It seems to me the only way to not just survive – but to love life and thrive – doing this new working mama thing, is to build your village.  Everything seems easier when you know you don’t have to go it alone.  When you can hear someone else say “me too” and “I’ve been there” and “you’ll get through this.”Thank You Balloon Image

And as you reach out and create that community, you’re likely to find some amazing mama mentors.  The mama friend who offers a hug and a new parent trick.  The boss with older kids who offers some perspective – who can say to you, “I KNOW what you’re going through, in a deep, deep way”…and mean it.  The yoga teacher who listens with open ears and a kind heart when you just need to talk about how exhausted you are.  The women who mother you as you’re learning to mother your little ones.

These are the women we need to thank.  To celebrate.  To be grateful for.

Today, I’m officially celebrating one of my own mama mentors, Shawn Fink, the founder of the Abundant Mama Project.  Not only has she inspired me with her brilliant writing and ideas, encouragement through her e-course, and ongoing calm mothering support, but she recently gave me the chance to shine, by allowing me to write a guest post for her blog: 4 Simple Tips for New Moms Returning to Work.

What are a some ways you can celebrate and THANK the amazing mama mentors in your life? Here are a few ideas:

    • Say thank you in whatever way you have the energy for.  Pick one mentor today, and reach out to her. Send an e-mail, a text, snail mail, pick up the phone…doesn’t matter. Just make contact and say thank you for being there.
    • Add an Outlook appointment to your calendar, to remember someone extra special at least once a year. I have one amazing mentor I’m in touch with regularly, but early November has special meaning to me as a time of year when she really changed my life. I make sure to write her a card every November to say thank you.
    • Add them to your holiday card list.  It gets hard to keep track of everyone, and an annual holiday card mailing can be a great way to keep in touch and drop a note of thanks.
    • Don’t forget your virtual mentors!   Was there a parenting blog post that really inspired you?  Did you read an article recently by a mama who spoke to your heart?  Reach out to her.  Perhaps through a simple e-mail, or maybe you can “like” her blog or Facebook page.
    • Pay it forward Nothing warms my heart more than learning that a mama I’ve helped is out helping other new mamas.  No matter how little you think you may know as a new mother, you’re a few paces ahead of the expectant mamas still waiting for their little ones to arrive!

So thank you, mama mentors.  You inspire us, empower us, and encourage us.  Because of you, we new mamas feel more supported.  More daring.  More normal.  More loved.  More okay with our decisions.  And more brave.  You are worth celebrating in a big way.

Want to join a supportive community of mamas who are all returning to work from maternity leave the same time you are?  Check out the Mindful Return E-Course hereNew sessions start soon.

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