Outdoor moms are just as adventurous as the characters featured in “First Ascent” documentaries, but we don’t often see them featured.
I have watched film after film over the years at the Banff Film Fest and other outdoor film festivals about adventurous men and a few women who travel the world doing first ascents, amazing bike adventures and ski tours, yet I haven’t seen any films specifically about outdoor mothers and the challenges they face getting back to the wild-- and that is what I hope to bring to the film world with my new documentary. Like me, outdoor moms are out there, it's just that no one is telling our story.
Mountain Mama takes an intimate look into the lives of 4 outdoor athletes as they balance the demands of motherhood with reconnecting and protecting the wild places and the rugged sports that are integral to their identity.
When women who have a passion for the outdoors and wilderness make that leap to become a parent, life changes dramatically. In some cases women have worked their way up in male-dominated outdoor fields and are at the pinnacle of levels of their fitness and performance when they become mothers and must find a way to keep the jobs they love while their bodies and lives change. Starting a family for these women is a life-altering decision.
After baby is born, will we continue to work in our fields, do we stay home? Is there a balance?
I was inspired to make this film due to my own journey. I have been drawn to the outdoors all my life. When I was a child growing up in Northern Maine, thanks to my parents, I had lots of adventures. My favorite trips were our yearly Allagash River canoe trips and travels along the eastern seaboard crammed into our family station wagon with three other siblings. My love of the outdoors led me to Montana. When I got around to having babies in my thirties it seemed I was traveling in a wild and unfamiliar place without a map or compass. Although I enjoyed the special experience of those first weeks after my first baby was born I felt something in me was missing. I felt my running shoes had been nailed to the ground unable to move forward…captive in four walls and temporarily reduced to the life of a milking cow, and up all hours of the day and night I found it difficult to find out where and who I was anymore. A couple weeks after my daughter was born I went outside and carried her up my favorite local mountain. It was that outing I realized I needed both of these things to survive….and to thrive. The Mountains hand-in-hand with Motherhood.
My journey through this documentary will further prove that outdoor moms are inspiring, captivating and determined to get back into and to protect these wild places that are such a part of our identity. I hope the film will be humorous, and touching, and bring a new perspective to light.
Me with baby Astrid (13 days old)...Mount Sentinel, Missoula, Montana. The day I realized I was still in there somewhere... I just needed to go to the mountain to figure it out. I need the mountains along with motherhood to survive and thrive. Photo credit Kathy Brauer.