Sometimes it takes a complete stranger to show us who we are meant to be. For a rookie TV reporter named Teresa Bruce, that person was an 80-year-old former burlesque dancer she was assigned to cover. The unlikely relationship blossomed into what Bruce described in her 2013 TEDxCharleston talk “The Wisdom of Quitting: Lessons from my Other Mother” and the critically acclaimed memoir “The Other Mother: a rememoir” published by Joggling Board Press.
“We had no genetic ties so my other mother had no vested interest in my identity,” Bruce says. “We could skip past all the usual mother/daughter baggage and I could ask her things I’d never bring up with my biological mother.”
Bruce’s book and TEDx talk have started conversations throughout the blogosphere and in book clubs around the country about what othermothering is, where the term originated, and how it differs from conventional parenting.
“The great thing is how women of all ages instantly ‘get’ why other mothers are so important and want to share their own stories,” says Bruce. “Their own identity is separate from yours, so they see right through you, to you.”