Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

My “Expressing Motherhood” Performance May 12, 2011

For the past two weeks I’ve been performing in a show called Expressing Motherhood. In case you’re new to this blog, you can follow along with the story of how this came about in these posts:

Expressing Motherhood

Expressing Motherhood Report

Expressing Motherhood: Part III

Telling My Story

The show closed on Saturday night and I have to tell you that it was quite an experience. I performed alongside 12 mothers and one brave man, who offered stories – and songs – about motherhood in all its forms. And then there was me, telling my story about my relationship with motherhood.

The cast was really wonderful and so supportive of what I was aiming to do. They each said something encouraging, and several even commented that my story had given them a better understanding about infertility and the ongoing emotions involved. For that alone, it was worth it.

My story was second-to-last in the line-up, and I think it had the most impact there, after all the stories from the mothers (the lone man closed the show with a story about his own mother, which was perfect.) I got several kind compliments from audience members after the show, and although it’s hard to tell from the stage, I think that my story went down well.

After the show closed, I went through a few days of questioning my decision to get up there and put it all out for the world to see. Some of those feelings prompted yesterday’s “I don’t want to talk about this anymore” post, but overall, I’m pleased that the producers chose to include my story as another (often overlooked) facet of motherhood, and I’m pleased with the response it got.

So, for those of you who expressed an interest in seeing the show, here is my performance in Expressing Motherhood.

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Telling My Story April 27, 2011

Tonight is the Opening Night of Expressing Motherhood. This is a show with 13 women and one man talking, singing, and performing on the theme of motherhood. This is the show where I will get up on stage and tell an audience, consisting mostly of mothers, my story.

I won’t give away too much now, suffice to say I will touch on the subjects of desire and choices, as well as some thoughts on the fertility industry and baby showers.

I’m a little nervous – about performing and about my story – but the producers and cast of the show have been truly supportive, and I’m hoping the audience will be too.

During this, National Infertility Awareness Week, I’m hoping to shed a little light on a side of motherhood that doesn’t get much love.

Wish me luck, and I’ll promise to report in.

 

Win Tickets to “Expressing Motherhood!” March 22, 2011

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As I mentioned recently, I will be flying the childless/childfree flag in the upcoming show Expressing Motherhood in Los Angeles next month. If you (or someone you know) would like to see the show, I have a pair of tickets to give away!

All you have to do is answer a little question and post your response in the comments below. I’ll draw a winner at random from the correct answers on Friday.

Expressing Motherhood will be at the Elephant Space Theatre in Hollywood, from Wednesday April 27 through Saturday May 7. Tickets are good for the night of your choice.

The question:

Which famous childfree woman said, “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition?”

Answers below, please. Good luck!

 

Expressing Motherhood – Part III February 26, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about going to see my friend in a show called Expressing Motherhood. I wrote a post about my trepidation and facing my demons head-on, and a follow-up about my surprise reaction to the show.

Mali left this comment:  

“What a difference it would have made if the performance had […] included the story of one infertile woman. We would all have felt included then, and positive towards the performance.”

Great suggestion, I thought, so I contacted the producers, and to cut a long story short, when the show reopens in April with a new cast, yours truly will be out there flying the non-mom flag.

Ok, so I’m pretty excited about this, but I bought fresh scallops from the fishmonger today and it’s almost dinner time, so I’ll keep it brief. Just know that this won’t be the last you’ll hear about this. I’m really pleased that the producers were open to this idea and I’m nervous but excited about having a captive audience of moms to hear my story. My hope is to be able to open a few eyes and maybe get people thinking a little about their own friends and family who don’t have children. It’s going to be interesting.

So, here are the basic deets, for any of you who happen to be in the Los Angeles area and think you might be up to seeing the show:

Expressing Motherhood

Mother’s Day Show (Yup, that’s right!)

April 27, 28, 29 & 30

May 4, 5, 6 & 7

Elephant Space

6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles

Tickets are $20 from www.Brownpapertickets.com, and if you buy on March 1 and use the code “Five” you can save $5.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

Expressing Motherhood Report February 3, 2011

As I mentioned last Thursday, I went to see my friend Holly in her show Expressing Motherhood last weekend. I got myself dolled up, drove to Hollywood, circled the dodgy neighborhood until I found parking, and took a seat in the 4th row.

I decided I was going to get past my hang-ups and do this for my friend, but about ten minutes before the show, I suddenly thought, “Oh, God. What am I doing here?” The audience was about 95% women, and I’d guess from the conversations going on around me, about 95% of them were mothers. And there I sat, on my own, wondering what the hell I had been thinking. But then the lights went down and I had no choice but to sit it out.

For the next two hours 13 mothers told stories and sang songs, but here’s what was really interesting. To me, they weren’t 13 mothers, they we simply 13 women who just happened to be mothers. Granted, some of the stories, particularly the funny ones, were about the ups and downs of raising kids, but I was able to laugh just as easily as the mothers in the audience.

There were stories about relocating to a safer friendlier city, about becoming a 30-something widow, and about the funny side of living with Stage 4 Breast Cancer (and yes there really is a funny side!) One woman talked about reconnecting with the Chinese heritage that her father had eschewed in the name of Westernization, and another talked about the effects of her husband’s job loss.

I could relate to all of their stories in some way, or at least see the humor or pathos (although I’ll admit that during one particular story, the only dry eye in the house was mine, but that may have been because I’d steeled myself for the show and perhaps closed myself off a bit. Or maybe I’m just hard-hearted. Whatever.) The point is that yes, I was a lone non-mom in a sea of mothers, but we were all (or at least 95% of us) were women, and 100% of us were human beings, and we can all relate to that. Being a mom, or a non-mom, is only a part of who we are.

This particular show has closed now, but another show with a new set of performers will be coming soon, and I may even go back.

 

Expressing Motherhood January 27, 2011

Last week my friend Holly invited me to go and see her performance in a show in Hollywood. “I totally understand if you don’t want to come,” she said, “considering the topic.”

The show is called Expressing Motherhood and is advertised as “the national, sold out, on-going play, consisting of moms sharing stories about motherhood.”

She was right, considering the topic, I did not want to go. I could think of few worse ways to spend a perfectly good weekend night than listening to moms babbling on about how hard or how beautiful, or how life-changing, personality-altering, amazingly incredible being a mom is for them. I could picture myself sitting there yelling, “Cry me a river, ladies!” as some mom bemoaned her sleepless nights. Even worse was the fear of dredging up all those emotions I’ve worked so hard to get in line, and having to be carried in a flood of tears from the theatre.

Needless to say, I politely declined the invitation and Holly understood.

But earlier this week, I had a change of heart. As I’ve been telling friends about my book, I’ve realized just how many people who have been with me through the whole journey and have been so supportive and encouraging.

Holly is one of those people.

She listened to my woes when I was trying to get pregnant and she encouraged me when I decided to write the book. She even had the guts to come and tell me face-to-face, and with tact and consideration for my feelings, that she was pregnant when she knew I was not. If I was going to be standing on a stage talking about not being a mother, Holly would be sitting in the audience, whistling with her fingers stuck in her mouth.

So I sucked it up – woman’d up, if you like – and bought a ticket for Friday night’s show. I’m going on my own, so I won’t have anyone to embarrass if I do have to be carried out, and I’m going to support my friend.

I can’t say it’s not without some trepidation that I will make the drive up to Hollywood tomorrow, but if nothing else, it will be an interesting experiment, and you can be sure that I’ll report in!