While many women dream of being the perfect mom who has all the right answers, never raises her voice and never has to count to three, we all know it’s not always easy being a mom. Those sweet little bundles of joy don’t come packaged with instruction manuals or warning labels and moms are often left to figure it out on their own.
But we weren’t meant to meander through motherhood alone. It’s admittedly a bit more difficult to have someone join your journey as a mom, but it certainly will give you a broader scope of reference, a well of wisdom to draw from and a hand to hold each step of the way.
Titus 2 is given to us not only as a mentor’s mantra and a mandate from God, but for our good…because no one was meant to do life alone…because the legacy of a godly heritage and the future of the next generation’s faith are fostered in those mentor/mentee relationships.
The M.O.M. Initiative exists to help support moms on both sides of the mentor equation – ultimately to help connect women and provide tools and resources to help foster those mentor/mentee relationships.
But what is the mentee’s role in the whole thing? What, exactly, does it mean to be a mentee and what does she do?
Simply put, a mentee is one who is mentored.
We realize a mentor is one who pours their life into another…one that shares wisdom, motivates, guides and encourages another to be more and better in a specific area.
But whether a mentor meets with one or more mentees at a time, we often mistakenly think the responsibility is all in the hands of the mentor. That’s SO untrue.
Think for a moment about an empty container with a lid on it tucked neatly away in the cupboard. As long as it remains hidden behind the cupboard doors and the lid remains securely fastened on top of the container, nothing else can get in.
In order for it to be filled, it must be taken out, positioned in a place where it can be filled and then the lid must be removed.
Like the container, a mentee must choose to come out from behind the four walls of her own motherhood, place herself in a position of availability and take the lid off of her heart and mind in order to be filled.
Mentoring doesn’t only happen at a desk with a book in hand. It happens in real life situations when a mentor is living out loud in front of a mentee. At times the roles are not even defined. Like a sponge, the young mother just soaks up all that the older mother pours out.
But it often begins when you sit down with a cup of coffee and walk through a book together. It’s the start of a wonderful relationship that sometimes is only for a season and other times will last a lifetime.
So, here’s the 5 mandates for a good mentee:
1. Be willing. It’s hard to mentor an unwilling heart. You can meet every week for eight weeks straight, but if you’re just there out of obligation, then you’ll circumvent the success of your time together before you ever get started. Your mentor has entered into a relationship with you because she cares about you and your little one(s). Be willing to do your best to enjoy learning what you can from one who is willing to pour her life into yours.
2. Be wholehearted. Be fully present when you’re present. Many times the mentor has spent time in prayer and prepartion for your time together. While you are together, keep your heart and mind focused on your conversation with the mentor. Put away your phone, your computer and your ‘To Do’ list long enough to keep your attention focused on your conversation with her.
3. Be respectful. Good relationships require respect. Respect your mentor’s time and effort. Respect her time by being on time when you’re scheduled to meet somewhere. When you disagree or struggle with accepting something she says, respond respectfully to her. She’s a mentor – not a perfect woman. Both of you need to give each other room to grow and room to fail. Remember, you are two very different women and you may not always see eye-to-eye. That’s okay. But be respectful when you don’t.
4. Be diligent. If you’re going through a book together or if your mentor gives you something to do during the week, be diligent to do it. Be prepared to meet her by having done that which you were supposed to do before you meet. Keep in mind that she is there for your good. She loves you and wants what is best for you.
5. Be inquisitive. Come with questions. Keep a notebook with you and as you go through your day, write down questions as you think of them. It’s impossible to remember everything when you get together, so write your questions down throughout the week. She may not have the answer, but she will probably be able to either find out for you or point you in the right direction.
Oh… and don’t forget to enjoy the journey together. When girlfriends get together, fun times are inevitable. Sweet time with your mentor is no different. It may be important to take your relationship seriously, but neither of you have to be so serious that you forget to enjoy yourselves!
It’s impossible for a mentor to pour her life into a mentee who isn’t willing. Fostering that mentor/mentee relationship requires commitment from both but your growing relationship with one another is a beautiful thing!
If you’re trying to do the mom thing without the voice of someone who has been there and done that, you are missing a significant source of help for your journey as a mom.
If you’re a young mom who longs to have a woman come along side of you and help you grow in your role as a mother, then please continue to pray for God to put just the right women in your life.
In the near future we will have a list of moms and churches that are using The M.O.M. Initiative and will hopefully be able to connect you with a someone who can help you not only find a mentor in your area, but also be there for you as you make your journey through motherhood.
And while we hope you find a mentor in your area, please know that you are not alone. The M.O.M. Initiative is here for you to help you along the way! We love you like crazy and are devoted to ministering to you in your time of need and praying for you and with you, sweet mom!