My Experiment With Leaving Creative Time To Simmer

Beginning after the last show ended I took my first “maternity leave” from Expressing Motherhood.

I needed to focus on a few things in our family but I also wanted to see what it was like not having a project, namely the show, to sidetrack me.

I thought I might get rid of my nanny.

I alluded that to her and told her I wanted to spend more time with my kids.

And to be honest, I was a bit miserable.

I made these plans to get my youngest into pre-school and she didn’t really want to go quite yet and I didn’t really want to be with her 5 days a week, because that meant no break for this mama.

I don’t believe in no breaks. Because I break.

I’m with my kids every day. I love it. But I also love racing to the computer when they nap. I love meeting up with like minded moms and rattling off our ideas in a fast and furious manner because we know our time is limited.

I’m addicted to the energy of being an artist.

The steam it allows me to blow off.

I felt depressed on some days with them and overwhelmed and honestly bored.

I was watching the documentary “Muscle Shoals” a few weeks ago with my husband and I had no idea what it was about. I was blown away. By the music, the editing, the way they spoke about being artists and also how it was mostly young men in their prime creating all of this art.

I felt suddenly thrilled that I have this community of women who are mothers, pushing or past 40 who feel like we have come into our prime.

Our stories are relevant.

These aren’t stories or feelings you feel at 20.

Me in my 20's.
Me in my 20’s.

 

These are stories you have to lived and breed to get to.

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All of the photos of the young recording artists, were well of young recording artists. And I couldn’t help but wonder are we at some kind of time when we will look back and say well this mom was doing this and that mom was doing that.

It’s un-traditional. We are doing it in un-traditional forms. Blogs, blogs, some traditional forms, on stage and in bands. Only we are older, we aren’t stick thin, we’ve had babies.

Yet we are artists still.

After a few months of my hiatus I realized I have to always keep at being created. As the lyrics from my friend Kari Newhouse often repeat in my mind “My Blood Needs This Race.”

When I was little I thought I would never marry or have kids.

I wanted to come to Los Angeles and pursue directing and never have a family.

It was my dream.

When I got married and got pregnant I thought I had failed.

I don’t feel that way now.

I love where I’m at now and I just realized I’m not at my best when I’m not alloying time to be creative.

I’m just not.

That’s Not OK

Tonight I said a goodnight prayer for my 2 year-old daughter. Just a thank you for the day prayer and I hope she has sweet dreams. We are an inter-faith family and don’t always pray but I did it tonight. I ended it with “I hope she has good dreams. Amen.”

Right after I finished she said, “And the man doesn’t pull my hair.”

I locked eyes with her huge eyes that were serious and furrowed. I hesitated.

I wish I was better at knowing what to say, was what immediately came to my mind.

Last week my nanny was leaving a restaurant with my youngest, holding her hand, they were with another nanny and the child she cares for. Suddenly my nanny was no longer holding my daughter’s hand.

She looked back and a strange man had my daughter by the hair.

Immediately the other nanny said, “What the fuck are you doing?” I like that nanny.

My nanny doesn’t swear and is sweet but strong and was confused. He let go of my daughter’s hair and then the woman next to him said, “He doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

I should insert here that I was chaperoning my oldest child’s field trip so you aren’t thinking, see that LA mom should have been with her child, even if I was getting my legs waxed it doesn’t matter but I feel compelled to interject that.

Anyways, another person jumped up and started apologizing and saying he was the supervisor to the two people.

It turned out they are mentally challenged.

When I heard that my heart went out to the man who pulled my daughter’s hair. My heart went out to his parents even more.

When I saw my daughter after I got back from the field trip she looked at me shyly and started to cry. I didn’t want make a huge ordeal over it so I asked her if someone pulled her hair and said no one will do that again and that her body is her body.

That was it, she got over it quickly. She also cried when she saw my husband.

The case worker called us that evening and informed us it was a second time that the man had grabbed someone inappropriately and she was very sorry and he would not be allowed to go out on those group outings again.

My husband and I felt bad.

And also of course, glad that he’s getting the care he needs. Well, I hope he is.

Tonight when my 2 year-old said that right after I prayed I was surprised.

I again, didn’t know what to say and didn’t want to say too much.

She asked, “What’s that guys name?”

I don’t know I answered.

She then said, very slowly, while waving her little finger in front of her, “That’s not OK.”

Not it’s not, I replied.

Her brothers had entered the room by then and my oldest started to smile a little bit at her cuteness and my 4 year-old boy said if someone did that to me I’d fight them. No, you scream and run to an adult you trust I countered.

Then I ushered them out and said tell her goodnight boys.

My 4 year-old ran over to the crib and I thought he would kiss her sweetly but instead he bent his arm in front of his mouth and said “Hey, smell this,” upon which he made a farting sound and ran out innocently laughing. The conversation forgotten.

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I’m not sure why I’m sharing or what my point is just a strange occurrence for us.

“The Normal Heart”

Last night, after being up since 3:30AM with my oldest throwing up, I put all the tired kids to bed at 6:30PM and poured a glass of wine and started to watch “The Normal Heart.”

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Right away I became tense and surprisingly emotional.

I don’t have that many gay male friends and I’m too young to have been around when the AIDS crisis was blowing up in the early 80’s but I am a mom, I admire anyone who has the bravery to live their life openly gay, I support equality and I’m human and I ache when I see another human being ache. I lived in Hollywood nearly 15 years, half of my neighbors were gay men.

I give credit to one mom in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for helping open my eyes and heart at an early age.

When I was 15 I lived in Sioux Falls and my best friend had an uncle who was gay. And who was dying of AIDS.

He was able to come out from California despite his dementia setting in.

I had never met an openly gay man before and I had never met anyone dying of AIDS.

Megan’s mom is such a pillar in the community that I think her demeanor of, this is all beyond OK, just set the tone.

I will never forget sitting next to him at dinner and him dropping his fork. I bent over and picked it up and handed it to him.

I obviously knew AIDS was not transmitted via touch but it was a humongous moment for my 15 year-old self.

Megan emailed me and reminded me that he also showed up to our dance recital in full on stage makeup.

Megan said, no one even batted an eye. Again, this was ’93 in South Dakota.

I give credit to Megan’s awesome mom Kim for forging this. They both spoke at our college a few years later, The University of Iowa and I remember Kim talking about how her brother was so handsome, tall and blonde and they were from a small town and he was a football player and no one suspected he was gay.

Perhaps you are thinking, why are you writing this and it’s because the movie last night made me think about just how sad it was for the gay community when it first started happening and how still even to this day it is hard to come out and live as a gay person.

Just a few weeks ago I spoke with a strong, pretty, established lesbian who spoke of how it is hard, even now.

Last night, it just ate me up to see the mom cry when her dead son was returned to her.

Ugh.

Anyways, I was reminded again of how moms can have such an impact on us. Even when they are not your own.

And how becoming a mother has made my heart grow so much bigger in that it bursts and buckles in pain and hope that humanity will just get kinder as we forge ahead.

 

 

 

New Shirts & Sweatshirts

Expressing Motherhood just got some really cute shirts, racerback tanks and lightweight pullovers.

We have a very small batch of these and some have already sold out. But if you want one email me, lindsay@expressingmotherhood.com and I’ll shoot you a PayPal invoice or you can send me a check.

We brought back the cool design by Agnete Oernsholt and put it on some new styles. We sold out of this one in one day.

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Alternative Apparel Size XL shown. SOLD OUT. But please email me if you are interested I might order more.
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Our much loved scoop neck t-shirt, size Large here. Charcoal gray. $25 plus shipping. Email lindsay@expressingmotherhood.com
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The back of our very cute racerback tank. $20 plus shipping. Alternative Apparel.
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The front of our racerback tanks. $20 plus shipping. Email lindsay@expressingmotherhood.com
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Alternative Apparel, super soft and lightweight hoody pullover. Producing partner Jessica loves it. $35 plus shipping.
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We have this in black and hot pink. Size L and XL. These are roomier. Super cute. $25 plus shipping.
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To avoid shipping fees and to support a local LA business head up to Montrose and get your shirt at It Take a Village. This place has very cute kids clothing for good prices. Gigi rocks and used to be in theatre.

 

Heart Matters: My Path Having an SVT

Last night I finally made it to a WomenHeart of West Los Angeles meeting.

Amanda Daniels has invited me for a year now. I met her via an ExMo alum Abby.

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Amanda co-founded the WomenHeart of West Los Angeles support group, a peer led group providing education and support to women living with heart disease. Through her work as a trained WomenHeart Champion, and as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, Amanda has appeared as an EXTRA special correspondent on EXTRA TV, Good Day LA, Studio 11 LA, Fox 11 news, KTLA 5, KCAL 9, Fox 5 Atlanta, The Marie (Osmond) Show, CBS 8 Las Vegas and FOX 5 Las Vegas.

I have a type of SVT called AVNRT.

You can read about it here. Or here.

Essentially I ignored my heart in the Fall os 2012. It started beating very fast. Even just by bending over.

I would lay down and watch with some amusement as it pounded,  nearly out of my chest. It ended quickly and I wasn’t one to worry about my health. Over Thanksgiving it actually went for 30 minutes but my mom, who is a nurse, was here and she and my husband said to lay down. Possibly without 3 kids at home, two who were very young, I might have gone to the ER but who had time for that?

So I kept drinking 4 cups of coffee, not nearly enough water, too much wine, we had just moved, my parents divorced and the stress was so incredibly much I started smoking, secretly when I could.

Staring at the new trees in my suburban backyard thinking what the shit, f#$%, hell I’m stressed.

But I kept on keeping on.

Until my big episode on January 1st.

Last night at the meeting it turns out two other women had heart attacks on January 1st, 2013, the same day!

One of them had her doctor, a female mom cardiologist at the meeting, unheard of! In fact there were three cardiologist there.

There were probably 10 of us. I believe I have the least severe thing there. One woman had even had a heart transplant.

Amanda talked about Mindfulness and not allowing ourselves to get too stressed. I heard from grandmothers talk about the stress they feel as well as us moms to younger kids. Sure we all feel stress but when think about it stress really effects your health.

Yes, some of us are born with issues but these can rear their heads due to stress.

Mine did!

I was very nervous being there, as talking about it makes me nervous but I left feeling very calm.

And I’m going to switch doctors and now see one over there as how amazed I was by the other cardiologists joining the meeting.

They too emphasized how much handling stress and meditating can improve your health.

I hear stories from other women who were too ashamed to ask for a ride to the ER and so they did only to show up and be told they were having a heart attack and would have died if they didn’t come in.

The doctors said, do not ever be embarrassed about going to the ER. They want you to say you are OK, go home.

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death to women.

Ironically the meeting took place on the same floor where I used to get pre-natal check-ups.

Hottest Summer on LA records. 60 pound weight gain. Yeah baby.
Hottest Summer on LA records. 60 pound weight gain. Yeah baby.

For so long going there so big and pregnant.

I find it completely meaningful that I was brought back because I need to work on my own heart.

Burying things and taking on too much is no longer an option for me because it can cause me to have an attack.

It’s a relief almost.

I mean don’t get me wrong I’m petrified to have the procedure if I do but it’s a relief to now know I don’t have to do all those things I did for too many years do make everyone else happy.

I of course want to make my family happy and friends and strangers but I need to be healthy in order to do it authentically.

The Women Heart of West LA meets every second Monday of the month. For more information please email womenheartwestla@gmail.com

 

ExMo MeetUp: Moms Interested in Film AKA MIF’s

We have a few ExMo MeetUps coming up.

A book.

A run.

And in between those let’s meet up for Mexican and talk about films you have made or are interested in making.

Join Expressing Motherhood for a chance to talk to other moms in LA who make videos or films. Maybe you came here to be the next Steven Spielberg and suddenly you find yourself valeting your minivan thinking WTF happened?

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Saturday June 14th

6:00PM

Casita Del Campo in SilverLake

Please RSVP to Lindsay

lindsay@expressingmotherhood.com

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Happy Mother’s Day – To the Expressing Motherhood Village

I got to sleep in until 9:30AM today.

A miracle. A miracle I haven’t had my husband do that before.

I’m feeling sappy. I’m not a hallmark card kind of gal but I do sort of kind of like Mother’s Day, it’s taken me by surprise for some reason.

I’m forever thankful to all of the women and men who have shared their stories with Expressing Motherhood. Jessica and I have met more then 160 people who have graced our bare stages.

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A simple idea that has really just been so enjoyable.

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I’m thankful to the son’s who have shared and the women who can not have children. For the mother’s who have lost their children and those who didn’t have the strongest role models growing up.

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I look to all of your stories for guidance in my own mothering.

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Thank you.

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Celebrating Creative Moms Over Mother’s Day Weekend

We have  collaborated with Mary Trunk the director of the documentary “Lost In Living” comedians/singers Shannon Noel & Stacie Burrows of Mommy Tonk and author Amanda Hirsch to share with you our films, show, cute merchandise and books this Mother’s Day Weekend.

 

Expressing Motherhood is excited to present to you our latest Los Angeles show, streaming for you free all Mother’s Day Weekend.

Co-Creators Jessica Cribbs & Lindsay Kavet

Here is is!

You really should also watch “Lost In Living.” We had an ExMo MeetUp where we watched the film and discussed it afterwards. It’s thought provoking. The film will screen for free here at 4PM starting today, Friday.

You can go to MommyTonk and then head on over to FB to enter in their giveaways, including 2 tickets to their LA show next week.

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Head to Amanda Hirsch’s page to enter in for a chance at winning a copy of her book, Feeling My Way: Finding Motherhood Without Losing Myself.

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We wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day Weekend.