I'm so happy to introduce MDC's Moderator of the Month: Shantimama. Shantimama is a long-time member and began moderating back in 2007. She currently moderates Surviving Abuse, Nutrition & Good Eating, Fitness & Weight Loss, Mental Health and Spirituality.
How did you first find Mothering? MDC?
A friend who is one of the best moms I have ever known loaned me some copies of Mothering while I was pregnant with my first child. It was unlike anything I had read before, and I loved it! I remember seeing ads in the magazine saying that MDC was coming while I was nursing my second little one and checked online frequently until MDC was up and running. I have been around since just about everything fell under the "Parenting Issues" forum
What’s your favorite MDC forum?
I have to say it is the Surviving Abuse forum. I am continually moved by how willing so many women are to heal from their experience of being abused as children or in their adult relationships. Many of the stories make me sad but I loved reading how mothers learn to be strong, kind, responsible and loving mothers when they did not get that themselves growing up. I am also moved when I meet women in that forum who learn to value their own safety and worth when they see themselves through their children's eyes. Making a new life, free of violence and disrespect for themselves and their children is hard work. Seeing people make choices to make the world a kinder and safer place one life at a time makes reading the sad parts worthwhile for me.
What keeps you coming back to MDC?
I have made so many friends here that I can never stay away for long. The community is so large and diverse that I always know I can find something to read that will make me think. Even when I disagree with people's views I appreciate the chance to learn of another perspective.
Can you tell us a little bit about your family?
I am married to my best friend. We met while living in a L'Arche community many years ago so we have been living together since the day we met! We have three children. Our son just started high school and our daughters are in grades 5 and 7. We love to play at the beach near our house, play with our crazy little dog, read and make music together. We all play in our local community band together and that is a lot of fun.
Is there something that you do now that you probably never would have done if it weren’t for MDC?
Hmmmm...........MDC has been a daily part of my life for so long that I don't know how to answer that! Mothering and MDC led me to breastfeeding, having a family bed, cloth diapering and homeschooling for many years. I think I am the kind of mom I am, especially when it comes to discipline, because of MDC. I try to be clear and respectful in supporting and guiding my children and stay strong where I believe it matters while still being kind and loving, even in the hard moments. I don't know if I would have thought through what I really believe and how I want to express that when it comes to discipline and guidance if it weren't the people I have learned from here at MDC.
Tell us something most don’t know about you.
I love to play the flute. I play almost every day and nothing can pull me out of feeling low like a few minutes with my piccolo. I also have a serious love for beautiful yarns and I knit, dye and weave any chance I get.
What are you most proud of?
My children. They are strong, sweet, funny people who are finding their own way in the world and wanting to make it a better place, each in their own way. That amazes me every single day.
Are you a night owl or an early-bird-gets-the-worm?
Definitely an early bird.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What about now?
I always wanted to be a mom or a teacher. For a while I wanted to be an astronaut. I am happy doing what I am for now although I would like to see my hand-dyed yarn business grow because I have so much fun doing it.
Do you consider yourself introverted or extroverted?
Would you say you are neat or messy?
Both. I like my work areas to be very neat but I never seem to be able to have everything neat all at the same time. I have a couple of home based businesses and no office space so there are always piles getting moved around depending on what I am working on at the moment!
Do you like to cook? What is your ideal meal?
I love to cook. I don't think I have one ideal meal. Since winter is right around the corner, I think my favourite meal right now is homemade soup with bread and cheese and apple crisp for dessert.
What's your favorite/go-to cleaning product?
ENJO - I have been using it for a couple of years and I love all the time, money and water it saves. I love that my home gets cleaner faster and that our home is now completely a toxin-free zone. We are healthier since switching over and so is our little corner of the Earth.
What do you consider your worst vice?
Buying yarn faster than I can knit it up. I have a new loom and that might help. I also have a weakness for Diet Coke which I think is a disgusting habit but sometimes it just hits the spot in a way no herbal tea can!
What’s sitting on your dining room table right now?
Yarn, a couple of candles, a picture my daughter just drew and an empty tea cup.
What's the last book you've read?
Unlocking the Doors: A Woman's Struggle Against Intolerance - the autobiography of Eva Olsson.
Favorite all-time movie?
The Quarrel probably tied with The Color Purple.
The Secret Life of Bees
Do you have other sites where you enjoy participating/reading?
I read a couple of blogs regularly - I start the day with "Rolling Around In My Head" and check out what is going on with the Yarn Harlot a couple of times a week. Ravelry is fun to read but will never replace MDC for me.