Intimate conversations with some of our favorite KC moms about inspiration, bonding, advice and joy.
Story by Kathryn Greene | Photos by Tom Styrkowicz | Hair & makeup by Michele Taylor
There’s not one supermom in the group of beautiful mothers you’re about to meet. None of them are perfect—they all admit to making mistakes (and sometimes the same one twice) in bringing up their daughters. And they all shrug their shoulders, insisting they don’t necessarily do anything special in a job that is extremely special: mothering.
These moms inherited their future parenting skills from mothers who demonstrated the importance of honesty, compassion, consistency and service. And although the relationship between mothers and daughters is singularly unique, it’s often difficult to articulate—they’re our best friends, role models, go-to advice givers, biggest cheerleaders, our first teachers, and occasionally, the critics we need.
First up in our series? Gloria and Mandi Rudd!
“I always said that the best job I ever had was being a mother. I would do the same job over and over again in as many lifetimes as I could live.” ~ Gloria Rudd
When Gloria Rudd describes her daughter, Mandi, the pure honor she feels about being her mother is palpable—words such as incredible, amazing and beautiful are among those spoken.
“First and foremost, Mandi is an amazing mom and wife,” Rudd says. “She’s beautiful inside and out. Her empathy is to the extreme—for people, animals, circumstances.”
Mandi serves on the KC Pet Project’s marketing committee and has nurtured a passion for animals since she was a little girl.
“I raised my children to be passionate about something. I always said, ‘If you can make your passion your vocation, you will be fulfilled.’”
One of Rudd’s proudest moments as Mandi’s mother came when son and brother—famous actor, comedian, writer and producer Paul—was away at acting school. Mandi was in college, working as a server.
“Paul was in California and it was really expensive,” Rudd recalls. “Because of his schedule at school he couldn’t work and earn money to support himself as well as he wanted. I didn’t know this until much later, but Mandi sent her tips to him. She said, ‘I can come home and do my laundry and have food, so I don’t need this extra money, but you might.’ That just blew me away.”
Mandi recently returned to Kansas City after spending 10 years in Denver, so Rudd not only has one of her children living nearby again, but also a grandchild. Now, mother-daughter days are often and varied. Both work on Big Slick together, the annual celebrity poker tournament for charity held in June that Paul, along with famous buddies and Kansas City-area natives Rob Riggle and Jason Sudeikis, founded so mom and daughter often see each other at board meetings. Other days find the two gabbing over long lunches at a favorite restaurant like Jasper’s.
Through distance and time, one thing has never changed between Rudd and Mandi: a close-knit bond.
“We may be a small family, but we’re very, very close,” Rudd says. “As I look back over my life, I always said that the best job I ever had was being a mother.”
We love Rudd’s starring role in life—unplugged and unscripted—as Mandi and Paul’s leading lady.