Jayne Gautreau

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Jayne Gautreau: Finding support in unexpected places

Most of us who have flown before with children know that it is not an easy task.

This past Monday, my youngest son and I started out on an adventure of flying to Northern Ireland to visit my family. I have flown before with my children on my own but still felt very nervous about doing this trip on my own with a little one. The thought of flying halfway across the world without my husband to help or give me a little break for almost 12 hours seemed a little overwhelming.

After 10 hours in the air, I was thankful to get a little break in Amsterdam's Schipol airport. As I waited for our next flight to Dublin, I needed to change Zakiah's clothes and diaper. I was very happy to find a separate mother and baby room; when I went in, another mommy with a little one about 5 months old was in there doing the same thing.

We started to chat about our babies and our travel plans. This mommy was Dutch and was on our her way to South Africa for a wedding. As we were chatting, another mom with a boy who was about 5 years old came in. She had flown from Seatlle on a 10-hour flight and was getting ready for her next eight-hour flight to Delhi, India.

In a very short time, we all seemed to find some sort of common bond in each other. We were traveling alone and seemed thankful to find another mom with whom to chat while we all did our jobs as moms. We seemed to bond quickly,even totally trusting each other as strangers and taking turns to go into the separate restroom while the other moms watched each others' babies. We didn't know each other at all - and obviously came from very different cultures and backgrounds - but we had one thing in common: We were all moms who were in need of help and support at that time.

This reminded me that all of us are very different as moms. We all have very different children and our own separate challenges, but the fact that we are moms means we definitely have one thing in common. I see a lot of negative information on the Internet and have seen, in real life, how other moms judge and compare themselves with other moms. They disagree and can be judgmental over parenting choices, whether it be how they choose to feed their baby or what type of schooling they choose for their children.

There are so many areas as moms where we can disagree but at the same time can also be each others' biggest support and encouragement. The three of us in that mother and baby room were able to do in that in a very short period of time. I was so thankful for that very short encounter with those two moms on Monday.

As moms, we really are very powerful when we unite together. I have been seeing this recently on Facebook with a group of moms who don't know everyone else in the group but are providing meals for a mama who recently lost her baby.

No matter our backgrounds, what we believe, or our choices, we have one thing in common. We all have children that have been placed in our care. We can be a support and encouragement to each other for that very reason.

Jayne Gautreau is married with three children. Read her Mondays on Douglas County Moms.

As moms, we really are very powerful when we unite together.

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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:34PM Published Apr 16, 2013 10:24AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.