Wednesday, April 22, 2015

No Kids

I wrote this for my friend Bart Plantenga's Upcoming Book, NO KIDS.

I may have taken me a long time to get back to you about this piece NO KIDS because it is a source of sorrow and regret for me.  Why don’t I have kids?  Why was I on the pill for 27 years not getting off until I was 43 years old? It is complicated for me. There are several reasons.

I have worked a tremendous large amount of hours as a Set Decorator primarily working in television.  My work week starts at about 70 hours a week and many weeks hover around 90.  I felt like I couldn’t  have kids until I worked less.  My husband is a screenwriter, and I believed if he could sell a screenplay and I could start working less we could have kids.  It hasn’t happen yet.  He hasn’t gotten the golden ticket.

I was afraid to have kids with such a busy schedule.  My mother was a career woman.  I felt that she wasn’t around for me and I suffered because of her absence.  I didn’t want to make the same mistake.  I thought if I can’t do it right why bother.  I watched women in similar work situations as me, cry in the bathroom because they missed the dance recital or the baseball game because they were stuck at work in the demanding profession of film and television.  Shopping until ten and eleven o’clock at night for a work day that had started at 5 am or 6 am in the morning I often joked when people asked me when I was going to have kids, “When I don’t hear Target will be closing in fifteen minutes.”

My husband was also not onboard.  He didn’t want to have kids and often joked “we are our own kids.”  I think his lack of interest in having kids came from growing up without a father and also wanting have enough time to do his writing when he also had to work a full time job.  But I guess that is his story to tell.

I am also an artist.  And I wanted to work on my artistic projects with the little time I had left in the week.  And this selfishness about having time for my own creativity also kept me from having kids.  I believed with the addition of kids to an already hectic life there would be no time left for my art.

Sometimes I would see fit women jogging with double strollers in Los Angeles and I would want to hit them with my car.  I was so jealous of them. How come they get to have it all and I don’t?  Why can’t I work my life out to fit in everything?  I even had names for my unborn children; Sonja and Zeno.

There was a time a had a mattress ad with two kids that looked like they could be mine on the refrigerator with the names Sonja and Zeno written on it.

While travelling in India in the winter 2013 and doing a lot of meditation and yoga I started to have some imagery during meditation of a young girl who I felt was my unborn daughter asking to come out.  She appeared in a white dress with lots of extraneous fabric and was dancing.  By the fall of 2013,
I decided to get off the pill and try to have a baby.

I told my husband I was going off birth control and if he didn’t want to have kids he could either get a vasectomy or not have sex with me.  He didn’t chose to do either.  I haven’t done anything proactive to have kids with fertility doctors. I just opened it up to the universe.  Nothing has happened so far. No pregnancies. I never had regular menstruation in the past and I have been irresponsible with the pill many times and I have never gotten pregnant so I may not be very fertile.  I don’t know. Perhaps I waited too long and I am too old.  But somehow I feel less sad and the longing isn’t quite as bad anymore now that I am at least trying.

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