Intersection of Life and Faith

10 Reasons Why Young Moms Still Need Mentors (Not Just Parenting Blogs)

  • Beth Ann Baus Crosswalk.com Contributor
10 Reasons Why Young Moms Still Need Mentors (Not Just Parenting Blogs)

When my children were little, I loved spending time with older moms with hopes of gleaning wisdom from their years of experience. While I didn’t agree with every opinion and follow every word of advice, I always appreciated seeing motherhood through the lens of different women.

During those years, I often looked forward to being an older mom myself so that I could pass on what I had learned. I wanted to share what other moms had taught me and what I had learned on my own through trial and error. Unfortunately, now that I am an older mom I’m finding that younger moms aren’t coming to me, or any older woman, for advice.

I asked a young mom about this and while her answer didn’t surprise me, it did disappoint me. She explained that moms today don’t need to seek wisdom from older women because they can find a podcast, blog post, or article on anything they want to know, whenever they want to know it, right from the privacy of their own home.

I admit our technology is incredibly helpful. But, as a woman who raised her children without the internet as a go to, I would like to point out some important aspects that moms are missing out on when they seek advice by sitting at their computers rather than by the side of an older woman. Please keep in mind I’m not speaking to women who live in desolate areas of the world due to mission work, serving our country, or any other reason. I’m speaking to those fortunate enough to be surrounded by older moms who are full of untapped wisdom.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    1. Personal Relationship

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    The internet has allowed us to be connected with a larger number of people and have access to more information than ever before, and we don’t even have to leave our houses. This is perfect for the introvert as they can obtain all the information they want with complete privacy. Oddly enough, this can also be perfect for the extrovert as social media allows for a constant flow of interaction. But, we must ask ourselves, are we trading quantity for quality?

    We were created to be relational. Proverbs 27:17 tells us that iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. While wise counsel can certainly be found online, it’s missing a key element to our overall health. We need personal, face to face relationships for our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Not to mention that personal, multigenerational relationships allow us to gain perspective and see parenting styles outside of the fads laid out by our own generation. God is active in every age group and it is to our benefit to listen to older moms about the failures and successes of their generation’s popular, and not so popular, parenting styles.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    2. Accountability

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    I confess I’ve read parenting blogs. Sometimes I find useful information and sometimes I don’t, but the one thing I never find in cyberspace is accountability. My favorite blogger who lives across the country, whom I’ve never met, isn’t going to check with me to make sure I’m implementing new disciplinary actions for my strong-willed child, that I’m following through with changes to my children’s diet, or that I’m really monitoring my child's online presence.

    The women I went to for advice when my children were little would call me and check in. They would stop me at church or at the grocery store and ask how things were going. These women would offer a more detailed explanation when I said something wasn’t working. These women held me accountable and wouldn’t allow me to be lazy in my mothering or in my marriage. While we all like to think we can manage on our own, accountability is a good thing and we shouldn’t discount the benefits of letting older women ask us questions, question our answers, and check in on a regular basis.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    3. Ongoing Support

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    I know there are online support groups for everything under the sun, including parenting. For moms who are serving in the mission field or who live in desolate areas, these online groups can be a Godsend! But for the mom who has the privilege of being surrounded by older women through family, friends, work or church, online support groups should be an add-on, not the main source.

    An older mom who walks with you through the survival mode of babies will know how to better advise you through the toddler years. That same mom will then have pertinent information to help get you through the tween years and help launch your kids into high school and beyond. They will know the personalities of you and your children and can give you customized advice. That’s something an online source could never do.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    4. Specific Prayer Report

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    I have friends who regularly ask for prayer on social media; often this is because their child is sick or because their children are driving them crazy. And don’t get me wrong; asking for prayer is important, in any and all forms. But, we need to remember and respect the privacy of our children. Our kids will grow up and might not appreciate all the detailed prayer requests we’ve posted online.

    When you give your prayer requests to the older moms in your life, you are forming an intimate inner circle of women who will consistently pray for you and your child. This creates a safe place for details to be shared, tears to be shed, and praises to be shouted! As your children get older, they will find comfort in knowing their mom has a prayer warrior (or perhaps a team of prayer warriors) just for them. This will give them security in sharing their struggles with you without fear of their secrets being shared for the world to see.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    5. Sound Biblical Wisdom

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    Let’s face it; not everything we read online is true, good, or beneficial. And neither is every word spoken by our fellow sisters in Christ. However, when you search for wisdom through blogs or podcasts, you have limited knowledge of the source. Sure, maybe the blogger is well known and has best-selling books on the subject at hand, but do you know her?

    When you choose to glean wisdom from the older women in your life, you can look at your options and choose the woman that you know has a solid biblical foundation and is bearing visible fruit. This is especially true if you allow a woman from your church body to invest in you. You know you’re sitting under the same teaching and that your core beliefs are the same. Will you find a perfect mother with perfect children to pour into you? No! But you can find a woman who holds fast to the perfect Word of God.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    6. A Chance to be Mentored

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    We’ve all heard the saying, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” These are simple, but wise words. I can read a blog post about discussing the pros and cons of cloth versus disposable diapers. I can listen to a podcast about how to make my children get along. But, this form of information gathering is like grabbing fast food. What young moms need is an abundant, nourishing supply of wisdom that will sustain them for years to come.  

    The word “mentor” is defined as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” While the word “mentor” isn’t in the Bible, Scripture does give us numerous examples of mentoring. For instance, in 1 Corinthian 11:1 Paul says, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.” So, what do you get when you allow an older woman to invest in you? Hopefully, a woman who says, “I am trying to imitate Christ in how I live my life; imitate me.” These are bold words, but words that should draw us in. Allowing an older woman to mentor you will likely be something you won’t fully appreciate until you yourself are an older mom. But don’t wait until you’re an older mom to look back and wish you had allowed yourself to be mentored.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    7. A Chance to Let Go of Pride and Grow in Humility

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    One thing most of us like about screen time is that it’s private. If your toddler has started hitting, if your preteen has an eating disorder, or if your teen is cutting themselves, you can look for advice online without anyone knowing you’re struggling. And let's face it; none of us jump at the chance to announce we need help. This is called pride, and we need to let go of it.

    James 4:6 tells us that “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James goes on to say that if you humble yourself before the Lord, He will lift you up. While choosing to be humbled doesn’t exactly come naturally to us, there is a sense of freedom that comes from telling another mom that something in your life isn’t working and you need help. Let another mom help you carry the load. Picture yourself running a race and the older moms in your life cheering you on, bringing you cups of water, and wiping the sweat from your brow. Let them see you at your worst and let them build you up to be the best you can be.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    8. Letting Someone Else Know and Love Your Child

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    There are great benefits to allowing an older, “been there, done that” mom to know and love your child. A mother doesn’t stop loving and pouring into children just because her own are grown! An older mom can bring new life and new perspective to your routine and can give lifelong memories to your child as an “adopted” aunt or grandma.

    This isn’t just for you; this relationship can benefit the older mom as well, especially the mom whose house is empty and quiet. Forming a relationship with your child might bring new life and new perspective to her life, giving her great joy and a sense of purpose. And remember, not every mom has a strong willed child, or a child with night terrors, or a child with anxiety or disabilities. Our experiences are all different, so while you might not find an older mom who can speak to your exact circumstances, you can certainly find a mom who will love you through it.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    9. Learning to Be Real and Vulnerable

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    We live in an age where people tend to only share the picture perfect moments of their lives. This is true with our online presence and in face to face conversation. Thankfully I’m seeing more and more moms accepting “real” challenges on social media where they spend a week posting pictures of their piles of laundry and kids with dirty faces. I hear our pastors encouraging us to say more than “I’m good” when someone asks how we are. These are steps in the right direction.

    Allowing an older mom to invest in you is another step in the right direction away from perfect appearances. We need to be honest about the struggles that come with motherhood and be vulnerable enough to ask for help. Trust me, the older moms around you aren’t blind. They know you need help but don’t always feel it’s appropriate to step in and offer unsolicited advice. So my challenge to you is to ask for help. Be real. Be vulnerable.

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  • 1. Personal Relationship

    10. Letting Another Woman Live Out Titus 2

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    We are told in Galatians 6:2 to bear one another’s burdens. And let’s be honest, we tend to gravitate towards people who are our age and in our own stage of life. While there are benefits to trudging through the trenches together, there’s an even greater benefit to spending time with someone who has been through trenches, fought the battles, and is waiting on the other side to share what they’ve learned.

    1 Corinthians 12:12 tells us that we are one body, but the body has many parts. We function more productively when we all work together and use our parts for the greater good. You, as a young mother, are working overtime to meet the needs of your children and your husband, and you’re also likely involved in other things that require your time and attention. You are doing incredibly important work! Allow yourself to see the older women around you as a support system that can help make your life easier and more productive. Remember too that you are bringing glory to God by allowing an older woman to live out Titus 2, and by allowing yourself to be sanctified by the Spirit through the wisdom of that older woman.

     

    Beth Ann Baus is a wife and homeschooling mom of two teenaged boys. She is a writer and blogger who pulls from her own experiences of abuse, anxiety, depression and OCD. Beth has a heart for women struggling with sexual sin and strives to encourage young wives and mothers by pointing them to the grace offered only by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You can read more about her at www.bethannbaus.com

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