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Column

‘Momologues’ rings true to this young mother

Festival 56 cast plays their 'mommy' roles extremely well

"The Momologues" continues for three more shows at Festival 56 in Princeton.
"The Momologues" continues for three more shows at Festival 56 in Princeton.

I’m a mother of a two-year-old toddler and an eight-month-old baby, and life is pretty crazy right now.

People sometimes wonder how I keep sane, and one answer to that is: “moms’ night out” or “moms’ lunch/coffee outing” once in a while with my fellow mommy friends.

I quickly learned to cherish this time to vent and be real about the frustrations of motherhood. Because, let’s be honest, it’s not always adorable and cute.

Time with the other moms feels a lot like coming out of the trenches of dirty diapers to pat one another on the back and say, “Don’t worry, momma, you’re doing great. You got this,” before we hug each other goodbye until next time, and dive back into the dirty diapers.

Sometimes I worry, though, that if anybody overheard our conversations, they might think we suffered from split personalities.

Because I believe only moms can — in one breath — share about how awful and embarrassing it was when their toddler decided to kick, scream and throw a loud tantrum in the middle of a crowded restaurant the other day, and then — in the next breath — talk about how sweet it was when that same toddler decided to finally share and play nice with her little sissy.

I mean, how can it be that this precious, little person can test your patience like no other, but at the same time you love them so much, you could just squeeze and squish the poop out of them.

Only moms click instantly over talk like this. They all get it.

And even though I had never heard of the four mommy characters in Festival 56’s “The Momologues” until this past Tuesday evening, I instantly felt a connection to each one as they shared their own struggles and worries with motherhood.

I took along one of my closest mom friends, and together we laughed, we clapped, we nodded our heads in agreement, and if we didn’t shed tears, we definitely thought about it.

Through a series of monologues, the original comedy gets real about motherhood as it follows four mommies through the different stages of motherhood — conception, pregnancy, labor, adjusting to a newborn, handling toddlers, and the milestone moment of sending them off to school for the first time.

The four actresses who play the mommies in this production are not yet mothers themselves, but it’s hard to imagine otherwise.

In fact, they played their “mommy” roles so well, I felt like I could have sat up on the stage and helped them finish their sentences (and that bottle of wine) about the realness of being a mother.

I could have said things like:

• “Yep, I’ve caught my share of spit up. I consider it winning when it doesn’t spill over the sides of my hands.”

• “Yes, but seriously, what is it with pregnancy and hemorrhoids?”

• “Oh my gosh, yes, my toddler only insists on being read ‘Go Dog Go.’ What is it with that damn book? We’ve read it so many times. And it doesn’t even make sense!”

• “Yea, I can’t remember the last time I shaved my legs, either.”

• “What is it with those mothers whose kids look like Ralph Lauren models, really!?”

• “Don’t worry, I’m struggling to lose those last 10 pounds of baby weight, too.”

• “Yea, one time I found myself in Aisle 9 in Target trying to shield poop from the items in my cart as my newborn proceeded to explode out the side of her diaper and my other daughter was threatening to climb out the side of the cart.”

I wanted to sit up there and agree that, bottom line, motherhood seriously is 80 percent frustration and 20 percent joy.

And it really doesn’t make any sense how that 20 percent easily outweighs the 80 percent. Because, even on the days when I’ve just about had my fill of being the mother, I still find myself sneaking into their rooms at night, peaking over the cribs and admiring those sweet, little sleeping faces. Motherhood truly is the “toughest job I’ll ever love.”

“The Momologues,” directed by Laura Brigham (who is a mommy herself), continues for three more shows on July 14, 17 and 19. For ticket information, visit www.Festival56.com.

The Grace Performing Arts Center is at 316 S. Main St. in Princeton.

Note to readers: Goldie Rapp is a senior staff writer for the Bureau County Republican.

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