A Different Kind Of Motherhood

Being in the thick of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER season, I tend to get a little crazed because there is just so much to do.

Okay, that’s my life.

It really does get a little more intense this time of year, though. Tracey and I don’t just spend our time thinking about (and taking action on) all of the logistics involved with producing the show—Chicago’s third, this year!—but we also give a lot of attention to the development of a strong family vibe with our cast, because that’s important to us as a part of the whole experience for everyone. We become very protective over each and every one of our cast members as if they were our own children. (The “grown women” kind of children, but children nonetheless.)

By the time we hit the stage, our cast is tight. On show day, Tracey and I take lots of mental pictures and remember to enjoy those moments as we watch how our babies have grown. Indeed, producing a LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER show is a lot like motherhood on steroids. We give birth to a cast and nurture them for a couple of months and then, suddenly, way too quickly, we watch them accomplish what they set out to do and then move on, leaving a little piece of themselves with us forever.

I am experiencing that in spades this season since I took on the position of New Cities Mentor on the LTYM National Team. I almost wept with joy when Ann Imig (Founder and National Director) offered me the position last fall because I am passionate about the LTYM mission, I’m passionate about how Tracey and I work together to create the Chicago show from scratch each year, and I’m passionate about helping others. Honestly the job couldn’t fit me more perfectly.

With this job came eleven production teams from our new LTYM cities; all in all, twenty-nine grown women babies (thirty-three if you count a couple of new producers on returning city teams with whom I’ve worked this season). As much as I have appreciated their appreciation that I’m there for them, the pleasure really has been all mine. Being behind-the-scenes on eleven LTYM shows besides my own has been quite a ride and yet it’s bittersweet because I know that in just a few short weeks, I will see those “babies” grow up.

One of my final goals for the season as a mentor was to meet with each team privately (as opposed to having webinars for the masses). The idea was to check in on their show specifically, answer any questions they might have, and pump them up a little bit if needed.

Last night I met with my first team, the ladies of Metro Detroit.

Metro Detroit

I can’t even express in words what a joy it was to have a conversation with them. As they answered my questions about their show and gave me story after story about their journey so far, I thought my heart might explode. Those three have got it together. Their show is going to be completely amazing (Detroit friends? GO.). Sharing that hour with them filled me with so much pride it was as if I were their real mother (their young-ish mother who acts more like a sister), and it made me cry happy tears that I’m a part of this, AGAIN. (It just keeps happening!)

I’m looking forward to my meetings with the other new cities with unparalleled enthusiasm, tempered with a touch of melancholy.

My kids are growing up.


  • Jennifer

    I feel this same way about our cast members. Does this make you like their LTYM grandmother? LOL… Nah. Just the cool, helpful aunt. 😉

  • MrsTDJ

    You totally rock as our New Cities Mentor and we can’t imagine getting through this process without you!! Thanks for giving so completely to help all of us put on amazing shows!!! Can’t wait to hug ya!

  • Angie Mizzell

    Here’s the thing about me: I try to answer my own question before I ask and I don’t like to “bug” people. But you are so open that that teensy insecurity inside of me faded away. You make us all feel valued and heard… and that’s priceless.

  • Jessica

    You know what I loved most about this post? That I heard your voice reading it to me. So amazing to connect with you and be part of a show that is so much bigger than just a show. Thank you for your constant support and guidance. xo