Jayne Gautreau
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Jayne Gautreau: Learning lessons from other moms

I thought it would be interesting to conduct a little survey for this week’s blog post.

Since Mother's Day is coming up soon, I asked my Facebook friends this question: "If you could have afternoon tea with any mother in history, famous or otherwise, who would it be, and why?" I hoped to learn whom we respect as mothers, and maybe how their parenting has influenced our motherhood journeys.

The responses were very interesting but also moving. Several ladies said they would choose to have tea with their own mothers because they had passed away years before. One said she wanted her mom to know the legacy she had left behind for her grandchildren. Another lost her mom at age 7, and she had lots of questions for her; she also would have liked for her to meet her grandchildren and see how they love to do many of the things she also loved doing.

Tea with grandmothers who had passed away was on the list many times, so moms could ask questions about raising their own children.

One of the more popular answers was Mary, Jesus' mother. I wasn't surprised by that one, as she is at the top of my list, too.

Some other answers were Billy Graham's mom, Billy Graham's wife (Ruth Graham), Susanna Wesley, Abigail Adams, Elizabeth Elliott, Mother Teresa, Hannah (mother of Samuel in the Bible), the women who inspired the writer of Proverbs 31 in the Bible, Michelle Duggar, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Princess Diana, The Queen of England and Lillian Gordy Carter. One of the main reasons that several wanted to meet women like Abigail Adams and Susanna Wesley was due to their faith and how they raised their children to love and serve others.

I have been on the journey of motherhood for about 10 years now. One of the things that has been most helpful to me has been other moms. Mothers have been one of my biggest resources, especially when our oldest son was diagnosed with autism.

If you were to ask me with whom I would most like to have afternoon tea, my own mother would be first. Living so far away from my mum, tea with her any time would always be a blessing!

But another lady at the top of my list is Temple Grandin's mom. When her daughter was diagnosed with autism in the 1960's, she was given a grim diagnosis and was also told it was her fault due to a lack of mother-child bonding. Temple's mother was an amazing advocate for her daughter; one of my favorite quotes by her is, "Different isn't less." I think tea with her would be time well spent, and I could glean so much from her.

I would also like to have tea with Katherine Saint; her son was Nate Saint, a pioneer missionary to Ecuador who died sharing the Gospel with a tribe in the Amazon jungle. His death and legacy have strongly impacted worldwide missions. With both moms, I would want to know how to raise my boys to be the best God has intended them to be, no matter the challenges or difficulties. I want to be able to continue to keep going on even in adverse situations and letting my children fulfill their dreams, even if it seems impossible at times. Both these mothers come from different situations and backgrounds, but they did amazing jobs as mothers even though it may have cost them a lot. I want to do that, too, never standing in the way of what God has for my children.

I loved reading all the answers my friends gave to my question for them. We can learn so much from other mothers, no matter their age or how long they have been on the motherhood journey. I continue to learn we need each other each step of the way.

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

I asked my Facebook friends this question: If you could have afternoon tea with any mother in history, famous or otherwise, who would it be, and why?


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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:50PM Published May 13, 2013 09:44AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.