There are just some things you will never tell your mama, but for Keyaira Kelly and Tarawoner Kelly holding back is not a part of the winning formula they’ve discovered in their relationship as mother and daughter.
Keyaira, who is a 29-year old writer, host and producer, and Tarawoner who is a 69-year old life coach and leads a non-profit say they’ve taken their relationship to entirely new levels through open and honest dialogues that truly recognize each other’s womanhood.
Now this dynamic duo has bravely teamed up to take their private conversations public, in new a podcast called “Talk To Your Mother (TTYM).”
In a society where anxiety and depression are on the rise amongst America’s youth, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth 10-24 years old, creating safe spaces to talk is more important that ever.
The Kellys’ mission is the break down the taboos that continue to keep us from building relationships with our parents and getting the help we need. The two spoke with theGrio about “Talk To Your Mother (TTYM)” podcast and how to break through cycles of intergenerational trauma to eventually get to a place of complete healing in the Black community.
TheGrio: Where did the idea for the podcast come from?
Keyaira Kelly: The idea for the podcast came to me as I was having one of my normal morning conversations with my mom. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we pray, sometimes we just listen, but each phone call is healing for both of us. I started reflecting on the privilege to have this type of relationship with her, and I wanted to share it with the world. I told my mom about the idea, and she agreed.
Tarawoner Kelly: I agreed because so many women who I have dealt with over four decades as a life coach and family educator have no verbal communication with their moms, grandmother or aunts. I felt like a dialogue was necessary to break those barriers.
TheGrio: Why do you think it’s so hard for people to open up to their mothers?
Keyaira Kelly: Shame. Definitely shame. It’s hard to have a conversation with someone you don’t trust to not judge you. Many moms have used shame to control their daughters and sons, and it did just the opposite.
Tarawoner Kelly: Definitely, there are so many hidden secrets especially among spiritual people. Mothers like to pretend they’ve never experienced life.
TheGrio: Why types of taboos are you trying to break down in the new podcast?
Tarawoner Kelly: Real life subjects like sex, relationships, heartache, pain. Moms liked to tell their children that it’s best to be ‘seen and not heard’ and that’s not healthy. Not sharing this knowledge and information restricts women and men from growing.
Keyaira Kelly: There is something special that happens when moms and daughters start relating to one another woman-to-woman. People may not understand why, I, as a daughter, would talk to my mom as I would a friend—with respectful boundaries of course. Without our mutual transparency, I don’t think I would be the woman I am today.
TheGrio: What was the most awkward part of the show, “Mama, Tell Me About The First Time You Had Sex”?
Keyaira Kelly: Ummm the whole thing! It’s really scary to tell your mom about your first time, let alone the whole world. I really believe that the way I serve my time on this Earth is by being vulnerable so no one else has to feel ashamed about what they went through. I hope this episode accomplishes this.
“It’s really scary to tell your mom about your first time, let alone the whole world.”—Keyaira Kelly
Tarawoner Kelly: It was awkward because I was raised not to discuss things like this, but that’s why I had to challenge myself to have this conversation. You can’t change minds by making everyone (including yourself) comfortable.
TheGrio: Do think the show has made you two grow closer together as mother and daughter?
Keyaira Kelly: I think so! The photo shoot was really special. My mom has always been a star, and it’s my honor as her fruit to be able to help the world meet her.
Tarawoner Kelly: We have always been very close and connected! This journey has made a different type of bond spiritually and emotionally.
TheGrio: What’s your best advice for other Black women in ways they can also strengthen their mother and daughter bonds?
Tarawoner Kelly: To open up the deepest part of your weaknesses and your strengths to be authentic and transparent so that they know you are mom, but we are also women.