The term motherhood often reminds people of cliché words like sacrificial, nurturing or even sacrosanct. What Ann Imig, the editor of this ingenious anthology, found in her early days of motherhood were, however, chaos and humor. Between the LEGO-strewn carpet and the 5am pokes from her boys, writing about her child-rearing struggles came to be her liberator. Her blog, Ann’s Rants, instantly became an online hit and led Imig to found Listen to Your Mother, a live reading series and video sharing company to share stories of moms everywhere. This book, of the same title, is a collection of stories about motherhood, and proves that nothing about being a mother is ever cliché.
There are a total of 56 short stories in the anthology – some are heartbreaking, some outright hilarious and some eye-opening. “Prepare to be Judged, and Possibly Stabbed,” for example, depicts a classic incident in a park where the author – a mother herself –quietly fumes over an over-the-line comment by a passerby on her daughter’s outfit, and also eavesdrops on a string of priceless judgmental comments between new mothers about each other’s motherly ways. In another story, a lesbian mother comes to peace with the fact that her daughter does not want to be a princess in pink. She doesn’t even want to be the prince, no: “Obviously, I would be the king,” she declares.
Families with third culture kids can relate to the story of a daughter of an immigrant family having a moment of epiphany that her speaking English does not make her better than her mother. In addition to these, the anthology is filled with stories about adoption, emptying nests, infertility, LGBTQ parenting, and so much more.
Moms are often taken for granted, their personality and life easily mired in the daily business of mothering. The stories in Listen to Your Mother give moms a voice, and an opportunity for the rest of us to better appreciate the fact that they put up with us. Most everyone has a mother, and we are sure you will find a moving story in here that will remind you of yours.