Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Than Zero

I have been thinking about recording my experiences as a mom for a while, as if this were a completely novel idea. But once I realized how many women with babies were blogging it just seemed preposterous that I should add to the huge canon of mama blogs already available. I mean, there are just so many, and so many fascinating views into the wide world of raising babes!
But here I am, an actress, mommy, wife, screenwriter, and now blogger about being an actress mommy wife screenwriter blogger. It's happened.
If you are in the majority of Americans and the world who has no idea who I am and you are curious, you can go here
I moved to Los Angeles in my 20's and really my only experience of this city before that would be a childhood of watching "The Fresh Prince of Bel- Air" and reading "Less than Zero". I can tell you I was mighty star struck when I became acquaintances with Alfonso Ribiero (Carlton!) and his wife. And when I met my husband, who grew up in Santa Monica, I assumed his childhood was high school parties snorting cocaine off the coffee tables in his friend's producer parents' mansions in The Colony. Not the most accurate picture. The edgiest thing I think he did was jump off his condo's balcony into a swimming pool.
But still I struggle with the stereotype of what LA is and how to raise a child here. I obsessively watch documentaries and read articles about what it means to grow up online, to have more hours of homework than hours in school, of how tutors are rampant in a culture of ultra competitive college admissions, of three year olds with detectible levels of stress, and consumerism and marketing to children that far far exceeds anything I dealt with as a kid. Matt, my husband and I joke about home school because it's hard, especially in LA to keep those crazy influences at bay... ah, my childhood of riding my bike around by myself, no helmet, my mother having no idea where I was for an hour or so at a time- those days are gone. It seems like a lot of work to find ways just to raise a happy, healthy, smart, low stress person with a good head on his shoulders whose life doesn't revolve around material possessions, sexting, and gorditas.
But that is what this blog will be about- a little record of raising our lovely son Akiva in a pretty extreme city. Welcome!


  1. awwww, momma Dudek...can't wait to catch up with you, matthew, and Akiva! it has been WAY to long! Come home so we can have some proper play dates!!

  2. I cannot imagine trying to raise a kid in LA! Must be crazy! I grew up in a small town, and I remember just being able to go roam the neighborhood for hours and it being perfectly ok with parents. I guess that time is ending, unless you still live in a small town or at least a somewhat safe place.

  3. I'm enjoying your blog and interested in your motivations for it. I was raised in NYC and consider it my hometown and people look at me cross-eyed when I say that. I really do think that most people who were not raised in one of the big evil cities (Boston so does not count) has the attitude that you had when you moved to L.A. And when Akiva grows up, despite everything about how you raised him, people will make the same assumptions about his upbringing as you did about Matt's and as people have about mine.

    Mixed in, of course, is the times they are a-changin'. In NY, while I was growing up I had a "childhood of riding my bike around by myself, no helmet, my mother having no idea where I was for an hour or so at a time" too. Now I live in a mid-sized town with delusions of grandeur and my kids (now 22 and 24) didn't do that growing up (well, maybe not always the helmet...). I don't really know if things are REALLY that different or if we just hear more about it now.

    Akiva will have a whole different environment than either of us had and our kids' kids will too. But, in the meantime, it's a heckuvan adventure being a parent. Good luck.

  4. >>But here I am, an actress, mommy, wife, screenwriter, and now blogger

    and such a good dramatic actress)))