My Rejected “Listen To Your Mother” Piece: Celebrating Rage


I was dying to join the Listen To Your Mother (“LTYM”) cast in Chicago.  I watched the announcements and sent in my piece after vetting it through my husband and close writer friends.  When I got an audition, I jumped for joy and ate some extra pudding.  Honestly, it was a thrill to show up and read my piece for the producers.

When I wasn’t selected for the cast, they sent me a very nice rejection email that encouraged me to try again next year.  I certainly plan to do that.  I had a little cry of disappointment, bought some new nail polish, and soldiered forth.

Then, May hit and half of my Facebook feed was LTYM updates EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  I could see from the pictures and the posts that those women were doing some serious bonding.  Actually, it looked like healing, rejoicing and exalting.

Man, I was getting a vicarious hit off it.   As I read the “wrap up” posts from Sellabit Mum and Erin Margolin and over at Zebra Garden, I realized that I now have a bucket list.  My bucket list has one item on it: join a LTYM cast.  I am so grateful for the inspiration from the women who are posting about it.  You’ve got coattails and I’ve got talons, so I’m gonna affix myself to your coattails and ride them all the way to the microphone.  Some day.

In the meantime, I edited (heavily) my piece and sent it out into the world.  Next year, I’ll have to bring something new to the table– something fresher, deeper, funnier, wiser.  Hell, I don’t know because if I did, I woulda brought it this year and this post would be about the amazing time I had being in LTYM.

In any case, my post was about celebrating my daughter’s (and my own) rage.  The kind folks over at the Huffington Post gave it some wings, so click here if you care to read it.  (Also, I am sure tons of nasty commenters will skewer me, so that might be a fun read.)


34 thoughts on “My Rejected “Listen To Your Mother” Piece: Celebrating Rage

  1. LOVE the post. LOVE it. I hate how we try to suppress anger, especially in our girls. It’s a perfectly healthy and normal emotion…and it needs to be expressed not repressed. With your wit and insight, I know you’ll be crossing this item off your bucket list next year. It’s a no-brainer. 🙂 –Lisa

  2. great piece but i wonder if you’ll embrace her anger the same way in a few years when she’s 7, 8, 9… my middle boy is my hot tempered tamale and over the years i’ve gone through many different ways to deal with his outburst… we started out loving and accepting and getting all wrapped up in his expression but (of course it depends on what’s going on)now i just say in an annoying therapist’s voice, i’m sorry you’re so upset. when you calm down, we can talk about it. and if you’re going to scream, please do it somewhere else.

    • Totally what I was thinking, icescreammama! But I love the images in your Huff Post piece – and I applaud your instincts to embrace your daughter’s rage – such a useful reminder for me as I work to support my 9 y.o. with her own rage in ways that don’t alienate all who love her.

  3. Just so you know, I’m about to click that link and at the last line of the post I intend to close the page. Friends do not let friends read internet comments (especially on HuffPo).

  4. It’s nice to see a different perspective on the tantrums. I grew up in a house where suppressing emotion was encouraged, but I hope I can have the patience to give my daughter this kind of acceptance and freedom with hers. Her temper runs pretty hot, and it’s much easier to let her rage when we’re not in a public place! When we have observers in Target I generally fail at acceptance, and make the quickest exit possible.
    I have no doubt you will be part of the LTYM cast next time.

  5. That was wonderful and I would have LOVED to see video of you reading it for LTYM. I want you to promise you’ll try again next year. That said, your willingness to let her tantrums happen, let her fully experience her anger (albeit probably not great when happening in Target) is commendable. And I love how you don’t allude to “giving in” when she flips out. That’s an important aspect: just because you’re allowed to express your anger does not mean that Mommy is a wuss or going to give you what you want. Just be willing to adapt what you consider acceptable behavior as she gets older. Because come 12, ain’t nobody got time for her to be laid out on the floor screaming.

    • Awww, shucks. Thanks for coming by my blog. I’ll keep trying. Thanks to posts like yours I can see how amazing it all is.

      On Thu, May 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM, Outlaw Mama

  6. Can I just say a few things? first, you were SO BRAVE to submit. Second, to be called for an audition is an HONOR you should be soooo proud of….and I’m sorry you didn’t make the final rounds. Does it make you feel any better that I wasn’t sure my own piece was fit for reading at our KC show? Even though it’s over and recorded and will eventually be on YouTube for the world to see, I’m scared it doesn’t begin to measure up to all the other stories out there. I’m terrified that I’m awful. Because if you are co-directing a show, you don’t have to audition. Even so, as I read my piece aloud to our cast for the first time, I cried and asked them to PLEASE be honest with me….I wanted them to TELL ME if what I wrote wasn’t worthy—because I felt all of their pieces were so much stronger and better than my own. And in the end….I read it. I did it. And still? I don’t know. I made them swear to be honest w/ me about the quality of my essay…but could you really tell your LTYM co-director if she sucked? I don’t know.

    And agree with person above who said—do not read the comments on HuffPost. Just don’t.

    I love you.

    • Ok. I read your piece and it was searing. The prom dresses, your mother’s angst, the nail polish…. It was gorgeous– I don’t care if you were up there with mary Oliver, Charlotte Bronte and jk Rowling. And of course I relate to the self doubt.

      I honestly was tickled pink to get the audition and I’ll for sure keep trying.

      I let myself read huff Po comments only after I’ve had a lobotomy. So yeah never.

      You. I love you!!!

  7. I loved your piece before and I love your piece now. It’s riveting and truthful and vulnerable and full of substance and light. No doubt you will be up on that stage one day soon. You are a rockstar through and through! The comments on the Huff Post in general make me hyperventilate. I don’t know how you do it!

  8. Always an inspiration lady. Kudos to you for auditioning – that’s no joke! And I love the post on Huffington. Acceptance is so important. And being able to say what’s on your mind and in your heart is critical. Your daughter is lucky to have you, and you’re right: you’re an amazing mother. And LTYM needs you…
    PS I read all the comments on HP on your behalf, and every one of them is positive. Some ass hole might be on there right now saying dumb things with their fingers, but as of one minute ago, you’re a star, and you helped some people. Well done.

    • Thank you. That’s so nice of you to metabolize the comments for me. Honestly, they scare me so bad I get the runs. But truthfully, the worst ones are people commenting on my comments to other people. People misunderstand and fire off.

      Thank you for the love and support!

      • Do people not have grandmothers anymore? “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”…Unless they’re truly interested in an intelligent and respectful exchange of opposing views, they should just shut it…Being mean is so 90’s. You’re awesome and I’ma keep saying it. Deal with it : )

  9. You know I didn’t even know LTYM was a thing until I saw chatter about the bonding. Of course I didn’t know BlogHer VOTY was a thing until Yeah Write created a grid for it. Note to self: make an effort to learn more things are things.

    Also, ((( hugs ))). I’m sure you’re in the bag for next year.

  10. Wow, Christie. Your rage post gives me a lot to think about. I’m really glad to have read it, but now I just want to pick your brain further… I’m pretty sure I’m terrible at dealing with my kid’s meltdowns… And it looks like baby sister is going to be even more, um, feisty.

  11. I thought about submitting to LTYM, but I chickened out. Then when I read all the updates I was a little jealous and feeling a lot of regret for not even trying. Good for your for putting yourself out there. I loved your piece on HuffPo and I loved this. You’ll get to LTYM, I’m sure of it.

  12. Pingback: How To Read A Rejection Email (The Listen To Your Mother Edition 2.0) | Outlaw Mama

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