I have had the immense honor of mentoring people personally and professionally ever since I was a teenager (so, for a really long time … ). I have had wonderful experiences being mentored along the way by some incredible people, as well. Every one of these experiences and relationships has shaped who I am today, whether I was the mentor or the mentee.
Think back to when you were a new mom. Do you remember holding a crying baby and wondering what you were doing wrong? Or not knowing when it was safe to introduce table foods? Or what in the world to do when they come to you with their first broken heart?
Perhaps you, like me, needed a mentor.
Don’t get me wrong … I have a wonderful mom and friends, other family, etc … but some of those relationships only helped with pieces of my scrambled motherhood puzzle. Once I went all-in and looked for a woman to 200% mentor me in this journey, it was a game-changer, and I’m so thankful I have been able to help many other moms since.
You see, I’m a very unlikely mom.
I became a mom to 5 kids ages 4-12 at the young age of 27. I didn’t have all of the years leading up to their ages to help me form a solid foundation. I had only had prior experience with kids middle school aged and older. I needed HELP much like any other new mom does … and I needed it, STAT!
No matter where you find yourself in your motherhood journey, we are all in need of mentors and mentoring, and I hope this article helps you and encourages you to find yours. This deep connection is quickly becoming a lost art … why not revive it for you and your people in the new year? I think that’s a lovely plan!
A few things to know about mentoring:
- Mentoring makes us better women
- Great mentoring isn’t difficult; it just takes intentionality!
- SAFE friends can be our mentors
- Once you are ready, pay it forward by mentoring a mom yourself.
When you are in the thick of it, knowing someone is there for you makes all the difference. We shouldn’t do this mothering thing alone, friends. Take this first step to learn how to find your tribe and your mentors.
WHAT IS MENTORING?
Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship between an experienced and wise teacher and leader (Mentor) who shares their knowledge, skills, and experience with a less experienced person (Mentee) to assist in their growth in any and all areas of their lives.
Many people only talk about mentorship in the “career” sense, but I see it as being a multi-dimensional relationship. I believe that for lasting growth to be possible, you must guide and be guided through more than just your career, and grow as a person in general, and this doesn’t always have to be the same person. You can have more than one mentor at any given time, but I do highly suggest that you be selective about whom to have as a mentor and the number of mentors you partner with at the same time.
For example, it would be appropriate to have mentors for your career and spiritual growth at the same time, but not multiple mentors for the same area of focus at the same time. What is great is if your career mentor can also mentor you in other areas of growth in your life simultaneously. Vice versa, if you are the mentor— you also want to be careful and selective about how many mentees you have during the same time period in order to give them all what they need.
Together, the mentoring partners need to agree on:
- The duration of the mentoring period
- The contact plan— regular meetings, phone, email contact
- Frequency of contact
- Length of meetings
- Locations of meetings
- Content of meetings
- Expectations of each other
THE PLAN FOR GROWTH
Goal setting is an integral aspect of the mentoring relationship. The mentee should talk openly about their vision for their future, aspirations, where they are now, and where they want to go.
With all of this in mind, the mentor will help the mentee develop a plan about their career, or life, or both with goals, targets, and time frames in mind. During this process, the mentee will reflect on their experiences, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and determine how mentoring can help them progress in these areas. This may involve building new skills and confidence, new ways of thinking or working, and wider networking that could open the doors to further:
- Personal/ spiritual development
- Innovation/ dream casting
- Career change/ life stage change
- Connections/ relationships
- Other areas of growth
At the end of the mentoring process, the mentee should feel strengthened and empowered by the experience, see things with greater clarity, have a defined career or personal path, and continue independently in a positive and healthy direction.
Whether you are a mentor or a mentee (or hopefully both!), I hope that you will make this a priority in your life for the new year. Not only will you WIN from it, but every single life you touch will, too.
I’d love to hear about your mom-mentoring experiences below or how you think this could benefit you in the months to come. Leave me a comment and tell me all about it!