"If I don’t get babies . . . "

I always had this dream of being a mother who was also a professional writer. When I married Fred, it seemed as if at least half this dream might come true. When he proposed, my first reaction, after saying yes and crying happy tears was to announce that finally I could freelance. Hold on a minute, Fred said. He was counting on me adding to the family income. I tried hard, but the newspaper business was tough even back then. With a book contract and regular outlets for me work, I moved into full-time freelancing in 1987, two years after we were married. 

Then, four years into our marriage, Fred’s youngest son, Michael, moved in with us. What follows is a brief passage from my Childless by Marriage book. 


We rented a house up against the south San Jose foothills. Moving into a suburban neighborhood full of young families, we paid our $1,200 a month and tried to save a little here and there. I was fully committed to freelancing, not even considering looking for a job, and now I had a live-in son. It seemed that I had finally realized my dream of being a stay-at-home mother-writer.

In January 1989, my book money ran out, and my two main article clients both went bust. Our expenses had gone up. Fred was the kind of guy who liked to stay out of debt and have a comfortable cash cushion in savings. A barely employed freelance writer wife did not add much to the bank account.

By March, Fred had begun suggesting that I get a job. I wanted to stay home and write books. Over the years, we have rarely fought, but I held my ground this time. I had been working as hard as I could to earn money with my writing, plus I was helping to raise his son without being able to have my own children. After many more years of the ups and downs of the writing business, including a couple more full-time jobs, the memory is blurry now. But back then I was very clear about it in my journal. “If I don’t get babies, I’m damn well going to get books.”

So I continued to freelance, and I did not have a baby with Fred.

Childless by Marriage is available in print and e-book form at Amazon.com. If you order the paperback directly from me at sufalick@gmail.com, you can have the book for $12, with no shipping charges. 

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