What's it about?
Baby Mama... is a heartwarming and brutally honest one woman show that revolves around a birth mother's story - from unexpected conception to the choice to give her baby to a gay couple.
What'd I experience?
Who knew I had a soft spot for adoption stories?
Okay. Let me just start off by saying that I have never experienced ANYTHING that Mariah talks about in this show, her show. My relatability level was at a zero percent. Because of this, I could not shake the judgement that I felt towards her and the decisions she makes during her pregnancy. I ask myself, is it wrong to participate in orgies while pregnant? Is it wrong to have random sex with people you barely know while pregnant? Is it wrong to put your art before your child? These are just a few of the questions I struggled with after seeing this show. For days after, I kept trying to understand Mariah's story. Trying to understand, I kept grappling with her life choices and what choices I would make differently. As I asked myself these questions, I found myself caring more about Leo's story (the child) and how her retelling of this experience would affect him.
I get it, this one woman show is about Mariah and her adoption experience. But for me, this show was about how her decisions might later affect her child. I kept thinking "how would Leo feel if he were sitting in this audience right now?" I have never been a mother, nor have I ever experienced the effects of adoption... but, I am a child to a wonderful mother who has always put the needs of her children first, even though she was a single mother with a low paying job. Would Leo be upset at his mother's lack of selflessness? Would Leo be embarrassed to hear about all of the things his mother decided to do while pregnant? Would he be relieved that he ended up in a different home with different parents? All questions that continued to play on loop in my head.
When I think back on how warm my heart felt after this show and how emotional I got, I realized that it wasn't really because of Mariah's perspective. Because Mariah and I come from and lead completely different lives. I want to say that I get why she decided to give her baby away. I want to say, "good for you girl" for not letting a baby change her or the course of her life. But I don't know if it is that simple. I'm still grappling with the feeling that Mariah's story speaks for a very small percentage of birth mothers who have had to make that tough decision. I wonder, as a woman of color, if I made the same choices, would my story be received the same way? With the same level of support and acceptance? Who knows.
To Leo, the boy I didn't get to see, but whom I felt so protective of: I hope that your new family is everything and more and that the life you live and the choices you make truly represent you and your values. I hope that your parents have provided you with the life that you deserve.
Want to see it?
@ the New Ohio Theater
thru Jan. 29
What'd you experience?
Let PXP know in the comments below...