I get in so much trouble with this blog as it is. I think it is one of the many factors of my somewhat unconventional life of being a children‘s performer by day, burlesque host and raunchy comic at night that scares most potential mates away. No, actually it scares all of them away except for the very young and the very old or men that live in another state. So basically anyone who I might actually date is usually scared to death of me. Then I go and do something crazy like talk about babies on my blog…and I do it on more than one entry. What the hell am I thinking? I don’t know. I have given up trying to figure these things out.
I will be 39 years old in about a week. My grandmother and one of my aunts had children in their early forties and I am in excellent health, ideal weight, no smoking, no drinking alcohol, no drugs, no major health problems…I should have a few more years left…but just a few. I have had to accept that motherhood won’t happen for me. I have had to accept this because before I did, I had problems walking past playgrounds on bright sunny days and not bursting into tears. And yes, this exact scenario has played out for me multiple times. What can I say? I used to try to suppress tears and since my major depression I just let them come when they are going to come. I try to avoid bursting into tears on first dates, and other inappropriate moments but walking around Manhattan is fair game as far as I am concerned.
In my day job I work with children, so it becomes just a constant reminder of something that I will never have. I love children and because I work with them I realize how difficult and expensive they are to raise. I understand the completely life altering changes they make to a person’s life and how being a parent is the most demanding job on earth and one that you can’t quit when it the pressures get too hard. It is truly a lifetime commitment. You can relocate across the country, move to Europe, change careers mid-life, get a divorce, remarry…but unless you sign away parental rights to a former partner or spouse…a child is forever. And even if you abandon your child or leave their upbringing to another person, once grown the child could still look you up and expect a relationship. Knowing all of this I still feel a strong urge to reproduce.
And I was on that path, married at 29 years old and had a fairly stable relationship for most of its duration. I conformed my lifestyle to suit my husband’s and completely committed myself to the marriage in heart, mind, body and spirit. Right about the time my ex-husband was pushing for a baby my marriage completely dissolved into a pile of dust and scattered with the wind. More mirage than marriage, it was all over in an instant. What I thought was a straight man, was instead a closeted homosexual. We didn’t have to worry about birth control natural or otherwise since the relationship had become celibate. I thought it was especially cruel of my ex to pressure me for a child when he had no sexual relationship with me whatsoever. And it wasn’t until the last few months when he started to blame me for the lack of sex. Which is absurd if you knew the exact details of our sexual relationship or lack thereof but I would rather not disclose those specifics on this blog. Let’s just say things started out normal and slowly dissolved to becoming completely dysfunctional. Meanwhile I believe he was having an extramarital affair of some capacity with a man. He claims it wasn’t sexual but I at this point I don’t care and I really don’t want to know. He is gay and there is no changing that. Whether or not he cheated on me sexually isn’t the point, emotionally he was with someone else. I thought I was doing the right thing, building a life first and then eventually adding children with a partner I loved. Didn’t exactly work out that way.
Now I have a recurring dream of a blonde haired girl with ringlets and blue eyes. Which is funny because curls don’t run in my family and both blonde hair and blue eyes are recessive so even though I have the traits my theoretical children would probably not express them. But for whatever reason there she is, this fair-skinned doll-like girl with huge blue eyes and a mess of blonde curls. Sometimes my dream child is a boy with large brown eyes and floppy hair neatly dressed in a preppy little outfit of plaid or argyle gripping my hand as we walk down a Manhattan street. Other nights I can feel the weight of an infant resting on the right side of my chest. The scent of half digested milk, baby powder and diapers all mixed together in the indistinguishable smell that means baby. I can sense the breathing and the tiny little heart beating back at me, feel the vulnerability of this minute creature that needs me more than anything else have ever needed me before. But when I wake up and it is back to reality living alone with OKCupid, Match.com and lots of painful ego crushing dates.
I could move back to Missouri live with my parents try to find some type of traditional job, maybe go back to school get a master’s degree and teach. Find a sperm bank, get some sort of anonymous donor and make a baby myself. Moving back with my parents seems horribly regressive and only something I would turn to out of extreme desperation and for the briefest time possible. I have lived on my own since college. Even during college I didn’t go back in the summers, I would instead go to summer school and work full-time, I was that independent.
Or I could do as some have suggested and go on welfare and have a baby on my own here in New York, but the prospect disgusts me. It just seems irresponsible as I have no family here and no support system other than my friends most of whom are unmarried, childless and single. I can barely support myself even if by some miracle I could get a 9-5 traditional higher paying job, I don’t know how I could manage living and raising a child here on my own.
Instead I can see myself as a step-parent if the opportunity arose, or adopt. The problem arises with finding a partner. And it is why I have become so obsessed with trying to get into another relationship. I don’t want to completely give up, but I think I almost have to give up. I have to mentally let go of it, or it is going to choke me emotionally. I just have to accept that my life didn’t work out the way I wanted it and see a new future and new life ahead of me. Instead of diapers and cranky sullen teenagers I will have late nights and solitary nights used solely for writing and whatever creative endeavor I choose.
It’s not easy. But so much has not been easy since my divorce. I believed since my earliest years that if I followed the rules at least some things would work out for me. But instead I followed the rules, things crumbled and then without half trying new opportunities arose for me. The universe and just made a new path for me and I am not fighting its momentum. My new reality may not include motherhood, and that is OK. So the phantom babies will have to belong to someone else, and eventually the dreams will stop and be replaced by new ones.