Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why You Should Go See the Listen to Your Mother Show

Remember when the dad in A Christmas Story when he won his leg lamp, and yelled out in joy, “It’s a major award!”

That’s pretty much how I felt when I found out I was in the cast of Listen to Your Mother.

My blogging friends understand how exciting this is since they know about theListen to Your Mother Show, but my non blogging friends, who have never heard of the show, don’t really know what to think.

When I tell them about being in the show, they are excited because I’m excited. But then there is a shifty, unsure look in their eye since they are not sure what it is all about.

I try to explain that it is a show about motherhood, but then, still confused, I am usually asked questions along these lines:

Will you be performing a monologue? (No, I’ll be reading my piece).

Is it like the Vagina Monologue? (Hmm, I’m not sure about that one).

What will you be reading?  (An essay that I wrote about motherhood).

Since it is still hard to imagine a show where people read stories about motherhood, here is a clip in which Ann Imig, the creator of Listen to Your Mother, talks about the show:

What I love most about this show is that it gives people a platform to tell their story.  The show gives motherhood a voice that is often not heard.  Motherhood can be an isolating experience, given all the polarizing topics.  One often forgets that there are common threads that bind us together, regardless if we are mothers, remembering our mothers, or hope to be mothers.

There is real power in sharing your truth. 

Walls are broken.

Connections are made.

Stigmas disappear.

I found comfort in the stories that the other cast mates had written because suddenly, I was not alone in some of my feelings surrounding motherhood.  I experienced the “me, too” phenomenon that Ann talks about in the video.

I hope that if you attend a Listen to Your Mother Show that you feel the incredibly validating “me, too” feeling.

However, if you are not local, here is a list of cities that do have a Listen to YourMother show.

I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Snow Days in March

It is March 12th, and we have a snow day. 

A SNOW DAY!  How can this be?!  I was just running outside two days ago!

This must be the latest occurring snow day in the history of snow days.

I have given up on putting boundaries on screen time today.  We are in survival mode.

I am trying to shift my perspective, so I am sharing a movie that I made when snow days were fun and exciting and novel instead of being a burden.

snow days in march mommy on the spot
Look at those smiles! That's when we loved snow.

How is the weather by you?  Are you surviving another snow day? Am I being silly by clinging to the notion that spring will eventually happen? 

Friday, March 7, 2014

How You See Yourself

 Through blogging, I have met some incredible people.  Some of these relationships have developed into real friendships.

One of my friends that I have met is not only super smart, but she is kind and helpful.  She has been so generous with me, but most of all she has been honest when we discuss personal things like writing relationships.

I often think how lucky I am to have met her in the big wide world of the Internet.

One thing that I have noticed is that she says things that let me know she doesn’t see herself in the same light as I see her.

She sees her mistakes, her past, her flaws.

It makes me sad that she doesn’t see this incredible person that I see, and I wonder how our perceptions are so different.

And then I started to self-reflect as I often do about people and relationships.

I have been feeling very insecure about a variety of things, one being my audition for the Listen toYour Mother cast for Metro Detroit.  Ever since I learned about the production a few years ago, I hoped for a chance to audition.

And I got it.

erin janda rawlings is in listen to your mother michigan cast
This feels like a dream.

I was elated . . . until I started to overthink why they picked me.

I write pretty consistently, but I would never say I am a great writer.  There are blogs out there that are far better than mine.   Their writing is more powerful or more funny, their communities more engaged.

Then I started to spiral and question any bit of success that I have enjoyed.

Why am I chosen for to be a part of the Mom Panel on Live in the D?  There are people that I feel would be more qualified than me.  I am by no means an expert on motherhood.  Case in point: I go upstairs to brush my teeth, and this happens:

 I wanted to be mad, but how could I? He loves the cat
 and that structure took some serious planning in a short amount of time.

I continued my downward spiral and began to recall my freshman year at the University of Michigan.  People who I went to high school with, the same people who were in National Honor Society and AP classes with me would say to my face, “If they let Erin in, they will let anyone in.”

These comments basically confirmed all the negative self-talk bouncing around in my head.  I never was revered as the smartest kid in class, and I was laughed at when I asked questions. 

I guess I never saw myself as something great. I just showed up and worked hard.  There is nothing special about that.

And I still do that – show up and work hard. 

But yesterday I was writing a bio for a speaking engagement and I was struck my all of my accomplishments in the 4 ½ years of blogging.  If I were reading that bio about someone else, I would think she was pretty awesome.

Then I circled back to my friend who I wish could see herself as I see her.

And that’s when it hit me – people might see me differently than I see myself.

I see myself through my past and feel the scars left behind from those mean comments about my abilities.

I see myself through my flaws as a mom who can never strike that balance of spending time with my kids and investing in myself.

I think it is time to believe that someone sees me differently than I see myself and own what I have accomplished.

Do you struggle with negative self-talk?  How do you deal with it?