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TODAY   |  May 07, 2013

Maria Shriver on what mom Eunice taught her

TODAY’s Maria Shriver interviews Lindsay Kavet and Jessica Cribbs, two friends who are giving moms a microphone and a public voice with their show, “Expressing Motherhood,” and Maria talks about her own “free-spirited” mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> well, mother's day is this sunday, and nbc special anchor maria shriver had a chance to recently talk to two women who are giving moms a special microphone. good morning maria , again.

>> nice to see you. motherhood is one of many jobs that women juggle today. in fact, recent numbers show 60% of women with children under the age of 5 also work outside the home. and while we all know that motherhood is fulfilling, it's also complex and stressful. well, two moms recognize the need for women to come together and express themselves.

>> where's mommy? there she is.

>> it's a simple concept. stories about motherhood .

>> a moment we rarely get, a moment where we get to experience what it's like to have a child who is a little bit different.

>> written and performed by real life mothers.

>> your family has been in a car accident. each story strikes a chord because they are real. it's a community where women desire it.

>> what are women surprising to you about motherhood that surprises you?

>> i'm not sure why people share the intimate experiences on stage. i'm sitting backstage and i just can't believe that people are doing this.

>> expressing motherhood exposes the power of a story.

>> and while everyone else was readi ining "what to expect when you're expecting "and signing up for lemaze.

>> she felt an instant bond.

>> and i cried and i laughed and i need to be a part of this.

>> why did you feel like you needed to be a part of this?

>> being able to do a show where people come together and just love each other. i don't know, kind of like the spirit, and that's kind of what motherhood can do for people.

>> does this dress make me look pregnant?

>> but this is what sent nicole's life in a new direction.

>> i always wanted to do funny. i was always too scared to do stand-up comedy, but they created a place where i felt like i could try it, so ever since then i've been doing stand-up comedy.

>> it changed the trajectory of your life?

>> it altered my life.

>> for some reason when you get up there, it's just a very accepting environment.

>> what they have created is a community, a modern day village where women come together face to face , unplugged and encourage each other forward. what do you think your show is doing for motherhood that perhaps your own mothers didn't have?

>> i think that you didn't share as much back then, and not sharing is such a heavy burden to carry. in the media right now we're saying we're overexpose ourself. some people are saying the mommy bloggers are doing that, but i think we tend to hold things too close.

>> even if you're not willing to get up and share on stage it helps somebody hear that i'm not alone.

>> it's hard not to feel like a failure or to blame yourself.

>> what are your hopes for expressing motherhood , and how do you hope it affects the way society looks at motherhood ?

>> i would just hope that expressing motherhood would just be everywhere to give people a safe place to express motherhood .

>> well, lindsey and jessica say like all mothers that it's a gift to be able to be heard, seen and most all to be respected. savannah?

>> absolutely, and maria , of course i know you had a very close relationship with your mother, and you actually partnered with p & g, a company that gives to a lot of organizations, including your own. you gave an interview recently that talked about your mom.

>> that's right.

>> let's take a look.

>> my mother was a force of nature . growing up i never saw anybody like her. she had kind of wild thick hair. she wore men's pants. she smoked cigars. she worked. she played tackle football. she was a competitive, forceful, free spirit , and she changed the world.

>> of course she started special olympics , and she started it because she saw how much mothers who had special needs kids were actually struggling, so that was the impetus for her to start special olympics , and procter & gamble has the thank you, mom campaign which was with the olympics, so if you go on their facebook page and you share this video, they will actually contribute $1 to special olympics , so i was really pleased to be able to partner with them to celebrate mothers all over the country, all over the world for that matter.

>> and i love how your piece is showing how some moms are having a voice and great to give voice to how we feel about moms.

>> that's right. i think it's those girls are so excited to be able to show their work and to be able to give a platform for moms to tell their story because everybody, in fact, wants to tell their story and wants to tell the gift of motherhood so i hope people go on and look at this video about mommy and think about special olympics and these heroic mothers.

>> maria , always good to see you.

>> thank you.

>> on the "the new york post" remembering our moms and talking about our moms, we want to remind you that if you want to go on twitter and tell us why you love and respect your mom use the #todaylovesmom, and we'll share some of your responses on friday.

>> okay. thank you.

>> coming up, the man who