Tag Archives: Motherhood

It’s Release Day for So Glad They Told Me!!

Here is the beautiful cover!

Writing is a lot like motherhood. It’s terrifying. So many other people seem to do it effortlessly, but in corners we whisper to one another that, between flashes of inspiration, it’s hard. If you are honest, if you are digging down and trying your best, you’re completely vulnerable.

In both writing and motherhood, the final product is never finished, it is only surrendered.

In a world where motherhood is dismissed, mocked, and marginalized, it’s books like So Glad They Told Me: Women Get Real About Motherhood that bring motherhood and the conversations surrounding it to the proper place: A place of compassion, vulnerability, bravery, unmooring, and connection. A lot of my own experiences these past eight years of being a parent have involved wrestling with the sense that perhaps I’m not doing this right, tentatively reaching out to other parents to see what their experiences have been, and wondering if I am alone.

This wonderful anthology affirms that indeed, we are not alone in this world of contradictions that is parenting. And I am not alone in writing about my experiences.

I have skimmed this amazing book. I am now going back and savoring every last essay. Every single one is brave. Every single one is true. Every single one is a facet of motherhood that deserves to be heard.

We are all, whether parenting or writing, exposing ourselves. We’re raw. We’re scared sometimes. But we’re all pushing past that to the joy of connection.

My own essay, Flood, took eighteen drafts. Yes. EIGHTEEN. It started as three separate essays, all humorous, none quite right, that eventually needed to be woven together carefully. With each draft, I stripped away the humor and the self-deprecation until I was left with what it was supposed to be: A story of loss, heartache, and renewal. A story of fluidity.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever written, and it is the piece that I will always cherish as a special offspring of mine. It was the one I was most worried about sending out into the world. It was the sensitive one. It was the one I wasn’t sure could handle the pressure. And I should have trusted because it has exceeded my expectations and taking me to places I never thought I could go.

The book unflinchingly explores so many aspects of motherhood: from delivery to empty nest-hood. From adoption to loss. From grief to triumph. It bravely touches on how becoming Mom can be one of the most confounding confusing labels in addition to being one of the most rewarding obviously. It does not pull punches. It is beautiful and you can order it here:


Yesterday, I auditioned for Listen to Your Mother in Chicago. What is this wonderfully titled show about? According to their website:

The mission of each LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER production is to take the audience on a well-crafted journey that celebrates and validates mothering through giving voice to motherhood–in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor–in the form of original readings performed live on-stage by their authors.

Pretty cool, huh?

Quite the antidote to the glazed looks I inspire at dinner parties when I tell people what I do and what I often write about. It’s also the counteragent to the many people over the years who have told me to never admit “too early” to creative artists I’m working with that I’m a mother.

Some writer/friends/instructors I know introduced me to Listen to Your Mother, and it sounded like the type of unusual and creative program I would enjoy participating in. I submitted my piece for consideration back in January and was called in to audition.

A resounding “Woohoo!” was heard throughout the land. Or at least throughout my house.

I edited the piece down to where I could read it in under five minutes and practiced until I was comfortable and unsurprised by any rogue tongue-twisters or winding sentences.

As this was a new opportunity to take a risk that was purely creative, artistic, expressive, exhilarating, and terrifying, my children took this as a challenge.

For 48 hours before my audition, the household was a flurry of stomach flu, epic meltdowns, and an existential crisis or two, all while my volunteer work presented me with time-sensitive emergencies. And there was laundry. There’s always laundry.

I went into Sunday having not slept since Thursday night and shaking from caffeine and nerves. I hadn’t been able to run the piece as much as I’d wanted in the two days prior, and I was feeling spent and drained.

I’ve auditioned for shows before, but never reading my own work. This was a different level of vulnerability/chutzpah. This mattered to me in ways other auditions hadn’t. I felt myself shaking and my voice cracking already, and I don’t usually have that in auditions.

The auditions were held at the gorgeous (and relatively easy-to-find-parking-near) Athenaeaum Theater. There was a sign-in table with a friendly note attached, kindly pointing out in various ways how happy the producers are to have us there and that we should not be nervous.

There were other moms waiting to tell their stories. One had a sick baby in her arms, the little one obviously feverish and unhappy, her head resting on her mama’s shoulders. “I figure if anyone is going to understand having a child in my arms, it’s here,” her mother explained. She was shifting her weight side to side, gently rocking her daughter in that timeless oceanic movement we have when holding babies, a motion no one teaches us, but one that seems to rise up from the earth or our feet and hips.

It was her first time auditioning for the show, she told me.

“Mine, too,” said another mom. She wondered what she was doing there. She’d written her piece as a way to process her grief over recently losing her own mother. She assumed she was going to cry during her reading. She talked about how hard that was, that she’s had to be a rock for her whole family during this whole time, and “I’m really just a marshmallow,” she said.

“You got this,” I told her, when she went in to read.

“I don’t have any tissues,” she smiled back at me. Bold and afraid, like everyone else coming in and out of that room.

A third mom came out from her audition and spoke with us and the mom holding the baby. She was dabbing tears. “I did it!” she cried, even though she had no idea who we were. “I made it to the end before crying, too!”

We congratulated her, as she did to me when I finished. She’d waited for me. We’d only just met, and in that instant we were each other’s greatest cheerleaders.

wed only just met

I thought about all the infantilising, dismissive comments about “Mommy Bloggers” and “Mommy Wars,” and too-often expressed opinions that those of us who have the awesome responsibility of motherhood are both silly and self-important, vain and shallow.

And to them I say, you’re not listening to our stories.

And to my fellow moms, I say we need to tell our stories — the ones of struggle and triumph and insecurity and identity…the ones that lie under all those other stories we tell a little more readily.

I only met and spoke with these women, these glorious mothers, for maybe five or ten minutes. That’s it. And it made my heart race just as quickly as the thought of auditioning, but in a way that reverberated and echoed through me. Through generations. Through time.

Because there was no bullshit, no competition. Just honesty. Raw emotion. Slivers of connection and recognition in a large city where we are ripping ourselves open every day needing to be heard.

Learn more about LTYM here.