There’s a part of me that still hasn’t come to grips with the fact that in just days, I will stand before more than 400 people and read a piece about one of the most painful times of my life.

Celebrate motherhood at a LTYM performance

Merely thinking about that time immediately causes the lump in my throat to form.

And waiting in the wings will be my 11 fellow Listen to your Mother Show castmates and two producers, each of whom will take their turn at the podium to share their souls.

We will share stories of finding our way as mothers, learning to let go of our children, realizing that there are many ways to show love to our babies, and the ways in which our mothers have made us who we are today.

Vulnerability and honesty

And we will each stand and speak from a place of vulnerability and honesty.

If our rehearsals are any indication, I predict tears. Of laughter... of heartbreak... of understanding. The San Francisco show in which I will perform is just one of 10 performances across the nation where writers will share their joy, their pain, and their hope in celebration of Mother’s Day.

Read about the connection between tiny fingers, manicures and motherhood >>

A powerful show

Ann Imig, LTYM’s founder and national director explains how it all began: “What started as a means to provide an opportunity for local writers to share their words on motherhood in Madison, Wisconsin in 2010 has catapulted into a 10-city national Mother's Day reading series and movement celebrating the collective work of motherhood and bearing witness to its endless variations.”

Growing from a one to 10-cities show within two years is testament to how powerful LTYM is and how well received it has been by the community.

Imig explains just how important LTYM is: "Born of the creativity of online women, LTYM brings the parental support, love for writing, and creative vitality from the blogosphere to cities nationwide — donating to local non-profit causes supporting needy women and families along the way."

LTYM donates 10 percent of all proceeds to non-profit charitable organizations in each of the communities in which the show is held.

When I asked Imig about her dreams for the show, she answered, “I hope LTYM continues to grow and thrive and reach more cities, while retaining the heart and soul of its mission — honoring the stories within all of us, and coming together to celebrate the beauty, the beast and the barely rested of motherhood. Because motherhood deserves more than brunch.”

Read about motherhood and transformation: how becoming a mom changes you >>

See the show

Although several of the shows have already taken place, if you live in or near San Francisco, Northwest Indiana, Philadelphia, Madison or Spokane, you can still purchase tickets to LTYM.

If you're unable to attend a live performance, you can view readings from previous years on the LTYM YouTube channel. This year's performances will be added later this summer.

Bring tissues

My only advice is to bring plenty of tissues and prepare to be ever changed from the experience.

There on the stage, when I read about my heartbreak and hear the words of my castmates, another small piece of my heart will heal, and for that, I am eternally grateful to the amazing Ann Imig and everyone involved with the Listen to your Mother Show.

More on motherhood

Adoption photos: The moment I became a mom
Birth photos: The moment I became a mom
5 Lessons I learned from my mother

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