Mothering Matters 2016 Blog Series Begins May 2nd!
“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.
Mothering Matters 2016 will run from Mon May 2nd until Mon July 4th. The blogs will be posted (and sent out to Mothering Matters e-mail subscribers) every Monday.
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:
- To be or not to be…a mom?
- Dealing with our own mothers and mother-in-laws
- Keeping one’s sense of self as a mother
- Losing a mother
- Working while raising a family
- Losing a child
- Environmental concerns
- Impacts of children on marriage
- Teaching kids gratitude
- Being a single mom
- Nurturing ourselves
- Learning from mother nature
- Delayed parenting
- Post-partum depression
- Mother Goddess/Divine Mother
- Keeping kids safe
- Raising a child with serious health issues
- Mothers around the world
- Choosing not to have children
- Childhood hunger
- The role of Auntie’s
- Grandmothers as mothers
- Mothering in the community/broader sense
- Raising kids who care
- Teaching children about money
- 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.
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.
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.