I Want a Friend, Not a Mentor

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Dude. I’m young. So, I’m actually almost 30, but most (myself included) would still categorize this in the young mom section of life. Not only am I young in years, but I also look young. In fact, just a few years ago I was a substitute as a classroom aide. While walking down the hall I was asked if I was a student looking for my classroom. No, I am in fact an adult whose dressy casual needs to be improved.

I’ve been told multiple times that I’ll like being told I look young. “It’s a good thing!” (Yeah, well you didn’t get mistaken for an 8th grader.) It’s not that I hate being told I don’t look my age, it’s that I often have to earn respect or prove that I’m not a baby raising babies.

When I enter a new mom sphere, this is the conundrum I’m faced with.

I don’t think it’s a conscious decision, but other moms older than me will look at me with a small, pitiful smile and turn to their friend and continue talking. Or, every once and a while they’ll approach me and talk to me as if I was some lost junior high student.

But I’m not. I’m a mom, like you. And I don’t want a mentor. I want a friend.

And if I can find a mom friend who has done it all before me, I’m more than happy to learn from her, but not because I’m in a mentorship program, just out of the organic relationship that comes with friendship.

I find myself becoming friends with women older than me. It’s wonderful. They are wonderful. Age is not a consideration, it’s simply friendship beginning with the bond of motherhood. Sometimes, their children are close to my age, sometimes their kids are the same age as mine. The respect is mutual. I’m not being taken under their wing, but simply invited to jog alongside as we keep up with our kids.

You want to make a positive impact in the life of a mother who is younger than yourself?

Be her friend, not her mentor. Be a mom, not her mother. Just be a friend, we can all use another one of those.

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