published in Inspiration, Motherhood, Mothering Matters by Maryanne | April 20, 2017 | No Comments

Mothering Matters 2017 Blog Series Begins May 8th!

 “Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.”

– Robert A. Heinlein

I’m not a mother in the traditional sense; I’m not raising a child. Nor have I. But I struggled for decades over whether or not motherhood was a path I wished to travel. In my late forties, I finally arrived at a place where I could honestly answer NO to the “To be or not to be…a mom?” question.

But I certainly feel very mother-like because I care deeply about the state of our planet, the many species inhabiting it — including the Homo Sapien variety — and the significant issues we collectively face.

I am a mother-at-large :)

Why Mothering Matters

During my journey of exploration through the pros and cons, challenges and responsibilities, options and choices surrounding the motherhood decision, I came to realize that being a conventional mom — whether that is to a child one has given to birth to, is a step-parent to, has adopted, fostered or otherwise — is not only one of the toughest jobs on the planet, it’s one of the most important.

For at the end of the day, mothers are the ones who ultimately determine how the future — of a society and a species — unfolds.

But mothers are not only responsible for raising the next generation, they also have a significant role to play in ensuring that there is, in fact, a safe and healthy environment for this generation to inhabit.

In today’s insanely busy world, it’s easy to lose sight of this bigger picture – or hope someone else will take care of the second part of that equation. However, as it is in the rest of nature, mothers do have the greatest stake in ensuring that an environment is conducive to raising their young.

Thankfully, however, mothering isn’t just something mothers do. Nor is it exclusive to women. Mothering, in its truest sense, is an expression of the feminine qualities of nurturing, caring, concern, teaching, compassion and patience. Frankly, some of the most mother-like people I know are men.

“To have a mother’s sensibility, you don’t need to be female; you don’t even need to have children. You just need to have a soul that cares about the future more than you care about yourself. That’s what mothering is — laying down your life for the young so they can grow up into full people.”

— Sally Field, in O Magazine

Mothering not only matters, it is quite possibly what the world needs most right now, in terms of a different way of addressing the many issues we face – be that at an individual, relationship, family, community, societal, cultural, environmental or global level.

For as nurturing and caring as mothers can be, the most effective ones are also firm but fair. This is the type of mother I was blessed enough to have.

Mothering Matters Blog Series

The Mothering Matters weekly blog series was first launched in May 2012.

The purpose of the blogs is to create a forum in which the motherhood decision is explored, and the challenges and responsibilities of motherhood and mothering are discussed, so that we can learn from one another – whether we are raising children ourselves or not – as we move forward together to a healthier future for all.

2017 Campaign

The Mothering Matters 2017 blog series will run from Mon May 8th until Mon June 19th. The blogs will be posted (and sent out to Mothering Matters e-mail subscribers) every Monday.

Blog Topics

A variety of mothering-related perspectives and issues are explored by multiple writers. The blogs are written from a personal perspective and are short (750 words max).

For a list of the Mothering Matters blogs that have been posted in past campaigns, please visit the archives on the subscribe page.

Here are some of the subject matters we cover:

  1. To be or not to be…a mom?
  2. Infertility
  3. Dealing with our own mothers and mother-in-laws
  4. Keeping one’s sense of self as a mother
  5. Losing a mother
  6. Adoption
  7. Working while raising a family
  8. Overpopulation
  9. Losing a child
  10. Environmental concerns
  11. Impacts of children on marriage
  12. Bullying
  13. Teaching kids gratitude
  14. Being a single mom
  15. Nurturing ourselves
  16. Learning from mother nature
  17. Delayed parenting
  18. Post-partum depression
  19. Mother Goddess/Divine Mother
  20. Keeping kids safe
  21. Raising a child with serious health issues
  22. Mothers around the world
  23. Choosing not to have children
  24. Childhood hunger
  25. The role of Auntie’s
  26. Grandmothers as mothers
  27. Mothering in the community/broader sense
  28. Raising kids who care
  29. Teaching children about money
  30. Setting your own parenting standards

 

Some Mothering Matters Reader Feedback

“It’s great that people are willing to offer their experiences and insights on less than stellar situations. I appreciated the points made by both Theresa Chevalier, in the Solo Parenting blog, and this anonymous writer in When Parents Fail. They both brought up stuff that I saw in my parents’ parenting and their conflictual marriage. It reminded me why I waited so long to have kids.”

“It’s so cliche to say the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but sometimes I really think it’s only natural to feel that way, looking back. I do believe that all (parents and children) will benefit from any time spent together. It’s time you can’t get back.”

“Thanks for a very honest post. I agree all the stages of raising kids at every stage is hard, takes time and energy. Mine really rebelled a bit when I stated looking after my elderly Dad and mom. But I think they understand more now. Working gets in the way of everything, but makes you appreciate the time you have.”

How to Subscribe to Mothering Matters

To sign up to receive the weekly Mothering Matters e-mail on Mondays, please click here to subscribe.

Background

The Mothering Matters blog series is an extension of the Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood documentary (53 min, 2005) and the subsequent filmed facilitated discussion (20 min, 2007), both produced by Pink Gazelle Productions Inc.

For further info or to view Whatever Floats Your Boat and the facilitated discussion, please click here.

About Pink Gazelle Productions Inc

Mothering Matters is an initiative of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc (PGP).

PGP is a collaborative company that creates entertaining and authentic works which inspire and challenge people to effect positive change in themselves and the world around them. PGP was started in 2002 by Maryanne Pope.

About Maryanne

Maryanne Pope is the executive producer of the Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood documentary, the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and The Widows, and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the Founder & CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc and the Board Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. She lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia with her dog, Sadie.

published in Animals, Environment, Face the Future, Nature by Maryanne | April 20, 2017 | No Comments

This is the 6th and final blog in the Spring 2017 Face the Future blog series:

Plant Milkweed for the Monarch Butterfly

 

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

~Maya Angelou

Monarch Butterfly Numbers Down Again 🙁

The number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico dropped by 27 percent this year, reversing last year’s recovery from historically low numbers, according to a study by government and independent experts released in February 2017.

The experts say the decline could be due to late winter storms last year that blew down more than 100 acres (40 hectares) of forests where migrating monarch butterflies spend the winter in central Mexico.

Millions of monarchs make the 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometer) migration from the United States and Canada each year, and they cluster tightly in the pine and fir forests west of Mexico City. They are counted not by individuals, but by the area they cover.

Another problem has been the loss of milkweed—the plant monarchs rely on for food—in the United States and Canada, because of the increased use of herbicides and the conversion of land to development.

The loss of forests in Mexico and milkweed north of the border has proved devastating.

For further details, please click here to read the entire report.

What you can do…

Plant milkweed in your garden!

 

Why Milkweed?

In their early caterpillar stage, the monarch’s source of food is the milkweed plant (World Wildlife Fund). Butterflies will usually lay their eggs on milkweed plants so that once they hatch, the caterpillar can start feeding on the milkweed leaves. Once the butterflies turn into adults, they can start sipping the nectar from the flowers.

Where to Find Milkweed Seeds

One place you can order milkweed seeds on-line is through the Save our Monarchs website.

New Butterflyway Project Taking Flight


The goal of the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project is to provide food and shelter for butterflies and bees by establishing a network of wildflower patches through neighbourhoods across Canada, starting in five cities in 2017.

This Mother’s Day, send the moms in your life a beautiful, original card. Your gift will help the Butterflyway Project welcome butterflies and other pollinators across Canada.

For further info on all things pertaining to milkweed and Monarch butterflies, please check out this link.

Face the Future is an on-line environmental awareness campaign that raises awareness about how and why individuals can lessen their environmental footprint one step at a time.

The 2017 blog series runs from Mar 24th to Apr 28th. To receive the weekly blogs via e-mail, here is the link to subscribe . Face the Future is an initiative of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc.  

published in Activity, Beauty, Environment, Face the Future, Inspiration, Nature by Maryanne | April 19, 2017 | No Comments

This is the 4th blog in the Face the Future 2017 spring blog series:

Getting Out into the Great Outdoors – Earth Play for Earth Day 2017

Maryanne & Sadie, Qualicum Beach, BC

“Kids who don’t get outside, who aren’t stimulated by their environment, won’t grow up with any motivation to protect our planet.”

– Earth Day Canada

Earth Day is Saturday April 22nd!

This year marks Canada’s 150th birthday and celebrations across the country are highlighting our great outdoors.

At a time when most children spend less than an hour per day outside, Earth Day Canada is asking everyone to “EarthPLAY for Earth Day 2017” by getting outside to connect to your nature!

Remember how you played as a child?

Did you spend a lot of time outside, building forts, climbing trees, inventing new games and getting your hands dirty, without any grownups interfering?

I sure did!

But according to Earth Day Canada, this type of play is rapidly disappearing from our world.

Why does Earth Day Canada care so much and why should you?

Because kids who don’t get outside, who aren’t stimulated by their environment, won’t grow up with any motivation to protect our planet. And kids who don’t connect to their inner nature through creative play won’t be as resilient as generations before them.

That’s why Earth Day Canada is dedicating this year’s campaign to outdoor play.

So whether you have kids or not, I hope you can get into the great outdoors on Apr 22nd and have some FUN while celebrating the beauty of nature 🙂

About Earth Day Canada

Founded in 1990, Earth Day Canada is a national charity that inspires and supports people across the country to connect with nature and build resilient communities.

For further information, please visit their website.

Face the Future is an on-line environmental awareness campaign that raises awareness about how and why individuals can lessen their environmental footprint one step at a time.

The 2017 blog series runs from Mar 24th to Apr 28th. To receive the weekly blogs via e-mail, here is the link to subscribe . Face the Future is an initiative of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc.