The Transition: Having a Baby After 30, Publicist Joy Doss Speaks
It’s been 12 years since New York publicist Joy Doss had been home to Memphis. She was thriving as a publicist for prominent clients including The Literary Awards, The National Black Writer’s Conference, Style Salon, which hosts a fashion show each season for New York Fashion Week, and even the Kanye West Foundation in Chicago. Joy was moving and shaking and then her world changed miraculously. She had a baby girl!
“I had my daughter at 35, before then I lived a pretty singular and selfish life,” Joy insists. “I say that because even if you’re in a relationship, you’re selfish because you don’t have anyone else to look after. When I had my daughter it was an automatic shift to mommy and protector. Everything is about making her the center of my life. Everything I do now is for her, every decision I make is a conscious one because my decisions impact her, even coming back home to Memphis was for her.”
Still transitioning, Joy’s happy being home with friends and family: “I didn’t realize how tired I was until I got home and slowed down. New York is a very aggressive city. Everything you do is aggressive. I go to sleep aggressive, my dreams are aggressive… After winding down I realized I was so glad I was home to raise her in the South with my mom close by.”
Although Joy was in a steady relationship before having her baby, she’s content knowing things didn’t work out. Saying, “I wanted to get married, but [I’m] glad we didn’t because we didn’t need to be. I wouldn’t do anything different and wouldn’t change her father because she wouldn’t be who she is. You want a life partner because it’s easier to build when you have a healthy partner. Don’t rush having a baby and don’t be so hungry because it leads to bad decision-making.”
In the entertainment business there are two types of women: one whose career is her baby and the other who tries to have one before time runs out.
“The clock is not ticking,” Joy says. “You’re still young at 30. There’s such a thing as high risk but if you’re healthy, monitor yourself and your pregnancy carefully, have a good doctor, eat well and exercise, you’ll be fine. You don’t pop back as easily though.”
If your career comes first: “Carve out time. Strap the baby on your back if you can. It’s not just about means and resources, but face time and quality time.”
“Don’t let anyone else monopolize you to a point where you can’t engage with your child. You have to put your foot down and if they don’t understand then they just don’t. Sometimes working in NY you feel penalized for missing work to attend doctor appointments or school activities. As mothers, we can’t allow work to do that to us because our children are our family.”