Balancing Motherhood and Work!
The most challenging job that a woman can have is that of being a “Mother!” As beautiful as it is to hold this title, there are so many decisions that have to be made regarding how to raise and care for your child as well as how to handle those times when they cry out.
One of them is a baby sleep training process called the ‘Cry it out’ method. This method, (CIO) involves leaving the baby alone to cry for as long as it takes before they fall asleep. An approach used to help your baby fall asleep on their own has aroused much discussion whether or not to rock your baby or nurse them to sleep or let them merely cry themselves to sleep.
Northlight Theatre "Cry It Out" deals with this and other difficult decisions like whether a woman should have to make a choice of giving up her career and being a stay at home Mom or return to work and let a caregiver take care of her baby. The guilt from the latter can be so overwhelming that it can deter a mother from continuing her professional career; which some, unfortunately, had to do to continue to support their child and their family financially.
The choices that a mother has to make can be a daunting task because all eyes are on her to make the right child care decisions. Coupled with symptoms which include sadness and hopelessness that some women go through called postpartum depression soon after giving birth; where a mother cannot connect with their baby making the joys of motherhood a very unpleasant experience.
Molly Smith Metzler writes an insightful comedy about the inconsistencies of 'new motherhood' in 'Cry It Out.' The play takes us through the experience that three women and a man faced after their little bundles of joy are born. It is set in Port Washington, where Jessie played by Darci Nalepa lives in a duplex and is cooped up on maternity leave ready to meet and talk to anyone especially another new mom in the community.
Luckily she meets up with her funny and straightforward neighbor Lina (Laura Lapidus) who has a baby name, Max. Jessie invites her over for coffee on their neighboring patios, and the ladies quickly form a friendship while bonding over their shared "new mom" experience.
However, their bonding gets the attention of a wealthy neighbor Mitchell (Gabriel Ruiz) who lives in the Sands Point estates, a part of the city that is up on the cliff, where he looks down at the two women every day through his telescope. He notices the comradery between the two new mothers and hopes desperately for his wife Adrienne (Kristina Valada-Viars) to join them for coffee one day and share their experience.
Unfortunately, the encounter of the three mothers doesn't go over so well because Adrienne is so invested in her jewelry business that she is not connecting with Jessie and Lina nor is she connecting with her baby. Feeling lost with no answers, Mitchell decides to take matters into his own hands and opens up to Jessie about the problems that he encountered as a child and the issues they are having on top of the hill. Jessie suggests that Adrienne might be going through postpartum depression.
Meanwhile, Lina is going through problems, struggling with her living situation and has to go back to work to help make ends meet financially. She is also dealing with her fears of leaving her baby Max with her inebriated mother-in-law. Jessie who is also dealing with her confliction about being at home for a while to continue to bond with her child after a severe ordeal with her birth has to come to terms that she may have to return to work sooner than anticipated.
Director Jessica Fisch allows us to see up close the daily drama and dilemma mothers endure while making decisions about returning to work versus staying at home, the fears of feeling separated from family and friends, and how affluence can impact parenthood. Fisch masterfully gives us a glimpse of how trying to balance the work/life experience of motherhood can bring about a grappling and challenging adjustment to staying connected to your baby without losing yourself.
Laura Lapidus and Dari Nalepa play a convincing role of two mothers seeking some solace in life while they figure out their future. Their uncanny Kum ba yah coming together in times of need is humorous and provides compelling insight into the struggles of motherhood.
We highly recommend that you check out ‘Cry It Out' at Northlight Theatre to see what all of the fuss is about.
The cast includes:
Laura Lapidus (Lina)
Gabriel Ruiz (Mitchell)
Darci Nalepa (Jessie)
Kristina Valada-Viars (Adrienne)
Northlight Theatre concludes its 2017-18 season with
Cry It Out
Written by Molly Smith Metzler
Directed by Jessica Fisch
Featuring Laura Lapidus, Gabriel Ruiz, Darci Nalepa,
and Kristina Valada-Viars
May 10 – June 17, 2018
Filed under: ChicagoNow