends of older children or adult children have walked through weaning and teething and separation anxiety, but have also faced adolescence and braces and college tuition.
Mom mentorship can also show us that we are not messing up this mom stuff as much as we think we are. Our mentors see the big picture of motherhood and can remind us that mistakes on any given day do not equate to a complete motherhood failure.
These seasoned moms will have wisdom for us not just for the moment we are in, but for the moments that are yet to come.
I have had the help of many mom mentors. In fact, I go out of my way to make sure I’m hanging around ladies who have traveled this mom road before me. One time when my boys were babies, I was visiting the home of a mom to pre-teens and teens. At one point, her middle-school aged sons got into a disagreement. And she disciplined one of her sons for being prideful. It had never occurred to me before that parents would need to discipline arrogance, but now it makes total sense. The motivation behind almost every struggle is superiority. I deserve my way or what I want, and you don’t. That parenting lesson has been invaluable to me.