Meet my friend, Janet Thompson. She is the mentor guru! We all need encouragement from someone who has been there and done that. Her blog below is about being mentored during the season of parenting. Janet has just published a new book on mentoring and is giving away a free copy! To be eligible to receive a free book please leave a comment in the comment section of this blog. One person will be chosen to receive a free book.
With faith, hope, and love,
Mentoring During the Parenting Season
by Janet Thompson
When pregnant with my daughter, I was working with a friend about a month ahead in her pregnancy. Every morning we came to work and exchanged the latest changes in our bodies. She had terrible morning sickness and mine wasn’t as bad, but I knew what to do if it happened because she told me what helped her. She had her baby first, so I knew what to expect when it was my turn. Looking back, I realize she was actually mentoring me, even though at the time we were just two friends having a joyful experience together—one a little ahead of the other in the pregnancy experience.
But then, I stayed home and only worked on weekends, and she went back to work fulltime and had babysitters watch her baby. It was just me and my firstborn baby at home trying to figure out what was “normal” for a baby. That was before the time of Google, computers, and smart phones. I remember saying, “When does a new mom ever get time to take a shower or eat?!”
Today in our mobile society, many new mothers don’t have their family near with experience raising kids to offer wise advice and counsel. Some churches offer parenting classes, but often moms can’t find or afford babysitters to attend those classes, and it’s difficult to cover in a group setting the unique parenting experiences a mother might be facing.
That’s why God gave us His plan for men and women in the church to mentor each other in Titus 2. He talks specifically to women in the mentoring verses Titus 2:3-5.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live,
not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind,
and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
A one-on-one mentoring relationship is invaluable in all seasons of life.
Another woman who has experienced similar life issues, or maybe not exactly the same, simply makes herself available to pray, give tips on what helped her, let you cry, talk, and feel open to share your struggles.
I knew the Parenting Season in Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness couldn’t be a generic, one size-fits-all chapter.
Here are some of the seasons discussed: Pregnancy—Planned and Unplanned, Teen Mom, New Mom, Mothering, Mothering Special Needs Children and Children with Illnesses, Mothering Prodigals, Single Mom, Stepmom, Stay-at-Home Mom and homeschooling Mom, Working Mom Inside and Outside the Home, and Empty Nest Mom. Each of these parenting seasons has its own specific challenges and joys as told by true stories of mentor and mentee moms, with tips for both the mentor and the mentee, God’s perspective with Scriptures to discuss, and biblical examples of moms in similar parenting seasons.
It’s comforting to know you’re not the only mom who dealt with a challenging child or difficult parenting issue.
You don’t feel alone when someone else understands just how you’re feeling, and with God’s help she made it through and God will be there to help you too, and so will your mentor. When my daughter was two-years-old, her father and I divorced. I became that single working mom. Honestly, in those days I didn’t find a place in the women’s groups in the church. As a teenager, my daughter went through prodigal years, and those were lonely times for me wondering what I had done wrong and how could I fix things. Then I remarried and became a step-mom. Each life season I longed for someone sitting across the table, having a cup of coffee together, and telling me how she survived and thrived in this season and I would too. But that chair was empty!
When the Lord led me to start the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry, I saw chairs filled! Mentors willing to invest in other women’s lives, as both grew in their faith and turned to their Heavenly Father for guidance and direction. We’re always coming out of one season of parenting, and life, we can mentor from, and going into another one where we need a mentor.
We all need mentoring, but we can also be mentors. You could be the Titus 2 woman of someone else’s prayers. No matter how inadequate we feel, we have skills and character traits someone else admires. God never intended for us to do mothering alone. We need to open our eyes to the resources around us and open our hearts to other moms needing our wisdom and support.*
*Excerpt for Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness used with permission of Leafwood Publishers.
Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness is available now on Amazon, Kindle, and Signed by the Author at her website.
Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries, and award-winning author of 19 books. Her books include: Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter; Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten; The Team That Jesus Built; Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby?; Dear God They Say It’s Cancer; Dear God, He’s Home!; Face-to-Face Bible study Series; and Woman to Woman Mentoring: How to Start, Grow, & Maintain a Mentoring Ministry Resources. Visit Janet and sign up for her Monday Morning Blog and online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com . You can also find her at theses sites: Facebook , Linked In , Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram: JanetAHW