Auntie Chronicles: Why I Don’t Have Children
My goodness! I can’t believe 2013 is almost over. I also can’t believe it’s been 9 years since I became a full-time entrepreneur. It all began in December of 2004 when I branched out into the waters of self employment with my publicity and publishing consulting agency, Dream Relations, PR & Literary Consulting Agency. After spending nearly a decade in this business, I would say it has definitely caused a bit of self reflection— an accounting of sorts of my successes, failures, highlights, celebrations and a look at what lies ahead.
Promoting the releases of novels, self-help books and memoirs with placements with BET, Wendy Williams, Sirius XM, Ebony, Don Diva, Hip Hop Weekly, Essence, Juicy, Elle, Uptown, as well as a host of award nominations and wins for amazing writers has been an awesome ride. My work has helped a number of bestselling authors collectively sell over a million books across all mediums. Success definitely!
Some of my fondest memories over the years have included:
- taking a client on the Grammy red-carpet as we celebrated his first nomination for ‘Best Song’
- landing a self-published author on “Good Morning America Health” for a fitness segment
- working with Will Smith in Philadelphia for a peace rally, my first acquisition as a literary agent
- working with the Ed Hardy brand during the celebrity craze
- aiding on the campaign for the launch of the House of Dereon brand
Good times. Unfortunately, with success comes failure and, yes, I can be honest in saying there is no such thing as entrepreneurship without mentioning the F-word. God knows I have shed more than 10,000 tears of frustration. But what seems to nag at me at the end of every year is how I have failed myself at starting a family. It’s no secret I want to be married with kids. I’ve sacrificed that for the pursuit of my own ambition. It is only now that the single life has started to settle in. I often wonder if I am missing out on being a mom. I adore children from the wobbly walking toddler, rambunctious middle schoolers to the transitioning teenagers who need tough love. Yes, I want them all! Have I been dating? Yes. However,have I met my divine partner, got married and had an adorable mini-me? Nope. One year at a family BBQ we were all sharing stories and I looked around the yard and realized that I was the only female of age (18 and over) who did not have a child. I made a statement and said we need to have a ‘National Auntie Day’ to celebrate aunts who are not mothers yet. It was a way for me to get some extra TLC and maybe a few gift cards since Mother’s Day was really for everyone else. We all laughed about it, but there was something deeper to the statement I made.
At all stages I appreciate children, but there are so many factors that play into why, as an entrepreneur, I’ve had to delay motherhood. Finances, I have run my business virtually debt-free, but that also means that I don’t have the plushest cushion to fall on should I crash and burn or want to start a family. Regarding The New York City dating pool, I still haven’t met a potential partner who will be fully supportive of my career. Marrying well is extremely important just as Sheryl Sandberg observed in Lean In: I thought I had that until, a guy blurted out during a tiff, “I hate that my girl is more successful than me!” After that relationship went south, I put my head to the heavens and said “God help me be successful in business, because this relationship stuff sucks.”
Another thing that conflicts with my dating life is my schedule which is constantly changing. I am the brand which means everything starts and ends with me. As a sole proprietor I take the big meetings, travel to the conferences, book festivals, desk side appointments and on set shoots while attending networking, sporting and social events to bring in new business. Next year I am planning to attend international book festivals in addition to the US-based events. There have been months where I slept in my bed 10 days out of the month, spent every weekend in a different state East to West and closed deals via Skype from Capetown, South Africa.
Though I am not getting any younger, I am becoming a lot wiser. Looking ahead as I approach my diamond anniversary in 2014, I am building partnerships and alliances that bring about larger returns on my work. I am expanding my dating pool outside of New York after reading Love in A Carry-On Bag, a novel written by one of my clients which inspired me. As for the children I yearn for… I have friends who have some of the cutest kids on the planet and I am a godmother and auntie to this diverse bunch. Life is what you make it and I recognize every blessing that comes with being, a professional auntie with no kids living in New York City.