I get in so much trouble with this blog as it is. My life is rather unconventional. I’m a children’s performer by day and a raunchy comedian or a burlesque emcee at night. My dual occupations seem to scare most potential mates away. No, actually it scares all of them away except for the very young and the very old. I also seem to attract stalker types and men who live far away from me. So basically anyone who I might actually date is usually terrified 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. I’m 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. 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.
In my day job I work with children, so they are a constant reminder of something that I will never have. I love children and because I work with them I realize the added responsibility and expense of raising kids. I understand the completely life altering changes children make to a person’s life and how being a parent is the most demanding job on earth. It’s 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, a child is forever. 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 anything, 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 was absurd if you knew the exact details of our relationship.
Things started out normal and slowly dissolved into something completely dysfunctional. Meanwhile, I believe he was having an extramarital affair of some capacity with a man. He claims it wasn’t physical but I at this point I don’t care. He is gay and there is no changing that. I thought I was doing the right thing by remaining loyal to my husband despite our problems, but my loyalty cost me dearly.
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. 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 heart, feel the vulnerability of a minute human who needs me more than anything else. Then I I wake up and it is back to reality living alone with OKCupid, Match.com and lots of painful awkward 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. Maybe I could go to a sperm bank, get some sort of anonymous donor and raise a child on my own. Moving back with my parents seems horribly regressive and only something I would turn to out of extreme desperation. I have lived on my own since college. Even during college when most students went home for Summer vacation, I continued to take classes and work. Living with my parents at this point would be like living on another planet.
I could do as some have suggested and have a baby on my own here in New York, supplementing my income with welfare and food stamps. Purposefully living off of government programs just seems irresponsible. I also have no family here and no support system other than my friends most of whom are childless and single.
I could see myself as a step-parent or possibly adopting. The problem arises with finding a partner. 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 solitary nights used solely for writing or 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.
- Successfully Parenting A Child After Divorce (angelamwilkerson.com)
- Should Battling Parents Divorce or Stay Together? New Child-Centered Divorce Support Group Helps Parents Decide (prweb.com)
- On Being a Straight Spouse: Broken Memories (julietjeskeblog.com)
- Life as a Straight Spouse: Living with the Scarlet “G” (julietjeskeblog.com)
- Dating After Divorce: The Fairy Tale is Over (julietjeskeblog.com)