Last week I socialized with a couple in their early forties who met a couple of years ago, married, and just adopted a baby. They were both lively and charismatic individuals who had spent the first two decades of their lives working low-level jobs while pursuing acting careers. Like most people in L.A., they didn’t make it.
They now work “regular” jobs and have given up on acting. Instead they spend their hours off work concentrating on the baby (one of them actually said he didn’t want to go on auditions because it takes time away from his darling little baby). Naturally, the baby was all they could talk about, at least until I got them to open up about their pasts and show a little bit of pre-parent personality.
I didn’t feel envy, which tells me that I’m no longer interested in parenting. Now that I see my parentless state as something of a ticket to financial freedom, I don’t want to take on the added burden of a child, who would then necessitate another stressful job.
It seemed fairly obvious to me that, given the flame-out of their career ambitions, parenting had taken on a particular importance for this couple. Another couple might have adopted a rescue dog and spent their time obsessing over that.
Nothing wrong with any of that– I’m sure this couple will have fun as parents and gain meaning out of a new baby. I just wonder, though, if, after the newness wears off, and they realize they are now stuck in their mediocre jobs, their midlife crises will come roaring back.