Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Stage

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Image via Listen to Your Mother

The power of blogging lies within one woman sharing her heart via her words and another woman reading those Heart Words and (finally) finding the moment to breathe, “Me, too.” Stay-at-home humorist and mother of two Ann Imig harnessed this magic and took telling stories of motherhood from the page to the stage with what has become a national series of live readings celebrating the good, the bad, the ugly, the sad, the funny, and, of course, the golden parts of motherhood.

The unspoken of motherhood becomes spoken—a palpable feeling of connectedness washes over the audience and ultimately, I believe, strengthening community in the process.

In 2010, Imig founded Listen To Your Mother (LTYM), spawning the live-reading series now giving Mother's Day a microphone nationwide and appearing on NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. 

About LTYM, Imig says, “I believe that sharing personal stories in a public forum emboldens not only the storyteller, but also the audience. When people go see professional performers on stage, they might have the response, I could never do that. Listen To Your Mother creates a near-opposite effect. People see their friends and neighbors on-stage, talking about mothering or their mom and they often leave thinking, “Me, too.” LTYM leaves people feeling celebrated as parents, and as daughters and sons, while simultaneously expanding the audience's notions of what it means to mother. The unspoken of motherhood becomes spoken—a palpable feeling of connectedness washes over the audience and ultimately, I believe,  strengthening community in the process. That connectedness extends into the lobby after our shows, as audience members share their own stories and often make donations to local non-profit causes. Our shows have raised over $25,000 for women and families in need.” 

{ MORE: Mom's Facebook Post Perfectly Nails the Unreal Expectations Society Has of Working Moms }

What started out as one show out of Madison, Wisconsin, in 2010 is now reaching 32 cities nationwide this year! By this Mother’s Day, more than 400 stories of motherhood will be shared on stage. If there is a show near you, you can find all 32 cities and their show dates and times on the Listen to Your Mother website. Grab your girlfriends and mothers, and maybe some tissues, and make sure you're there. LTYM is pure not-to-be-missed magic. To whet your palate, we’ve gathered some LTYM alumni stories that you absolutely cannot miss.

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Image via Listen to Your Mother

Colleen Kruse read “Cannibal Hamsters” in the Twin Cities’ 2013 show.

When a mother gets tired of saying “no,” she makes questionable decisions that unravel in horrifying and hilarious ways. Colleen Kruse brought down the house with this deftly written and perfectly delivered story.

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Watch the video on LTYM's YouTube channel.

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Image via Listen to Your Mother

Brenda Watterson read “The Day You Were Born” in NW Indiana's 2013 show. 

“Ben was just 5 years old when his father and I met … Two years later on our wedding day, he slid a heart-shaped plastic ring under my bathroom door and shyly asked if I would wear it.”

Brenda tells her story of becoming a mother to her husband’s children and the magical, special love they share. This one will pull at every single one of your heartstrings. 

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Watch the video on LTYM's YouTube channel.

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Image via Listen to Your Mother

Greta Funk read “The Wondering” in Kansas City’s 2013 show. 

Greta's first husband died in a terrible car accident when she was barely pregnant with her second child. Her perfectly woven story sheds so much light on how mothers mother when tragedy strikes.

Watch the video on LTYM's YouTube channel.

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Image via Listen to Your Mother

Eddy Jordan read “This Is The Kind of Person My Mother Was” at Boulder’s 2013 show.

“I saw my mother die 2,601 days ago, and I've thought about it every day since.” Eddy's storytelling is both funny and utterly moving. He shares the view of a mother from a young boy's eyes. You can't not fall in love with this one. 

{ MORE: 5 Things to Expect When You Have Babies 10 Years Apart }

Watch the video on LTYM's YouTube channel.

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Image via Listen to Your Mother

Barbara Patrick read “Leaps and Bounds” at NYC’s 2013 show.

“One of my greatest life lessons as a mother … is that I need to let go sometimes. And when I do, they'll be OK.” Imagine taking your children to school in Newtown after that tragic day. This Newtown mom shares her story.

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Watch the video on LTYM's YouTube channel.

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Image via Listen to Your Mother

Erin Skibinski read “The Perfect Mother” at Chicago's 2013 show.

“Sometimes I sneak a Starbucks, because for the love of all that is holy, I have been feeding this child every two hours around the clock for the past seven weeks. And I need caffeine to do things, like shower. And swallow food.” You'll love this mom's hysterical piece about perfect moms.

Watch the video on LTYM's YouTube channel.

{ MORE: To the New Moms of the Future: I Promise I Won’t Forget }

Is there a LTYM show near you? Will you be there?

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Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Stage

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can get your child a phone and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She liv ... More

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