By Kristen Kemp
During the first two weeks of May, leading up to Mother's Day on May 10, 39 cities nationwide will host live reading events called Listen to Your Mother. For the past five years, parents used this forum to share their stories—no-holds-barred. "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," reads the website. These performances explore the complexity, diversity, and humor that is parenthood with stories that other parents can relate to. Tickets to the live shows can be bought online now. For those who cannot attend a live show, performances will be available to watch on the Listen to Your Mother YouTube Channel. Already archived on the program's YouTube channel are over 1,000 videos; they have had more than 1.1 million viewers.
The series was created by popular blogger and stay-at-home humorist Ann Imig, who has now compiled some of the best talks into Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now. Brimming with essays from quick-witted, unique writers, ranging from new voices to more established ones like Jenny Lawson and Jennifer Weiner, this book covers all parenting territory. Part of it is funny and a lot of it is tear-jerking, but every parent will find something intriguing here, from topics such as gay parenting, special needs, alcoholism, mommy judgment, and more. Even the busiest mom can breeze through an essay while hiding in the bathroom, pretending to take a shower. You may find yourself staying up past your bedtime because this page-turner is so hard to put down.
Watch this hilarious video about talking puberty with kids from last year's event to get an idea of what we're talking about here:
This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of Parents magazine.
Image courtesy of G.P. Putnam's Sons, Penguin Random House.