Kana TheatreProject: Mother
Project: MOTHER is a twisted, irony-ridden and humorous tale of young mothers discovering both light and “dark” aspects of motherhood, the charms and tribulations of being a mother, telling of struggles with their own identities and the world which surrounds them, with what they imagined and expected being a good mother would involve. Can a good, loving mother allow herself moments of weakness? Can she feel helpless and lost, furious and frustrated? Does she have the right to express her emotions? In the show, we want to look at how young mothers function in our society. Do they have room and the conditions in which to freely express themselves and to meet their own needs (here we might mention the topic of breastfeeding in public)? Is the state helping them support their
offspring and to return to work? The show is addressed most of all at women. For those who are experiencing motherhood, it can become a form of support and a means of relieving frustrating emotions. For those just planning to become pregnant, it can become a source of knowledge and we hope encouragement to become mothers. Our message is that motherhood is an extreme sort of experience, accompanied by very strong emotional states, from euphoria to depression, but it is definitely worthwhile. We are also asking men to attend the show – partners, husbands, fathers and also single men. We hope that the show will help them get a better understanding of their present day and future partners and to love them even more.
Why this is so important to us
I had a very difficult initial experience with becoming a mother (which began with horrible experiences of hospital – to give birth like a human being – a crazy wish!). I felt isolated, abandoned and forgotten by the whole world. All by myself with my own helplessness, pain and uncertainty. In an act of desperation, I typed the phrase “motherhood struggles” into an online search engine, and when I found hundreds of pages popping up, I felt relieved. I understood that there are many women out there who think and feel the same as I do, which means that I am not subnormal. I did not believe people when I was told I would forget about my experiences quickly. Of course, biology is an incredible thing. I remember how hard it was for me at first, but I cannot now remember exactly why. When my daughter became a small human being, full of energy, joy and curiosity about the world, that first dark time began to fade in a pool of unmeasured, unfathomable love. I do know that I would have preferred to know about it all beforehand, which is why it is so important for me to tell this story, so that perhaps it will help other new
mothers ;). There is one more thing which forces me to “shout” about motherhood and how it really is. I cannot accept that in modern times, in a civilised world, which claims to be built on freedom of speech, talking about the struggles of motherhood is still a taboo topic! Young mothers often feel too ashamed to admit what they are feeling and want at all costs to prove to the world that they are brave and tough. They are often driven by fear of being accused of being a “bad mother”. Our show is an excuse to talk. We don’t want to complain, but instead to tell how it really is, because this is important and, dear mothers, it is our birthright!
When I was still pregnant, I imagined that motherhood is nothing but bliss, emotional highs, magic times – because what is it if not magic when small blotches on a US G display become a human being? When my first, and then second, son came into the world, apart from magic, beauty, sensuality and a whole new reality, I was confronted with (and keep on confronting) experiences of quite a different type – above all emotional and rarely talked, written about or shown. I had to face some grey realities, monotony and repetitiveness bordering on ritual. A body which in some ways changes irreversibly. Sleepless nights, permanent watchfulness and constant fear about the children. Feelings and emotions which go unspoken – because who would want to listen? Loneliness and helplessness. Trying to manage constant stress. Limitless sacrifices and stores of patience – this is what I see now when I look in the mirror. About going from carefree nature to responsibility for life, and not just my own. To the very end. About difficult choices and a journey – a new ride, a little like being inside a kaleidoscope, in the unknown… And I want to tell all this through theatre. I want to ask people to meet us. I want to move, to draw attention, to convince people that it is after all worth it… I want to give thanks to all mothers, including my own.
I’m not a mother yet and I don’t know if I will ever become one. A huge number of my friends are young mothers. I see my friends exhausted, unable to find the time to wash themselves, and I know that they are afraid of admitting that things are bad, that they’re not coping, because they are afraid that they will be seen as bad mothers, bad people. It is already 2014, and it seems that in our country the myth of Mother Poland is still alive and well. This is why young mothers with tears in their eyes smile and talk all about the magic of motherhood, about how nothing hurts, that they are doing fine, and then in secret they take antidepressants. I think that this is a very important and difficult topic, something we should try to understand, but also feel less frightened of talking about. If I one day become a mum, I will above all be more prepared.