Dream Mother: Amy Borkowsky Is Willing To Share

Most comics have a few mom jokes but only one has made a career letting others laugh along with her regarding her loving, ever-vigil, almost always worrying cheer-leading mom.

Amy Borkowsky used to toss her filled answering machine tapes — 99% packed with concerned messages from her mother —  in a drawer.

Her big dream was to be a nationally known stand-up comedian.

Like a lot of us dreamers it took her a while to realize she could have the kind of professional life she wanted if only she mined that junk drawer.

“When I started doing stand-up comedy and knew that real material from your own life always strikes the best chord with audiences; I thought, what could be more real than playing the actual message tapes from my mother on stage?”

Why was her mother in particular such a good source of laughter?

“My mother’s parenting style when I was growing up could best be described as Orange Level — she was in a constant state of high alert.  Even before I had an answering machine, she’d leave me little notes in my lunch bag, like, “Amila, when you eat the peach, be sure not to swallow the pit.”

Borkowsky grew up with the antithesis of a toxic mom, the anti-venom to mom toxicity — and through her CD’s at www.sendamy.com, she’s willing to share her super mom with all of us.

Imagine growing up with a mom so loving, so concerned about your life, that you always felt safe.

Even during a fight over a healthy lunch.

“I remember Mom as being a tough negotiator when it came to eating.  We had a set of bowls with a floral design and then a gold band about midway down, and I remember some tense bargaining where I only wanted to eat my Chicken and Stars down to the top of the first rose petal, and my mother always pushed for at least the gold line.”

It didn’t take long for Borkowsky to realize that her mother was not like other mothers.

“When I was a teen, I began to realize she was more than just my mother.  She was Al Roker and Walter Cronkite.  She was constantly reporting the weather and the news to my sister and me :  ‘They’re expecting gusts up to fifty miles an hour so put up your hood.'”

Check out this happy birthday call from Amy’s mom on YouTube:

As the years passed, her mom just found more things to worry about.

A typical call:

“They just issued a recall on Bumble Bee, so don’t go accepting any tuna sandwiches.”  (Like a stranger was really going to come up to me in the park, “Here little girl, have some tuna on rye with mayo.”)

We’ve all been embarrassed by our mothers.

Amy Borkowsky has only been embarrassed by her mother’s spectacular levels of thoughtfulness.

“Sometimes I saw my mother as a source of embarrassment because of her over protectiveness — if there was even the slightest drizzle, I’d find my mother outside the school the minute we got out, and she’d be holding a raincoat, a huge plaid umbrella and my boots.  Apparently it was tough to find a Hazmat suit in a 6X.”

Featured on National Public Radio’s “Driveway Moments” moms edition, she’s a stand out stand-up comic offering up “pull over” moments on subjects as simple as why you shouldn’t wear a red bathrobe – – according to her mother.

No doubt about it, growing up like Amy with a supportive mother, had life-long benefits.

“It did give me a sense of confidence as I ventured out into the world.  Knowing she was there always worrying about me, I felt like I could do anything — from getting hit by a bus to choking on a chicken bone.”

Even though Amy’s mom passed away not long ago, she left behind a loving legacy for mothers and daughters. She may not be a mother to emulate exactly, I mean, who has that much energy?

That much time?

That many kookie concerns?

Yet, we could all take a page from her mom playbook. Who needs to hear a concerned message from you today? Go on! It’ll only take a minute.  And don’t forget to say “I love you – – Bye!”

__________

Part of my effort to write “Confessions of an Undutiful Daughter” includes gathering stories of other women who grew up with or are struggling with aging toxic-moms.

Which reminds me, have you filled out your Undutiful Daughter questionnaire?

Here’s the link: Got A Dream — Ask For Help.

Rayne Wolfe’s dream is to write her first book Confessions of an Undutiful Daughter by the end of 2011. She completed her dream journey May of 2011 on 8WD after a year living her dream. You can find her at Toxic Mom Toolkit on Facebook.

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  • typing too fast = typos ;)

    I meant to say I know how lucky I am… Anyways appreciated your post sweetie!

  • Hi Rayne, lovely funny touching post…

    I also am blessed with a spectacularly thoughtful mother, although perhaps not as comically so as Amy’s mom! She always seems to be one step ahead of everyone in anticipating what we need, is a great cook, great friend, on top of her career, manages the household etc. etc…

    My mom always made me feel like everything I do should be easy for me – because she did it all while raising five kids, and balancing the family budget – She earned her PhD while working full-time and raising my teenage siblings! A “supermom” for sure…

    I don’t take her for granted, one bit – I know how lucky. And I also had to learn to stop comparing myself to her – when I am a mom, I am sure I’ll be a wonderful mom, but not the same mom she was… I won’t likely sew my kids’ clothes by hand, for example, and bake homemade bread, as she did when we were kids…

    That’s OK. :) I forgive myself in advance for it ;) and am thankful for her…

    Am grateful to you for sharing stories of all kinds of mom’s Rayne and for having the courage to share stories of your mom and your childhood…

    Lotsa love to you girl!
    xoxo
    Lis

  • Lynn

    This made me laugh so hard and cry hard too! My mom passed away almost a year ago and it’s exactly something she would say on my voice mail.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you have recently lost your mother. But I’m glad that you still laughed your head off at Amy’s mother. thanks for your note and please visit us next Sunday. – Rayne

  • Remy, the photographer

    Rayne, I had one of these…but her love was delivered a bit differently. Only now as an adult I appreciate her comments and feedback -when we were in HS getting ready to go out to a dance or to a party, she would yell out from her chair in the family room – “ok girls, remember to be home by 12, and don’t forget that we know everyone in this town…if you do something bad we’ll certainly find out….Have fun”!
    As a mother of a 16 year old boy, I’m quickly learning the value of that kind of guilt. lol Great post! Rem

    • Rayne

      I think you’re mom was smiling when she was guilting you. I think a lot of love went into that guilt!
      Thanks for sharing!

  • Veronica

    Focusing on my daughter is one of the easiest things I have ever done. Being the best mom I can has been one of the hardest. It requires me focusing on how I can change – not my daughter, what a difficult task.

    My mom is coming to visit on the 27th and will be here for a couple of weeks.

    She was a mom who began being a mother at 16 years old, what a difficult task that must have been for her.

    Today I am grateful for my mother and my daughter and the legacy we are creating for my grand daughter’s.

    I love your sense of humor, I love your posts.

    Thank you for helping me be aware of the wonderful things I have in my life.

    Veronica

  • Renee

    Wonderful write-up.

    • Rayne

      Thank you! Of course, when you’re interviewing someone as nice as Amy Borkowsky, it’s a post
      that writes itself! Note to self: Feature more sweeties!

  • Terry

    What are you talking about Cath? Your mom STILL asks me that question. You need to also tell how every time your mother comes to visit you she brings her own ice cubes in a bag for her drink because she doesn’t like any of your ice cubes. That one makes me laugh too.

  • That phone message made me almost spit out my coffee – very funny.

    My mother always has to give me something of hers to take home every time I visit her – even if it is a 3/4 used container of orange juice. I have learned to just accept the stuff rather than go back and forth as to why I don’t want to take it home.

    • Rayne

      See?!

      You understand the gift of mother love. Even if you
      already have a container of cottage cheese at home.

      If that YouTube video of Amy made you spit your coffee a little bit. Pour yourself another cup and log into http://www.sendAmy.com and click around. She has tons of audio clips and video that are just hysterical.

      Happy Sunday!

      Rayne

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Hilarious.

    My mother the RN is all about fiber, vaccines, washing your hands to prevent colds, and getting your flu shots.

    Oh and cleaning with Clorox bleach to kill germs.

    Her favorite question when you are not feeling well is, “When was the last time you went to the bathroom? And what was it like?”

    She gets irritated when you don’t want to answer and goes on some tirade about how your health is all wrapped up in the color and shape of your stools.

    I told my ex husband he would know that she loved him when she started asking him the same questions.

    I still remember the day she finally did and how hard we laughed on the way home with him exclaiming, “Wow. Your mom really loves me!”

    I love that phone message.

    And this post.

    Cath

    • Rayne

      Cath,

      So you know! Loving mothers express their love in their own unique ways!

      Rayne