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Mama Mentors

When I was growing up, I had a “Friday Mom.” She was my aunt, Laurie, and she babysat my siblings and I every Friday night. Of course, I thought she was the coolest person in the world. She would let us eat cookie dough, listen to rock music, and watch TV on the sofa-bed while eating ice cream. She would take us for a walk every Friday evening and read us chapter books long before I could even read. Even during those early years of my life, those Friday nights influenced the parent I would become. She showed me that I wanted to teach my kids about being outside in nature, that I should always drop everything to read a book with my kids (and maybe even read books that are “too old” for them), that I should trust my kids to do adult thinks like measure ingredients or mix the cookie dough, and of course, that I wanted to have fun with my kids. She always made everything fun, and I hope my kids remember me as someone they had fun with. 

I now call my aunt Laurie my “Mama Mentor.” She is the mom who has been there, done that, and a person who I really respect when it comes to being a Mama. She is still in the process of raising her three girls who I believe are amazing people. I already knew she was my mentor, but when my aunt came to visit when Gavin was about 7 months old, I found out then that she co-slept and breastfed her first daughter for two years, which made me feel a lot better about my choice to co-sleep and  breastfeed past a year. She is my go-to person for advice because I think she has a lot of similar philosophies as me when it comes to families. When I was pregnant, I emailed her with all kinds of questions from what kind of diaper bag I should get (a backpack, she said, and she was right. It is the only one I’ve used for 18 months now) to how to make baby food. Lately, I’ve thinking about her a lot because I have new questions about disciplining a toddler and how she handled teaching her girls right from wrong without trampling their adventerous spirit.

I have other mentors in my life, too, like my mom, my sister, Gavin’s Auntie-Jannie, and my grandmas. All of these women have advice that I trust, and they have shown me throughout my life that I want to do things like they do. Maybe not everything, but a lot of things. These are all women who have had a big influence on who I became as a woman and a mom. I feel very lucky to have these women to look up to.

I wrote recently about finding support as a mom. I think a Mama Mentor is equally important. Who are your Mama Mentors?

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Published in Parenting