When a mother's reaction is disappointing, is not the support you were needing or hoping for, remember to keep  a window open in your relationship because, one day she may just surprise you.

We’re telling stories

Rich Valenza is our guest today. He is the Founder and CEO of RaiseAChild,a national nonprofit organization building loving families for foster children®.

RaiseAChild recruits, educates, and nurtures supportive relationships equally with all prospective foster and adoptive parents while partnering with agencies to improve the process of advancing the nations 437,000 foster children to safe, loving and permanent homes. In its six-year history, RaiseAChild has engaged more than 8,500 prospective parents across the country.

In establishing RaiseAChild, Rich has drawn on more than 25 years’ success in marketing and development for broadcast media and nonprofit organizations. He has used his expertise in working with leading national and international corporations to form strategic partnerships with community service agencies, national and regional LGBTQ organizations, and businesses to build RaiseAChild’s strength and influence. Rich serves as a member of the Adoption Exchange Association’s Board of Directors.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

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We learn so much from our children. In this episode, Gina Piccalo reads from her not yet published memoir. When you had a troubled childhood and your daughter wants you to tell her bedtime stories from that time, how do you play it? 

In this touching story, Gina talks about the gift of seeing her story through her daughter's eyes, and the healing that has since taken place with her relationship with her own mother.

Gina Piccalo spent a decade on staff at the Los Angeles Times covering Hollywood. Her work has also appeared in Emmy Magazine, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Magazine and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. In 2017, she completed her memoir, "The Mother Ache." Now a counseling astrologer based in Nashville with her daughter and husband, she can be reached at GinaPiccaloAstrology.com.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Operating in this world with what others may think of as challenges - being black, a little person, gay, and Christian, Clay Rivers reminds us that we all have challenges that we are walking around with. Some people’s challenges are more hidden. Clay wears his out loud.
 
I can do it myself! The way he entered into this world was a perfect match for the mother he was born to. She knew that faith, self respect, respect of others and taking personal responsibility was key to fully becoming who you were intended to be. Today’s story is about how the death of Princess Diana reinforced the gratitude he had for his own mother.
 
Clay Rivers is a writer who writes about the intersection of race, equality, faith and entertainment. His writing credits include most notably The New York Times, the popular Medium publications Crossin(G)enres and The Mission. Clay is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Our Human Family, the new Medium publication that takes a look at racism through the lenses of equality, faith, and the shared humanity of all people.
 
Clay Rivers has penned three nonfiction books: 
Walking Tall: A Memoir About the Upside of Small and Other Stuff
The Raindancer: Finding Joy in the Storm, and 
3 Things I Know: Facing and Embracing Life’s Challenges
Each takes a different look—first, second, and third person points of view—at how to effectively mine the best from life’s most trying circumstances. 
 
Clay Lives in Orlando and is almost always up for a cappuccino. Or a Manhattan.
 
 
Facebook author page: http://facebook.com

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Follow us on social media or on our website

Imagine being instantly 8 months pregnant. In this adoption story, our guest Ben Barnz reads an excerpt from his book We: an adoption and a memoir.

He shares how he and his husband came to be parents and how the birthmother of his child made them a We.  

Ben Barnz, in addition to being a memoirist, is an independent film and television producer. He frequently collaborates with his husband, filmmaker Daniel Barnz. Together they formed We’re Not Brothers Productions, so named because everyone who doesn’t know them assumes they must be brothers. They are not.

Barnz produced CAKE, starring Jennifer Aniston which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Barnz’s next film project, I’LL DROP A HOUSE ON YOU, will start production in the fall of 2018, and is the story of Ryan Wash – a young black queer debater who revolutionized the world of debate. Barnz is producing with Plan B and Macro. Barnz is also producing LONESOME TONIGHT about the love affair between Elvis Presley and young Priscilla Beaulieu. He is also producing a one-hour television drama written by his husband and sixteen-year old daughter. The show takes a frank and uncensored look at teenage sexuality and identity, as well as a limited series for NBC .

Barnz's first book is published by Wyatt-McKenzie. WEAn Adoption and A Memoir is about the adoption of his daughter, and the legal (and emotionally fraught) battle that ensued with her birthfather - a battle that began the day after her birth and two days after 9/11. The book interweaves this story with Ben's path to parenthood - beginning with his closeted youth in 1980s New York City, a time when it was statistically more likely he would die from AIDS than become a father. 

Born and raised in New York City, Barnz attended Hampshire College. 

follow him on twitter @WEbyBenBarnz and on insta @benbarnzwe

link to his book is on our website www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

Here’s a question we are curious about: Do you teach your kids how to party responsibly? Did your mom teach you? Shouldn't we talk about how to parent when it comes to teens’ drinking and drug use? We all know that "just say no" is neither an effective nor a realistic tactic.

Today’s story opens up an honest conversation about drugs, alcohol, teens and our roles as mothers.

Linda Freund shares her day of mushroom trippin' with Bonnie, her mom. And she looks back fondly on the lessons she learned.  

Linda Freund is an aspiring novelist, filmmaker and award-winning multimedia journalist based in Barcelona, Spain. She previously worked as a senior video journalist for The Wall Street Journal.  

website: www.lblakemedia.com 
twitter: @StoryFreund

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website

 *this story was originally pubished on Medium.com

Life is a beautiful thing if you can navigate all the loss. Once your child dies you’re still their mother. In this episode our guest shares the death of her 6 year old son and her journey of navigating that loss.

Chanel Brenner shares how she listened and trusted her inner voice, “You know how to survive the loss of your child. Everyone has their own grief journey.” She reminds us to be respectful of each others grief process. Putting boundaries around grief, helped her marriage survive such loss

Chanel Brenner is the author of Vanilla Milk: a memoir told in poems, (Silver Birch Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the 2016 Independent Book Awards and honorable mention in the 2014 Eric Hoffer awards.  Her poems have appeared in New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, Muzzle Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Spry Literary Journal, Barrow Street, Salamander, Spoon River Poetry Review, Literary Mama, and others. Her poem, “July 28th, 2012” won first prize in The Write Place At the Write Time’s contest, judged by Ellen Bass. In 2018, she was nominated for a Best of the Net.

http://chanelbrenner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Vanilla-Milk-Memoir-Told-Poems/dp/0692267476

http://www.literarymama.com/poetry/archives/2019/03/mother-trucker.html

https://www.facebook.com/chanelbrennerauthor/

https://twitter.com/chanelb2

Grief Haven is an online community for people traveling the path of grief.  

https://griefhaven.org/

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable andsome you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website 

I Have Two Times the Love for One Child, by Chanel Brenner

*This poem was first published in Snapdragon, Journal of art and healing in June, 2015

A take on motherhood from a girl who is just entering womanhood. What happens when you are a teen, terrified to leave the nest and go to college? You create your comfort zone, your college family.

Parker Sacavitch is a college freshman at Emerson College in Boston. She's currently studying screenwriting, but she's tried writing everything from angsty poetry to horoscopes and everything in between. Her goal is to one day work in the world of children's animated television. 

You can follow Parker on Instagram is @babyimtheshed and she hosts a radio show on WECB Saturdays from 8-9 eastern time where she reviews movies  

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Follow us on social media or on our website

We’re telling stories

We talk about the sadnesses that can be passed on to our children. Or sadness of our mother's that we sometimes take on as our own. How do we ease a burden and not take it on ourselves? Eternal questions. 

Tanya Davis is a writer, performer, and musician currently based in Montréal, Québec. She has released 4 albums and 2 books of poetry, including an illustrated version of the widely popular video poem on YouTube, How to be Alone (made in collaboration with Andrea Dorfman). She is past Poet Laureate of Halifax, Nova Scotia where she was also Artist in Residence at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Medicine. She is currently at work on a new collection of poems.

 If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Lupe Padilla Mitchell and Katie Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or our website www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

We’re telling stories 

Jennifer Hamm’s story is about learning to raise the child she was given. Her second son was not like her first. She and her husband needed to figure out how to understand him and how to parent him. Through this process she discovered that his emotional intelligence exceeded his ability to articulate and communicate what he was feeling. She shares how she and her husband had to go to therapy so they could get on the same page to effectively parent this son.

As mothers we tend to pad the corners, we are peacemakers so we find ourselves interpreting our your kids to you husband and your husband to your kids. 

Writer Jennifer Hamm is from Beverly Hills and has lived between LA and London since 1994.  She began writing over 30 years ago in the worlds of film, tv, blogs, travel and now novels.  She is a mother to four boys… and her husband.

www.itsonlyforayear.com is a blog about raising her boys between two countries and all the wonderful chaos that comes with motherhood.

 If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Lupe Padilla Mitchell and Katie Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

 

We're telling stories. If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners and songwriters, to stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Find more about us at Insta @ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother and facebook.com/ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother and twitter @katie_mitchll

 

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