Mentoring Moms: 12 Tips
As a mother, you may have experienced many trials and tribulations that might serve as inspiration for other mothers. You may have even found ways to streamline some aspects of motherhood. Perhaps you’ve found ways to relax and communicate more effectively with your family. A excellent mentor mother may come from any of these backgrounds.
It’s not about you, or being flawless, to be a mentor to another mother. It’s about affirming and preparing a mother who isn’t as far along as you to face the hardships of motherhood via sharing, encouraging, and aiding.
You Must Be Ready to Mentor
The most important need for assisting other mothers is honesty and a sincere desire to assist another mother in overcoming challenges you have conquered. Being able to relate to a mentee’s struggles means being open and honest about your own, so don’t be afraid to talk about your parenting fails.
You should also be a good listener, have empathy, not pass judgment, and be congenial. If you have what it takes to connect with one another, you’ll know it. Get ready to cheer for and encourage your prospective mentee.
It should be made clear that you are not a licensed counselor, doctor, or therapist. Just another mother here to provide a helping hand. Acknowledging the need for outside assistance is also crucial. This may be for someone who shows signs of suicidality, suffers from crippling anxiety, is under extreme stress, or has other major psychological or physiological health requirements.
Get together for some light conversation over coffee or something like. By doing so, you may ease into conversation and enjoy each other’s company. Assure her that she can trust you with her secrets. Talk about how often you’ll communicate and if it will be by phone, email, or both.
Learn about her family and her kids. How does a typical day go for her? Tell me about the dynamics between the kids and what they’re like as individuals. What this reveals about the familial dynamic is interesting. Inquire about their religion and where they attend service. Try probing her about her interests and hobbies to get a sense of what she enjoys doing in her spare time. Find out how she keeps her house in order and how she cooks by asking her questions. This sheds light on how she and her loved ones spend their time.
Take the time to hear her out, and then talk about the things she worries about or enjoys most. An example of an open-ended question that may be used for this purpose is “What made you smile this week?” In other words, “What are some of the challenges you face?”
Always Be Yourself
Don’t make assumptions about her feelings or how her life is. Get her to talk about how she’s feeling and the good and bad things happening in her life. Share with her some of the challenges you’ve had as a parent and the resources that have helped you keep going.
When a mentee learns that her mentor is real, has persevered through adversity, and approaches life with optimism, she feels a greater sense of belonging. Expound upon your belief in God and the power of prayer and believing in Him. That God has worked in your life as a mother encourages her to accept that you may not have all the answers. Tell her about some of your most embarrassing moments, and you’ll both be able to chuckle at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learned from your previous blunders while bonding over your shared experience. Maintain a low conversational volume and provide input only when it will be useful.
Create a Plan of Action and a Long-Term Vision
Get to know your mentee by inquiring about her aspirations. Does she have an idea of what she wants her home life to be like? How true to life is her fantasy, exactly? Can she turn a fantasy into something more grounded in reality?
Have the vision inform the end objective, but be sure to break it down into manageable chunks along the way. Talk about your own aspirations, not only those of the family. Self-care for a woman includes nurturing her imagination and motivation. It may be anything as short-term as reading the Bible cover-to-cover or as long-term as starting a company or getting a degree, or as simple as reading through the Bible or completing a project or hosting the family Christmas party at her house. In any case, you should encourage her and work with her to divide the task into smaller chunks.
Two factors serve as change agents. One is to hit bottom and realize you need to make changes, and the other is to have hope for what the future holds. An ideal or goal is a considerably more powerful inspiration. If her objective is more realistic, like cleaning up the home, encourage her to document the current state of affairs, look for an inspiring image to use as inspiration, and make a strategy. This will show her that she is making progress.
Pay Attention While Listening
Pay attention to your mentee’s facial expressions and body language to gauge her emotional state. To actively listen is to pay attention, consider what is being said, and then reply appropriately. Make some notes to help you remember important details about your hopes, fears, and accomplishments. It’s important to use your eyes and ears together while listening. You may either rephrase what your mentee stated or ask her to clarify her meaning if you are confused. That is useful for making things more clear.
Demonstrate sympathy and encouragement when it’s called for. Communicate your agreement by nodding your head and saying things like “yes” and “I understand.” Listen for changes in the mentee’s tone or emphasis.
Take in what the mentee has said, share it, and think about it. You may either give her a tale and some advice on what could work, or you can ask her what she would like to hear. While some are looking for guidance, others just want someone to talk to.
Admit her with open arms
A woman seeks approval and reassurance that she is doing a good job as a mother. Her house may be a disaster, but that’s just how it is with kids. Tell her you understand that not every day is ideal, but that together we can make progress toward your goals if you set realistic expectations and work within those boundaries.
A mother’s mood may change dramatically in a short amount of time, from elation to shame, because of anything as little as a burnt supper, a missed meeting, or the criticism of a kid (and thus her mothering skills). A mentee mom needs a mentor mom who can encourage her and tell her that these low points are common in parenthood, but that love, confidence in God, and the embraces of her children are the true measures of success, not occasional setbacks. Acknowledge her efforts and encourage her to avoid dwelling on the criticisms of others or her own self-doubt. She has the ability to apologize for her actions and accept forgiveness.
Realizing What Your Mentee Needs You to Do
You may gain an open mind and a sympathetic heart by praying Proverbs 2:2. The most pressing needs of your mentee mother will likely vary over time, so it’s important to keep an eye out for those shifts as you provide support.
Some categories may be used to organize the most important requirements for a mother:
- Instilling moral fiber and unwavering faith in the next generation
- Requires superior time management and organization skills
- Improving Conversations with Spouse/Support System and Children
- Self-care and stress reduction
- Expressions of creativity, both with and without kids
- Spiritual requirements
- Comfortable and confident as a mother
- Mothers, like everyone else, have individual requirements:
- A sense of belonging and confidence that she is succeeding as a parent.
- Paying attention so she may sense her loved ones’ affection for her
- Reassuring her that her life has meaning and that her efforts will bear fruit.
- Reassuring confidence; a sense of being protected and cared for; this may include a faith in God’s everlasting care
- Confirmation that her loved ones value and respect her
- To show her how much you care, both with words and touch.
- Adventure, which motivated her to do something different and exciting with her loved ones.
Give her attention and praise
Invest in your mentee by spending time with her to encourage and inspire her. It’s common for mothers to feel that no one appreciates their efforts, even when they know they’re giving their children the finest care possible. Take note of what she is doing and listen carefully.
Sometimes mothers are too focused on themselves to provide enough care for their offspring. It’s a desperate plea for assistance that points to underlying problems. It’s possible that she needs to see a doctor or therapist about it. Sometimes all she needs is reassurance that her efforts will be worthwhile in order to keep caring for her family.
A mentor’s role also includes assisting her mentee in taking action in accordance with what they’ve learned. Doing so involves checking in with her to see how things are going after you’ve discussed potential changes in the past.
The assistance of others is also useful. Sharing your own parenting fails, offering recommendations, and proclaiming that God is our continual support are all made simpler when you use a mom Bible study like Growing a Mother’s Heart, which delves into Scriptures applicable to parents and offers bloopers, as well as practical solutions.
Looking after Oneself
Moms should be in excellent physical and mental shape. This includes activities like physical training, healthy nutrition, and emotional support. Because of the extra work involved, a single mother may need to hire a babysitter or wait until the kids are in bed to focus on her own needs.
Shopping, getting a haircut or a manicure, and going on dates with your spouse or a trusted friend are all examples of self-care activities. A few minutes more to spend on the phone or online is a nice perk, too. The easiest way to do this is to plan activities that will keep the kids occupied so that you can have those conversations. It’s helpful if kids know a few hand signals, such as “I’m hungry” or “I need to be held,” in case they need to disturb mom while she’s on the phone or otherwise occupied. Then, perhaps, mom will stop what she’s doing, take notice, and know she’s doing the right thing.
Take Note of the Obstacles
Keep an eye on the recurring issues and roadblocks that lead your mentee to give up on your suggestions. It’s important to talk about these issues and try to find answers. Does mom give up because she thinks no one notices or appreciates her efforts? She may need to gather her loved ones for a meeting to explain the help she’s looking for. If nobody cleans up, we may have to go to paper plates and plasticware, or we may have to do without the television if it isn’t wiped out. You should talk about how she has to be ready to follow through and enforce regulations. Children will become dominant if adults give in to their constant complaining.
When the mentee is experiencing difficulties due to financial issues, you should do everything you can to assist them get the aid they need. Perhaps she should seek assistance, alter her spending patterns, seek out new sources of income, or speak with a professional financial adviser. You should listen up if you want to know what causes a mother so much anxiety.
Limits and Guidelines
Define limits for your mentorship. As a mentor, you should give your family the same respect you give your work. Communicate to your mentee your availability and absence.
This also serves as an example for moms when it comes to establishing household limits, such as when mom has to work, when mom needs free time, when mom and kids may play together, and when mom and kids have family time.
Furthermore, you should explain that mentoring is not the place for your family member to air their grievances. It’s time to evaluate her actions and figure out what to do differently. In addition to avoiding constant complaining, it’s healthy to take time to appreciate and praise one another in the family.
Have fun repaying the kindness shown to you by a lady who has mentored or guided you. In Luke 1, Mary goes to see her cousin Elizabeth, who is also expecting a child. Elizabeth’s welcome reflected her enthusiasm for the visit and her willingness to assist her younger cousin. The power of prayer and love will help you succeed.