- Family and Parenting
My Mentor Mom
When I found out that I was pregnant with triplets my initial question was, “Can I pass out while lying down.” After the initial shock wore off there were so many emotions pulsing through my body it was hard to control or even to figure out what I was feeling. Once I had a chance to come to grips with what was about to happen to me and my husband we started to share our news with others. After their initial shock at our news the advice started to flow. The advice that you receive when you are pregnant for the first time is incredibly overwhelming. We had no idea what to do with all of the information we were receiving on a daily basis. We listened to everyone and some information we saved for later and other information we quickly deleted from our minds. One piece of advice that I decided to take was joining a multiples group and one of the cool things or so I thought at the time was the mentor parent program that was offered through the group. This would be great getting information straight from someone with the same/similar experiences. I was going to be set up with a mentor mom what could be better?
To understand my relationship with my mentor mom you first have to understand a little about me and my characteristics. My personality is pretty laid back and easy going. I like to go with the flow. I am a fairly organized person and a multitasker so being a triplet mom is a good fit for me. However, I am not at all strict even though I am organized. I understand that things happen at a moments notice and that even the best laid plans have to be altered, especially when you are a parent.
The mentor mom that I was set up with was a triplet mom as well she had three boys who at the time were four years old. My mentor mom was in a word or two; anal, high strung, neurotic. She had very strict rules and a specific schedule that she stuck to. There was no give with her. We would talk once a week. She would call at the same exact time each and every week if I wasn’t there too bad I would have to wait until the following week. My schedule was not like that at all. My children had just gotten home from the hospital and we were trying to figure out what worked best for us at the time. After a few weeks we were able to get into the swing of things and I was able to take her calls at her specified time, something I would later regret.
I wanted a mentor mom so that I could get some ideas on how to make thing easier, to talk to another mom who truly understood my pain of three babies at once and for some guidance on what works and doesn’t work well. What I ended up getting was something completely different. Something that I didn’t sign up for, sometimes freebees are not worth it.
At first the conversations with my mentor mom were really good. I would ask some questions and she would have some answers. She was helpful. She usually had a list of topics to talk about when she called me and I would write down a list of questions that I had as they came up. For me however it would have been better if I could have emailed her or talked to her a bit more often because my list would be long by the time she called and she had her own agenda and only a select amount of time that she could talk.
Soon I figured out that my mentor mother was not mentoring me, at first she was lecturing me and then it turned into me counseling her. It was a very strange and uncomfortable situation. After all I was trying to take care of my children, trying to help her and realizing that I was truly figuring things out on my own.
My mentor mom was more focused on whether my children were doing what they were supposed to be doing at the age they were supposed to be doing it. Those were the least of my worries. I just wanted my children to be healthy and happy I felt that everything else would fall into place. Even though her children were years older than mine I could feel her competing with me on every experience and it was starting to wear on me. The final incident that made me cut ties was shortly after my babies turned 7 months. Shortly after my children were 7 months old one-by-one they started to walk. They were not completely walking on their own until they were about 9 months; this bothered my mentor mom greatly. My mentor mom was not very happy that my children were starting to walk she felt it was way too early. I wasn’t sure what she was expecting me to do about it. It was not like I could stop them from walking. For three consecutive weeks that was the focus of her conversations and she was taking a tone with me that I was not appreciative of. At one point she even questioned me wondering if I was sure that they were actually walking. It was then that I had it. The mentoring was not working for me and I knew at that moment that I would no longer be available for her calls. I let her know that I was done with the mentoring program and that there was no reason to call anymore. Being the nice person I am I also thanked her but I am still not sure what I was thanking her for. In a roundabout way my mentor mom taught me exactly what type of mother I did not want to be.
I am sure that there are great mentor moms (or moms that should be mentors) out there that are able to help others adjust to a new situation but mentoring is definitely not for everyone. I found out that my mentor mom stopped mentoring shortly after I ended our relationship and I was truly relieved to hear that. I really did not want her stressing out other mothers or using other mothers as her personal counselors. By now her boys should be in their teens and I truly do wish the best for them.