Thursday, 19 April 2012

Mom Mentors Wanted!

In my social and family circles, we are in the thick of a baby boom.  I fall into the 30 – 35 age range, and this is prime time for baby-making. Seems like every few months, there’s a baby shower to attend or a new baby to visit. I’m not complaining – I love it! It’s a blast having friends and family with children of the same age group and it has opened up a whole new world of social activities, discussions, issues, etc… I even find that I have more in common with colleagues at work now that I have a child. There’s no ice-breaker like trading war stories from the parenting trenches.

Not only am I surrounded by other young, first or second time parents, but I’ve come to realize there’s another tier of fellow parents in my life… those with children aged between 8 and 18 years. These are the parents who have been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it. They are still busy parents but they’ve survived the sleepless nights, potty training, daycare dramas and living through everything for the first time. Thank goodness for these parents. They’re the ones who give the best advice and support because they’re not so far beyond parenting young children that they’ve forgotten what it’s like. I love my parents and in-laws but 30 years later, they don’t remember much about raising little ones. They’re probably still trying to recover from the trauma of raising teenagers and paying for weddings, but I digress.

The mid-stage parents, as I like to call them, are the ones who can listen, offer encouragement and tell you “don’t worry, it gets easier.” They have assured me that while I may never sleep the way I did before I had children, one day I will regain some independence. One day, I won’t have to do every single thing for my child. One day, I will be able to go to the bathroom in peace, or find time to exercise or maybe even take up a hobby. They’re the ones with the awesome recipes that kids love, or the great family-friendly vacation ideas and the strategies for dealing with public temper tantrums. Best of all, they’re the ones who don’t try to tell you how to be a parent; they just smile and say “just do whatever it takes to stay sane.”

It got me thinking – wouldn’t it great if there was a “Mom Mentoring” program, a buddy system of sorts? That would be awesome. There’s probably some kind of money to be made in that idea but heaven knows I’m in no position to start up a business now. It could be like Big Brothers and Big Sisters, but for grown-ups with babies! There’s no handbook on parenting (just a lot of overpriced volumes that usually provide useless advice) but a Mom Mentor would be a great thing. Then, once you’ve passed into a comfort zone with your children, you could become a Mom Mentor yourself! 

I could name a handful of mothers that I know that are amazing role models and “super-women”… wonder if any one of them wants to be my Mom Mentor?

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