The Personal Side of Mentoring
As most of us have experienced, the lines between work life and home life have blurred in recent years. As a remote employee, I try to set boundaries for when I work so that I don’t lose my personal time altogether. But I have also found myself seeing parallels between my personal life and what I do for a living—telling people about mentoring. Mentoring is one of those beautiful acts that can impact the whole person, not just their professional work or skills.
I’m a planner, so not knowing how to deal with these coming problems was distressing to me. But as I spoke to the doctors and nurses, and as I struck up conversations with other parents (complete strangers who I basically accosted at the hospital) who had children going through something similar, I started to realize…I am not alone.
I have many mentors and supporters surrounding me, giving me advice, helping me deal with the struggles my family faces, and giving me strength to do what I need to do for the well-being of my son. Through all of this, I came to realize that I have a mentoring mantra, which can be applied by all of us, regardless of our circumstances:
We often talk to our prospects and clients about building a mentoring culture; this mantra gets to the heart of that ideal. You don’t have to do it alone. You have people around you who can support you, guide you, catch you when you fall, and be a sounding board for you. You have a community of people here at MentorcliQ whose daily purpose is to support you. (I have also experienced this support from my colleagues at MentorcliQ as I deal with my family issues. They are truly a wonderful group of people to work with.)
So now I remind myself: I don’t have to do this alone. And the same holds true for all of you. Check out our white papers, webinars, blogs, and articles for free information about mentoring. It is just one of the ways that we are here for you.
Update – Connecting Again: It’s now been nearly two years since my son’s hip surgery, and you know the complete stranger I mentioned—the parent I struck up a conversation with at the hospital while we waited to be called back to see the doctor? It turns out our sons now have aquatherapy at the same time. The funny thing is that they were in these joint sessions with one another for at least six months before I realized that this was the same family I had leaned on for information about my son’s surgery.
My husband normally takes our son to his appointments, but one Friday I decided to take the day off of work and be the one who took my son to aquatherapy and then to and from school. I had heard my husband talk about the little boy who had an appointment at the same time as our son, and I knew he and the mom of that boy would sit together on the side of the pool and talk while they watched the boys work with the therapists. What I didn’t realize until that Friday I took my son to therapy was that this was the same woman who was so nice to me when I started talking to her out of the blue at the hospital two years ago. She was the same person who was kind enough to answer my questions about her son’s experience with his surgery and connect with me as another mom whose child was about to have the same procedure.
And that is the beautiful thing about these networks we create in our lives—they can consist of quick but very meaningful conversations that tie us together in ways we may not imagine at the time. I’ve found that the special needs community is a pretty tight-knit group; we tend to see the same people over and over at events, appointments, etc. And there is a comfort in that as well, because we know that these people can relate to our situation and circumstances, and that they are there for us—and us for them—if we have questions or need to talk.
That day at the pool, it was a great reminder to me of my mentoring mantra: I truly am not alone.