Motherhood Out Loud: A Play That Speaks To All Families

Last week, along with other media personnel, Momtrends was invited to attend a special performance of the theatrical play Motherhood Out Loud for its New York Premiere.

I swear, I left the theater feeling as though someone had entered my thoughts, jotted down many of my feelings surrounding motherhood, and dished them back out in the form of a play. And I know exactly why, “Motherhood is suffering, sometimes in silence,” is what the poster read at the entrance of the theater. Well, the writers Leslie Ayvazian, Brooke Berman, David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley, Lameece Issaq, Claire LaZebnik, Lisa Loomer, Michele Lowe, Marco Pennette, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Annie Weisman and Cheryl L. West surely knew how to unpack the suffering and speak on… well, everything.

The play touches upon the raw emotions that is motherhood. With topics such as playground worries and play date woes, a son who likes to dress up as a queen and gay parenting, infertility treatments and adoptive families, the sometimes unstable relationship between mother-in-laws and wives, and thoughts surrounding unplanned pregnancies, nothing seems to be off limits. 

One of the first scenes, “Squeeze, Hold, Release,” hilariously touches upon the reasons behind mothers engaging in Kegel exercises. Mothers – especially those who have recently given birth – squeeze, hold, and release their pelvic floor muscles in order for them to stay tight and firm and, ahem “pleasing” to their spouses.

The “squeeze, hold, and release” metaphor reemerges throughout the play as each actor eloquently recounts a time where they squeezed, held, and released their babies turned school-aged children turned teenagers turned adults. To say these monologues were emotional would be an understatement.

As one of the actors recounted, no matter how many times mothers have to squeeze, hold, and release their children – be it the first day of Pre-Kindergarten or the first date, high school graduation or college orientation, the beginning a serious relationship or getting married – it will never get old and mothers will never get over it. Because one sentiment will always ring true, however old our children are, they are still our babies. And their birth will always be ineffable – one moment they weren’t here, and the next, they were. In a word, amazing.

Birth and the process of becoming one’s mother – it’s not an explanation; it’s an experience. And a beautiful one at that, because no matter how many mixed feelings we may have as parents, no matter how many hectic days and frustrating situations, the upside of it all is… our children. You may laugh and you may even tear up a little, but I promise, you will enjoy it. See it, and be moved.

Motherhood Out Loud is directed by Lisa Peterson, and the full cast features Mary Bacon, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Randy Graff and James Lecesne. The performance’s opening night is on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at the 59E59 Theater and the play will run until Saturday, October 29, 2011. Visit the Motherhood Out Loud website for more information and to purchase tickets. Momtrends readers will receive a special discount if you use the code “BWWMOM.”

Alicia HarperM.A., Ed.M. is a single mother, blogger, and recent graduate of Columbia University. Her life is filled with all things pink, except for the one bit of blue – her rambunctious 3-year-old son. Together they make a great pair, and Alicia blogs about the trials and triumphs of being a young, single mother living in NYC at Mommy Delicious.

Momtrends was not compensated for this post. We did receive tickets for review purposes.

Moms Day Brunch Ideas

Forget about day-old daisies from the local bodega. Treat mom to a tasty brunch this weekend. Heartbeat Restaurant at W New York (49th and Lex) is creating a breakfast just for Mothers-to-Be on Mother’s Day.

Expecting eaters can choose a “Salty” or “Sweet” breakfast – depending on what they are craving. As a special gift, each Mom-to-Be will leave with a W Hotels “W-hoops” Onesie (see photo) and their choice of either pickles or ice cream!

Here is the menu:
Mom’s Mocktail (Sparkling Apple with Splash of Peach Puree)
Organic Yogurt and Granola Parfait w/ Fresh Berries
Pastel Egg White Omelet *Choice of onions, spinach, goat cheese, garden herbs and smoked salmon.
Stuffed French Toast w/ Chicken Apple Sausage & Vegetable Potato Hash

Bonus: Every Mother-to-Be will be given a W Hotels “W-hoops” Onesie and her choice of pickles or ice cream to take home!

WOMB SERVICE at Heartbeat
A Mother’s Day Breakfast Just for Mothers-to-Be!
Price: $45.00 pp ++
W New York 
541 Lexington Avenue
Momtrends was not paid for this post–not even a free pancake.

Mommybites Summit

NYC Moms love to have all the latests and greatest information at their fingertips. The Mommybites Summit brings tons of solutions to parenting issues and ideas for being a better more stylish mom into a fun venue. So grab a sitter or a girlfriend and sign up for an evening of learning, socializing, & shopping. Enjoy wine and light refreshments, mingle with other moms, win awesome prizes, and make your own swag bags!

This event is for expectant moms, moms of babies, toddlers, and school aged children. Shopping available 5:00 – 9:30 PM. Parenting talks begin at 6:00 PM and run throughout the evening. Wine and other refreshments will be served. I’ll be there so be sure to say hello if you see me.

The Mommybites Summit
Thursday, May 20, 2010 from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM (ET)
Wolumbia Faculty House, 400 West 117th Street
New York, United States

Win it! Three readers are going to get free tickets (a $50 value) to this event. To win, be one of the first three to leave a comment with your email.
Discount code: For the rest of you who read this email a little late, I’ve got a $10 savings code to share. Use code: momtrends when registering and save some cash.

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

Friday Close-Up: Dough Re Me Kids

Quite a few busy NY Moms are technically challenged when it comes to the kitchen.  And many of them don’t want to pass this ineptitude to the next generation.  That’s where Dough Re Me Kids comes in.  Romy Horn is a mom who is very comfortable in the kitchen. Her cooking classes combine kitchen skills with playtime.
The small-group classes are held in a gorgeous DUMBO loft. Kids can start this drop-off class as early as 3. Romy’s older ‘tween students can take on more intricate recipes. Only the finest ingredients are used in the classes and kids really learn to respect food. Intrigued? Sign up now for the Winter Session ($240 per session). It starts January 25th. Want a small taste? Try one of Romy’s one-day workshops. And now let’s learn more about the mom behind the apron.

Why did you launch the business?
When my daughter started to show an interest in cooking, I realized how much fun it was to cook with her and her friends. From that point on, I knew that I wanted to start a cooking school. I started by going into her classes and teaching her classmates various recipes. While I was working as a full-time attorney, I would take vacation days to go to her school. After a couple years, I worked a four-day week and was able to start Dough Re Me Kids with weekly classes on Fridays. Last year, after I was laid off from my job I was able to finally do what I’ve wanted to do all of my life – cook and teach – full-time.

Why do you think kids love cooking so much?
Cooking is like one big art project with lots of creative tasks and supplies that can be eaten. No one is going to say, “Please don’t put that crayon in your mouth.” The kids get such satisfaction from making something they can eat when they’re finished. They even get to show off their “work” at home and are so proud when they hear how tasty their food is from someone they love.

What are some of the most popular dishes?
They especially enjoy working with dough, so I would have to say pasta making is high on the list. When we use herbs for recipes, they really enjoy picking them, smelling them, cleaning them from the stem and chopping them. Another favorite is sprinkles – for cupcakes, for popcorn balls or cookies. There is always a lot of munching going on. They even munch on the herbs.

Ideas for beginner cookbooks for kids?
The old-school Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys and Girls: Facsimile Edition and the more modern Williams-Sonoma Kids in the Kitchen: Fun Food.

Can you share a quick recipe to try over the winter break?
Working with phyllo dough is something that every kid should try. Just stack 5 or 6 sheets, place a mixture of cheese and vegetables on top and roll up like a log. Think of sushi rolls. In class, we recently used drained ricotta and shredded cheddar with steamed kale – patted dry, zucchini and carrots sticks, but the possibilities are endless. Just try not to use anything too watery or the end product will be soggy. Brush the outside with butter (unsalted) and bake at 375 on a buttered baking sheet until golden brown. Although the paper thin dough can rip, it is very forgiving once it is baked. The cooked log can be sliced into bite-sized pieces and arranged on a platter. The dough gets crunchy on the outside and the kids absolutely loved eating it. It is something you can take to party too.

Favorite place to dine-out with the kids?

We love everything on the menu at Frankies 457 and Frannys. For pizza, my daughter could eat at Grimaldis every day (in fact, she is quite proud that the host calls her one of their favorite regulars). In Chinatown, the very casual Nice Green Bo on Bayard has awesome dumplings and noodles. For Middle-Eastern we share a platter of hummus, babaganoush, and other salads at Waterfalls on Atlantic or go to Barbounia on Park Avenue South when we want a more grown-up atmosphere.
What do you love about your neighborhood?
Dumbo is special in many ways, but the two best things about it are the location and the people. It’s a special little enclave with lots of parks so close to the city. It has a small town friendly feel to it with many families yet; the people are young and artistic.

Favorite spot for a winter playdate?
Ice-skating at Prospect Park or at Chelsea Piers. Otherwise, we have cooking playdates at home.

DUMBO, Brookln